By Doug Walton
The Muskogee Farmers’ Market will hold one final day of market from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday for customers to stock-up on fresh ingredients for Thanksgiving fixins. It’s also a good chance to get storage crops for the winter, or to do some early shopping for unique locally made gift items.
A surprising variety of fresh produce items will be available, thanks to growers with frost hearty crops and those who harvested the more tender items before the very cold temperatures.
One very nutritious and long-keeping crop which is often eaten this time of year is the sweet potato. Packed full of nutrients such as vitamins A, C and B6, as well as manganese, potassium and dietary fiber, the sweet potato can be baked in its skin and eaten just like a regular spud, or prepared in easy recipes like those below.
Other locally-grown produce items available on Saturday include several varieties of winter squash such as spaghetti, butternut and acorn, mustard greens, turnips, radishes, lettuce, broccoli, spinach, onions, beets, bok choy, kale, yellow squash and large green zucchini for baking, red ripe and green tomatoes, new potatoes, green beans and colored sweet bell peppers.
Other items at the market include frozen cuts of grass-fed Dexter beef with no antibiotics, steroids or hormones; honey and sorghum molasses; authentic tamales, burritos and tortillas; all natural pet treats and “pupcakes;” handmade soaps, candles, wax melts and incense; primitive holiday signs; children’s rocking and other woodcrafts, and lots more.
Food stamps/SNAP benefits are accepted at the farmers’ market. Customers wishing to purchase eligible foods with their Oklahoma Access card can visit the farmers’ market tent, swipe their card in exchange for tokens, and shop with vendors offering qualified items.
The Muskogee Farmers Market is located under the covered parking pavilions in front of the Muskogee Civic Center, and after the final day of market this Saturday, will be reopening the 2013 season in mid-April.
Reach Doug Walton, Muskogee Farmers' Market manager at (918) 686-6939, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sweet potatoes and apples
Makes 6 servings
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 large apples, cored and sliced
1/3 c raisins
1/4 c chopped toasted pecans
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1. Combine sweet potatoes, apples, raisins and pecans in a large bowl; mix.
2. Spoon into a shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
3. Combine butter, sugar, oats and lemon peel. Pour over potato and apple mixture. Bake at 350 degrees 35 minutes or until apples are just tender.
Sweet potato pie
Makes 2 pies
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced and boiled till tender
1 cup margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 unbaked 9-inch pie shells
Mash potatoes with margarine while hot. Beat in sugar and eggs.
Add milk and vanilla; mix well.
Pour mixture into pie shells. Bake at 300 degrees 1 hour, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.