Something’s Brewing Brews More than Coffee
A coffee vendor at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, where customers buy fresh, and buy local, and buy healthy, might seem to be an oxymoron. But not so. A quick glance at the customers as they check out the locally raised produce, meat, dairy, eggs, at the Winter Market at the Division Street School reveals that many are carrying fresh cups of coffee, tea, hot chocolate or even lemonade from Beth Trattel’s Something’s Brewing.
Beth says that as many as 400 cups of beverages leave her stand each Saturday. “I enjoy the fast pace,” Beth said, “and also love to see the smiles on the kids’ faces when their parents buy them a cookie or a cup of hot chocolate or lemonade.” She added, “The customers appreciate a fresh cup of coffee or a cold drink prepared on site, and they don’t have to make a stop before arriving at the Market.” To be sure, the Market’s customers and especially many of the vendors are as fond of caffeine as the Average Joe.
About four years ago, the Summer Market was bereft of a coffee vendor, and coincidentally Beth Trattel had just closed her coffee shop on Main Street in Greenwich. At the urging of Marge Randles, who with husband Dave runs the Argyle Cheese Factory and is a long-time family friend, Beth decided to take another plunge into beverages. She had saved most of her equipment, and installed a commercial kitchen in her house in Greenwich.
At first she shared a stall with Dave at the Saturday Market, and the plan was that Beth would help Dave selling the Argyle Cheese Factory’s cheeses and yogurt as well her own beverages. That plan went awry almost immediately as customers stood in long lines for both vendors’ products.
Beth expanded with iced tea, coffee, and lemonade during the hot summer market, she hired help, and so did Dave. The stand, actually a large tent across from the hospitality shed, became busy enough that both vendors needed their own places at the Summer Market.
Walk into the main entrance to the Division Street School at the Winter Market and smell the coffee. Beth also buys local products as much as possible. She uses high quality beans from nearby Castleton Coffee Roasters, and says that the maple nut flavored coffee is very popular, especially because the coffee company uses real nuts to make the blend. Beth also offers a variety of teas, some of which she blends herself, and excellent hot chocolate made to order and not from those small foil packets. The dairy products are all from Market vendor Battenkill Valley Creamery.
Beth calls her stand the Market’s “dollar store,” and she works hard to keep her products affordable and priced one and four dollars. If you skip Beth’s stand because you don’t need a beverage, you’ll miss some of her most imaginative products, which include many local or farmers’ market ingredients.
The brown rice noodle and quinoa salads are gluten free, and include a variety of products from other Market vendors, such as salad greens, vegetables, herbs and cheese, and fruit in summer. This winter she made casseroles of mac-n-cheese using farmers’ market cheeses. The cookies and biscotti contain butter, and she makes her newest product, cheesecake, with Argyle Cheese Factory’s Greek yogurt and quark.
Beth is looking forward to the Summer Market (at the High Rock Park pavilions, starting Wednesday May 1 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday May 4 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) One new product for Wednesdays will be fruit smoothies, and as soon as strawberries arrive, watch for the strawberry lemonade, made with local berries. She loves the ambience and energy at the Market, especially being outside in summer.
Many customers have asked Beth for her recipe for quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) salad, and she has generously shared the recipe, which very easy to prepare and is printed below. Quinoa has become popular because of its nutty flavor and firm texture, and because it contains more high quality protein than any other grain and does not contain gluten.
Quinoa Salad with fresh vegetables and homemade dressing
(Ingredients marked * are available at the Saratoga Springs Farmers’ Market.)
Ingredients for a little over a cup of dressing
2 tbsp maple syrup *
2 tbsp local honey *
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ tbsp garlic powder from Pleasant Valley Farm *
1 tbsp good quality Dijon mustard
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Pinches of favorite dried herbs
Salt & pepper to taste
Put all ingredients into wide-mouth jar, cover and shake until very well blended, or emulsify with a hand immersion blender.
Ingredients for Quinoa Salad
1 cup dry red or white quinoa
2 cups (scant) water
1 tbsp salt
3-4 tbsp honey-maple-balsamic vinaigrette
Assortment of shredded vegetables, such as carrots, fennel, red onions, scallions.
Chopped fresh herbs to taste, such as lemon verbena, or Italian herbs *
Fresh salad greens *
Chopped roasted chicken (optional) *
Chopped cheese of choice (optional) *
Preparing the Salad
Bring the water to a boil in a pot with a tight fitting lid.
Add the quinoa and salt, and simmer, stirring once or twice, until all the water is absorbed.
Remove from the heat, let stand, then fluff with a large fork.
When cool add 4-5 tbsp vinaigrette and toss with a fork.
Add the shredded vegetables, fresh herbs, salt and pepper, and toss again.
Chill and serve over fresh market greens, which may also be tossed with more vinaigrette.
Optional additions are local cheese or chopped roasted chicken.