Fresh & New: December 5-11

Alex Jones, Farmstand Product Manager If you're like me, you've spent the past week stuffing yourself to bursting with, among other things, stuffing - and tempering that overindulgence with simple, veggie-based meals to try to reach some kind of nutritional equilibrium. Our region's cold weather and hardy crops this time of year bring on a dual craving for heartier foods and fresh, green, crunchy things. Fortunately, the Farmstand has everything you need to indulge when appropriate and keep it light when you need to this winter.

In the spirit of the holiday, we'll start on the decadent side - and it doesn't get much richer than EGGNOG from Trickling Springs Creamery. This creamy, grass-fed nog tastes amazing on its own or spiked with your favorite dark spirit (I'm partial to Kraken spiced rum these days). Trickling Springs also makes the best ORGANIC BUTTER around, available in one-pound salted or unsalted blocks. And I have a feeling you'll be the star of your seasonal cookie swap if you combine the two (along with some DAISY FLOUR and a few other ingredients) in these eggnog cookies. And don't forget that we're stocking John & Kira's artisan chocolates for the perfect potluck dessert or host/hostess gift.

When you want to satisfy a craving for rich, wintry foods without eating macaroni and cheese 24/7 (as I often dream of doing), look to our wide selection of friendly root vegetables: CHEMICAL FREE PARSNIPS, RUTABAGAS, and JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES all lend themselves well to creamy, cheesy, and/or breadcrumb-topped dishes (as do brassicas CAULIFLOWER and ROMANESCO, which are still hanging on - let's hope their season isn't ended early by frost).

As we at Fair Food remind you each winter, local food doesn't end when the typical growing season does: our farmers use hoop houses and high-tunnel greenhouses to keep salad crops, cooking greens, and microgreens going through to spring, plus creative cold storage methods for roots and apples keep them as fresh when you buy them in February as the day they were harvested. Blue Moon Acres' salad greens are done for the year, but we're expanding our selection of their CHEMICAL-FREE MICROGREENS - look for their MICRO HERB BLEND and MICRO RED KALE in our produce cooler. And Landisdale Farm brings us CERTIFIED ORGANIC ARUGULA and BABY SPINACH all winter long to keep your salad bowls full. Taproot Farm's COLLARD GREENS, KOMATSUNA, and new SAVOY CHOY are all great for quick sautés or low-and-slow braises. And Tuscarora Organic Growers' GREEN or CHINA ROSE RADISHES add lots of color, crunch, and a hint of spiciness to any dish.

Lastly, don't forget our NO-SPRAY HEIRLOOM CRANBERRIES from Paradise Hill Farm - great for holiday baking and gifts like muffins, preserves, and infused spirits.