New Vendors This Week
Steven Stotzfutz and Tricia Murtha will be joining us this week with certified-organic produce from the Tuscarora Organic Growers cooperative in Pennsylvania. Known throughout the middle Atlantic area as a leader in cooperative management, this is a farm-led group of small farmers across the state of Pennsylvania, many of them Amish and Mennonites, who grow specific crops for the co-op. The co-op then markets the crops to high-end restaurants and grocery stores. You may have seen them recently in a Whole Foods store near you.
Steven will bring products from TOG but also additional certified-organic produce from his and neighboring farms. His goal is to be able to bring everything directly from the farmers so that we all benefit from their selling directly from farm to market.
As you know, his prices will be higher, but everything is USDA certified-organic, which means no pesticides, no fungicides, and no chemical fertilizers ever — and nothing grown from GMO seeds.
Steven will also bring Amish baked goods, jams, and jellies.
Vendors Absent This Week
Shenandoah Seasonal Farm will not be with us. Dan is doing his fall planting in order to have crops for this year-round market.
Uncle Fred’s BBQ will be away this week.
Special Events This Week
Annie Sidley, our demo diva, will be with us again working with the Three Sisters of the garden: corn, beans and squash. She will show you how to prepare chimichangas stuffed with chorizo, peppers, and squash and served with a jalapeño, lime and yogurt sauce (and a veggie version as well); Spanish Rice with green beans and corn; and a yogurt, fruit and tea cake trifle.
Vote For Our Market As Your Favorite in a National Contest
Last week we launched a campaign to have our Bristow market chosen as one of the country’s favorite farmers’ markets in an annual contest held by American Farmland Trust. Winning this contest would be great for all of our markets and vendors. This week we’re asking all of our shoppers to vote in the contest even if they do not usually attend our Bristow market. This will be a vote for your market as well, no matter where you shop with us, because the attention we receive will help all of our markets.
You can vote now — just go to the American Farmland Trust website and type “Smart Markets Bristow” where it says “Cast Your Vote.”
At our Bristow market this coming Sunday, the 19th, we will celebrate Julia Child’s birthday with a special cooking demo. The next week we will celebrate Cows and Corn with special corn dishes sampled and sold throughout the market.
You’re welcome to join us, and don’t forget to cast your vote!
From the Market Master
Soon after my husband Bill and I moved to Virginia from North Carolina in 1974, my husband was in Norfolk for his two weeks of Naval Reserve active duty. I was visiting my grandmother in Harrisonburg, Virginia, when he called to regale me with the highlights of his dining experience one evening.
On his way down to the base in Norfolk, he stopped in Yorktown to eat at Nick’s Seafood Pavilion, which had been on the same site right on the York River since 1944. He dined that evening on oysters fresh from local waters and on a dish called Shrimp Givetsi, a seafood stew with few ingredients and lots of butter, which he thought was amazing.
I was sitting in an antique chair in my grandmother’s bedroom; she was in the big canopy bed and heard the entire conversation. As soon as I hung up, she told me that she and my grandfather had spent many evenings in the same restaurant in the ’40s and ’50s; they used to go down to fish and stay in Yorktown at least once a year. And she knew the restaurant and Nick and his family, and the Shrimp Givetsi which she and my grandfather had also enjoyed.
For many years after that Bill and I would go out of our way to the Outer Banks or Edenton, N.C., by way of Yorktown just to eat at the restaurant. We introduced my family to the restaurant over time. In 1983, we were devastated to learn while in Williamsburg for a family vacation that Nick had died the week before, shortly after traveling to christen the U.S.S. Yorktown. The restaurant was closed, and we were crushed to hear about his sudden death.
Nick and his wife Mary had created a great life in America after coming to this country with nothing. After starting out with many low-paying jobs, as is typical for immigrants, Nick and Mary, also a native of Greece, moved to Yorktown and opened a lunch counter. It soon grew to become a lavishly and somewhat overly decorated restaurant selling the freshest seafood cooked very simply unless it was incorporated into a traditional seafood dish such as Shrimp Givetsi.
Because I first fell in love with bluefish at the restaurant, I usually ordered that and did not have the Givetsi until 1977, when I was in Norfolk with a group of fellow campaign staffers for a state senator. We ordered the Givetsi for the table, and the staff brought a huge tureen for us to enjoy family-style. It was everything Bill had promised when he first described it.
In November of 1975, Gourmet published an article by Veronica Thomas titled “Our Virginia Heritage.” She wrote about Nick and his wife and their story, and the recipe for Shrimp Givetsi was included! We learned why it was so very good — it included nearly three-quarters of a pound of shrimp and one whole stick of butter per serving.
I was thrilled to finally have the recipe, but I confess that I never made it with that much butter at home, and it was still wonderful. But the other night I had shrimp, pasta, and mushrooms but decided to do something a little different with the local produce I had on hand. So I came up with my own Shrimp Givetsi recipe which was just as wonderful, if not quite so rich, and this one has a little green in it too. As much as Nick’s recipe has meant to us over the years, it means even more knowing that I can make it my own and still remember him and the restaurant every time I experiment with it.
The story of Nick and his wife was beautifully told by Ms. Thomas, and I want you to know the rest of the story about them — you can read part of the story here. It is a great story about giving back, and the last paragraph in particular reminds us of something we seem to have forgotten about our country in recent years that is well worth remembering.
See you at the market!