Dear Jon

Dear Jon
Dear Jon
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 Richmond has a farmers’ market going in some neighborhood almost every day of the week. Each one runs during different times of the day, making it possible to accommodate almost anyone’s schedule.


– Carytown’s market: Sundays noon – 4pm

– Byrd House Market: Tuesdays 3:30 – 7pm

– Hardywood: Wednesdays 4-8pm

– Tricycle Gardens’ farm stand; Thursdays 4-6

– South of the James Market (The Grande Dame): Saturdays 8am-noon.

There is a Lakeside market, a Goochland market and the list goes on.


Some close this time of year and some remain open through the winter with fewer offerings. At any particular market you can find pretty much all of a week’s local, seasonal produce, dairy, proteins, bread, preserves, jams and even prepared soups. Moreover, there is often live music, craft artists and specialty prepared food vendors, creating a lively and engaging ambiance.


Right now, at the peak of our autumn, the time is “ripe” for a couple of things: Fall fruit and baking. So, this weekend, while picking up all of my kitchen goodness for the week, I couldn’t miss the bounty that so many of the local farmers had to offer: Virginia apples. I was most enticed by the Jonathan, which was a new one for me. I was told that Virginia Jonathan apples are the first red apples available in the Fall and are the ideal all-purpose apple. After hearing that they are equally delicious for snacking, cooking and baking – and are perfect for candy apples – I grabbed up a bag.


The first bite of my Jonathan was beguiling – earthy and at the same time exotic with a unique blend of sweet and tart. To the eye they appear to be a standard red, but upon closer inspection, their skin combines light red stripes over yellow or deep red. I’m telling you, walk, no, run, to your local farmers’ market tp get a bag of these Virginia Jonathan apples for yourself,,,and bake this cake.


Apple Walnut Cake with Lemon Vanilla Glaze




1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, stir before measuring

1 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

2 cups finely chopped peeled apples

1 cup chopped walnuts

Lemon Vanilla Glaze, below



In a large mixing bowl, blend all ingredients except chopped apples and walnuts with electric mixer. Stir in chopped apples and nuts. Pour into a generously greased and floured 10-inch Bundt cake pan or tube pan. Bake at 325° for 55 to 65 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes; turn out onto serving plate to cool completely. Drizzle with a vanilla glaze.


For the Lemon Vanilla Glaze

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup+ confectioners’ sugar, sifted


Combine lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl and whisk until smooth, playing with lemon juice and sugar ratios until desired glaze consistency and flavor has been reached. Drizzle glaze over cake and serve immediately. Store cake in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.



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