Eggnog returns to local farmers markets

Steve Edwards

The Rempel Family Farm will have its storage produce at today’s Center Market.

But Mark Rempel issues his invitation to the market with a warning: “You will notice if you read this part of Market Fresh that the list is getting shorter. If you want variety visiting us soon is better than later.”

The Rempels will have organic sugar pumpkins, stripetti squash, jumbo pink banana squash, carrots, parsnips, green cabbage, three varieties of beets and eight varieties of potatoes.

Duane Clark will be at the market with his products and those of Alex Davis of A.D. Farm. Clark’s items include grass-fed beef, locally raised chickens, Alaska seafood and honey. Davis’ products include pork items and produce like beets, potatoes, carrots, parsnips and cabbage.

Other vendors scheduled to be at market include Matanuska Creamery with cheese, cheese curds, ice cream and eggnog, and Northern Lights Mushrooms.

The market is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today at the Mall at Sears. It is best to enter the mall from the Benson Boulevard side.

Matanuska Creamery continues to set up on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. near the Gap store in the Dimond Center. Regular items include quarts of eggnog and several homemade butters, including chai tea, cinnamon sugar and cranberries, lemon, garlic and regular butter. Specialty cheeses include aged, medium, sharp and mozzarella. They also will have several ice cream flavors in both pints and half-gallons. Jean Havemeister suggests calling the plant for special orders; the number is 907-745-6455.

Potato time

While local produce selections are getting smaller, potatoes are still available — in many varieties and colors.

Mashed potatoes were probably popular at most dinner tables on Thanksgiving. However, after mashed, baked and fried, what do you do with potatoes? A new book published by Robert Rose offers hundreds of recipes to select from — 300 to be exact — and a nice history of the spud.

“300 Best Potato Recipes: A Complete Cook’s Guide” offers several groupings of potato recipes — appetizers; sides; main courses with meat, poultry or fish; vegetarian main dishes; breads and griddle cakes; and even desserts. The book includes a 20-page potato glossary with an explanation and listing of all-purpose, floury, waxy and specialty potatoes.

A few recipe highlights include: garlic and chive mash; old-fashioned creamed potatoes; aloo tikki; twice-baked potato souffle with Cashel blue cheese; and French potato galette with bacon.

Today’s recipe puts to use several vegetables still available that were grown locally. Use some Matanuska Creamery products to add even more local flavor.

Roots mash

2 pounds floury potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks

1 parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks

1 small white turnip, peeled and cut into chunks

2 teaspoons salt

¼ cup whole milk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnip and turnip in a large saucepan. Add cold water to barely cover. Cover loosely and bring to a boil over high heat. Add salt and return to a boil for about 10 minutes. Cover securely, reduce heat to medium and gently boil for about 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Remove from heat and drain, reserving cooking liquid for use in soup or gravy, if desired. Wipe saucepan clean. Return vegetable mixture to saucepan over very low heat and shake the pot back and forth to remove any trace of moisture.

With saucepan still over the heat, add butter and, using a potato masher, mash it thoroughly. Gradually mash in the milk (use until you reach the desired consistency). Bang masher against rim of saucepan so any sticking mixture falls into the pot. Tilt the saucepan slightly and, using a flat whisk, wooden spoon or large fork, briskly stir mixture to incorporate air into the mash, until smooth, creamy and fluffy.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Note: By combining potatoes with other root vegetables you can come up with endless possibilities for flavor and textural contrasts. Vegetables can be cooked separately and then combined with standard mashed potatoes. Or, as in this recipe, carrots, sweet potato, parsnip and turnip are cooked in the same pot as the potatoes. In this instance we are not looking to make an ultra-smooth mixture but rather to create a colorful blend of vegetables with a few small chunks here and there.

Source: “300 Best Potato Recipes” by Kathleen Sloan-McIntosh ($24.95, Robert Rose)

Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. If you have a suggestion for a future Market Fresh column, please contact him at

Website: Alaska Grown
Daily News correspondent