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JFX 2012

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Has the JFX farmers market in Baltimore begun yet? Anything new and interesting (or old and gone?)...

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  1. Wow, it starts earlier every year. I assumed it wouldn't open until late April, but a quick googling shows it started yesterday (April 1).

    1. I'm happy you started this board. I've made a commitment to myself to go every week and not miss out like I did last year.

      1. The web site says that there's parking available - how early should I get there to get a spot?

        1 Reply
        1. re: elhuevogrande

          You are most correct, there is free parking available at the corner of Pleasant and Guilford. Just like the website reads, it's the lot adjacent to the "bazaar" lot (the smaller part of the farmers' market next to the hula hoops.) We parked there yesterday and there were quite a few spots empty, but keep in mind it was cold and raining. I can envisage the lot at capacity during better weather.

          http://www.bop.org/index.cfm?page=eve...

        2. This morning's take was pretty slim. Despite our somewhat early spring, not much in the way of produce was available. Salsa guy has gone back to the original recipe for the black bean and roasted corn salsa, which is great news -- I picked up a container of it and the tomato based garden salsa. Got some chicken thighs from KCC and some pork chops from Truck Patch. I also got morels and ramps from mushroom lady at an exorbitant price, but hey it's once a year.

          3 Replies
          1. re: JonParker

            Calvert Farm (the organic vendor next to The Breadery) had ramps yesterday. $20/lb, but well worth it, especially considering my recent, shall we say, mis-foraging incident. Word of caution, if you want to forage for ramps, make sure you've actually seen and held ramps first.

            1. re: bmorecupcake

              The mushroom folks have them today, although you have to buy mushrooms to get the. No fiddleheads.

              1. re: kukubura

                Calvert Farms had them again today, but they were all sold out by the time we arrived at 11. This was the last week they would have them. As an aside, I can't believe that not only is the mushroom lady allowed to monopolize the mushroom market, but also she can force bundling of ramps with mushrooms. Reminds me of litigation against Microsoft back 10 years ago. ;)

                I really hope commercial foraging doesn't hurt the ramp tradition.

          2. Thank goodness the salsa guy went back to the original recipe!

            As far as I know, there's only street parking and there's a $5 parking garage there, too. We've been the past two weeks and there really isn't that much going on. Shelly's dessert stand attached to the lake trout stand is now "official". There's a new knife sharpening guy there I want to try out, but he's quite expensive. Ever since Monaldi ruined the shape of all my knives, I've been very reluctant to try other knife sharpeners.

            I find it interesting that the signs now read JFX Farmers' Market and Bazaar. Pretty soon it'll be JFX Bazaar and Farmers' Market....

            2 Replies
            1. re: bmorecupcake

              Its easy to park on calveert street

              1. re: bmorecupcake

                JFX Hulu Hoop Extravaganza (and Market)

              2. Does anyone know if the brick oven pizza ladies are coming back later in the season? I think the name was The Red Zebra- they were in the smaller lot last year, but I haven't seen them on any of my trips so far this season.

                3 Replies
                1. re: charmgirl

                  I was wondering the same thing. Last weekend I asked their neighboring vendors and no one seemed to know. It wasn't the greatest pizza ever, but it was a good enough lunch if I was hungry and late to the market. They tried hard to sell a fresh, local-ish product, which is a lot more than many other vendors at the market. I hope they come back.

                  1. re: charmgirl

                    One of my neighbors will be opening a pizza stand in that spot, I think in early May.

                    1. re: Hal Laurent

                      I actually think this neighbor will be grilling up pizza starting this Sunday. Regarding Red Zebra, I believe they are spending their Sundays at Eastern Market in DC.

                      In other news: Heard from someone who was satisfied with her newly sharpened knives and will bring in more. This person did ask for a loyalty card (or whatever they're called, you know, get six knives sharpened, get the seventh one free) & sharpener said he'd consider a discount if she brought in volume, like 300! In any event, it's probably worth asking about.

                      I'm sort of surprised that no one has mentioned that Blacksauce is there this year. They seem to be a favorite at other markets.

                  2. The crab vendor next to Salt River was selling live soft shell crabs from St. Mary's County. Could anyone who purchased these comment on quality? The crabs didn't seem very lively to me, but I don't know that much about soft shells. And in general, I am very inexperienced when it comes to cooking crabs at home. I love to eat fried soft shell sandwiches, though.

                    Would anyone with experience care to guide me? With fresh, live soft shell crabs like these, how should I prepare the crabs before cooking? From reading online, many guides instruct cutting the crab's face and cleaning the gills while the crabs are alive? Is this really the best way? (Yes, I'm a bit queasy about the idea, but willing to suck it up.) What's the best cooking method for our local soft shells: pan frying, deep frying, something other than frying? I've read many recipes for dusting with flour and pan frying, but I don't understand how all the flour will cook properly when the shape of the crab will prevent full contact with the pan.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: bmorecupcake

                      Soft shell crabs will not be lively. Remove the gills and eyes mouth, dust in flour and sauté in butter cut with a little veg oil to prevent burning the butter till brown. Serve on white bread with iceberg lettuce and a thick slice of ripe tomato with a cold beer, a pickle spear and some fresh Utz potato chips and you have recreated the Maryland classic.

                      1. re: bmorecupcake

                        soft shells seem to be out and about early. I've had them there and will verify that doc's recipe looks splendid.

                        I bought some the other day at Don's on Joppa and they were quite tasty.

                      2. I still haven't been this year despite my best intentions - are there any strawberries yet? Or asparagus?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: amyatkendall

                          The agriberry folks and I think Calvert farms both had strawberries. I think the Eastern Shore bean guy had them too.