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Sunday, December 12, 2010

December New Taste Market

Just the thought of holiday shopping makes me feel exhausted. I am a pretty resilient and fiesty woman, but honestly, I sort of crumble in the face of pushy crowds, forced shopping deadlines and endless mental sales calculations to figure out how much money I am spending. This year, my family has opted for a Christmas Eve dinner with a singular $20 gift exchange (distributed according to my mom’s favorite gift exchange game). My gift, not surprisingly, will be food-related (any suggestions?).

In an effort to avoid chaotic holiday shopping, I'm thinking I might either make gifts or pick up some locally-made gifts to celebrate the talents of others who make some fine products. I started collecting some local goodies and DIY projects to give away as gifts. At the November New Taste Marketplace, I bought some homemade tofu and a DIY tofu-making kit from Emily's Tofu and some small batch organic coffee beans from Tutmak Coffee. I'm not entirely sure which relative I could realistically give a tofu-making kit to, but I'll worry about that later.

If you still need to do some holiday shopping and want some homemade gifts, come check out the December New Taste Market on Saturday, December 18 from 4pm-9pm.Over 30 vendors will be offering everything from garam masala granola and artisan chocolates to homemade fermented miso and maple soda! Besides giving gifts made with love, you are helping St. Gregory's Food Pantry, which gives away tons of fresh food to more than 1,200 households each month. Holiday spirit doesn't come in a better form than helping others in need.

And...due to some begging requests, the pickled grapes are back!Come find me at the market and sample some! They are fanastic additions to salads, cocktails and cheese platters.

Photo courtesy of Jesse FriedmanThe pickled grapes are inspired by Susan Kaplan and Renee Erikson's pickled magic of Seattle's Boat Street Cafe, where they pickle everything from figs and asparagus to prunes!

I bought heaps of local grapes and hand cut each and every little sphere to let the pickling liquid really seep into the flesh. The grapes take a little swim in a white wine vinegar bath flavored with heaps of black pepper, freshly-cracked cinnamon bark, mustard seeds, cloves and just a hint of star-anise, for good measure. They snap open with a burst of sweet juice and just enough tang to make you wonder why you haven't thought of pickled grapes years ago.

I hope to see you at the market on Saturday!

Happy Holidays, dear readers. I hope it is really special.


Brian Yaeger said...

Hooray the return of pickled grapes (at least for those able to procure some).

morgansmenu said...

Brian, if pickled grapes aren't enough to make you start driving back to SF right this minute, I don't know what is. Oh, wait. I forgot you live at the Cascade tap house now.

Chelsea said...

Morgan!! I am so excited and proud to hear you are a vendor at this awesome market! Also, I am extremely curious about this whole pickled grape business. Hope the market goes fabulously and happy happy holidays to you and Jason. Much love

Morgan Lee said...

Thanks, Chelsea! I am happy to bring the pickled grapes back into action, but I am also really excited to share some dishes from Hawaii. I am starting with somen salad (leave it to the girl from Hawaii to do a summertime salad in the winter), but I have some other things up my sleeve for the future!

Happy Holidays, my friend! Let's celebrate!

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

The city is filled with such great food adventures- I'm so glad I now live close enough to enjoy them! And I had no idea you volunteered at 18 Reasons- I read about their cookie swap and was bummed I wasn't in the city at the time. We should do brunch or at least coffee soon! :)