Rolling into week three of downtown Boise's farmers market, I bet local produce diehards are hitting the market hard hoping that the pros have miraculously eked more out of the ground so far this year than the rest of us. Or maybe that's just me.
I'll confess, my garden is nothing but mud at the moment, and not being a decent meal planner, I get to the market and just kind of pick up whatever looks good without considering an actual recipe. It's an OK strategy, but if I were more organized, I'd have pulled a crop of greens out of my garden already, and I'd make my way down Eighth Street every Saturday with a plan of attack.
Guy Hand is going to help me change that.
Hand, who has his fingers in literally every food-news-related pie in town, is the genius behind northwestfoodnews.com. He's also the voice you hear on Boise State radio's monthly Edible Idaho, and in addition to radio and Web work, Hand is The Idaho Statesman's restaurant critic. (As a side note here, I'd recommend logging on to northwestfoodnews.com and checking out the podcast of Hand's recent Edible Idaho piece "The Contentious World of Restaurant Reviews," featuring Hand, myself, BW's Amy Atkins and Cottonwood Grille owners Peter and Hilary Blatz. The piece's opening phone message is a gem.)
Friday, April 30, Hand launches a new, weekly segment called the "Market and Garden Report." One week, it's all about the market, when Hand trolls area farmers markets looking for the most interesting food and offering up a little lesson on what it is and exactly what the heck to do with it. The next week, it's all about the farm. Hand will head out to Peaceful Belly farm for lessons and helpful tips that we novice gardeners can put to good use. Then it's back to the market the next week. The "Market and Garden Report" airs on Morning Edition on KBSU 91.5 FM and will be podcast at northwestfoodnews.com.
In booze news, the annual Martini Mix-off starts Thursday, May 6, but it's no longer the weekly debauchery it was. It even has a new name, May Martini Month, which reflects the much tamer festivities planned this year. Rather than the roving band of judges, outrageous parties and coupon books for the martini quaffing public, all you have to do is show up at a participating bar any Thursday night in May and order a specialty martini for $5. Participating bars include Angell's Bar & Grill, Bardenay, Bonefish Grill, Chandlers, Pair, Piper Pub & Grill and Red Feather Lounge.