Carter writes a food column for Newsday.
Farmer Ed Thompson of Flanders, decked out in a shirt printed with mule deer and pine trees, stood beside a stack of brown eggs packed into pale blue cartons, on sale for $6 each. Outside, his pickup was neatly stacked with seasoned wood, also for sale.
Dee Muma and Jeffrey Trujillo, owner and chef, respectively, of Tweed's in Riverhead and Dark Horse, which is under construction next door to it, wore fur-lined hats and offered samples of prizewinning local duck pate ($10 for half a pound).
This hardy band, together with Kathleen Werner, a nurse practitioner who concocts herbal products, are keeping the Westhampton Beach Farmers Market open in winter, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, inside Sydney's, a specialty food store at 103 Main St.
Root vegetables and greens are gone, yet market manager Elsie Collins, owner of 1880 Seafield House, a local bed-and-breakfast, was determined to carry on this winter, one of the coldest in recent memory.
Sometimes, Art Ludlow brings his cheese from Mecox Bay Dairy in Bridgehampton, and Alexandre Apparu, chef at The Wandering Palate, a caterer, shows up with quiche and other baked goods. Muma and Trujillo also had fresh potato chips, a delicious onion dip and an assortment of gluten-free baked goods, including chocolate chip cookies and bagels. (Their duck pate won best appetizer in the New York State Restaurant Association show.) They also feature a homemade "TV dinner," which that week was pasta with marinara sauce, organic beef meatballs and green beans.
Martine Louis of Quogue, a shopper, said in her French-accented English, that it is gratifying "just to know you support the local farmers in a very good atmosphere."
Grant Werner, Kathleen's husband, played his guitar and sang, an added reason to check out the market.
SLOW SCRAMBLED EGGS
Like M.F.K. Fisher, the late, famed food writer, I believe that nothing beats eggs scrambled slowly and patiently. And, of course, nothing beats a fresh egg like those from Ed Thompson's farm in Flanders.
2 tablespoons butter
6 fresh eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons cream or milk
1. In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, melt butter. If you do not have a double boiler, you can devise one by setting an ovenproof bowl over a saucepan of water.
2. Break eggs into a bowl and add salt, pepper and cream. Beat, not too vigorously.
3. Add eggs to melted butter and cook until they are the doneness you like, stirring from time to time. Go slow. This could take 15 minutes or longer. Makes 2 or 3 servings.