This is the Weekly E-Newsletter of Contra Costa Certified Farmers' Markets for Friday, February 9, 2007
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From Chef Lesley Stiles:

Purrrfect Valentine's Day Treats.

Honey Devils Food Cake with Rich Chocolate Frosting

1 cups all purpose flour
cup milk
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
cup oil
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cups honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Rich Chocolate Frosting

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans. In large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer gradually beat in honey, milk, oil eggs and vanilla; beat 2 minutes. Gradually add boiling water, beating until well blended. Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until pick comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes and remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely. And fill and frost with Rich Chocolate Frosting.

Rich Chocolate Frosting

Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup heavy cream, cup unsweetened cocoa powder, cup honey and 1 teaspoon vanilla until just thick.
(Mt Diablo Beekeepers Assc. Cookbook)

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Use chopped apples and kiwi for the berries in this Clafouti this time of year!

Berry and Honey Clafouti

10 cups raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, pitted cherries or any combination of fruit
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
4 eggs lightly beaten
2/3 cup honey
1 cup half and half
1 tablespoon freshly ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a large baking dish (13x9) with cooking spray. Place berries in a large bowl. Sprinkle with flour and toss gently. Pour berries into prepared dish and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine butter, lemon peel, eggs, honey, half and half and cinnamon and whisk until smooth. Pour mixture over berries. Bake for 30 minutes until puffy and golden.
Makes 12 servings.
(Mt Diablo Beekeepers Assc. Cookbook)

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More recipes
From Deborah Jo Sandler, my favorite family law litigator, we have a real nice comment on improving your LATKES. Thank you Deborah for your comments and thank you for being such a huge market supporter! Just a comment on the latke recipe that was in the January 5th Lettuce Leaf:

There are lots of ways to make these, but I got a good trick out of a Jewish cookbook that I will pass along to you. After the potatoes are grated, and before everything else is mixed in there, put the potatoes in a colander or fine strainer, and put the colander or strainer over a large pot or bowl. Put a plate or something heavy on top of the grated potatoes to help push out the water, or you can push it out by kneading and squeezing the grated potatoes with your hands in the colander. Let the water from the squeezed potatoes drain into the large pot or bowl under the colander, and let it sit for awhile - say 15-30 minutes. Soon you will see that under the water, there is some white gluey stuff in a thin layer at the bottom. That is potato starch. Here is the trick - carefully pour out the water and discard it. Then scrape out the potato starch with a spoon, and mix it back into the potatoes, along with the egg, grated onion, matzoh meal, etc. This makes the latkes fluffy and wonderful. Most people don't know this trick, but I use it every year.

In this Issue:
Walnut Creek:
Music: Prairie Rose
Manager: Keith Farley. E-mail:
Market Hours: Winter hours 9 am to 1 pm thru April.
The Frequent Shopper Card (from Nov. thru April);
Year-Round Parking Validation;
The Veggie Valet booth.

From Keith Farley, Manager:
This week we welcome a new grower to our midst. Swank Farms out of Hollister. They produce a wide variety of produce that by all accounts is fantastic. I have personally tried their Roasted Corn Salsa and it was the best I have had in a long time. Stop by and welcome them to our market this Sunday. Here is a link to their website Swank Farms.

Winter is a challenging time for a farmers' market. The weather can be less than ideal, the winter crops aren't as sexy as the summer crops (although, just as good for you) and frankly on a cold winter Sunday morning I too would rather be sitting at home with a my hot chocolate and newspaper. But, the cold hard facts are you must come to the market and support the farmers who work all year round to provide you with the freshest possible produce. They plan their planting schedule so that the markets always have the right seasonal crops so you can eat in season. Sure we all would like to have corn and melons year round but that just is not the fact of local agriculture. I don't want to get preachy and twist arms, but grab your friends and come down on Sunday to see what is going on. Dangit, we miss you. Here's a thought, if you don't come to the market maybe we'll come to you... do you really want that? I thought not.

Asparagus is right around the corner. Last year it was late February. With the rain this week maybe sooner, let's hope!

The weather is going to be dicey this Sunday so bring your umbrella and know that the farmers and I appreciate it.
See you Sunday!

More info.

Martinez, Orinda & Pleasant Hill:
Markets closed for the season
FROM OUR MARKETS by Chef Leslie Stiles
Finally a little rain comes knocking. Hopefully the precipitation will stay around long enough to wear out its welcome and fill up some reservoirs while translating into the white stuff in the mountains. I wonder if this bizarre weather is enough to put a dent into the global warming naysayer confidence that it ain't happening.

I spoke to a couple of senior classes at Las Lomas High School the other day; why the subject... shopping local (ie: farmers' markets) is sooooo important. While putting together my lecture presentation I was constantly trying to rein together the information as those two little words, shop and local have immense ramifications. One subject leads to the next, for example, how if you are sitting in a coffee shop across the street from a sugar plantation in Maui and stirring a little packet of C and H sugar into your coffee, that little packet went from the cane field across the street to a raw sugar state on Maui then off to Crockett, CA to be refined into the evil white stuff, then on to New York state where it meets its paper partner and then distributed internationally as the white and pink packet, hence making its way back, 10,000 miles later to the sweet little coffee shop across the street, totally unrecognizable from the rest of its natural family. Consider the fossil fuel usage on this one little product alone and we have a direct glimpse into global warming. What is the solution since sugar cane is from a tropical locale? Start using Penny Granburg or Brian Shigley's honey in your coffee and baking instead or stevia and not only will you sleep better but probably drop a couple of pounds in the process.

As awareness grows around the fact that food really does travel long distances primarily to pass through a lot of green paws, it becomes easier to make local food choices, especially when all the studies point out that we here in the west are going to have even hotter summers than we are used to. Can anyone remember last summer for instance? Not having any air conditioning in my little old house I remember well.

We have almost all the food stuffs we need produced locally in the Bay Area. Not only do we have the best selection of fruits and vegetables grown in our area but we have some great meat as well. Holding Ranch in Lafayette, found at the Walnut Creek farmers' market, has some great meat. Not being a meat eater I have no guilt greeting these cows frequently on hikes in Briones where they are happily grazing. They never see a feedlot, a hormone or an antibiotic and are affordable. We have amazing cheese sources, think Cow Girl Creamery to name one, locally made with cow or goat cheese from local beasts. We have wines, vinegars, olive oils, grains and the list goes on.

High school seniors are very interested and engaged in the local movement and are making strides to join locavores to be a part of their future weather patterns and icebergs. Spread the word for your future as well and buy locally produced, non road weary foods from the source.

There are plenty of good pavement walks out there to keep you out of the mud so get out there and reinvigorate yourself with a little awesome exercise!

Lesley Stiles can be reached at or on the market hotline 925 431-8361

VALENTINE'S DAY by General Manager Jessie Neu
Just in time for Valentine's Day!
Join us this week as we welcome two nice additions to our Walnut Creek Market.

Swank Farms will be bringing, directly from their farm in Hollister, organic hothouse tomatoes and delicious freshly made salsas.

Kim's Orchids, from San Francisco, brings us a lovely selection of blooming potted Orchids.

In a recent survey published in the Contra Costa papers the Walnut Creek Farmers' Market was selected as the best place to buy flowers. Three growers bring us gorgeous, freshly cut flowers that last up to two weeks, visit Utos flowers, Ruvalcaba Nursery and Devoto farms. See why the people of the community chose us!

Delicious vegetables, citrus and apples are just some of the California grown ingredients for a romantic meal and they are all available at the farmers' market.

Have you tried "From Sea to You" Danny (the Fish Hook)'s jumbo prawns?

Treat youself and your loved ones to a fresh indulgence this Sunday!
See you at the market!

Jessie Neu can be reached at

DID YOU KNOW? by Manager Keith Farley
The entertainment plans for the 25th anniversary celebrations are coming along really well and there are going to be a lot of activities, especially for the kids at all the markets. We do need your help with some volunteer activities, so stop by and give me your contact information so we can make you a part of this community event!

Martinez Celebrates Cycling on Sat. February 10 from 9am to 5pm
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