Olney Farmers & Artists Market

Highly Seasoned Market

The dynamic demo duo Salt & Pepper came to the Market last Sunday.  They used the wonderful eggs, sausage and milk from Orchard Breeze to make omelets and scrambled eggs, along with Norland potatoes, spinach and onions from Cat’s Paw Organic Farm, and Hickory Smoked Bacon Gourmet Dip Mix from Magnet Earth.

Brian and Chef Tee

 

They Cook

Becca decided that cooking was the most fascinating thing ever.  She paid close attention throughout the entire demo.

Becca Watches

Jennifer, whose Cupcake Lounge table was located next to the demo table, graciously shared some space to stage the samples.  Eggs for tasting; cupcakes for dessert!

Elsewhere, the peripatetic Friendship Star Opportunity Quilt was located in the Exhibit Hall.  It has been in a different location each of the three weeks it has graced the Market.  Only one more week to avail yourself of the chance to own this amazing creation!  I wonder where it will be located this Sunday?  Come and see!

Quilt in Background - BEADazzling Designs in Foreground

I caught Jennifer taking a selfie of herself, her daughter Jailynn and Chaan of Angels and Anchors.

Smile!

Mark Mills of Chocolate and Tomatoes showed off his chocolate bunnies for Easter, and a poster display of the crops he is planting in anticipation of the summer season.  I can’t wait!

Mark, Bunnies, Veggies

And for music, Walls and ‘Vino cast their spell over the Dr. Bird room.

Sitting Room Only

This is the last Sunday of our winter market.  See you there, or see you in May!

Judy Newton

Quilts and Curators on Two Sundays

Yes, this is a catch-up entry - I was delinquent last week and didn’t post about the Market, so here are two weeks in one.

On March 9, the Opportunity Quilt from the Friendship Star Quilt Guild made its first appearance.  This quilt is the major fundraiser for the Guild, and funds their participation in charity projects throughout the year.  If you missed it for the last two weeks, you still have a chance to admire and buy chances to win it through the end of the month!

 Many Blocks Make Up The Whole

Close-Up Detail of Some Blocks

Back View of Wonderfully Elaborate Quilting

It was pieced collectively by many Guild members, and professionally quilted.  In addition to the display of this admirable example of sewing skill, the Guild was represented by Teresa Peterson and Liz Brodsky, who presented a demonstration of wool appliqué technique.

Liz and Teresa Demonstrate

 Music was furnished by one of our favorite musicians, Jeff Burnett.

Jeff Sings

March 16 was a lively day.  In addition to the Market, the Museum hosted the “Extreme Exhibit Makeover” in the Exhibit Hall.  Two teams competed to produce new exhibits  in a limited time.

Exhibit Designers Puzzle Out a Detail

Living Space In Afghanistan Exhibit

Kimball’s Store Exhibit With Tania Katan on the Phone

Curtis Woody was there as well.  He is the Museum Community Artist in Residence, and is creating a collage about historic Sandy Spring.  Part of the piece’s background will refer to the Quaker quilting tradition; the Friendship Star Quilt, on display in the Long Hall, was a nice counterpoint.

 Curtis Woody Works on His Exhibit

Quilt and Vendors in Long Hall

There was also a demonstration of making glass beads by OFAM vendor artist Marti Andress.

Marti Makes Beads

Meanwhile, in the Dr. Bird room, St Patrick’s Day was celebrated with cookies at the Cupcake Lounge, and Chaan of Angels and Anchors showed everyone the sign she had ordered from Pete Carlson, our woodworker, as a gift for her husband.  So much synergy on one day!

Green Cookies

 

Roger’s Sign, With Chaan and Pete

This Sunday, Salt and Pepper, our favorite demo chef duo, will return.  The demo starts at noon.  See you there!

Judy Newton

A Museum Full of Music

The scheduled chef cancelled at the last minute last Sunday, so I was a little late getting to the Museum.  I was afraid that there would be a big hole in the day because of no chef, but I needn’t have worried -  the Dr. Bird room was full of music!  It was a double surprise, since they weren’t announced in advance (the newsletter just said “TBA”).

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 Washington’s Spelmanslag Makes Lively Music

The fiddles, harp, marimba, flute, guitar, and cello players were Washington’s Spelmanslag, according to the flier on the table, “A group of musicians from different music traditions who enjoy playing music together.  We learn our tunes and style from tradition-bearing fiddlers from Sweden.  Today’s music is a fundraising effort to help us pay for the costs of having a fiddler-in-residence come to us from Sweden next October.”

They switched off, from the whole ensemble playing together, to smaller groups.

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Eight Out Of Ten

They used their breaks to look around.

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Fiddles In The Museum

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Fiddle And Flowers

Meanwhile, Jesse showed off some magic tricks he’s learning.  One involves a cell phone.  A whole new generation of tricks!  I remember my uncle making a quarter appear from my ear.  That’s sooo last century!

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The Amazing Jesse

I hope we can book the Spelmanslag during the summer.  Then there could be dancing!

 Judy Newton

Succulents at the Market

Oh, look!  A chance to make a pun!  Thank you, Madgie, for giving me this opportunity!

Of course, there is always succulence at the Market, but last week there were succulents as well.  Madgie McGaughan of M&M Plants gave a demo on care and feeding of these dry-adapted plants.  I like to think of them as not-quite-cactuses.  They store water in their leaves, and don’t need a lot of coddling.  Great for those of us with brown thumbs!

Madgie Talks About Succulents

The Audience Listens

We All Got To Take One Home

Succulents Close Up

The music was provided by JB and Deb.  You may recognize Deb Petavino - she’s one-half of Walls and ‘Vino (she’s ‘Vino), who have played at the Market recently.  The other guy is Jerry Burke.

JB and Deb

Several vendors chose to be outside in the sunny but chilly weather.

Outside From The Inside

 

Outside From The Outside

Jennifer of Cupcakes Lounge has been expanding her stock, branching out into cheesecake, macaroons,  loaf cakes, and other yummy treats.  Don’t panic - she still has cupcakes.

Lots Of New Things At Cupcake Lounge

And M&M Plants expanded their stock as well.  I have distributed some of these little packages around my yard.  All we need now is Spring!

Let The Aphids Beware!

Judy Newton

Wishing For Smell-O-Vision

The inside of the Sandy Spring Museum smelled amazing last Sunday when the mix of spices from our demo chef hit the heat.  There were treats for other senses too:

Chaan from Angels and Anchors sported a pair of boots as shiny as her Swarovski crystal jewelry.

Chaan’s Shiny Boots

Elsewhere in the Exhibit hall, Knitting by Leah had a large selection, guaranteed to keep you warm - even during this winter!

That’s Leah on the Right

 Outside, a snowscape in the courtyard;

Outside

 inside, Plantmaster’s flowers were bright and cheery.

Inside

The studio of Eun Ju Lee, one of the Museum’s resident artists, was open.  Her shelf held an interesting assemblage.

Still Life with Heart

In the Dr. Bird room, the Pat O’Neill Band provided agreeable sound as well as a video subject.

Strum and Smile!

The chef, Debbie Amster, cooked Kitchari With Greens (recipe on the OFAM recipes page), using spinach from our newest farmer, Cat’s Paw Organic Farm.  If you haven’t had this spinach or their salad mix yet, you’re really missing something!

Spice Box

She provided a lesson in knife skills as well as nutrition.

Debbie Attacks the Fennel

 

The Rapt Audience

 

Sniff That Great Aroma!

When it was done, there were samples to try.  They went well with all the other food on offer from the vendors.

Judy Newton

Two Holidays in One

At the Market last Sunday, preparations for Valentine’s Day were underway.  The kid’s cooking lessons in the back room, conducted by Lowry Martin, were all red and pink hearts and (heart-healthy) muffins.

Lowrey’s Helper at the Valentine’s Table

Hien Vu, our Vietnamese food seller, brought in rice cakes for Lunar New Year.  They are steamed for 15 hours in banana leaves, and contain sweet rice, meat and vegetables.

Hien Vu With Rice Cakes

Meanwhile, the Long Hall was a cheery sight, full of flowers from M&M Plants.

Long Hall

The Exhibit Hall, as usual, held artists.

Artists and Exhibits

And in the Dr. Bird room, patrons were enjoying the music and the chef demo.

Indoor Picnic with Pickles and Scrub Pines

Karen and Harry Montgomery, two of our biggest supporters, were there.

Karen and Harry Montgomery

 The demo chef, Dr. Ruby Lathon, made two delicious dishes: Sunflower “Tuna” Salad and Mango Miso Kale Salad.  She showed us how to massage kale to make raw kale palatable!

Dr. Ruby

 

Watching the Chef Demo

This Sunday, Debbie Amsler will be the demo chef (starting at noon), and we’ll all try to ignore the snow.

Judy Newton

Review: Chef Roberto Donna’s Alba Osteria

Those lucky patrons of the Olney Farmers and Artists Market who attended the Farm to Table Dinner in 2012 will remember the pasta course cooked by Chef Roberto Donna.  He has been busy around the city since then, opening, first, the trattoria Al Dente, and now Alba Osteria.

His latest venue is focused on small plates for sharing and pizza to be accompanied by a glass or two from the large list of Italian and American wines, craft cocktails and draft beer. The cuisine, which may be unfamiliar to many, is from Chef Roberto’s home region of Piemonte.  We went downtown on a Friday night to sample the food and drink.

The osteria’s layout has tables on the perimeter surrounding a central bar, and an open kitchen with a very decorative pizza oven.  This, together with the hard surfaces of the room, makes for a loud and lively scene.

Inside Alba
Inside Alba

Indeed, the open kitchen trope has been taken to an extreme - it can be easily viewed from the street.

And Out: Kitchen From the Street
And Out: Kitchen From the Street

The pizza oven can be seen as a decorative element.  Orange has been used throughout the room - it makes for a visually exciting environment, contributing to the edgy energy of the scene.  The food is equally stimulating, through being unfamiliar and, mostly, delicious.

The Pizza Oven
The Pizza Oven

About a dozen wines are available by the glass.  We had a very good La Rocca Coppo Gavi 2012, well-balanced and excellent with food.  I don’t usually prefer white wine, but this was a good choice.  We got right into the spirit of ordering small plates - we had six of them to share between the two of us, and were too full for dessert!

We started with a seafood special, scallops grilled just to the point of doneness, with little puddles of sauce that gave them a piquant edge.  Then lingua al verde, veal tongue in green sauce.  Again, the sauce was a film on the plate, just enough to add a fillip to the mild meat.

Scallops
Scallops
Veal Tongue
Veal Tongue

Then, a pasta course: agnolotti al brasato, little pockets stuffed with braised beef, beef jus, and bone marrow - a triple threat of meaty goodness; and trofie alla finanziera,  with sweetbreads, veal brains, and chicken liver, which I had mostly to myself.  My dining companion shuddered and left the offal to me!  I have to admit that this was the least successful dish we tried.  It was overly salty, and the finely-minced meat had no distinct flavor.  The trofie (small, rolled pasta) were a trifle under-cooked, making them chewy.

Next, we went for a vegetable course: L’Inverno, a grilled melange of eggplant, red onion, endive, and radicchio; and subric (fritters).  There was a surprise lurking under the construction of wintery vegetables; a tomato!  I got to eat the intruder, as my companion dislikes them, but I had the better experience, since the acid of the raw fruit cut through the extreme char of the vegetables.

Trofie, Not Trophy
Trofie, Not Trophy

The standout of the trio of fritters, with their bit of bagnetto rosso sauce,  was the eggplant.  Neither of us was sure which of the other two was the cauliflower and which the potato, as both were rather bland purees, but the sauce redeemed them.

Winter Is Coming!
Winter Is Coming!

At this point we realized that dessert would be overdoing it.  It was just too bad!  We would really have liked to try the several chocolate-involved creations, as well as the polenta bianca, or the gelato and sorbet offered by the scoop - but discretion is the better part of gluttony.

Chef Roberto has left this kitchen in the capable hands of Chef de Cuisine Amy Brandwein.  She is doing well by the regional Piemonte cuisine, and by the region of Mount Vernon Square in Washington, DC.

Note: Thanks go to Lindley Thornburg of the Heather Freeman Agency for her kind invitation to write about Alba Osteria.

Note again: If this article has made you curious about Chef Roberto’s cuisine, the Olney Farmers and Artists Market is sponsoring a forthcoming dinner featuring his artistry.  There are a few seats still available.  Find more information at the website.

Hats On To The Groundhog

Six more weeks of winter?  Boo!  The wretched animal wasn’t even impressed with the headgear one Market patron wore in a vain attempt to cajole the creature into assuring us an early Spring.  And who isn’t ready for that?

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Yes, It’s a Groundhog Hat, and Crystal Got It In Punxsutawney, Too!

But we were cheery inside the warm and sunny Museum nonetheless.  Madgie sold paperwhites,

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 Meg and Steve With Paperwhites

Walls and Vino provided the soundtrack,

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Music On the Right; Sweet Things On the Left

and Bobbie Staat welcomed visitors to her studio.

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Bobbie Staat (at Right) and Visitor With Bobbie’s Cow Paintings

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Oilsticks - Bobbie’s Tools of the Trade

We had a demo from one of the Museum’s resident potters, Pam Reid, who attracted many fascinated fans.

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Pam Relating To Young Visitors

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The Sign of the Potters

Meanwhile, in the Dr. Bird Room, I caught Jailynn sampling some of her mother’s wares at the Cupcake Lounge.  What better way to brighten up the day?

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Yum!

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View From the Side Door

I guess we could come back and do it all over again - which we will, next Sunday, and every Sunday until the end of March.  By then, it really will be Spring, right?

Judy Newton

Cheery On The Inside

Last Sunday, one of our favorite musical guests, Warner Williams, brightened up the Dr. Bird room with his mix of Piedmont blues and country standards.

Warner, Right, and Accompanist

One of our new vendors, Magnet Earth, was selling hot crab bisque.  Just the thing on a cold day - creamy and crabby, rich and smooth!

Crab Bisque Along With Crab Cakes

Over in the Long Hall, Jamie Agins was dressing for the weather with her wonderful hat.

Jamie Agins, Glass Artist and Fashion Plate

She had several examples of chameleon glass - it changes color and intensity depending on the background it’s displayed against.  Really neat!

Double Your Jewelry Wardrobe!

Madgie of M&M Plants had cheery primroses.

Spring?  Can’t Wait!

While outside, some hardy farmers braved the cold, and so did their customers.

Lining Up For Meat

This Sunday should be warmer!  See you then?

Judy Newton

Warm and Wine at the Winter Market

Once again, it was warm inside the Sandy Spring Museum last Sunday.  There was a wine tasting of Elk Run Vineyards’ Sweet Katherine wine.  Bob Cecil served it straight; with chocolate; and hot with mulling spice and orange.  I liked it all ways!

Bob Cecil, Left, Speaks About His Wines

Everyone Liked the Sampling

 

The Other Vendors Got Some Too!

Late in the day, there was a visit from Sandy the parrot and his owner, Choi.

Choi and Sandy

Back in the craft room, there was a kid’s cooking class.  Lowry Martin, who bakes healthy muffins for school kids, showed them how to create their very own individual meals from healthy ingredients.

Lowry Teaches Healthy Food

Judy Newton

 
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