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May 2013

Mary's Modern Homemaking

Foley's Produce: It's Almost Summer
By Mary Frances

Mary's Modern Homemaking archive

 


A sign that summer is on the way.

 

There are so many signs that spring is here. The sweet sounds of birds. Flowers starting to pop their little heads up from the once frozen ground. We now have days when coats can come off!

Another sign that spring will soon become summer is the opening of Foley's Produce, a wonderful fruit and vegetable stand at 21409 Renton/Maple Valley Road SE in Maple Valley, Wash. On March 29 the family opened for the 2013 season. Having one of the longest running seasons around, they are open until Christmas Eve, when they close the season with the freshest-ever local Christmas trees.

It is always a pleasure to see a family-run business thrive. I have watched as the little market grew and grew into a delightful place to shop. They really have gone out of their way to support the local farmers and other food producers that offer so many yummy products.

Once offering only fresh fruits and healthy veggies from local farms, Foley's has expanded to include so much more—for example, the fresh farm-baked sweet breads such as banana, chocolate zucchini, and chocolate chip banana.

 


Farm-baked sweet breads: banana, chocolate zucchini, and chocolate chip banana.

 

To spread all over those freshly baked goods, how about some jam? These homemade local jams are made only with fresh fruit, sugar, and pectin. No additives, artificial flavors, or anything harmful.

 


Peach jalapeno and strawberry rhubarb jams.

 

Maybe you need some help getting your garden going. They have just the thing: vegetable starts—some good old-fashioned ones and the newly introduced organic starts. These little beauties are not from some far away nursery but from the Foley family's own greenhouse, sprouted early enough to help speed up your garden. There are even some starts that will be fruitful inside a pot on your patio or deck.

Be sure to note the tomato plants that grow upside down. That's correct! You can plant a tomato plant into a hanging basket. The fruit will grow hanging downward, allowing one to pick at shoulder height.

 


Right-side-up tomato starts for your garden.
(You can also grow tomato plants upside down.)

 

Speaking of organic, be sure to check out their all-organic fruit and vegetable sections. From the soil and seed to the whole fully mature plant, nothing harmful is added, allowing the edible product to taste out of this world.

Another organic treat is the locally raised honey. While the Foleys do not harvest their own, they delight in selling what others have to offer. Honey is great served on top of a warmed-up slice of homemade bread.

Next time you are looking for a gift for that someone special don't forget to check at Foley's. If you love treasure hunting, go find and enjoy.

Imagine giving a moss-covered hanging basket filled with flower starts or tomato plants. How about a glass bowl loaded with bread, and honey or jam? Maybe a tulip plant, or a dozen or so flowers for that garden bed you or your special someone have been meaning to start. Can't find it? By all means ask.

 


Mom would love to have some tulips.

 

A glass salad bowl loaded with fresh vegetables or fruit is perfect for that Mother's Day brunch. After mom has eaten up all the goodies, she can use the bowl over and over again.

This summer take some time off from shopping in a supermarket. Hit your local produce stands and farmers markets. Have fun, enjoy, and eat healthier!

 


Freshly grated zucchini and carrots are baked into a healthy treat
(see following recipe).

 

Zucchini Muffins by L.L.

This recipe is compliments of my neighbor. One day she learned that I was a bit under the weather, so being a good neighbor as well as a health nut, she brought over some zucchini muffins for me. They not only taste great but are so very healthy for you.

Makes 18 medium-size muffins.

2 1/2 cups peeled and finely grated zucchini
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup honey or agave nectar
1/2 cup Sucanat*
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup applesauce**
1/2 cup oil**
3 cups flour (half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour is good)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

* Sucanat is a brand name for unrefined cane sugar, which retains the natural molasses. You can substitute an equal amount of brown sugar.
** Or use 1 cup oil in place of the 1/2 cup applesauce and 1/2 cup oil

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Grate zucchini. (I used 2 cups zucchini and 1/2 cup carrots.) Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, lightly beat 3 eggs. Add honey or agave, Sucanat, vanilla, applesauce, and oil. Mix well. Set aside.
  4. In another medium bowl, mix all dry ingredients using a whisk, blending well until no small lumps are visible. Whisking gives the same effect as sifting.
  5. Slowly add egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir well. I added one-third of the mixture at a time, mixing after each addition.
  6. Add grated veggies. Gently blend into the batter, being careful not to overwork it.
  7. Pour into paper-lined muffin tins. Bake for 20–25 minutes. I found the time of 23 minutes to be just right in my oven.

Helpful hint: You may add 1/2 cup of nuts of your choice and/or 2/3 cup raisins, dried cranberries, or any dried fruit.

 


You can almost smell these tasty muffins.

 

Mary Frances lives in Ravensdale, Washington, and loves finding healthy ways to keep her castle clean. She believes that what we clean with can be just as important to our health as what we eat. When she's not cleaning, Mary Frances battles the blackberry vines in her yard. Also enjoy Mary Frances's blog, All American Gal.

 

Mary's Modern Homemaking copyright 2013.
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