by Sherri Gallagher
Like most of you, I start to think about holiday cooking this time of year. It’s time to break out the turkey roasting pan and the pie pans, along with your special china. With Thanksgiving close at hand, picking up your supplies for your family dinners and desserts at the Napa Farmers’ Market makes for an easy and fun shopping trip.
Even though the market season is almost over (the year’s final market is Tuesday, November 21), you will still find a great selection of fall fruits and vegetables for your holiday baking and roasting. A pie from Devoto Farm’s heirloom apple varieties can’t be beat, and you can dress up your table with their gorgeous fall flowers. Find buttery pears for salads or baking at the Arceo Ranch stall; they have flowers as well. Get fresh herbs for your stuffing from the Little Guys or Long Meadow Ranch. Stock up on sweet potatoes, persimmons, green beans, potatoes, squash and pumpkins from the market’s many Northern California growers.
If you don’t do the Thanksgiving cooking, then you certainly need a gift for your host, whether it’s a friend or family member. The Napa Farmers Market can be a lifesaver. Pick up ready-made goodies from one of our bakers or prepared-food chefs. Everyone will love cookies from Annie the Baker, olive oil from Atlas Peak Olive Oil, salami from Salami Lady Cash and Carry or cheese from Achadinha Cheese Company. You can even get a deboned and stuffed turkey from Contimo Provisions at the market.
Along with farm-fresh produce and specialty food, we have some of the most talented artisan crafters in the Bay Area. Gift-giving time is only a few weeks away. Our artisans are ready for you with handcrafted wares anyone would love.
Shop for unique jewelry with Robert Redu, The Paris Apartment, Gian’s Gems, Nancy’s Necklace, Sharon Hedlund Designs or Sherri Gallagher Beadwork. Treat friends to body-care and aromatherapy products from Napa Valley au Naturel or My Two Scents.
Check out Napa Valley Leathercraft for belts, bags and dog leashes. For beautiful pottery for home and garden, look to Hipkiss Designs and Flower Farm Pottery. And speaking of gardens, look no further than Ramirez Metal Art.
Aroma Floral has lovely seasonal wreaths and table decorations made with dried flowers, leaves and fruit.
Cruz Designs is a great source of aprons. I’m So Sure will provide quilts and In the Moment Creative’s owner has lovely cards and framed prints made from her photography. Rose Gardner makes adorable crocheted bears, quilts and bibs.
Any one of these talented people would love to help you with your gift list. Take a little time to visit with them during the few remaining markets.
Recipe for Mixed Greens with Persimmons and Pears
Adapted from California by Janet Fletcher (Time-Life Books).
Ingredients for vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons walnut or olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 shallot, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ pound mixed salad greens
2 endives, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise
1 Fuyu persimmon
1 pear, ripe but firm
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, shallot, and salt and pepper to taste. Let stand 15 minutes for the shallot flavor to mellow.
In a large salad bowl, combine the salad greens and endive. Stem and quarter the persimmon (peeling is optional). Peel the pear, quarter and core. With a mandolin or other manual vegetable slicer, or with a sharp chef’s knife, slice the persimmon and pear thinly. Add to the salad bowl. Add just enough vinaigrette to coat the greens lightly. (You may not need it all.) Toss gently, taste and adjust the seasoning.