Watertown Farm & Craft Market ending on high note with diverse crowds

A crowd wanders through the Watertown Farm & Craft Market in fine weather Wednesday. Norm Johnston / Watertown Daily Times

A family from Seattle on Wednesday sampled flavors of tomato-garlic oil offered by Cheeky Monkey Foods, a Syracuse vendor that made its debut this season at the Watertown Farm & Craft Market.

“It’s different than anything I’ve ever tried before,” Leslie K. Martinis said. The delicacy comes from one of several vendors new this season at the popular Washington Street market, which will end its 37th season next Wednesday.

Vendors, meanwhile, said they have enjoyed business from a stream of new customers each week at the market, hosted by the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce. This season, the chamber expanded the number of vendor spaces from 53 to 60.

Amos Race, who runs Cheeky Monkey Foods with his wife, Leah, said he has been impressed by the diversity of customers drawn to the market because of its proximity to Fort Drum.

“It’s a good location near the base, because there’s a continuous supply of people circulating here,” Mr. Race said. “Normally at markets you get a splash at the beginning of the summer, and then it levels off. But here there’s been a constant influx of new customers.”

Illustrating that point was the Seattle family who sampled and bought tomato-garlic oil at Mr. Race’s booth on Wednesday. Mrs. Martinis was accompanied by her mother, Kathleen M. Herrin; daughter, Lauren K. Turner, whose husband is a soldier stationed at Fort Drum; and 1-year-old granddaughter, Kaydence L.

Mrs. Herrin, who shops at a farmers market north of Seattle on Whidbey Island, said the Watertown market is “much bigger and better” by comparison. “I’m seeing a lot of different things here,” she said. [Read more...]

Time to open the lid on your grill and move the kitchen outdoors

Spice up your backyard barbecue with simple seasonings [Read more...]

Dandy and plenty Devotees of dandelions see food and drink options, not pesky weeds

Master gardener Roselyn Taylor , Rodman, says dandelions are more than weeds, they can be used medicinally and in recipes. Norm Johnston / NNY Living

Master gardener Roselyn Taylor , Rodman, says dandelions are more than weeds, they can be used medicinally and in recipes. Norm Johnston / NNY Living

The yellow buttons of spring sprouting on the green coats of north country lawns quickly wear out their welcome. Now, for many people, it is time to eradicate those dandelions with an arsenal of weed killers.

But hold on, says Roselyn Taylor, a master gardener for the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County.
In the latest Master Gardener newsletter published by the Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County, Mrs. Taylor wrote about some edible and other alternatives for the perennial flowering weed:
“The greens are used in salads, fried up as fritters, pureed into pesto and dried for tea,” she wrote.
She added that oil made from dandelion flowers can relieve arthritis. The sap from the stem of the plants can be used on warts.
“I think it’s hysterical that people have such fits over dandelions,” Mrs. Taylor said in a phone interview from her home in Rodman late last month, where she tends to her small organic farm and five horses.
Mrs. Taylor isn’t alone in her appreciation of dandelions. [Read more...]

Move over, June Cleaver, Ward has found his place in the kitchen

English muffin bread with Earl Grey tea jelly. Amanda Morrison / NNY Living

English muffin bread with Earl Grey tea jelly. Amanda Morrison / NNY Living

English muffin bread an easy-to-follow recipe for anyone [Read more...]

Roast chicken with Boo Wells (VIDEO)

A simple roast chicken. Justin Sorensen/ NNY Living

A simple roast chicken. Justin Sorensen/ NNY Living

Stuffed with fresh vegetables, roast chicken is a versatile fall meal [Read more...]

Pour a taste of summer

Vodka, rum, peach schnapps, orange, pineapple, and cranberry juice make The Shoalfinder, a summer drink at the Channelside Restaurant in Clayton. Photo by Justin Sorensen/ NNY Living

North country mixologists offer seasonal favorites with a kick [Read more...]

Master the art of blanching vegetables

Blanching vegetables is a technique that involves briefly boiling and then plunging vegetables into an ice bath to make them tender-crisp and flavorful. Photo by Justin Sorensen/ NNY Living

Blanched green beans perfect addition to summer quinoa salad [Read more...]

A frozen following: For sweet seekers, north country soft serve a must have

Morghan A. White, 10 and sister Emmah L., 5, eat ice cream last month at Morgan’s Ice House, Canton. Ice cream stands like Morgan’s are ever-popular summer food destinations in the north country. Melanie Kimbler-Lago/ NNY Living

With more than a half-dozen ice cream stands in Watertown alone, it’s clear that ice cream from small mom-and-pop stands has a special place in the stomachs of north country residents. But the question looms: does soft serve or hard ice cream take the metaphorical cherry for popularity?

At The Midway on Coffeen Street, homemade hard ice cream, of which the shop has 15 varying flavors, outsells soft serve, sold only in the traditional vanilla and chocolate or swirl.

“I didn’t expect hard flavors to take off as they are,” said owner Michael P. Amell, who has operated the stand since 2010. “It was a surprise.” [Read more...]

A taste of the river

Clayton F. “Muskie Ferg Jr.” Ferguson of Ferguson Fishing Charters, Clayton, with his 1951 mahogany-plank Chris-Craft, is a longtime river guide who puts on shore dinners. Photo by Justin Sorensen/ NNY Living

Shore dinners a north country food tradition like no other [Read more...]

Relishing the bounty of great foods

Fresh pasta salad. Photo by Amanda Morrison/ NNY Living

What we eat defines our culinary culture, one bite at a time [Read more...]