Sharbot Lake Farmer’s Market

Robin of Elphin Gold Organic Farms

I eagerly awake on Saturday mornings in anticipation of attending our local farmer’s market. I’m so excited to¬†go early to make sure I get the best selection of produce, organic eggs, meat, honey, maple syrup– but the most fun is saying hello to the local people who we’ve gotten to know over the years. Our market is located at Sharbot Lake beach, and operates on Saturdays from 9am-12pm.

If you know of a farmer’s market near you, be sure to attend and see what’s available. Get to know your local farmers and producers. It’s great to know where your food comes from and to actually speak to the people who have grown or produced it.

Let the products inspire your cooking. I usually buy what’s in season, take it home, and see what evolves in the kitchen. This is just another reason to love summer (and fall).

Cousin Patty's table (Elphin Farm)

Jen of Crooked Hill Farms honey

Cathy of Dragonfly Herbs

Conboy Maple Syrup (Shabot Lake beach in background)

Local beeswax products

homemade baked goods

handmade soaps

Best Banana Bread with (Optional) Almond Streusal

Banana bread with almond streusal

This banana bread is easy and has great texture. Makes a nice, heavy 9 x 5 loaf, although you can play around with pan sizes. The way it is put together is more like a cake style as opposed to a muffin style, and the result is a nice tight crumb. Velvety texture. If you decide to add the almond topping, it adds a nice sugary crunch, and I find it looks amazing when presented as a gift. So enjoy this as a banana loaf as is, but if you want to kick it up, the streusal is easy and makes your baking look professional.

Ingredients:

2 eggs

1/2 cup light olive oil or coconut oil

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

1.5 cups mashed bananas

1.5 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)

Stuesal topping (optional)

1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325.

In mixer or large bowl with whisk, mix oil, eggs (preferrably room temperature) and sugar. Mix for 3-5 minutes (depending on whether you are using mixer or by hand), until well blended, using spatula to scrape down sides occasionally. Add in vanilla and almond extracts. In separate smallish bowl, mix your dry ingredients, except pecans. Alternate mixing the flour and banana to the egg mixture, ending in flour. Fold in nuts, if using.

Put into greased 9 x 5 pan, or whatever pan you have decided to use. Place that pan on a baking sheet.

Mix up toasted almonds, brown sugar and butter. Place evenly on top of batter.

Bake for 1 – 11/4 hours, check it after 45 minutes and see how it’s doing. Is it baking evenly? If not twirl pan around. Remove when tester, such as a skewer or thin knife, comes out clean or with a crumb or two on it. Let it sit and set up before enjoying. Should last for a few days well wrapped and will freeze perfectly.

wrapped and ready to freeze or to give