Wednesday mornings you’ll find me at Christopher Morley Park in Roslyn, gathering my dinner. No, I’m not foraging in the woods; instead I’m walking through the Farmer’s Market, seeing what’s being offered.
You can build a wonderful meal at the Farmers Market. I always look to see what’s in the icebox at Meredith Sea Food. One week it was flounder and the next, I bought plump sea scallops. If pasta is going to be the side dish, there’s Papa Pasquale Ravioli and Pasta, a family-owned company from Brooklyn that was established 60 years ago and offers, in addition to the many varieties of fresh pasta, Italian cooked specialties such as chicken parm, rice balls and fried Sicilian artichokes.
Another third generation company represented at the market is Horman’s Pickles, with a manufacturing plant in Glen Cove. Nicholas Horman says they make over 20 varieties of pickled items plus a Bloody Mary mix. This I had to taste (one of the great things about a farmers market is that much of the food can be tasted). The tomato mixture, which included the usual Worschtershire sauce, horseradish and lemon juice, also contained pickle juice.
For dessert, I can buy fresh plums, peaches and apples at Orchards of Concklin from Pomona, NY (their cider donuts are wonderful as well), macaroons from the Bearded Baker, Aunt Diane’s Cookies and fudge from Linda’s; or bake my own with Raquette River Baking Company’s frozen cookie dough with interesting flavors such as bourbon oatmeal raisin.
It’s always interesting to see what’s being offered at the largest stand–Terry’s Farm. This time fresh pulled potatoes and freshly pulled scallions caught my fancy. I had the romantic image of my own personal—in this case Fred Terry, whose family has been growing out east for almost 400 years—moving along the rows of two-foot tall scallions, plucking them from the ground just for me.
Fred’s wife, Ethel Terry, is the president of Long Island Growers’ Market, the organization they founded that supports the Roslyn market and 10 other sites throughout Long Island. The Terrys organized the first market 24 years ago in Islip. “We had been doing the green market in New York City,” said Ellen, “and were asked if we could help start something on Long Island.”
Today there are over two-dozen vendors at the Roslyn market selling meat, cheese, spice blends, salad dressing, fresh cut flowers, goat cheese and artisanal breads. I appreciated tasting coquito—a frozen Puerto Rican eggnog-style mix prepared by Suzette Montalvo of Bayshore. Take it home frozen and add rum if desired.
The Roslyn market is seven years old and it’s here to stay, said Ethel. She frequently gets calls from vendors wanting to come to the Roslyn market. “You know it’s a good market when vendors go to other markets and are told to call about Roslyn,” she added.
While waiting on line to pay for my vegetables, someone started belting out Happy Birthday. It was Lydia Hall from New Mexico, exploring the market with her sister Marie Bacchi from Lynbrook. Lydia was in town to celebrate her mother’s 100th birthday and since birthdays were on her mind, when she heard that Sarah from the farm stand was celebrating her birthday that day, she couldn’t resist bursting into song. This was Bacchi’s first time at the market. “We’re loving the carrots,” she said. “What a huge bunch and great price.”
They will be back, she said, and so will I, every Wednesday until it closes the end of November.
Christopher Morley Park is at 500 Searingtown Rd. The market is open on Wednesdays, until Nov. 25, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.