Olney Farmers & Artists Market

Thanks to Judy Newton, we are at 100 posts!  Great work!

Thanks to Judy Newton, we are at 100 posts!  Great work!

(Source: assets)

When Worlds Collide

On Saturday I attended the opening reception for Jon Mort’s exhibit of graphite drawings at the Sandy Spring Museum.  They are fabulous, in all senses of the word!  On Sunday, I returned for the first winter Farmers Market of the season.  The drawings were still there - and they will be until February 23rd.  You can get a glimpse of their effect from the Market pictures here, but I urge everyone to go to the Museum to see them close up - then, when Jon is rich and famous, you can say you knew him when!

Nadine Mort, Jon’s mother, was instrumental in arranging for the Market to spend the winter at the Museum.  She and Jon set up a table to sell and talk about the art.

 Mermaid and Nadine

The rest of the Dr. Bird Room was set up with tables selling the usual array of good things to eat, and music to listen to.

Cupcakes and Music

Jams and Meat

Chocolates Now, Tomatoes Later

Eating and Greeting

Jesse, one of our best Market volunteers, was selling locally-made jams.

Try some Olney Jam!

The Exhibit Hall was full of artists and patrons shopping.

Artists in the Exhibit Hall

View Towards the Dr. Bird Room

And the long hall held farmers, food vendors and artists as well.

 View Down the Long Hall

The hardy outside complement of farmers were set up in the front parking lot.

Not As Cold As It Might Have Been!

Back inside, Chef John Moeller, former White House chef and now head of State of Affairs Catering, prepared Herb-Crusted Chicken Breast and sold copies of his cookbook, Dining at the White House.  The recipe is on the OFAM website.

He Sharpens

 He Cuts

I admired his Japanese knife, and his sharpening technique.  So did the audience.

The Chef’s Audience

One audience member was fascinated by her first taste of chervil.

What’s This Green Stuff?

The first winter market was a great success!  See you at the next? It’s just a few days away!

Judy Newton

The Holiday Market At Last

We had to postpone the Holiday Market because of the snow and sleet, but when it was held a week later, the weather was much better.  Cold, yes; blustery, yes; precipitating, no!

Many artists came.  There were great opportunities for holiday gifting.  We had a pasta seller who might come back during the regular season.  Of course, Santa showed up on the fire truck.  We also had a couple of barnyard visitors.


View of the Market

Santa on the Firetruck

Santa and Kids

And a Couple of Helpers

The Sheep Put Up

Folks got into the spirit of the season.  The firepit was a popular spot!

Elves Were In Evidence

The Firepit Was Popular

The winter market season starts January 12, indoors, mostly, with civilized plumbing.  Also, the Sandy Spring Museum has new resident artist studios which will add a new dimension to shopping on Sundays.

Opening Day will feature a chef demo by former White House chef John Moeller, in addition to all the usual food and artist vendors.  Watch for a newsletter soon!

Judy Newton

Pati Jinich Stars at the Last Seasonal Market

It was chilly, sunny and windy at the Market last Sunday.  Some of the artist vendors had to take their tents down because of the wind, but in between gusts, the sun shone down.  Between the brilliant blue sky and the red-brown oaks, our last Market day of the fall was beautiful!

There was a lot going on.  In addition to the usual vendors, we had a visit from the Washington Animal Rescue League and some very adoptable dogs.


Take Me Home!

The Pat O’Brien Band kept it lively with an infectious beat.  Several couples were inspired to dance.


Dancing - Band View


 Dancing - Market View

Wandering among the artists, I noticed that both our glassblower Ryan Eicher and the Terrapin Pottery had turtles on offer.


It’s Turtles All The Way Down


Is it a thing?  Or a theme?

Pati Jinich,  host of the public television series Pati’s Mexican Table, cooking teacher, food writer and chef of the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C., was a wonderful guest chef for our final demo.  She prepared Triple Orange Mexican Wedding Cookies while regaling us with the history of the cookies as well as her own experience with them.  Originating in the Middle East, the cookies migrated to Spain with the Moors and then landed in Mexico with the Conquistadors.

Despite growing up in Mexico City and attending many weddings (including her own), she had never heard of “Mexican wedding cookies” until she moved north of the border - where she got numerous requests for them.  She realized that these mysterious cookies were really an everyday affair in Mexico, sold in every bakery, called “Polvorones.”

The recipe for them can be found in her cookbook, Pati’s Mexican Table: The Secrets of Mexican Home Cooking.


Orange Peel Goes In The Cookies


Kneading The Dough - Not Too Much!


The Audience Watches Closely

Rosario from Canela Bakery watched Pati’s demo and then introduced herself.  They got on like old compadras!  (In Spanish!)  But I do know Pati signed a book for her. She sold some others as well.


Rosario and Pati

Turid Knutsen let me take a picture of her sweatshirt.  She is one of the “regulars” in the chef demo audience.  She received the sweatshirt when she retired from NIH.  How cute is it?


Mouse-roscope of NIH

 We finished up the 2013 Market season with the traditional rendition of “Country Roads” by the volunteers.


Y’all Sing!

Remember, the Holiday Market will be held December 8 at the Old Hospital Grounds, and then the indoor Winter Market season will start on January 12 at the Sandy Spring Museum.  Don’t be a stranger!

Judy Newton

Partial picture credit to Barry Newton.

Spooky and Savory At The Market

Last Sunday, in advance of Halloween, there was a very scary haunted house.  I was only persuaded to go in so I could document the visit of our guest chefs.  They were game!


Chefs Luigi and Amy Pose Before The Demo


Luigi, The Big Ham! Loves To Pose


There They Go, Into The Haunted House


Jesse, Second From Left, With Fellow Haunts

Jesse, our Chief Spook, did a terrific job organizing the haunting.

Guest Chefs Amy Riolo and Luigi Diotaiuti were a great act.  They both used goat cheese as a primary ingredient in dishes that make great appetizers for a seasonal party.


Luigi Demonstrates Stuffing Mushrooms


A View of The Audience


Amy Does Grapes

Although the mushroom caps were delicious, the grapes had the added element of novelty.  Everyone loved both the taste and the surprise - not to mention how easy they are to make.  Both recipes can be found on the Recipes page of the OFAM website.


Ready For Its Closeup!

The music, provided by Debra Peitavino, rounded out the entertainment at a fine Fall Market day.


Debra and Accompanist

Judy Newton


Market Fundraiser - It Was Smokin’!

The Wigger’s house and backyard was a perfect venue for the fundraising dinner last week.  There was great music, lots of food and drink, and s’mores by the firepit for dessert.

Some of the Appetizers

More Appetizers Being Passed

The Beer Tasting

Mingling Before Dinner

The Buffet Spread

Everyone Enjoys Dinner

The Music Was Smokin’ Too!

S’mores Topped It Off

More fundraisers are in the works - check the Market homepage for information.

Judy Newton

Soggy Market

The rain started last Monday, and felt like it didn’t stop all week.  By Sunday everything was sodden, including the Market field.  We rescheduled Pati Jinich, but were grateful for the Market regulars who came out for their shopping and music experience.

The band Beyond Broken, featuring Rockville High School students Matt Hoff, Michael Silverglade, & Konrad Swartz, came out and played to the hardy souls in the audience.



M&M Plants was a bright spot in a gray day.  They had something new - prickly pear cactus.  The signs read “Do Not Touch” but the red “pear” fruits are edible.


Bright But Soggy

Do Not Touch!

Pati Jinich will be our demo chef on November 3.  Let’s all hope for drier weather!

Judy Newton

Not So Chilly For Chili

In theory, October 6 should be ideal weather for a chili cook-off: a nip of Fall, a touch of the coming Winter cool in the air, perhaps?  Not this week!  We were all still in shorts in the unseasonable heat, but the chili cook-off went forward nonetheless.


The Market Patrons Watched The Judges Taste


Choose Your Utensil! Judges Shirley, Tee, Stanton

The judges had to decide among five entries.  Shirley Rooker of WUSA-9’s Call for Action program, Stanton Gill of Falcon Ridge Farm, and Trung Hoang “Tee” Nguyen of Dalat Deli served well.  They awarded three prizes.  The People’s Choice Award was decided by vote of the Market patrons sampling each entry.


Judges Tee, Shirley, and Stanton Confer


Sampling Commences

Everyone got tastes, and chili was sold by the bowl.

The winners were:

First Place - Greg Cooke for his Meat Chili
Second Place - Kelly MacBride-Gill for her Vegetarian Chili
Third Place, and also People’s Choice - Tsili Wolf for her Pumpkin Turkey Chili

First Place Winner Greg Cooke


Third Place and  People’s Choice Winner Tsili Wolf With One of Her Prizes

Our thanks and condolences to the other contestants: Janet Terry and Debbie Amster.  Our student volunteers did a great job decorating the booth!

I noticed a tray of fall gourds near the potter’s booth which, on closer inspection, were impostors.  Pretty good ones!  Our farmers had piles of the real thing.


Unreal Produce


The Real Ones

See you this Sunday!

Partial picture credit this week to Barry Newton.

Judy Newton

Sour Beef In The Sweet Spot

Chef Henning Lorenzen and his sous chef, Daniel, were a real hit with the patrons last Sunday, and his dish, Sour Beef with Potato Pancakes and Red Cabbage, was consumed at a gratifying rate.  Daniel had prepared 150 pancakes, and there were about 20 left after all the beef and cabbage were gone.

Ready to Start: Chef Henning and Daniel


Talking and Cooking

Daniel Preps the Cabbage

Chef Henning spoke about how his career began in his grandmother’s kitchen.  He attended culinary school and apprenticed and cooked in kitchens across Europe and the U.S.  Many remember his local restaurants fondly: the Wurtzburg Haus in Derwood, Henning’s in Frederick, and the Blue Ox Cafe in Olney.  Now, he is Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage at Fox Hill Luxury Retirement Community.  The lucky residents are the beneficiaries of his talents!

The Attentive Audience

Standing Room Only!


Sampling Line

What They Ate

Suzanne at the inhaling Sunshine booth had a wonderful selection of handmade suncatchers on offer.  Several little market patrons were enchanted.

Girls and Glass

And the Master Gardeners had another sort of attraction: a hissing cockroach.  Amy Prywes fearlessly demonstrated how harmless the bug truly is.

Better Her Than Me!

And over at the Frankly Pizza oven, Andi wielded a fierce mezzaluna.  I wish I had a reason to buy one of these for my kitchen!

I Just Like Typing the Word, “Mezzaluna”

This Sunday: it’s time for the Chili Cook-Off!  Enter your killer chili for big prizes! Then, come and taste all the entries!  Happy Fall!

Judy Newton

Sweet Potato Greens! Who Knew?

Alison from Our House and Debbie Amster teamed up last Sunday to proselytize for something new even to me: the tops of sweet potato plants.  It turns out that they are delicious!  And: they keep their gorgeous color as you sauté them; they only need a few minutes cooking and don’t shrink like spinach; they have a smooth mouth-feel without that sharp edge of some greens; and they are nutrient-packed.

Alison and Debbie Collaborate

Alison picked the leaves off the stems while Debbie related all of the above.  Alison took the opportunity to inform us about all the good that Our House does to rehabilitate young men.  Then, Debbie cooked the greens two ways.

But I Only Got a Picture of the First One

The patrons were eager to taste the first dish, and stood around companionably while she cooked the second.

Cook Faster Debbie!

I went right over to the Our House table and bought a bunch.

Meanwhile, children were dancing to Sandra Dean’s music.

Enjoying the Sunshine and Music

Pleitez had beautiful veggies.  One patron’s bag echoed the sentiment. 

Love Your Veggies!

It’s the most fruitful time at the Market!  Come and enjoy!

Judy Newton

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