Archive for May, 2009

j0438533I think I’ve learned something interesting in the last few months while writing for Bucks County Taste . “Local” means different things to different people.

We all tend to get very comfortable living within a pretty narrow geographical area. Grocery store, school, work, family, friends, a few local restaurants we go to over and over again. Mark and I are not much of an exception. We live in Central Bucks, and when we’re tired after a long day, we tend to stay close to home – sometimes no further than our backyard.

But we’ve learned in our exploring that there is A LOT going on in other parts of Bucks County. And now is the best time of year to get off your you-know-what and get out there. Go to Lower Bucks, go to Upper Bucks, or even just go into Doylestown, for heaven’s sake.

This weekend is a perfect example. A brand new farmers’ market, the Linden Hill Farmer’s Market, is opening up in Ottsville on Route 611 this Friday. And wait till you see the line-up of vendors (see our post below). That’s not all. Do you know that a totally organic, small batch, locally-sourced ice creamery called Owow Cow Creamery has just opened, also up in Ottsville, right at Routes 412 & 563 (near Nockamixon State Park)? And Perkasie Olde Towne is hosting its Hot Ribs, Cool Music Festival on Saturday. Weather forecast: Sunny and in the upper 70’s. Perfect rib-eating, ice cream-licking weather.

Here’s the run-down – or should I say, “fun-down” (ouch) for the weekend. Check out our online calendar, Food Events in Bucks County for more details.

Friday, May 29th:
Linden Hill Farmers’ Market, 3:30 – 7:30 pm, Ottsville.
Wine Concert Series at Shady Brook Farm,  6 – 9 pm, Yardley. Weather permitting. Free admission. Little Big Thing will be the musical entertainment.
Wines of Australia and New Zealand: From affordable to collectible, 7 – 8:30 pm, Carlow Cookery, Doylestown.

Saturday, May 30th:
Doylestown Farmers’ Market, 7 am – Noon, Doylestown 
Wrightstown Farmers’ Market, 9 am – 1 pm, Wrightstown.  
Quaker Heritage Day – Quakers, Pies & Bicycles, 10 am – 2 pm, Solebury Meetinghouse, New Hope.
Hot Ribs, Cool Music in Perkasie Olde Towne, 10 am – 5 pm, Perkasie. Rib Cooking starts at 7 am, competition and sampling starts around 12!
Beef & Beer at Stockton Fire Company, 4 – 7 pm, Stockton.

Sunday, May 31th:
Breakfast at Haycock Fire Company, 8 am – 12 pm, Haycock.
Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market, 9 am – 1 pm, Hellertown.
Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers’ Market, 9 am – 1 pm, Flemington.
2nd Annual Bucks County Chocolate Show, 10 am – 4 pm, New Hope (see post below).
Sunday Funday: Strawberry Festival, Shady Brook Farm, Noon – 4 pm, Yardley
2009 Bucks County Wine Tour, 12 – 5 pm, Bucks County.
Charity Barbecue at Kids Castle Park, 1 – 3 pm, Doylestown.
Wine Tasting, Cheese & Chocolate Fundraiser for Kehilat HaNahar, 6 – 8:30 pm, Chaddsford Winery Tasting Room, Peddler’s Village, Lahaska.
CB Cares 2nd Annual Celebrity Chef & Waiter Gala 2009, 6 – 10 pm, Doylestown Country Club, Doylestown.

Don’t forget to check our online calendar, Food Events in Bucks County regularly for great stuff happening. Have a wonderful weekend!

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Linden Hill Farmers MarketBucks County is getting a new farmers’ market this weekend! Join in the grand opening festivities of the birth of the Linden Hill Farmers’ Market on Friday, May 29th from 3:30 – 7:30 pm. The market takes place on the grounds of Linden Hill Gardens by the old barn and is sponsored by Kimberton Whole Foods. Markets will take place weekly until October 30th and will also include community events and live music.

This week the market will highlight the vendors and feature live music from “WHEELS“, a local band performing blues, country, & classic rock covers as well as grass-roots original music. Jerry Fritz will host garden walks of Linden Hill Gardens at 6:00 pm. Updates may be found at the following websites and the participating vendors are listed below. 
www.lindenhillgardens.com   www.thekitchenpotager.com    www.kimbertonwholefoods.com

Current list of participating vendors:  (* indicates partial season)
Backyard Bison: Bison Meat, Fiber & Hides
Barefoot Gardens: Seasonal vegetables, medicinal herbs and flowers
Berger Farm & Buckwampum Homestead: Eggs & Seasonal Vegetables 
Brad’s Veggies & Raw Chips: Vegetables & Raw Chips 
Brig O’Doon Coffee House: Whole bean coffee, fresh baked goods & raw milk fruit smoothies
*Bucks County Preserves: Unique flavored jams and jellies
*Blackstone Studio: Folk Crafts 
Chestnut Hill Farm Gourmet Foods: Gourmet Jams and Jellies, baked goods including gluten free products
*Cote & Co.: Prepared foods, local ingredients
*Cuper Studios LLC, Nanc Conner & River Otter Pottery: Hand-thrown pottery, produce paintings, hand-made jewelry 
The Kitchen Potager: Culinary Plants & Herb Arrangements
Linden Hill Gardens: Garden Gifts & Plants 
Marie’s Soap Company: Handmade soap & skin products
Milk House Farm Market: Eggs, Honey, and Seasonal Vegetables
*Myofasial Release:
Massage Therapy
Nita Baker: Seasonal stromboli and baked goods
Owow Cow Creamery: Artisanal Small batched Ice Cream
*Natalie Searl Photography: Vegetable & Poultry Photography
*Peace Valley Lavender Farm: Lavender Products
Purely Farm Pastured Meats:
Pastured pork & chicken, brown eggs, sheepskins 
Rise Bread: Artisanal Baked Bread
Rocky Top Farm: Wool yarn, hides, finished knit items
Tabora Farm & Orchard: Bakery goods & seasonal fruit
WoodsEdge Wools Farm, LLC: Alpaca & Llama products and honey products
Community events scheduled for June:
June 5th – Lawn Game Day – you do not need to wear whites, but be prepared for croquet, bocce and badminton to kick off strawberry season!
June 12th – Community Strawberry Recipe Competition – sign up to compete for the strawberry crown
June 19th – Egg Races (BYOS – bring your own spoon) 
June 26th – Slow Food Post Market Picnic at 7:00 pm. ($35 per person, $15 for children under 10, reservations required: kp@thekitchenpotager.com)

Linden Hill Farmers’ Market
Fridays, 3:30 – 7:30 pm 
8230 Easton Road (Route 611)
Ottsville, PA 18942

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ChocolateSolebury resident Gretchen Tartakoff has a passion for chocolate.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking. We all love chocolate (or most of us – I simply don’t understand people who don’t). But Gretchen decided to do something other than just eat it. She has organized a chocolate extravaganza of chocolatiers, chefs, pastry artists, chocolate experts, growers and industry vendors – a full day of tasting, learning and experiencing chocolate.

The Second Annual Chocolate Show takes place this Sunday, May 31st  from 10 am to 4 pm at the New Hope Eagle Fire House Ballroom. And you should NOT miss it.

Gretchen shares why she started her venture, The Chocolate Bar:

The mission and vision of The Chocolate Bar is founded on combining education, community and good business practices while enjoying amazing chocolate from around the world. With the love of chocolate in common – talking about our favorites, our travels and our recipes – The Chocolate Bar’s projects will provide the vehicle to open conversations about origins of chocolate, about world issues that impact the origin of chocolate, and the history of the recipes. When we start talking about those things, together, then we can begin to talk about the environment the cocoa needs to grow and be sustained with global standards that make sense. It’s complex.

Over the last six years I’ve learned that we can make a big difference in our future by being aware and open to learn from each other. With a passion to protect nature and all that it encompasses, the Rainforest region stands out as a natural phenomenon that is in need of us paying much more close attention to its needs.

There’s a pull, like a magnet, for me to continue to learn more and suppCocoa beansort those who are experts in the industry. The Bucks County Chocolate Show and the exhibit “The Journey of The Pod” is giving me an opportunity to share some of what I’ve been learning and the truly gifted people that I’ve been meeting.

C2nd Annual Chocolate Showheck out the The Chocolate Bar website to learn more about the seminars, exhibits and wonderful chocolate that will be available for tasting. Admission is only $10 for adults, $7 for seniors/students and free for children 9 years old and younger. A portion of the admission fees go to the National Wildlife Federation.

The 2nd Annual Chocolate Show, 10 am – 4 pm, New Hope Eagle Fire Hall, 46 N. Sugan Road, New Hope, PA

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Here’s a test. Where can you find all these items?

All natural bakery items (no preservatives or hydrogenated oils), baked on the premises
Hormone- and antibiotic-free beef, poultry and pork, raised locally, and sold at a butcher counter
Fresh organic produce
Fresh flowers, grown across the street
Boars Head Meat and Cheeses, including deli sandwiches
Prepared foods, made on the premises, including entrees, sides, salads and dips
Local eggs and organic milk, and a full line of other dairy items (yogurt, cream, soy milk, butter, goat milk and fresh mozzarella)
Nelson’s, Ben & Jerry’s, and Ciao Bella ice cream
• Baked goods from J.Scones
Superior Pasta from Philadelphia
Martin’s chicken and turkey sausages (fresh on Fridays and no preservatives)
• Naturally-processed, fair trade coffee roasted in Bucks County by The Coffee Scoop
Max & Me Smoked Salmon
• A whole host of great grocery items

To be honest, I was a bit surprised to find all these things at None Such Farm Market, in Buckingham, on Route 263 (York Road). I’ve been living around here for eighteen years, and have shopped from time to time at None Such. It wasn’t until I sat down with Carol Routier, one of the managers at the market, that I began to appreciate what is going on at None Such. It’s not just a farm market anymore.

100_1903None Such Farm Market is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, sitting on land that has been farmed by the Yerkes family for over seventy years. Now in the hands of the third generation, the market is being co-managed by Rhonda and Karen Yerkes, wives of Scott and Jon Yerkes (learn more about their history).

There have been some changes, all for the best as you can see from the list above. The market has stuck to its roots – providing fresh, locally grown produce, flowers and plants – and then some. As you reach for the front door, notice the dry erase board directly to the right. It lists what’s fresh and new in the store. Then grab a basket or cart and just wander around.

The Yerkes and their staff have been listening to what Bucks County customers want – all natural products, a variety of interesting gourmet and everyday items, as well as “I just need to pick something up for dinner,” type stuff.

"What's growing" sign

"What's growing" sign

Another great addition is the big blackboard at the cash registers. It lists what’s going on at the farm across the street, including what’s being planted, growing and harvested.

As we’ve mentioned before, Mark and I are carnivores, so if you’re not, you might want to skip this paragraph. While all natural meat products have become more common, we’re very fortunate here in Bucks to have all natural meat raised locally. None Such’s cattle is raised on pasture and long grains, and sold fresh at the market. Take home the 6 oz. hamburger patties – they are wonderful, and they don’t shrink on the grill. The pork and poultry are also local, and are hormone- and antibiotic-free, something not always easy to find in central Bucks (especially in pork products).

Herbs and plants

Herbs and plants

There is so much more – catering services, great bedding plants and hanging baskets, a fresh flower fridge as you walk in to the right – that you’ll just have to check it out yourself. And now’s a great time since None Such Farm’s strawberries have just arrived. They are available for purchase in the market or you can pick your own (Monday – Sunday, 8 am to 12 pm; Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 5 – 8 pm). Nothing against California strawberries, but they’ve come a long way and they tend to be bland. Stop by None Such Market, buy some, and remember what strawberries are supposed to taste like.

The market is open Monday – Friday, 8 am to 6:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 8 am to 6 pm, Route 263, 4458 York Rd., Buckingham, 215.794.5201, www.nonesuchfarms.com

For more photos of the market and its products… (more…)

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Sorry we haven’t been on much this week. The weather has been too nice to be at the computer, and my sister and brother-in-law are in visiting from the UK. We’ve been spending time taking them around and showing them the “sights” – including Crossing Vineyards (which they loved), Rouget in Newtown (excellent food and great prix fixe menu), Bowman’s Tavern and, of course, The Pineville Tavern.

j0341744Hope you are enjoying your Memorial Day weekend wherever it may be. Be safe and appreciate the good in your life, be it friends, family and/or food!

Check out our online calendar, Food Events in Bucks County for more details. Here’s the run-down:

Friday, May 22th:

  • Wine Concert Series at Shady Brook Farm,  6 – 9 pm, Yardley. Weather permitting. Free admission. Dan Kaufmann will be the musical entertainment. Also, look for Pick-Your-Own Strawberries starting soon.

Saturday, May 23rd:

  • Doylestown Farmers’ Market, 7 am – Noon, Doylestown 
  • Wrightstown Farmers’ Market, 9 am – 1 pm, Wrightstown.  First market of the season!

Sunday, May 24th:

  • Sunday Funday: Farm Fresh Festival, Shady Brook Farm, Noon – 4 pm, Yardley

Monday, May 25th-Memorial Day:

  • Breakfast at Salem United Church of Christ, 7:30 am – Noon, Doylestown.

Coming up next week:

Wednesday, May 27th:

  • Springtown Farmers’ Market, 3 – 6 pm, Springtown Firehouse, Springtown
  • A Steakhouse Meal Cooking Class, 7 – 9 pm, Carlow Cookery, Doylestown

Thursday, May 28th:

  • New Hope Farmers’ Market, 3:30 – 7 pm, New Hope
  • Bingo Night at Milford Twp Volunteer Fire Company (good food), 5 – 9:30 pm, Milford Fire Co. Social Hall, Milford Square

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According to an article in today’s Intelligencer, Newtown’s famous Goodnoe’s Ice Cream is coming back, revived by family members Colin Goodnoe and his sister, Kendall. Plans are in the works to produce ice cream this summer using the family recipes in their former production facility on Silo Drive. No definite retail site but 4 South Sycamore Street is on the application with Newtown Township. Stay tuned!

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Lynne and I were introduced to Marsha Brown, at 15 South Main Street in New Hope, by our friends David and Cathy, who visit Bucks County regularly from Northern New Jersey. Because I hadn’t planned on writing about the evening’s dinner, I wasn’t talking notes, so this post is going to be about my experience more than the table’s. We went on a pleasant Saturday night, when the weather was fine and New Hope was packed, a combination often sure to flatten dinner along the river. Even though we had a 7 o’clock reservation, we assumed that, given the restaurant’s popularity, we’d be cooling our heels in the bar for a while. In fact, as soon as we met David and Cathy, we were led upstairs to the dining room.

For an appetizer, I had hickory-smoked bacon, a hefty slab of bacon cut into width-wise into three thick chunks and lightly accented with a subtle barbecue sauce. Not quite sure what to expect, tasting it was one of those moments when you realize a dish has potential far beyond its ordinary roots. This bacon was tender moist, and flavorful, a mix of saltiness, smokiness and meatiness. Dinner was a grilled pork chop, 14-ounces with the bone in, cooked just the way I ordered it – medium rare. This meant tender, juicy and with a hint – just a hint – of pink at the center.

Built in an old church, the dining room is high-ceilinged and doesn’t handle a few score voices particularly well. Still, I could follow the three or four conversations we had going at any one time.

For some reason, Marsha Brown gets some diners in a lather. “Expensive,” they say, or “pretentious,” or “for the New Yorkers who come to visit.” I have to say, I don’t understand those reactions. No, Marsha Brown isn’t cheap. But it shouldn’t be. Its menu is creative and, more importantly, good. Its staff is friendly, interested in your evening, happy to discuss your likes and dislikes, and honest in their opinions about entrees and wine. The service is nicely paced, with dishes coming without too long a lag, and a waiter’s never far away. And they don’t mind if you linger. We’ll go back so we can write more, but for now I’m certainly comfortable saying if you go to Marsha Brown for dinner, you’ll have a good meal and a nice night.

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