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Night & Day at Nottoway: June 13

It’s beginning to feel a lot like summer—which is almost as good as Christmas if you are an inveterate farmers’ market shopper. The corn is in! Can tomatoes be far behind? And small fruits such as cherries, blueberries and raspberries are coming in now and should be at the market this week. There are so many good things to make and bake with the mid-summer produce. At the market you will always find a selection of my favorite recipes at the Market Master’s Table. These are recipes gleaned from my own collection that could be called “vast”, especially if you live with four tall shelves of cookbooks and 30 years worth of the best food magazines published over the same period. I have always enjoyed cooking and actually made a living as a caterer for about 17 years before moving back in the food chain to manage markets. Which is important only because it provides context for the recipes and informs you that I have tested them all. And remember that I am always happy to answer any questions you have about cooking what you see and buy at the market. Just ask for me at the market as I am rarely actually at the table; the vendors can usually spot me and I do stop moving for customers.

A Taste of Summer: Serves 2–4

Mash 1 or 2 cloves of garlic with 1 teaspoon of salt on a cutting board or with a mortar and pestle until it forms a paste. Whisk in 2 tablespoons each of red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. (Or do all of this in a mini food processor.) Dice enough fresh, farmers’ market tomatoes to equal 2 – 3 cups and macerate them in the dressing for at least 30 minutes while you cook 2 ears of fresh corn (5 minutes only), drain, cool and cut the kernels from the cobs and add them to the tomato mixture. Prepare 8 ounces of your favorite pasta and add the warm pasta to the tomato and corn mixture. It’s summer in a bowl! You may also add diced mozzarella cheese. And best of all you can get everything you need for this delicious dish—the garlic, tomatoes, corn, fresh pasta and the cheese at the market! See you next Wednesday morning.

From the Heart of the Forest:

Students and scouts, do you need to earn some community service hours? We have just the project for you this summer and fall. Learn about climbing vines, thorny shrubs and creeping plants that destroy trees and wildlife habitat. Help manually remove these invader plants in the heart of the forest and lend a hand again in the fall, when we replant the area with native species. Spend time outdoors, learn something new and use cool tools. Check out the Website at http://fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/resources/ima and then call 703-324-8681 or email friendsofnottoway@gmail.com to get on board. Next workdays: Saturdays, 9 am-noon, June 23; 8-11 a.m., July 14, Aug. 4 and Aug. 25.

Thursday Nights At the Park

* Sviraj – Balkan Jam, June 21, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

This week’s concert features ethnic music from the Balkans. The music has its roots in Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Dalmatia and Romania but also flourishes in the tamburitza music of Balkan communities in North America. Sviraj (pronounced svee-rye with a rolled “r”) members grew up together in Pennsylvania and learned the music of their Eastern European culture and others through encounters with folk musicians from the ethnic communities in the US and the Balkans. Lenny Tepsich (cello, bass, vocals), Chris Radanovic (bass, vocals), Mike Furjanic (violin, tamburica, vocals) and Danilo Yanich (bugarija, accordion, vocals).