21 November 2018

Napa Farmers Market Goes Year-Round

by Annie Baker

Napa Valley Register

Mid-November is usually my time to start hibernating. Typically, the farmers markets that I do for my company, Annie’s Cookies, have ended so I can focus on all my other chores at this crazy time of year.

But this year is different. As of Nov. 24, the Napa Farmers Market is going year-round on Saturdays. This is an exciting time at the farmers’ market as we tread into some uncharted water. As a vendor and farmers market board member, I find it both exciting and scary.

It is scary because I really need that downtime. I need to get all the stuff done around the house that I postponed during the warmer months. It is also scary to me because I am not sure how I am going to behave without my hibernation period. So just beware!

On the other hand, I’m excited to be able to stay in touch with shoppers, especially the ones who have been telling me how much they want a year-round market. It will be exciting to see all the different fruits and vegetables that we don’t see in summer and fall.

I am especially looking forward to sweet potatoes. I love sweet potatoes. You can do so many different things with them. They are awesome when baked, roasted or mashed, but they are amazing in my sweet potato pie. Yum!

I make this sweet potato pie often. As a matter of fact, I have told my husband that it is pumpkin pie because he claims he doesn’t like sweet potato pie. Well, don’t tell him, but he loves sweet potato pie. It is creamier than pumpkin pie but has similar spicing so it is easy to trick someone into loving sweet potato pie (recipe below).

Napa Farmers Market First Annual Holiday Bazaar: Join us at the Napa Farmers Market on Small Business on Saturday, Nov. 24, for a festive Holiday Bazaar. Get a head start on your holiday shopping and help us celebrate our transition to a year-round market. You’ll find locally crafted gifts from artisans and specialty food vendors. Complete your Holiday Passport for your chance at a raffle prize. We’ll have games and good cheer for all ages. Here’s the schedule:

— 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Demonstrations by Silverado Handweavers and Spinners at the Education Station

— 10 a.m.: Ugly Sweater Contest (with prizes!) at the chef demonstration stage

10:15 a.m.: Chef Demo (recipes and tastes provided)

10:30 a.m.: Holiday Story Time at the Education Station

11 a.m.: Apple tasting at the Education Station

Please donate: Donate to the Napa Farmers Market before Dec. 31 at www.napavalleygiveguide.org, and 100 percent of your donation will go to the Market Match program. Market Match helps low-income families purchase nutritious produce at the Napa Farmers Market by doubling their CalFresh (food stamp) dollars.

Sweet Potato Pie

2 cups sweet potato puree

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup heavy cream

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 tablespoons molasses

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 fully-baked deep 10-inch pie shell

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, combine the sweet potato puree, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Blend well.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the cream, butter, molasses and vanilla.

Pour the filling into the baked pie shell.

Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 Fahrenheit and continue baking until a knife inserted 2 inches from the center of the pie comes out clean, about 40 minutes longer. Serve at room temperature with freshly whipped cream.

Annie Baker is the proprietor of Annie’s Cookies, a vendor at the Napa Farmers Market. She is also on the market’s board of directors.

The Napa Farmers Market takes place on Saturdays (all year) from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the parking lot of the South Napa Century Center, 195 Gasser Drive, Napa. For more information or a schedule of upcoming events, visit www.napafarmersmarket.org