Every Wednesday from 3-7 p.m., you’ll find a variety of hand-picked produce and other yummy items at the Oakdale Farmer’s Market, located at the Richard Walton Park.
Patch has highlighted just a few of these vendors, but you’ll need to stop by soon, as the last day of the Oakdale farmer’s market season is Oct. 5.
Homemade Wine Jellies
Not only are these wine jellies amazing in their flavorful profiles, they are also somewhat rare to find.
“I received wine jelly as a gift back when I lived in North Carolina and since moving up here, I’ve had little luck finding them in this part of the country," said Karen Mack, owner and jelly maker at Windy Ridge Vineyards.
Due to the lack of wine jelly availability in this area, Mack said she started experimenting and concocting her own wine jelly recipes.
“Basically, wine jelly is a jelly with a liquid wine base that’s then cooked up and blended with whatever other ingredients and spices you want to add," she said.
Mack and her husband, Alan, bought Windy Ridge Vineyards about a year ago. Their own grapevines will need to mature a few years before they can begin making wine from them. So for now, cooking up, blending and canning the wine jellies keeps this “jelly chemist” working overtime.
“I’m constantly experimenting, tweaking and blending new flavors into the jellies. For instance, I’m concocting an autumn spiced wine jelly for the fall that will be available soon,” said Mack.
Her palate seems to be right on the mark. Take for example the raspberry habanero jelly. It consists of raspberry wine, raspberry vinaigrette, bell and habanero peppers. With some hints of spicy heat at the forward part of the taste, it finishes soft and sweet—spread it over baked brie cheese topped with fresh red raspberries.
The orange ginger chardonnay jelly is made with bits of orange rind, ginger and chardonnay wine. The citrus flavor pops out almost immediately with subtle touches of ginger and chardonnay following through on the finish. Use this jelly as a glaze over grilled white fish or spoon it in to a stir fry of shrimp, snap peas, julienne carrots, white rice and cashews.
For more information on Windy Ridge Vineyard wine jellies, call 651-433-8103. Windy Ridge Vineyards is located at 10540 220th St. N., in Scandia, MN.
Fresh Picked Apples
If you love the taste of sweet and tart handpicked apples, then you must stop at the Novak’s Orchard booth at the market.
Yii Novak, of Novak’s Orchard, LLC, has numerous varieties of apples available now. No need to worry if you don’t know what variety of apples to buy. She has a big apple platter sampler, so you can try before you buy.
A crowd favorite is the Zestar variety. These are sweet at first bite and then flash a bit of tartness at the end. Although this variety is fabulous to eat by itself, they’re also great grilled up with some thick-cut pork chops. If you want to buy any Zestar apples, you ‘ll need to get there early, as this variety sells out fast.
If the Zestar is sold out, the next best option would be the Sweet 16. This apple has a sweet start and then ends with a smack of tart and is perfect with some blue cheese and crackers. For those of you who like a little pucker power when eating apples, you’ll love the Ginger Gold. It has a sweet, sour and tart taste, all in one bite.
Bakers, according to Novak, should buy the Paula Reds and Cortlands.
“These are the best apples to put in pies, crisps and other recipes,” said Novak. She suggests refrigerating the apples for extra crispiness.
Novak’s is located at 4460 Woodlane Drive in Woodbury. For more information check their website at www.novaksorchard.com.
Fresh Baked Breads
Betty Wickerman, an Oakdale resident for 52 years, works the Fresh Fields bakery stand at the Oakdale market and is also employed at the restaurant’s only location in Stillwater.
“Fresh Fields baked goods are available at several farmer’s markets throughout the Twin Cites,” said Wickerman.
Handcrafted sweet breads such as their popular cinnamon swirl ($4.50), cranberry raisin walnut ($5.25), blueberry almond ($5.25) or rustic cranberry apple ($5) can be found at the Oakdale market.
Their specialty breads are also offered in several different varieties such as wild rice rye ($5), garlic asiago ($5) and rosemary olive ($4.45). These breads are dense, chewy and excellent for the upcoming soup season.
Grain breads such as their multigrain ($4.75), wheat sourdough (4.50) and sourdough rye ($4.25) are healthier bread options for school lunch sandwiches or grilled up as a turkey and cheese panini before a sporting event.
“All of our breads are baked up fresh daily in the early morning hours and contain no preservatives or additives,” WIckerman said.
According to Wickerman, these breads freeze nicely, so you can buy a few loaves each time you come to the market.
Customers can pre-order any bread and have it delivered to your specific farmer’s market if you call ahead. For more information on Fresh Fields Bakery please visit their website at: www.freshfieldsbakery.com or call 651-351-1113. Fresh Fields Bakery is located at 1400 Frontage Rd. W., Stillwater.