Hillsdale Farmers’ Market Feed Me Fresh Cooking Series

This season’s culinary demonstrations at the Hillsdale Farmers’ Market have been a highlight of my summer.  I do love working with vendors at markets around town, and the special events are so much fun, but there is something acutely satisfying to tending a cooking series & watching it blossom throughout the market season.

This year, the Feed Me Fresh Cooking Series, led by yours truly, has taken shoppers from beginning basics – how to hold, hone, & wield a knife, to various knife cuts, stocks & broths, egg cookery, pasture-raised meats, cooking techniques (saute, pan-fry, roast), & preservation methods.  With this year’s basics skills building-block formula, we’ve been laying a culinary foundation upon which shoppers can stand with confidence to face the great variety of our Northwest Farmers’ Market bounty.

And the results are deeply satisfying.  Class attendees are making new produce purchases – trying vegetables that they previously were intimidated to cook.  Shoppers are thrilled to hear Farmers speak about their farming practices and what it takes to bring their product to the market.  Even established cooks have shared that they’ve picked up a new trick, or learned the why behind the method.

So, while I should-a, would-a, could-a, I’m kicking myself for not posting this sooner – a class schedule.  Below, you’ll find the entire 2011 season schedule for the Hillsdale Farmers’ Market Feed Me Fresh Cooking Series.  There are still a number of great classes to go, and did I mention, it’s FREE!!!  Every 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month from 11am-1pm at
The Farmer’s Feast booth.

And if you’ve missed a demo you wish you’d seen, stay tuned.  Over the cold months, I’ll be posting recipes, tips, & techniques from the summer’s cooking series.

The Feed Me Fresh Cooking Series is made possible by the Hillsdale Farmers Market, and generously funded by a grant from New Seasons Market.  The Farmers at the market have been overwhelmingly generous of product and support.  I am thrilled to be able to cook with such extraordinary food, and am continually inspired by their stories, passion, and knowledge.  I am also greatly appreciative of the shoppers who join me each week, especially my devoted group who have seen the series every step of the way.  I’ll see you at the market this Sunday!

Hillsdale Farmers’ Market
Feed Me Fresh Cooking Series
Presented by The Farmer’s Feast

May 22

Market Culinary Demonstration Series Kickoff!

Chef Kathryn shares her inspiration as she combines different market ingredients selected from the local farmer’s bounty to create a seasonal menu.
No plan – just pots, pans, & a pantry.
description:  A culinary demo that focuses on how shoppers can utilize what is freshest that day at the market to create easy menu ideas.  The demonstration will feature a brief tutorial on farmers market shopping (shopping without a list in hand, reversing the process of thinking of a meal then shopping) and a presentation on ingredients that are available right now and how they can best be used.  Chef Kathryn will discuss the thought process of a chef working with local availability or a person faced with a surprise csa box each week, and provide a cooking demonstration based on what the chef and audience come up with (audience participation encouraged).

June 5

Kitchen Basics – peeling, chopping, dicing, & stock tips

description: A demonstration of knife skills basics, including how to hold a knife and hone a blade, and culinary fundamentals, using various seasonal market vegetables.  
Stocks and broths are simple and economical to make, and provide a very useful ingredient for a myriad of dishes – from soups to sauces to rice dishes and pasta.  Shoppers can learn to make simple meat and vegetable broths and broaden culinary horizons.

June 19

All About Eggs

description:  Which came first…the poach or the scramble?  Nearly everyone has cooked an egg at some time or another – the question is how many egg-cooking techniques do you know how to do…well?  We’ll begin at the beginning, with basic 101-type egg cookery: poaching, frittata, shirred and coddled.  By the end of the day, we’ll be whipping up hollandaise, mayonnaise, and sabayon.

July 3

Chicken Breakdown!  And Rabbit, too!

a how-to demo: cutting up a chicken and working with the parts
description:  A start to finish demonstration on whole chicken and rabbit breakdown.  Watch & learn how to butcher whole chickens & rabbits – it’s easier than you’d think, and buying a whole chicken is much more economical than purchasing parts.
I will discuss what to do with the bones, scraps, and parts, and offer techniques for roasting a whole bird.  Seasonal chicken & rabbit recipes will be provided.

July 17

The Way to Sauté

A building block to your culinary foundation, sautéing is one of the easiest ways to become versatile with your vegetables.  Once a cook has mastered the basic sauté, they can use it with practically any vegetable, or combination of vegetables, to create delicious, healthy side dishes or main courses.  
description:  Chef Kathryn will cover sauté pans (what to look for, how Teflon differs from cast iron and how they compare to aluminum and stainless), cooking mediums (oils butter, animal fat), how to build a sauté – which ingredients go in first, second, third, or which need advanced preparation (par-boiling or cooking separately before adding), seasoning, and how to make your basic sauté into a pasta sauce or base for a meal.
I will reveal the secret to the successful “flip” of your ingredients in the pan.

August 7

Pastured Proteins – a basics tutorial

description: It’s a fact that grass-fed beef is better for health – yours and the environment’s.  It’s also different than feedlot beef, requiring a little culinary know-how in handling so that it can be thoroughly enjoyed.  Chef Kathryn will cover the basics – cuts, preparation, and cooking methods for this delicious source of protein.  Recipes, demos, samples.  
August 21

Preservation Techniques – a tutorial

Jam it, pickle it, freeze it, dry it, put it up!

description:  With quick, easy demos, shoppers can learn how to stock up and preserve the abundance of product that we have at our fingertips this time of year.  There is an opportunity to show beginner basics such as how to prepare the fruit, remove corn from the cob easily, & puree with a food mill.  Intermediate skills come into play as we discuss how to prepare the products, and what to do with them.  And for the adventurous, advanced cook, how to put up these items for winter.  This is a great way for shoppers to purchase larger quantities at the height of the season, when they are more affordable and at their peak.
I will make a jam from  start to finish, taking the time to discuss food sanitation and safety, equipment, tools, & tips.

September 4

Making Baby Food

nothing could be better for baby than homemade food from market-fresh products
description: It really is as easy as baking a sweet potato and pureeing it!  We’ll go over necessary equipment, simple recipes, and how to make ahead and store quantities of baby food.

September 18

Toddler-Friendly Fare

baby is growing up – part 2 of cooking for the kiddies continues with delicious, eater-friendly snacks and meals for independent little people
description: Let’s face it, toddlers get fussy when it comes to food.  It helps to get a little sneaky – disguising nutrient-rich, healthy foods in fun packages.  Little samplers encouraged to attend!  

October 2

Risotto, Congee, Fritters, & Rice Pudding

simple rice dishes, incorporating seasonal market ingredients
description: A demonstration of several techniques to take a kitchen basic and form a sensational seasonal treat for lunch, dinner, or dessert.

October 16


description:  Chef Kathryn presents favorite dumplings from several cultures – potato gnocchi, spaetzle, matzo balls, and good old fashioned chicken and dumplings.  A break from the usual side dishes, dumplings warm the body and nourish the soul as the days grow shorter and we long for warmth and comfort. 
Dumplings are easy and satisfying – I think this will be a fun demo for shoppers, adults & kids alike, as I encourage cooking these from-scratch recipes with, and for, kids.

November 6

Soups and Stews 

description:  Vegetable soup is easy to make, nutritious, freezes well, and is low cost per serving.  And with knowledge of the basic process, you can use whatever seasonal vegetables are available at the market.  Then, vegetable soup takes on a new form as it’s baked with bread – Ribolita is born!  Learn the ins and outs of soup and stew making at this warming demo, then stow-away healthy market food for the winter months.  Plus, we’re expanding on the stock-making basics of a previous demo!

November 20

Holiday Side Dishes

description:  New ideas for savory sides for your holiday table.  We’ll take what’s available at the market and work some culinary magic!


About Kathryn LaSusa Yeomans

By offering Sage Culinary Advice, The Farmer's Feast assists Farmers' Market shoppers in making the most of their purchases, and helps vendors realize the culinary possibilities of their products. We create culinary education programs at Farmers' Markets. Through food preparation and cooking demonstrations, recipes focusing on technique, samples, stories and free advice, we're encouraging people to cook more often, from scratch, with market-fresh ingredients. Our goal? To cultivate domestic culinary arts. Once you've tasted the Farmer's Feast - glistening local produce, pastured meats, artisan cheese, wild seafood, rich nuts, grains and legumes - and see how easy cooking this bounty can be, you'll be hungry for fresh. Visit The Farmer's Feast on Facebook / E-mail wildeats@msn.com
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