Sunday, December 20, 2009

Market Report: 12/19/09

Yes, I'm a day late in offering this week's market report, the last of 2009. I admit it. But I trust you'll forgive me when I tell you that after the market yesterday, I took things home and then ran away to The Farm to collapse in peace and quiet.

Yesterday we had the final holiday farmers' market at Local Roots -- the last market day of the year since we are now closed for renovations and will reopen in mid-January. So we had to make it memorable, with plenty of tasting samples and some festive decorations and music.

As I mentioned previously, the Renaissance Man offered the idea of using his various sailor's knots as decoration -- and as inspiration for my baked goods. He made a trio of monkey's fists for the occasion, one with a long length of rope to dangle it from (as seen here).

One end of the table held my yeast breads (artisan loaves, challah, pain aux noix) and other savory treats (pretzels, pesto scone twists, sesame crackers, rosemary walnuts)...

...while the other end held the rosemary-walnut cider twists and all the sweet stuff (biscotti, cookies, and baklava). Whew!

As far as selling, my day went well but not outstandingly as I still had a good deal left over, but I'm sure I'll be sharing those with others this week and saving myself a big final round of holiday baking! Besides, I can always enjoy a few good snacks myself, as can the Renaissance Man.

As for my buying, though, I did find some irresistible treats:

--pizzelles, crackers, and garlicky hummus from the Spelt Baker
--lime green Romanesco (somewhere between broccoli and cauliflower) from the Amish Farmer
--croutons from the Young Amish
--buckeyes from a new lady
--lettuce and a delicious herb dipping mix from the Cheerful Lady
--two half-pound bags of terrific locally-roasted coffee beans from One Happy Guy (a fellow contra dancer)
--"Spellbinder" cookies from the same lady who had dried beans before
--maple cream from the Maple Man (who also gave me a pound of maple sugar outright toward the end of the day)

One of the things I'm really enjoying as a fellow producer at the farmers' market is the camaraderie among the people:

--I made a loaf of artisan bread for the Cheerful Lady to use in selling her herb dipping mix -- something she had me taste-test last weekend -- and at the end of the day, after she had sold all her prepared packages, she gave me the rest of the sample package. (She also gave a couple of her sample jars of jam to the Renaissance Man.)

--The fabulous Jen gave me a handful of her apple watercolor notecards since she knows I love her work, so at the end of the day, I gave her a small loaf of bread that hadn't sold.

--The Amish Farmer invited me down to her family's farm to look around sometime, and she added a smiling invitation to tea: a real treat!

--One Happy Guy and I made a market-end swap: for a half-pound bag of his decaf coffee, I gave his camera-happy wife a small tray of baklava. (She had brought her German cheesecake and linzer torte to the market for samples, and she kept me well supplied during the day.)

--The Cheese Guy offered me a pizzelle from his stash earlier in the day, and he laid out a few blocks of assorted cheeses at the end of the market to share with other producers. (The packaging hadn't met his high standards, so a couple of pieces showed just a touch of mold, but those of us who love good cheese will never be daunted by that!)

--The Dulcimer Dame, a big fan of my ginger-pecan biscotti, gave me a little sachet of her herbs as a sweet scented gift for the holidays.

Obviously, we'd all rather sell stuff and have the money, but sometimes swaps work out just as well, if not better!

I also left the market with a special order for more baklava for next week, so though my market days are done for now, I'm not really quite done with baking (or with making a little money).

But boy, am I ready for a bake break!

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