“The earth is what we all have in common.” — Wendell Berry

This Saturday (April 19th) there will be lots of family-friendly activities going on at the Delray GreenMarket. Between the 60+ vendors, the13th Annual Easter Bonnet Pet parade and an Earth Day _MG_0125celebration with the City of Delray, there will be no shortage of (green) outdoor festivities to keep everyone busy – children, parents, grandparents and even your pets! All are welcome and the events are free to attend.

Here’s just some of the reasons why you should come out to Old School Square Park:

1. The 60+ vendors. Need we say more? There is no shortage of variety at the Market. Everything from organic veggies, natural shea butter, spices from around the globe, gluten-free items and more!

2. Furry Friends. The 13th Annual Easter Bonnet Pet parade starts at 10 a.m. in front of the amphitheater at the Big Top. So swing into the spirit of spring and bring out your pets (goats, pigs and other pets are all welcome) or be a spectator and watch as they parade in their best, pastel attire around town.

3. Dezzy’s Second Chance Rescue: A donation of $3 from all parade participants will benefit this local animal rescue group (and they will have adoptable pets too!) Click here to learn more about this organization.

4. Cultural experience:  Earth Day will be marked with a Native American Earth blessing. How many times can you say you have seen attend such an event with the chance to learn more about Native American culture?

5. Electric/Hybrid Vehicle Display: Delray is all about being “green” and this car show will highlight energy efficiency.

6. Activities for the kiddies (and kids at heart):  Chalk art, face-painting, arts and crafts along with The Budding Artists booth will keep everyone entertained all day long.

The GreenMarket will be open from 9-2 p.m. with the registration for the parade beginning at 9 a.m. and the parade commencing at 10 a.m . Earth Day activities will begin at 10 a.m. until noon at the Old School Square Park. See you there!

Spring has Sprung: Flower Power!

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Spring has officially sprung! And with spring comes beautiful weather and fragrant flowers – the perfect gift if you are a guest this year for an Easter or Passover meal with friends or family. At the Delray GreenMarket there are several vendors that retail gorgeous budding beauties including: Amazing Creations, Orchid Doctor and Kaler Orchids. 

Flowers in season during April include:

  • Tulips
  • Gerbera
  • Freesia
  • Iris
  • Mini Polymin
  • Peonies
  • Roses
  • And more!

Here are some tips to keep those fresh flowers, staying fresh and fragrant even longer

  • Soda: Pour about ¼ cup of the fizzy drink into the water. The sugar will help make the blossoms last longer.
  • Hair Spray: Just a quick spritz will make they look fresher longer (just like your hair!)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Mix 2tbps of apple cider vinegar along with 2tbps of sugar and add it to the water – make sure you swap out the water mixture every few days
  • Vodka: This helps minimize the amount of bacterial growth in the water. Add a few drops of any clear liquor along with 1 tsp of sugar
  • Aspirin: Crush an aspirin and mix it into the water (you will still need to swap out the water every few days for max freshness)
  • Bleach: This will help eliminate bacteria growth and keep the water clear. Don’t overdue it. You only need ¼ tsp per quart of water
  • Coins: Copper penny + sugar cube also helps to slow bacteria growth since it asks as an acidifier
  • Sugar: Even flowers can have a sweet tooth! Create a mixture of 3tbps of water along with 2tbps of white vinegar per quart of water to inhabit bacteria from growing

And remember that on April 19 if you spot some dogs, cats, goats and other fuzzy creatures (along with their human owners) roaming around with flowers, pastel hats and other festive attire, the 13th Annual Easter Bonnet Pet Parade is underway. Registration for the furry friends will go from 9-9:45 with the parade commencing at 10am. There is a $3 entry free that will benefit Dezzy’s Second Chance Rescue. Judging for prizes for the pets and their owners will take place on the front lawn of the Cornell Museum for Prizes. Email Lori at greenmarket@delraycra.org for more information.

Here Fishy, Fishy. Vendor Spotlight: Finn-Atic Fish Company

Finn-Atic Fish

Florida is known for its fresh seafood and array of marine life right off the Treasure Coast. Eric and Lisa Finn of Finn-Atic Fish Co. are passionate about their love of fresh seafood. And, with a last name like Finn, you know they are definitely experts! We caught up with them recently for our bi-weekly blog:

Q: What is your favorite restaurant in downtown Delray Beach?

A: We really enjoy 32 East or Max’s Harvest. Love the local flair in a lot of their dishes.

Q: If you were trapped on a desert island what three items would you want to have?

A: My wife, a spear gun and a mask. We wouldn’t run out of fresh seafood, that’s for sure!

Q: When you aren’t at the Delray GreenMarket, where would we mostly likely find you?

A: The Atlantic Ocean, catching the freshest fish possible off the coast.

Q: What is one place you hope to travel to someday?

A: Australia – g’day mate!

Q: What is your favorite seafood you sell?

A: It would have to be hogfish or cobia. Hogfish are often referred to as the filet mignon of fish. This delicate, white fish has virtually no “fishy” taste and is often a favorite.  What makes hogfish special is that it is primarily caught by spear, not hook and line like most fish are harvested. Hogfish is great blackened on a skillet with your favorite seasoning, or with no seasoning at all. Cobia meat is white and mild like grouper, but it is cut into thicker steak-like pieces that are comparable to swordfish.  Cobia steaks are often cooked grilled, or blackened.

Here is one of our favorite recipes, grilled cobia and lobster!

Ingredients:

1 lb. cobia fillets

2 lobster tails

Chef Pappy’s Cajun seasoning (for cobia)

Chef Pappy’s Garlic Butter seasoning (for lobster)

2 large sweet potatoes

2 large zucchinis

Season salt

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees, and the grill to medium-high heat.

2. Cut the sweet potatoes into fries, lightly toss in olive oil, and sprinkle with season salt.  Place into the oven.

3. Cut the lobster shell open, pull the meat out, and put onto a skewer.  Cut zucchini into strips for grilling.

4. Lightly season the cobia fillets with Chef Pappy’s Cajun seasoning, and the lobster with Chef Pappy’s Garlic Butter seasoning.

5. Put the cobia fillets, lobster skewers, and zucchini on the grill.

6. Cook the fillets for approximately 3 minutes on each side depending on thickness.  The lobster should take about the same amount of time to cook.

7. Remove from grill, serve, and enjoy.

And make sure to connect with these guys on social media! Facebook, Instagram at Finnaticfishco and Twitter @finnaticfishco.

And the winner is….Oh Deer!

Hats off to all our participants in the 17th Annual Chili Cook-Off! It was a great morning with competition, music, heart-warming food and more. We took a few minutes to get to know our 2014 People’s Choice and Chef’s Choice winner, Joe Farrell, with his “Oh Deer” chili entry.

Q: What is your award-winning recipe?

A: I made a tomato-based chili with venison and pork. I begin with a base of tomato sauce and paste.  I buy a mix of dried peppers, toast them and grind them, and mix with Cumin, Coriander, ground oregano, black pepper and cayenne pepper and mix into chili powder. This is the background flavor.

Upfront we have the two meats, along with onions, garlic, chopped tomatoes, red and orange sweet, long hot, Serrano, and jalapeño peppers (all fresh from the GreenMarket, of course!)These are sautéed and then added to the sauce. Kidney, pinto, and great northern beans are added for bulk. I thinned it out with water, stock and beer. And simmered it for twenty-four hours.

Q: What was your inspiration behind this dish?

A: Competition. There is always really tough competition each year. I knew I had to pull out all the stops to make the best. My Mom always said,  “You can taste the love in slow cooked foods,” and I couldn’t agree more.

Q: When you’re not in the kitchen making chili, where would we most likely find you?

A: Playing golf, fishing or poker, or taking our two beautiful dogs to the beach.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Delray?

A: The best thing about Delray is the way they cater to people to have a good time. The Ave. provides the venue and events like the GreenMarket and the giant tree with Santa, bring the people back to the restaurants and businesses downtown. You have so much fun you can’t wait for the next event and party to roll around. I’ve brought my nieces and nephews from Atlanta to the last couple of First Nights and everyone had a blast (even my cranky mother-in-law…shhh)!

 Q: Share with us a little known fact about yourself.

A: My wife Jackie and I have raised five puppies for Canine Companions for Independence. It has been an amazing journey for such a worthwhile organization. If you are interested, you should check out CCI.org!

And a  BIG shout out to all our other award-winning participants. Until next year’s heated competition.

Chef’s Choice Awards, Traditional Chili

1st Red, White & Blue – Lisa Mark

2nd Bubba’s Beef & Beans – John Hackman

3rd My New Boyfriend – Hot & Sweet – Mary Schroeder

Chef’s Choice Awards,New Age Chili

1st Oh Deer – Joe Farrell

2nd South of the Border Harvest – Nancy Simon & Sally Poe Hackman

3rd The Chunky Chicken Chili – Hank Langa

Chef’s Choice, Vegetarian Chili

1st Natasha & Nicole Minnerly

People’s Choice Awards, Traditional Chili

1st Bubba’s Beef & Beans – John Hackman

2nd Carolina Ale House Homemade Chili – Kayte Zopp

3rd Red, White & Blue – Lisa Mark

People’s Choice, New Age Chili

1st Oh Deer – Joe Farrell

2nd South of the Border Harvest – Nancy Simons & Sally Poe Hackman

3rd California Love  – Marc Raygoza

People’s Choice, Vegetarian Chili

1st Natasha & Nicole Minnerly

The History of Chili

chili-peppers

In honor of Delray GreenMarket’s 17th Annual Chili Cook-off, we thought it would be fun to find out how this delicious concoction of beans, meats, spices, cheese and veggies came to be.

According to the International Chili Society (yes, that actually does exist), the origin of chili seems to have its own bowl full of spicy and controversial beginnings; and who serves up the best bowl in history may forever be an unanswered question and area of debate.

It is said that chili began “…somewhere west of Laramie, Wyoming in the early nineteenth century – being a product of a Texas trail drive – to a grisly tale of enraged Aztecs, who cut up invading Spanish conquistadors, seasoned chunks of them with a passel of chile peppers, and ate them. The mixture of meat, beans, peppers, and herbs was known to the Incas, Aztecs, and Mayan Indians long before Columbus and the conquistadores.”(Source: International Chili Society)

YIKES! Thank goodness for the Industrial Revolution.

So the age-old question of where it all began may be up to debate. But, there are a few things we do know:

Fact: Chile peppers were used in Cervantes’s Spain and show up in great ancient cuisines of China, India, Indonesia, Italy, the Caribbean, France, and the Arab states. (Source: International Chili Society)

Fact: Don Juan de Onate entered what is now New Mexico in 1598 and brought with him the green Chile pepper. It has grown there for the nearly four hundred years since. (Source: International Chili Society)

Fact: Canary Islanders, transplanted in San Antonio as early as 1723, used local peppers, wild onions, garlic, and other spices to concoct pungent meat dishes – improvising upon ones they had cooked for generations in their native land, where the Chile pepper also grew. (Source: International Chili Society)

We also know that in 1998, Chris Brown, the former CRA director, started the Delray GreenMarket’s Annual Chili Cook-Off, and Lori Nolan the GreenMarket’s current GM, has carried on the tradition ever-since.

“The chili cook-off has always been a popular event for both professional and home chefs to really showcase their chili creativity,” said Nolan. “Everyone enjoyes the camaraderie between the chili lovers and chili creators.  It’s always a spicy good time!”

This year the battle for bragging rights and the best chili (at least in Delray Beach) will be quite heated. Amongst the  13 entrants: Jarrett Jackson, Hank Langa, Joe Farrell, Jim Nolan, Inika Foods, Carolina Ale House, Dave McBride, Mary Schroeder, Lisa Mark, Nancy Simon & Sally Poe Hackman, John Hackman, Steve Savino and Susan Shaw.

The 17th Annual Chilli Cook-off is this Saturday, February 22 from 10-12pm at the Old School Square Park. Entry is FREE and samplings from the competitors will be given out. So come dance along to Heidi and the El Cats, while sampling unique and scrumptious chili dishes, voting on your favorite and do some shopping with all the varied vendors at the Market.

“Next to jazz music, there is nothing that lifts the spirit and strengthens the soul more than a good bowl of chili.”- Harry James

Credit: Broward Palm Beach New Times (Chili Cook Off 2013)

Credit: Broward Palm Beach New Times (Chili Cook Off 2013)

As we countdown to the 17th Annual Chili Cook-off event set for Saturday, Feb. 22 from 10 am-noon, we thought we’d share one of our favorite, award-winning chili recipes, along with a shopping list of ingredients for your homemade chili from our GreenMarket vendors.

SINGAPORE STING, Coconut Ginger Chili

By Thuy Shutt, 2004 Chili Cook-Off Winner

Ingredients

  • 2- 14oz cans of coconut milk
  • 2-14 oz cans of coconut juice
  • 6 small Vietnamese or Thai peppers chopped (2 tbsp)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups of water chestnuts
  • 2 cups of white potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½ cup fish sauce
  • 1 cup of water, with ¼ cornstarch mixed in
  • 1/8 cup vinegar
  • 1 pound of chicken breast, cooked and cubed
  • 2- 16 oz cans of navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • Juice from 1 ½ small limes
  • 1 medium ginger root, chopped

Instructions

1. In a large crock-pop, put cooked chicken breast, coconut milk and coconut juice, sugar, fish sauce, vinegar and water mixed with cornstarch.

2. Puree peppers, limejuice, ginger and garlic and put into crock-pot. Add water chestnuts and cubed potato.  Cook on high for 4 hours or until chicken and potatoes are tender. Turn temperature to low before adding canned beans and heath through. Garnish with fresh ginger, fired wontons or shrimp chips.

3. Enjoy!

Our vendors offer a fresh variety of peppers, onions and tomatoes; all the spices you can imagine from Tito’s;  and hot sauces from Carrie with Captain Redbeard for that extra kick.  For the chili carnivores, Farris Farm and Arrowhead Beef offer Florida grass-fed and finished beef, or chicken for added protein.

Join us on Feb. 22 for a day filled with hearty chili tasting, heated chef competition, soulful music from Heidi and the El Cats and more!

Interested in participating? Deadline to submit entries are Feb. 17. Please send information to greenmarket@delraycra.org or call 561.276.7511 for more information.

The GreenMarket Goddess: LORI NOLAN, Delray GreenMarket Manager

LoriNolanGMBlogDelray’s GreenMarket is celebrating its 18th year in 2014. The popular open-air market now features more than 60 vendors, and the variety of items and entertainment offered each week just continues to expand. So, who is behind the success of the Delray GreenMarket? The GreenMarket Guru or Goddess, of course! Meet Lori Nolan, Delray GreenMarket Manager.

Q: How many years have you been the manager and what has been your greatest accomplishment?

A: This is my 15th year, and one of the greatest achievements would be when we relocated the Market to Old School Square Park in 2012.

Q: What is a tip you would share for a GreenMarket newbie?

A: Shop early for best selection of items. Many of our vendors sell out of their most popular items early in the day, so definitely, the early bird gets the worm!

Q: When not at the GreenMarket, where would we most likely find you?

A: You’d find me at home, on the Avenue, or at the CRA office (my home away from home).

Q: What are your favorite restaurants in Delray?

A:  I have lots of favorites and I am such a creature of habit! On Monday my favorite is Marianne’s; Tuesday, Papa’s Tapa’s; Wednesday is Ziree’s; Thursday is the Green Owl; and Friday’s is City Oyster. Saturdays of course, I eat at the GreenMarket!

Q: What is your favorite Delray event (beside the GreenMarket of course)?

A: Hands-down I would say the Delray Affair. It is such a fun event with an eclectic mix of art, music and food, and it brings so many interesting, vibrant people to the city.

Q: If we opened your pantry, what could we always find?

A: I always keep sea salt, organic olive oil and Pascale’s Jams readily available.

Q: If you were stuck on a deserted island, what are the three things you would want?

A: Exotic fruit and nut trees, fresh water supply and a thatched roof tree house (Swiss Family Robinson style).

Q: What are your favorite words to live by?

A:  On Saturday’s it’s Chop-Chop!

Q: Dogs or cats?

A: I am a dog LOVER and have always had them in my life.  I currently live with two rescues, Phish our Chihuahua, and Gabby our Bassett Hound. Oh, and Jim my hubby!

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