Coastal Alabama Farmers & Fishermens Market


Located in Foley, Alabama

Cooking Fresh Peas

You toilers of the sea and fields and vineyards

meet the weavers and the potters and gatherers of spices


Back in my college days, more years ago than I care to think about, like so many others of my generation, I became enamored with the writings of Kalhil Gibran and I still have several of his books and read them occasionally, particularly when I want a good quote or I want to find solace and quiet in the evening.  The Prophet, which was first published in 1923, is considered his masterpiece, translated into more than twenty languages, and has sold more than five million copies in the United States.  The Chicago Post wrote of The Prophet, “Cadenced and vibrant with feeling, the words of Kahlil Gibran bring to one’s ears (a) majestic rhythm.” 

Relating to a Farmers’ Market, Gibran wrote,

“To you the earth yields her fruit, and you shall not want if you but know how to fill your hands. 

It is in exchanging the gifts of the earth that you shall find abundance and be satisfied.

When in the market place you toilers of the sea and fields and vineyards meet the weavers and the potters and gatherers of spices.”

Such a poetic expression of the work of vendors who come to Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and to Forland’s Family Farm.  Speaking of weavers and potters, one aspect of the Market that I enjoy each week is the variety of vendors, not just food vendors.  Alice Noyes of Handwoven by Design fits the words of Kalhil Gibran and I enjoy looking at her baskets and pottery and have purchased several pieces of pottery and baskets from her.  Of course, there are several other such vendors – painters, jewelry makers, candle makers.  We are incredibly fortune to have such diversity in a single place. 

Recipe of the Week: 

Recently, fresh peas started showing up at the Market and I purchased a bag of already shelled pink-eyes.  By the way, many of my childhood memories are filled with summers spent in rural West Alabama, picking peas in the morning, shelling peas all afternoon, and then having been excused from chores, being too exhausted to play while my mother, grandmother, and aunts blanched and prepared the peas for freezing.  But, that’s another blog. 

Here’s what I did with the first bag of peas I bought at the Market.


Cooking Fresh Peas


1 slice of bacon, diced (George Family Farm)

1 cup, unsalted chicken broth

1 small onion, diced (available from numerous vendors)

1 bag of shelled peas (Forland’s or other vendors)

Filtered water

Thyme (from plant purchased from Lilly)

Sea salt

Hot sauce, pepper sauce, or Tony’s Tejas Salsa




1, In a pot, cook bacon over medium heat.

2. As the bacon starts getting wilted, add onions.  Stir often

3. After the bacon and onions are cooked thoroughly, turn the heat to high.

4. Watch carefully to prevent burning, but you want the bottom of the pan to have debris turning brown.

5. Pour in chicken broth and deglaze the pan with the bacon and onions still in the pan.

6. Turn the heat to low. 

7. Add water to even with the top of the peas.

8. Sprinkle with sea salt and add 2-3 sprigs of thyme.

9.  Cook slowly until peas are tender.  ~ 20 minutes.

10.Adjust salt to taste and serve with hot sauce, pepper sauce, or Tony’s Tejas Salsa.


I like eat fresh peas with mixed grain rice as a meal and enjoy with a glass of red wine.


Enjoy.  See you at the Market.


Bob Zeanah

Author of No Anchor (published November 2015)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Books a Million

Author of Work to Do (published July 2014)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Books a Million

14410 Oak Street

Magnolia Springs AL  36555

251-752-5174 mobile device 




Chopped Ham Steaks

Welcome to our new blog. I am Heather Pritchard. As Market manager, I have come to know many of our loyal customers. Often we delight in sharing how wonderful the products are and what dishes we have created. Cooking from the market is an experience where the plan comes together as we shop. Eating local is about what was harvested today! What is fresh and available changes with the seasons. This creates diversity in our diets and allows creativity in our daily meals. Bob Zeanah is a friendly face each week. He is also a writer. I welcome him as our first guest blogger. He will be sharing his weekly cooking experience with simple meals that have come together for him each week.  If you would like to share your recipes from the CAFF Market and from Forland Family Market. Please let me know in person at the market or by email at Here's Bob!

On a Saturday evening, after having visited Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market, as I was creating supper without the use of a recipe, I realized that as a result of my weekly visits this style was now the way I cooked most of the time -- created my own recipes using ingredients purchased at the Farmers' Market or from Forland’s.  Why not write down these recipes, share with the people from whom I buy stuff and share with other people who shop as I do?   A few years ago, there was a cookbook that won several book awards, both as a non-fiction book and as a cookbook.  The cookbook consisted solely of recipes using foods found at the San Mateo, California Farmers’ Market.  While I’ve never been there, I am certain what we have at Coastal Alabama beats anything they might have in San Mateo.  Also, I’m certain that our vendors are some of the nicest people you will meet anywhere. 


At Heather Pritchard’s encouragement and invoking my own provincial pride, I offer a recipe to you each week.  By the way, I am not a trained chef/cook by any means.  This is just me experimenting.  As a caveat, I created a self-imposed rule that Coastal Alabama cookbook recipes MUST contain at least three items purchased at the Farmers' Market and/or Forland Family Farm and identify from whom purchased, if possible.  Here’s my first recipe to share.


Recipe for Chopped Ham Steaks



[Note:  First three ingredients were purchased at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermen’s Market]


4 chopped ham steaks (purchased from George Family Farm)

1 shiitake mushroom (purchased from Terry Underwood) cut in strips (1inch X ¼ inch)

1 Tablespoon of diced onion (could be purchased from several vendors)

Flour and black pepper mixed 1 cup & ½ teaspoon

Olive oil

~½ cup White wine

~¼ cup No salt added chicken broth




Dredge chopped ham steaks in flour/black pepper mix

Over medium heat, in a large pan, add olive oil.

Cook ham steaks, allow room between each, for 5 minutes.  Turn, cook 5 more minutes.

Remove steaks to warm platter

Turn heat to high.  When debris is golden brown add white wine and chicken broth.  Deglaze pan.

Add strips of the mushroom and diced onions.

Cook down stirring constantly until mushrooms and onions are soft and liquid is reduced in half.

Remove heat and let rest 5 minutes.

Serve ham steaks and ladle reduction sauce over the steaks.


This is what I had for supper that night along with brown rice, black-eyed peas (recipe to follow next week), and a glass of red wine.  


See you Saturday at the market.


Bob Zeanah

Author of No Anchor (published November 2015)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Books a Million

Author of Work to Do (published July 2014)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Books a Million

14410 Oak Street

Magnolia Springs AL  36555

251-597-2797 landline

251-752-5174 mobile device 




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