Memphis Farmers Market news

We got off to a very slow start Saturday. I had a birthmark removed from the top of my head Thursday. There was a very slim chance it could have eventually become cancerous. But, far worse, should my hair ever begin to thin, I would be left with a rather ugly mark in plain view. My minor surgery was a success, but it left my head feeling like a nice tomato with a nasty bump. It took multiple attempts, but Mama Squirrel did finally rouse me from my drug-addled state so that we could head to the market.

We arrived at noon, only an hour before closing, and got to see an entirely different market than the one we’re used to seeing early on Saturday mornings. Several of our friends were packing up or already gone, having sold all their wares. Others were still there, but they were not swamped with crowds like normal, so we got to talk to them.

We also got to talk to some of the new folks at the market like the Sparkling River Pepper Company from Mt. Olive, Arkansas. This was their third week at the market. They won’t be there on August 30, but they will be back the week after that, and they hope to be at the market the rest of the year.

They have a great selection of fresh peppers, but where they really won us over is with their roasted and smoked peppers. Some of their peppers are actually roasted right at the market. That’s fun to watch. Their hickory smoked peppers are so fragrant that a good whiff is almost as satisfying as a bite.

Mama has made two batches of tomato jam each using a different variety of smoked pepper in each. She promises to blog about those soon. We also want to talk to them more and bring you more of their story.

Another excellent vendor that we plan to talk about soon is McCarter Coffee Company. Mama’s folks, Nana and Granddaddy Squirrel are serious coffee drinkers. Every year for Christmas, we get them a coffee of the month club membership. They love it, but we learned quickly that the one pound a month they are getting falls short. McCarter Coffee to the rescue.

We pick up an extra pound for them at least once a month. Last week McCarter had coffee with chicory. That was all for us. Cold brewed and mixed with milk and simple syrup, our mornings have gotten much better lately.

Another vendor that we need to talk more about soon is Grandma’s Desserts. We sampled their sweet potato pie and honey walnut pie recently. The honey walnut was excellent, but the sweet potato was beautiful beyond words. One day, I am going to sneak to the market without Mama and have one of those pies. Just a man, a spoon, and a pie. I wouldn’t ask me to share if I were you.

Finally, there is our lovely friend Uele Siebert of Groovy Foods. Uele was featured in a great story in the Spring issue of Edible Memphis. Check out that story and stop by to talk to Uele about her holistic products. And naturally, since Uele has such a healthy line of products, we talked about fried catfish and greens. Naturally.

We’re going to miss the market next weekend, but we’ll be back with more news. Plus we have several market finds that we need to get caught up on.

But until then, if you will excuse me, it is time for my meds. Maybe I should write these things after… Nah.

Jennifer Chandler at Davis Kidd
Lunch at Interim

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