Classes & Events | It's coming! Ms. Maggie P.'s Afternoon Tea


Working on a little dream, over here.....

Ms. Maggie P (that's me!) has been pining for tea. A formal tea, that is. With all of the fancy teapots and china cups and tiny cakes and biscuits and tea sandwiches and more. Once a month. Every month.

With a carefully selected playlist, a menu of sweets and savories, hats, if you'd like, and your favorite Spring dress, or your well-worn jeans and boho finery, or your grandfather's pocket watch, or your 3-piece searsucker suit....it's like a French salon meets British hotel lobby all at once in funky South Austin. 

SATURDAY, APRIL 28
3-4:30 PM
TICKETS, HERE
Let's get fancy!

Treat yourself to a sweetly civilized and tasty afternoon.

In this special Saturday class, learn by demonstration, sampling, and example, to host the perfect Afternoon Tea. 

Enjoy sweet and savory nibbles like biscuits, jams, tea sandwiches, petite tartines and more, and learn the dos and don'ts of a perfectly prepared pot of tea. 

Naturally, we'll explore the proper etiquette of the afternoon tea, as well. In fact if you've yearned to some day pull out those white cotton gloves tucked in the back of a drawer, or hoped to find a reason for wearing your mother's pillbox hat or your father's pocket watch, this is the perfect opportunity! 

We'll even get a little crafty, pulling out our favorite scrapbooking supplies to create pretty little tea cards designed to keep up with your favorite blends, as well as creating a "frequent drinker" record. Attend 5 monthly teas, and the 6th is on me!

Hoping to teach a young lady or lad some manners? Perhaps consider a special Saturday date for two. 

Not a tea drinker? No worries. We'll have a French Press with coffee, and pristine citrus and herb-infused ice water as well. Fancy a more adult beverage? It's BYOB so bring along your drink of choice!

While tickets must be purchased for each guest, all ages are welcome. Guests under 18 accompanied by adult, please. 


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Headed to the Farmers' Market this weekend? Here's your buying guide for In Season | April


To get the most bang for your buck at the farmers' market, familiarize yourself with what is in season, and you'll be certain you're getting the freshest from the field.

You'll find the guide here, as well as linked to on the right side bar of the desktop version of the blog. There is an updated monthly guide posted every month, in fact.

Find all the fruits, vegetables, and proteins available at markets throughout North America in the month of April and more. Stymied by kohlrabi? Not sure the best method to cook cod? Need some inspiration for cooking eggs? Click on the link for EVERY ITEM-- I've updated the guide to provide a little nudge towards healthy, wholesome, simple meals you'll enjoy any and every night of the week.


If you're in the Austin area, stop by the Texas Farmers Market at Lakeline on Saturday, 10-12 noon, and at Mueller Lake on Sunday, 11-1pm where I'll celebrate Earth Day with marketgoers and share how to turn oft-discarded scraps into glorious stocks, while saving nutrients, dollars, and our Mother Earth.

I'd love to see you there!

Hey, y'all. I made something new | Maggie Perkins | April 2018

A sneak snippet of this month's inaugural issue, be sure to check out the full issue here,  
and sign up to keep it coming to your inbox, here
So.......I did something.

I'm so excited to share with you a project a long-time coming. A MONTHLY NEWSLETTER.

Monthly, and occasionally more often. Maybe. We'll see. But for certain, whenever they go out, they'll contain information about classes, events, occasional free promotions and discount codes for classes, favorite recipes, monthly gardening guides, and more.


Let's dish about delicious, y'all!

Thank you for your encouragement and support over the years of this blog, and for following my real-life food adventures in the form of exploring, teaching, and writing, as well. It is all a lot of hard work, a mix of sweat, salt and laughter, and a big dream come true, and none of it could have gone anywhere without you.

Check out the link to this month's newsletter, and be sure to sign up so you won't miss a thing From Maggie's Farm!

Thirsty Thursday | Leftover wine?

Leftover wine lingering in your fridge? Some $4 bottle collecting dust in the pantry? 

Or maybe a red leftover from a party, but you like whites, or a white brought as a host gift but you like reds?

Seems like some great ways to get rid of them. And a super excuse for a party! Waste not, want not you know. 

Cheers!



Farmers Market Favorite | Oyster & Mushroom Spring Stew | Market Chef Maggie Perkins

Well the lion was back this weekend in Austin, Texas.

If March can be said to come 'in like a lion and out like a lamb', then April got a surprise re-visit.

Friday night was quite humid, and when I finally hit the hay sometime after midnight, it was still in the mid-70s, 60+% humidity, with an impressive light show in the northern sky but no real (promised) rain. Much lower temps had been promised. I had my doubts.

Shame on me! Because despite my distrust, the weatherman was redeemed, storms did arrive, I slept through most of the theatrics, and awoke to temps in the 40s. Upon reaching the farmers market in Cedar Park, I was met with a morning so blustery that outdoor cooking was, well, fruitless. It was cold, getting colder, windy, getting windier, rainy and getting rainier. The chef's demo was cancelled.

Sunday proved to be, while chillier than usual, clear, and at least a little warmer than the day before. I headed out to Mueller Lake and summoned Spring with herbs and shellfish, while accommodating a little late last taste of winter with a soul and tummy-warming stew.


The flavors are bright and crisp like spring-- the waters still cool enough to promise fresh, briny oysters and slightly cool nights still kissing greens and sweet onions to promise bright, but not bitter, herbal hints. Earthy mushrooms, each variety lending it's own unique note to a symphony-- yield layers of taste. Garnishing bowls with Cajun-spiced pecans added another texture, and a hint of peppery salt that enhanced but did not overpower the bowl. It was a big hit.

While it tastes as if the flavors have unfolded gradually in an all-day simmer, you can actually pull this together pretty quickly. Grab the ingredients, below, pick up a freshly-baked baguette and good quality unsalted butter, and maybe add a lightly dressed salad, and we'll have dinner in less than an hour.

If you like a glass of wine with your meal, I'd go with a Chardonnay or white Burgundy. If you're a fiend for bubbly, Champagne is always a safe choice as far as I'm concerned. Always.



Oyster & Mushroom Spring Stew
Serves 6

Ingredients

1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1 bunch spring onions with green tops, sliced
1 cup assorted mushrooms, caps and tender stems, sliced & divided
1 quart chicken stock, low sodium
1 pint oysters with liquor, divided & reserved
4 sprigs thyme
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves only, separated

1 pint whole milk
salt, cayenne & black pepper to taste
Cajun-spiced pecans, optional garnish

In a medium pot over medium high heat, melt unsalted butter. Stir in flour, 1/4 cup at a time, incorporating with butter fully before adding the next 1/4 cup. Stir constantly until it reaches a nutty fragrance and a tan color. Reduce heat and stir in onions and mushroom stems. Stir frequently, cooking until white onions are transparent and greens, limp.


Return heat to medium high. Add stock 1 cup at a time, stirring thoroughly to combine with roux. Bring to a boil to facilitate thickening. Add the liquor of oysters, only, thyme, and half of parsley. Bring all to a boil, then reduce to a rolling simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat for 5 minutes.


Remove thyme stems. With an immersion blender. puree soup. (Alternatively, use a blender or food processor, in batches, adding back to a clean pot cupfuls at a time.) Return to a low burner, add sliced mushroom caps, season with salt, cayenne, and black pepper to taste. (Alternatively, Creole seasoning can be used as a substitute or in conjunction with salt and peppers.) When soup reaches a full, rolling simmer, add oysters and milk. Cook about 3-5 minutes, or until warmed through, oysters are opaque and edges are curled. Correct seasonings again. Remove from heat.

Garnish with remaining parsley and spiced pecan pieces.

Texas Farmers Market vendors and farmers that provided food free of charge for this chef demonstration, upon request, include K&S Seafood (oysters), Hi-Fi Mycology (mushrooms), Yegua Creek Farms (Cajun-spiced pecans), and JBG Organic (onion, thyme, parsley).

Looking for another healthy version of Oyster Bisque?


For additional information about this gluten-free, low(er) fat, low(er) calorie favorite with all of the richness of its decadent parent, including local Texas Farmers’ Market vendor and farmer sources, see this link.


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