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Sandy Oaks Olive Leaves — Try Tea From the Bountiful Olive Tree

Sandy Oaks Olive Leaves — Try Tea From the Bountiful Olive Tree

By Saundra Winokur Owner, Sandy Oak Olive Orchard Founded 1998 ELMENDORF --For centuries, olive trees have been valued for the medicinal properties of not only the fruit and oil, but also the leaves. When I started my orchard in 1998, I read every article I could find about the virtues of olive oil.  In the process, I learned that the ancients brewed a medicinal drink from the leaves, using it to treat various ailments and fevers.
Sandy Oaks Olive Leaf Tea

Olive leaf tea tastes good, and has health benefits, too.

That piece of information piqued my curiosity so I brewed a cup for myself, only to discover that the healthful tea is also quite tasty.  I served some to my crew at Sandy Oaks, and from that point forward, we drink it hot every winter and iced every summer.  During the exceptionally cold winter of 2015, my staff and I consumed buckets of hot tea to help alleviate the aches and discomfort that accompany colds, allergies and sinus infections.
Sandy Oaks Olive Leaf Jelly a popular item at Sandy Oaks' store.

Sandy Oaks Olive Leaf Jelly a popular item at Sandy Oaks' store.

In 2002, I used leaves to make a unique olive leaf jelly.  The recipe is obviously a closely guarded secret.  When you taste it, you are definitely in for a treat. We use it in a number of ways in our restaurant, The Kitchen, which we opened in 2009. It was so good, we began serving the olive leaf tea to our customers.  We also serve it for special events and offer a sample in our gift shop and at the Farmer’s Market. Not surprisingly, our customers prefer olive leaf iced-tea to the traditional iced-tea that we also offer. Sandy Oaks leaves are used in several of our products because olive leaves contain twice the antioxidants found in green tea and 400 percent more vitamin C then other sources of that vitamin. All of our skin care products are made using the leaves in one form or another.  Our creams are made with extra virgin olive oil, infused with olive leaves.  Our soaps are made with olive leaf tea as the liquid in the manufacturing process, and some of them also contain the ground up leaves in the bar. So, celebrate the leaf with us!  Buy fresh leaves from us at our booth at the Pearl Farmers Market, in our store at the orchard, or from our on-line store.  Better yet, come dine in our restaurant at Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard or stop by our booth at Pearl Farmers Market to taste our freshly brewed olive leaf tea. Editor's note: Check out Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard's website here for a thorough preview of the property just a 25-minute drive from downtown San Antonio at 25195 Mathis Road. If you love the olive leaf tea -- you can buy it by the bagful at the store or grow your own -- from a tree at the olive tree nursery, also carefully managed at Sandy Oaks.              

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Lunch at Southerleigh, Basil Fest and More

Lunch at Southerleigh, Basil Fest and More

crawfish1Southerleigh opens for lunch at Historic Pearl Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery is now open for lunch. Beginning this week, Southerleigh will serve lunch from Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Chef Jeff Balfour says the lunch menu is featuring favorites from the dinner menu including the wood-fired pretzel served with beer cheese and sweet and spicy mustard, smothered and fried Parker Creek Ranch chicken breast served with red eye gravy, and the crawfish boil served with corn and red potatoes. Southerleigh will also offer new sandwiches and salads including a pressure cooked pot roast in gravy sandwich served with shredded lettuce and tomato; Griddled 44 Farms Texas chili dog with 1015 onion, white cheddar, and hand-cut fries; and a chilled gulf shrimp roll with green goddess dressing, lettuce, and tomato. Additionally, Southerleigh will offer the Cellarman’s Lunch Pail, which includes a choice of entrée from southern pot roast, crisp fried gulf golden tilefish, and wood-broiled oysters, served with your choice of green salad and market soup for $11. Southerleigh offers weekday lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., dinner daily from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., and the bar is open daily from 2 p.m. to midnight. Southerleigh is located on the ground floor in the historic Pearl brewhouse at 136 East Grayson, Suite 120. For more information, please visit www.southerleigh.com.   Houston Street Food Community Picnic is Sunday Support the San Antonio Food Bank by attending this Saturday's gourmet picnic, with basket selections from Bohanan's, Luke, the Monterey, Market on Houston, The Palm and more. Your basket purchase includes live music and unlimited wine and beer. The picnic baskets must be reserved from participating restaurants ahead of time and picked up at the event Sunday, May 31. picnic basketThe event will be on Houston Street between Navarro and St. Mary's from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The gourmet picnic baskets will be $50 each. For $25 you can pick up a "kid-friendly" basket. Visit the Houston Street Food website by clicking here at the store to look over the menus and reserve your basket. Each dollar raised from this event helps provide seven meals for a child this summer, while school is out and children lose their daily access to school lunches and breakfast.   Basil Fest is this Saturday at Pearl Laurel Tree Basil1The San Antonio Herb Market Association is proud to present Basil Fest 2015 Saturday, May 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Historic Pearl. The event is free and open to the public and includes plants sales, cooking demonstrations, a chef's challenge and other educational features for all ages to enjoy.

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Pearl Announces Start of Sunday Farmers Market Later in March

Pearl Announces Start of Sunday Farmers Market Later in March

The Pearl Farmers Market

The Pearl Farmers Market

Pearl announced today, after shared interested among vendors, tenants, shoppers, and the local community, that it will now host a Sunday Farmers Market in addition to the popular Saturday Farmers Market. The grand opening of the Sunday Farmers Market will take place on March 22 in the newly renovated Pearl Plaza in front of the historic Pearl Brewhouse and soon-to-open Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery. The weekly Sunday market will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature local, seasonal produce, grass-fed meats, eggs, herbs, specialty foods, cook-to-order foods, and more. San Antonio jazz legend Brent “Doc” Watkins will be curating the live music entertainment every Sunday with a jazz, folk, and Latin flair, and he will also perform once every month. Sundays will also offer free tours of the property at 11 a.m. and noon departing from the market’s information booth. “Nearing our sixth year of operation, it was perfect timing for the Pearl Farmers Market to expand to Sunday. There was support among vendors, tenants, and the local community to make it happen,” said Elizabeth Fauerso, chief marketing officer at Pearl. “The additional day offers opportunity to expand vendor business and for shoppers to access local products found at Saturday’s market. Sundays have already become a popular day at Pearl and those who come now can add market shopping to their list of things to do.” Twenty vendors, all from within a 150-mile radius of San Antonio, will take over Pearl every Sunday, including Braune Farm, Byccombe Natural Solutions by Springfield Farm, CrepeLandia, Glenewinkel Farm, Gretchen Bee Ranch, HGD Foods, Humble House Foods, Image Lavender Farm, La Hacienda Products, Ms. Chocolatier, Mother Culture, My Father’s Farm, Ottmers Family Farm, Parker Creek Ranch, Poteet Country Winery, Restaurant Gwendolyn, Shudde Ranch, Sol y Luna, South Texas Heritage Pork, and Yapa Empanadas. After shopping, guests can enjoy brunch at one of the many Pearl restaurants open on Sunday including Arcade Midtown Kitchen, Bakery Lorraine, Boiler House, Green Vegetarian Cuisine, Il Sogno and La Gloria. At the market’s grand opening on Sunday, March 22 Pearl will also unveil the renovated Pearl Plaza in front of the historic Pearl Brewhouse. The Pearl Farmers Market has been operating on Saturdays since May 16, 2009 and will continue with Saturday markets, from 9  a.m. to 1  p.m. in addition to the new Sunday market. The Sunday market will be closed for Easter Sunday and will resume the following Sunday on April 12. For more information on Pearl, please visit www.atpearl.com.

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Farmers, Ranchers Market Announces Move to The Yard

Farmers, Ranchers Market Announces Move to The Yard

The Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market, which has drawn a faithful following of thousands who have visted their  Alamo Quarry Shopping Center location for the past 3 1/2 years, will move to The Yard next Sunday, Dec. 14.
Heather Hunter, right, talks to customers at the Farmers and Ranchers Market.

Heather Hunter, right, talks to customers at the Farmers and Ranchers Market Sunday.

The past couple of weeks have been a roller-coaster ride for farmers market co-founders and directors, Heather Hunter and F. David Lent. The Alamo Quarry on Basse Road pushed them out of that venue, citing reasons of traffic and parking congestion. The challenge was to find another venue without missing a beat -- and that they did. Sunday morning, a blackboard sign next to Hunter's Cowgirl Granola booth at the market announced the move to customers and vendors alike. The Yard, at 5300 McCullough Ave., will be their new home, a smaller shopping center which houses Olmos Perk and Urth Juice Bar, among other businesses. "This location seems like a better fit for us in that the market will now be surrounded by locally-owned and independent businesses. We feel this new location better serves the surrounding communities," says market co-founder, F. David Lent. The roller-coaster ride happened just a few days ago after the founders had an encouraging meeting with a possible sponsor that didn't work out. Fortunately there was a plan B. "It's been a stressful couple of weeks," said Hunter. "But The Yard recently repaved their parking lot, they have space for us and they want us. We're just happy we could make the move without missing a Sunday," she said. The market's name will change to The Yard Farmers and Ranchers Market. Today, the founders talked to press and public about the move, which is located just a few minutes drive east from the Quarry. "Everyone has been so supportive and encouraging, it's been amazing," Hunter said. And, the vendors -- such as Ming's Thing, Shrub Drinks, Peaceful Pork, La Panaderia and many more are expected to make the move, too. Late last month, Hunter and Lent received word from American Assets Trust, corporate ownership for the Quarry asking them to leave. That notice gave them only a few weeks to find a new location. “We were particularly surprised at this turn of events in light of the fact that they approved our request for expansion—of almost double our size—and encouraged us to add more vendors two months ago at the end of September," said Lent. Quarry F&M last day cropped  

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Sandy Oaks: Cool Shopping; ‘Barbecue Lover’s’ Book Signing Sat.

Sandy Oaks: Cool Shopping; ‘Barbecue Lover’s’ Book Signing Sat.

Sandy Oaks 2014 Olio Nuovo croppedOne of the best places to spend Saturday lunch, shop and take in a beautiful ranch set beside a grove of more than 11,000 olive trees is Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard. At Sandy Oaks, you can buy healthy olive trees from the nursery, chosen for our climate and tended with care. Have lunch at the Kitchen at Sandy Oaks, take an orchard tour and pick up some early Christmas gifts at the well-stocked gift shop.  An especially great find at Sandy Oaks is their new olio nuovo, the first-pressed, very high-quality new olive oil from the orchard's record-breaking harvest this fall. It's a great gift for all the foodies on your list. Also this Saturday, from 11-1 in the Sandy Oaks gift shop you can also have John Griffin and Bonnie Walker sign your copy -- or many copies -- of their new book, "Barbecue Lover's Texas," ($21.95, Globe Pequot Press). This compendium of dozens of great barbecue joints throughout the state -- all visited, tested and vetted by the authors, would make a great gift for yourself, or even out-of-state friends who might be inspired to visit. Barbecue Lovers Texas cover croppedIn addition to the book signing, chef Chris Cook will be preparing a lunchtime special from the recipe section of "Barbecue Lover's Texas," in addition to other chef-made items on the lunch menu. The weather on Saturday promises to be warm (77 degrees and clear) -- and the drive to Sandy Oaks is just 25 minutes from the Alamodome. To read more about the orchard, visit their website here. For more about "Barbecue Lover's Texas" click here. (The book signing mentioned in this story has passed, but you can buy a book at the Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market, at Alamo Quarry, on Dec. 7, too.)    

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Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market: Time to Unwrap the Holidays

Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market: Time to Unwrap the Holidays

Santa will be here before we know it and the Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market is kicking off the festive season with Holiday Unwrapping on Sunday, Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. This highly anticipated event, now in its fourth incarnation, puts everyone in a jolly mood with a bountiful array of locally produced edible and non-edible gift ideas, holiday menu inspirations, as well as tasty traditions that can be enjoyed a few weeks before Thanksgiving, through Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s. Bakery Lorraine and the French macarons have moved to the Pearl.  More than 30 market members will showcase, sample, sell and accept orders throughout the busy holiday season. Among the special seasonal items: Pastured turkeys, native range-fed lamb, grass-fed beef, heritage pork, fully cooked hams, rabbit, artisan pies, holiday spiced French macarons, handmade dark chocolates, Colonial shrubs, all-natural soaps and lotions, colorful poinsettias and even healthy dog treats and other nibbles for your four-legged friends. (See the complete list below.) In addition to the edible aspect of the holidays, two mixed media artists will join the celebration and showcase their creative works. Lesta Frank will feature holiday works including greeting cards, bookmarks, luggage tags, prints and paintings with a variety of images including produce from the farmers market, Buddhas and dogs. Dog lovers will want to bring their pet or a picture of a pet and Lesta Frank will create a watercolor portrait of your pet. For the food lover in your life, consider gifting holiday aprons, table runners and/or whimsical centerpieces from mixed fiber artist Alison Schockner. The day’s celebratory air will be enhanced with the cheerful sounds of musician Josh Klaus. Barbecue Lovers Texas cover croppedOn Dec. 7, local food writers and SavorSA.com founders John Griffin and Bonnie Walker will sign copies of their newly released Barbecue Lover’s Texas. The colorful, 265-page book is dedicated to everything we love about Texas barbecue – the big restaurants and small-town markets, the age-old traditions and the generational recipes. Ramble the back roads of Texas with Griffin and Walker on a discovery of the state’s smokiest meats, sassiest sides, most fascinating characters and truly dedicated culinary lifestyles. About the Market The Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market is held every Sunday, year-round and rain or shine, in the parking lot near Whole Foods Market in the Quarry Market off 281 and Jones Maltsberger Road. Hours are from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. For additional information, visit www.quarryfarmersmarket.com or call (210) 722-5077.   (See comprehensive list below of what you'll find at the market.)   Specialty Items Available through the Holidays 3-G Farm Broccoli Spinach colorful cabbageCabbage Kale—Lacinato and curly leaf Lettuce-Romaine, Red fire, and Spring mix greens Eggplant Butternut squash Black-eyed-peas Radishes Beets—golden and red Swiss chard—bright lights and red Carrots—rainbow and purple haze Green onions Arugula Spaghetti squash 9-1 Farm Beets—Red and golden Broccoli—several varieties Kohlrabi Radish—Early Scarlet, watermelon, purple, shunkyo Spinach—several varieties Mustard greens Collard greens Rainbow chard Kale—Siberian, winterbor and purple kale Cauliflower—purple, orange and white Cabbage—red and white Lettuce Mizuna Hon tsai tai A La Mode Gelato Cream of mascarpone with caramelized figs, apricots and sultanas "Zabbaione" egg nog Pumpkin and ricotta Chocolate "candy cane" (cream of chocolate swirled with homemade candy canes) Spiced sugar plum (dairy-free) Cranberry orange (dairy-free) Bakery Lorraine 9-inch pies—Jack Daniels pecan, Dutch apple (4 varieties of apples), apple-cranberry and house-roasted pumpkin Pumpkin spice, maple and cinnamon macarons Brazos Valley Cheese Three cheeses (Von Sormon, 8 oz. marinated feta and horseradish pecan cheddar) and crackers in a gift box Buddha’s Brew Kombucha Cranberry and mulling spice kombuchas Cowgirl Granola Thanksgiving blend Christmas Spirit blend Merlot-marjoram artisanal mustard Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market 3 Dos Lunas Artisan Cheese Holiday gift boxes of assorted cheese Engel Farms Tomatoes—assorted heirloom and cherry varieties Strawberries Butternut squash Swiss chard Kale Spinach Peach preserves High Street Chocolate Lemon-ginger-coconut dark chocolate Hudspeth River Ranch Grass-fed lamb, whole, half and individual cuts Fig and pear preserves Cactus, mesquite bean and wild grape jellies Katie’s Jar Beastly Feasts for Thanksgiving—empanada, sweet potatoes and a pup over Hanukkah—Eight mini-treat bags stuffed with a variety of treats Christmas—Holiday box o' bones, Christmas fruitcake and gingerbone tree DIY dog treat mixes—Make your own dog treats at home with a mix including peanut butter bones, carob peanut butter pup cake or gingerbones Holiday bandanas Koch Ranches Spiced pecans Spiced honey Pomegranate-cranberry kombucha Chilly weather chili Kubena Farms Spinach Beets Radish Cabbage Broccoli Sweet potatoes Spaghetti squash Butternut squash Turnips Rutabagas Kale Swiss chard Collard greens Lettuce La Mancha Specialties 3-month cured Torpedo chorizos in both traditional and spicy La Panaderia Pumpkin empanadas Walnut-cranberry bread Pumpkin pies Ming’s Thing Savory bacon spread Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market 4 Mother Culture Maple nut and cranberry-orange Greek yogurt Rosemary butter and maple butter Naegelin Farms Strawberries Beets Cilantro Collard greens Kale—two varieties Green garlic Green onions Winter squash—acorn and butternut Spinach Lettuce—green and red leaf Broccoli Cabbage Radishes—watermelon and red globe Cauliflower Kohlrabi—purple and white Swiss chard—white ribbed Organic Chix Customized healthy cleaning and living baskets featuring your choice of: lavender woolie dryer balls, laundry detergent, wood floor cleaner, germ defense surface cleaner, fabric starch, stain fighter, hemp protein powder and magnesium body oil Parker Creek Ranch Limited number of pastured turkeys Red Ranger and Naked Neck chickens, whole, cut-up as well as pieces and parts Rabbit, whole Quail Pastured eggs Peaceful Pork 5-10 pound, fully-cooked hams, as well as individual cuts of heritage pork Revolucion Coffee + Juice Hot chai and green matcha teas Red Velvet Cake lovers can now indulge guilt free in a vegan, dairy-free Red Velvet Milk made with raw organic cacao, raw cashews, organic raw agave and organic beets Shrub Drinks Cranberry-Tangerine Shrub Apple Spice Shrub Shudde Ranch Customized gift boxes of grass-fed beef Tate’s Tasty Treats Cactus pear pies (whole, mini and with gluten-free crust) Cactus pear-rosemary jelly Cactus pear syrup The Arrangement Poinsettias Vertical planters The Gardener’s Feast Vacuum-sealed six-packs of assorted organic tamales Special holiday tamale—Turkey pibil wrapped in a banana leaf Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market 5

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GauchoGourmet Stepping Out!  New and Local — Nov. 1

GauchoGourmet Stepping Out! New and Local — Nov. 1

Gaucho Gourmet's imported salami and other cold cuts sandwich.

Gaucho Gourmet's imported salami and other cold cuts sandwich.

Starting Saturday, Nov.  1,  one of San Antonio's premier food imports store -- with so much more -- launches some great new offerings.  Features include an expanded daily takeout menu and a Saturday indoor market that supports local producers. "This has been a long time coming, and we've worked hard to make "GauchoGourmet Reloaded" happen," said Sylvia Ciociari, who with her husband, Luciano and co-proprietors Cuqui and Juan Ciociari, will be on hand to welcome guests at this launch. For further information contact GauchoGourmet at 210-277-7930.  Gaucho Gourmet is at 935 Isom Road. Here are some of the highlights of GauchoGourmet Reloaded: New take-out menu Easy and healthy grab 'n’ go items are now available Monday through Saturday during lunch hours. GauchoGourmet offers artisanal sandwiches, hot specialty sausages featuring Berkshire hotdogs, duck sausage, chicken sausage and Argentine grillers. In addition, check out their great burrata, charcuterie appetizers and pasta salads all made in-house.
burrata gauchogourmet1

GauchoGourmet's burrata cheese with charcuterie and fresh bread -- on the deli menu!

It’s all about cheese!  GauchoGourmet has expanded the deli counter to showcase their latest and largest selection of cut-to-order cheeses and cheese accompaniments from all over the world.  Everything needed to indulge in the ultimate cheese experience is now available, including cheese tools as well as serving utensils, plus an entire line of foie gras torchon, mousses and pates.  Seasonal Saturday Market GauchoGourmet has partnered with Groomer's Seafood and a well-respected group of other local producers to feature a fine line of food products every Saturday throughout the holidays. GauchoGourmet and Groomer's now make this a dual stop, the best one-stop shopping for chefs and foodies. Here's what the lineup includes: • Fine French wines by Alexander Vineyards in Fredericksburg, as well as other local wineries
Sandy Oaks olive oil

Sandy Oaks olive oil

• Groomer's Seafood • Fresh-pressed juices by Crave Market • Fresh, artisan bread by The Bread Box • Organic coffee beans by local roasters, Ferra Coffee • Authentic Spanish chorizo from La Mancha Specialties • Olive products from Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, Elmendorf • All natural lamb from Hudspeth Farms    

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‘Barbecue Lover’s Texas’ Book Signing at Quarry Market Sept. 21

‘Barbecue Lover’s Texas’ Book Signing at Quarry Market Sept. 21

Authors John Griffin and Bonnie Walker to sign their new book Sept. 21.

Authors John Griffin and Bonnie Walker to sign their new book Sept. 21.

Barbecue is so old-fashioned it’s totally hip. It’s taking center stage across the country in cookbooks, TV shows, magazine covers and in big smoky events. But no place does barbecue like Texas. On Sept. 21, hop on the barbecue love train at the Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market as local food writers and SavorSA.com founders John Griffin and Bonnie Walker talk about the savory staple and sign copies of their newly released book, "Barbecue Lover's Texas," (Globe Pequot Press, $21.95). Not only will you get a look at this new book, you can grab some barbecue on the spot from The Smoke Shack food truck. The colorful, 265-page book is dedicated to everything we love about Texas barbecue – the big restaurants and small-town markets, the age-old traditions and the generational recipes. Ramble the back roads of Texas with Griffin and Walker on a discovery of the state’s smokiest meats, sassiest sides, most fascinating characters and truly dedicated culinary lifestyles. “We knew we’d learn a lot about Texas barbecue styles and traditions when we headed out in our cars last fall,” Walker says. “And while we certainly found some of the best barbecue in the world, we were most drawn to the folks who get up in the wee hours to tend the fires, load up the smokers and then often stay awake long enough to serve up a great product.”
Get barbecue at Quarry Market Sept. 21. Plus, get a great new barbecue book by SA authors.

Get barbecue at Quarry Market Sept. 21. Plus, get a great new barbecue book by SA authors.

“Barbecue is a big part of their lives,” adds Griffin. “We were glad they took the time to share with us what it means to be a part of this Lone Star treasure.”
Even if you’re not a barbecue fan yourself, "Barbecue Lover's Texas" is an ideal gift for anyone who isn’t afraid to travel long country roads in search of new foodie experiences. Special guest food trailer, The Smoke Shack, will be on hand to celebrate the book release, and their inclusion in it. So you won’t have to just dream of barbecue, you can dig right into some. “As someone who learned to fly an airplane by visiting the iconic barbeque spots across Texas, I found this book to be immensely informative, inspiring and also a great read. We are happy, once again, to welcome John and Bonnie to the market to share their latest work with our shoppers,” says F. David Lent, market co-founder and co-director. The Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market is held Sundays, rain, wind, cold or heat, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Quarry Market (255 E. Basse), near Whole Foods Market. For market information call 210-722-5077, email quarryfarmersmarket@gmail.com or visit www.quarryfarmersmarket.com.

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‘Everything’s Peachy’ at Quarry Farmers Market

‘Everything’s Peachy’ at Quarry Farmers Market

Peaches Quarry Market 2 cropThe Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market is celebrating this year’s crop of sweet and juicy Fredericksburg peaches with special fruit treats from market vendors as well as copious amounts of at least seven or eight different varieties of peaches from Engel Farms including freestone, semi-free and cling. For two Sundays, June 29 and July 6, the market will celebrate “Everything’s Peachy” and honor the peak of peach season with plenty of Engel Farms’ peaches along with edibles made from the farm’s fruit. To kick off the celebration on June 29, shoppers may purchase handmade peach cobbler pie from Vintage Heart Farm, peach and amaretto sorbetto from A La Mode, peach shrub from Shrub Drinks and a sweet breakfast treat from LocaVore food truck—blue corn crepes filled with almond-tangelo mousse topped with peach jam and sprinkled with cinnamon spiked powdered sugar. For all of our four-legged friends, choose from peach granola bone dog treats and peach-banana-peanut butter ice cream from Katie’s Jar. Peach Ice Cream Recipe A sweet year for peaches After 2012’s bumper peach crop and last year’s late freeze and hail which wiped out the 2013 crop, Engel Farms owner John Engel is happy with this year’s bounty.
“This year’s combination of a real winter with lots of ‘chill’ hours and the late rains put the trees in good condition for a nice crop,” he says. “Almost every afternoon, we are getting good, but not scorching sun which makes for complex sugars in the fruit and that is just the way we want it.”
The 45-acre peach orchard of 4,500 trees on his family farm in Fredericksburg harvests peaches from late May through September providing shoppers with peaches throughout the summer. During the two-week celebration, shoppers will enjoy Harvester, Red Globe, Loring, Bounty and Majestic varieties, all of which are premium peaches. The best of every season Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market vendors are small, independent farmers, ranchers and artisans dedicated to providing fresh products to discerning shoppers who understand seasonality and embrace the growing local food movement. Our farmers proudly grow sustainably without chemical fertilizers and pesticides and our ranchers raise animals on pasture or grass without hormones or antibiotics. The Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market is held Sundays, rain, wind, cold or heat, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the parking lot at the Quarry near Whole Foods.

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New HEB Market at Stone Oak Shows Its Colors

New HEB Market at Stone Oak Shows Its Colors

The new HEB grocery store in Stone Oak opened Friday. By noon, the new "groceraunt" had long lines and cooks were putting out samples to the crowds who came to the opening. Since my decision was to actually do the week's shopping here, I prepared myself to go calmly along the crowded aisles and didn't plan to eat at the restaurant -- we'll do that later. The HEB is  on Hardy Oaks and Wilderness Oaks. HEB Berry Dessert case croppedIn addition to some of the features I'll mention below, the 80,000-square-foot market also offers a drive-through pharmacy, expanded grocery and general merchandise sections and what they say is the largest beer and wine department of any HEB store in Texas and Mexico. When you get into the aisles, the store looks like most any of the well-stocked HEBs in town. I found some brands that were new to me, including some packaged Latin specialties from brand Chata -- with Cochinita Pibil and (also pork) Chilorio, for a reasonable $3.98. Store brands of packaged goods, such as Hatch green chile sausages and a jarred green chile sauce were passed around, as was grilled salmon with a cheesy pasta dish at another station in the store. Prepared foods, such as a Latin Chipotle Quinoa Salad caught my eye. I did bring it home and it was good -- though I tasted lots of cilantro (fine by me) and not much chipotle at all. I'd buy it again, though. HEB Italian Hams croppedThe wine section was definitely better stocked than my neighborhood HEB. This I judged solely on my own preferences that most HEB regular stores don't stock -- good sparklers for under $20. Graham Beck, Mumm Napa and Michelle Brut and Brut Rose were all there -- and wouldn't I welcome those at the HEB down the street, where we have Korbel Extra Dry at the top of the choices available. Meaning an extra trip down to the Twin Liquor at Alamo Heights for me. The Boars Head products were greatly in evidence at the "charcuterie" section of the store and the attendants were pushing them hard.  I think these are good products, but I did find something I like even better, which was a long, narrow loaf of mustard seed hard salami from Black Kassel. Also pesto Monterey Jack cheese -- good in a sandwich with some thin-sliced Italian ham, but the pesto flavor wasn't very pronounced. A disappointment, as it would have been a good pizza ingredient, too. HEB guy Steve cooking croppedThe produce aisles were so jammed that I grabbed a very nicely priced box of mixed berries and sliced kiwi at the leading edge of the section. Then didn't venture in further. The berries: 1 pound 4 ounces for $6.97 of berries in very fresh condition -- made me wish the next day I'd picked up two or three boxes. Where the berries shone in abundance, however, was in the dessert case, where they were lavishly arranged on top of cakes, cheesecakes, tarts, what have you. Beautiful to look at, fattening to eat. We stuck with the fruit and didn't get the cake. My bill at the end was $130, but I'd splurged on more than a few things. In-store coupons were in generous display as well, and my final price was a good $6 less than it might have been. I liked the new store, and it appeared to not be built either on the Central Market plan or my favorite HEB, the Alon Market. But, it's big -- and for those living up in the farther reaches of the Stone Oak area, which I heard from more than one person making their way through the store Friday, was their opinion that this was a welcome addition to the neighborhood. HEB hired about 350 employees for the new facility, including the restaurant and they will be open seven days a week.        

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