Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rebuilding after Katrina Never Tasted So Good

Happy spring (almost) and good eatin'. This story is a little off the art path and every now and then I like to surprise readers with something a little different. Good food is my second love so I'll share with you. Here's a family tale to start getting ready for spring with a helping of good vegetables. Good taste runs in the family as dished up by my sister and her husband, Gladys and Jim Core of Happy Oaks Farm in Folsom, (I love that name) Louisiana. Jim and Gladys continue to provide quality produce to the New Orleans and Covington, LA farmers markets even in the current economic climate.

If you like gumbo, you'll like the batch that Jim Core cooks up, gumbo z'herbes. I've included the recipe below.

Tonight, for a fundraiser with Alice Waters for the Crescent City Farmers Market, Jim is making a couple of pans of his kale jambalaya, featured in the new "Crescent City Farmers Market Cookbook" that is being celebrated. Author Poppy Tooker writes that Core is "a market legend." Chefs John Besh, Chris Montero, Darin Nesbit, Tory McPhail, Emmanuel Loubier, Stephen Stryjewski and Adolfo Garcia are cooking, too, as are vendors and shoppers Kay Brandhurst, Anne Churchill, Dave Cash, Bruce Gallassero and Justin Pitts.

Read today's article The Jolly Green Gardener
Folsom, Louisiana farmer Jim Core grows the greens to make a mean pot of gumbo z'herbes

By Judy Walker
Sitting on the rugged 4-by-4 that he uses to get around his 15 acres, Jim Core contemplates the log cabin where he used to spend most of his time with his grandparents. His people have been here on this land outside Folsom for more than 100 years.

Green gumbo, also known as gumbo z'herbes, is made most often during Lent. It's always made with an odd number of greens: 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, or whatever. For every green put in the gumbo, you'll make a new friend during the year, the story goes.

Jim Core's greens gumbo Recipe

1 bunch mustard greens
1 bunch collards
1 bunch kale
1 carton (32 ounces) low-sodium vegetable broth (or equivalent)
1 medium onion, chopped
½ clove garlic, minced
Salt, pepper and Creole seasoning

Support your local Farmers markets!
New Crescent City Farmers Market cookbook collects 13 years of farmers recipes by Judy Walker

VIDEO: The Jolly Green Gardner

Video by David Grunfel

Contact: James C. "Jim" and Gladys Core
Taylor's Happy Oaks Farm, Folsom, LA
phone: 985-796-9654
Product: greens, turnips, canteloupe, strawberries, peaches

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