Martinez Farmers Market still a godsend during the pandemic

BY DEBRA J. MORRIS

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you’ll be thinking of picking up some fresh produce from the farmers market. It will be a different kind of holiday this year with fewer and smaller gatherings, but the meaning is still there. We are thankful for fresh California produce still being harvested from the local farmers who grow it. You’ll find sweet potatoes, winter squash, apples, grapes, Brussels sprouts, persimmons, pomegranates, onions, greens, and even baked goods and fall flowers for your feast.

At the Martinez market on Sundays visit Guzman Farms from Denair and Smit Farms in Linden for crisp apples and pomegranates, Atlas Peak out of Napa for olive oils and balsamics, J&J Ramos of Hughson and Ken’s Top Notch for sweet grapes, J&M Farms in Gilroy for Brussels sprouts, greens, and root vegetables, and Lue Xiong Flowers from Sacramento for lovely fall flowers.

Help your farmers while helping others. As with all of us, farmers have had a rough year finding outlets to sell their wonderful fresh produce. Please keep farmers farming and purchase your Thanksgiving produce at your local farmers’ market. Your farmers will appreciate it and you won’t find better produce anywhere.

Please purchase extra produce when shopping the farmers market and then find your local food bank and donate generously to those in need to give them a wonderful Thanksgiving. Remember that not everyone can sit down to a table laden with all the Thanksgiving fixings. Hunger is prevalent in every community in the nation at all seasons of the year – especially this year. The hungry are often hard-working adults, children, and seniors who simply cannot make ends meet and are forced to go without food for several meals, or even days. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

Kabocha Squash Pie
Your favorite pie crust recipe
1 small to medium kabocha squash
4 large eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup each light brown sugar and maple syrup
1/4 cup bourbon, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

For the squash: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Put the squash on a sheet tray, rub with olive oil and bake in the oven. Roast the squash until a fork slides in and out easily, about 45 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and let cool. Remove the skin and seeds, then purée until smooth. Place 3 cups squash purée in a large mixing bowl. Reserve the rest for another purpose.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs until they are smooth. Beat in the cream. Add the cream/egg mixture to the squash purée and beat to combine. Beat in the condensed milk, brown sugar, maple syrup bourbon and vanilla. Beat until the mixture is well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Pour the squash mixture into a pie shell. Place on the sheet tray and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Rotate the pie and bake until the mixture barely jiggles when shaken, another 20 to 25 minutes. Recipe: Marisa Ades, PCFMA.

The Martinez Farmers Market is every Sunday, year-round, rain or shine, 9am to 2pm at Main and Estudillo St. Parking is on street.

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