The Port Arthur News
PORT NECHES —
There was more than reading going on at the Effie and Wilton Public Library in Port Neches on Thursday.
Jay Cockrell, with the AgriLife Extension Office, was on hand to discuss how to make the best use of the local Farmer’s Markets and offer a cooking demonstration using the fresh ingredients.
From a meeting room inside the library, Jay Cockrell stirred a wok filled with a mixture of garlic sautéed in olive oil, fresh yellow squash and zucchini and herbs as an attentive, albeit small, audience looked on and even participated.
Valerie Fay, who was in attendance with her mother, Donna Menkin, stepped up to the table and volunteered to chop various herbs.
Fay is already a fan of fresh herbs and has an herb garden, she said.
“She loves to cook natural,” Menkin said of her daughter’s passion for cooking using fresh ingredients.
Cockrell cooked up a dish of yellow squash and zucchini, some whole wheat spiral noodles with fresh marinara and some cool cucumbers with Greek yogurt and fresh dill, peppering her conversation with facts about which vegetables are in season and the use of herbs to boost flavor.
The AgriLife Extension instructor did not bring printed recipes for the dishes she prepared. Her reasoning, she said, is for people to have an open mind when they shop their local farmer’s markets. People will look at whatever vegetable or fruit is in season and offered and think of different dishes that can be made with those items.
“And even if you can’t have a garden, you can still grow herbs in a pot,” Cockrell said. “Or even a patio or other small space and use it year-round.”
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