Getting Set on Saturday

The first Saturday of the month is always a frenzy of activity in my cottage. Getting sorted out for the Dargle Market. My tomato plants are still producing prolifically, so I had lots to harvest, weigh, package and sell.

This week I had so much to do, I actually started earlier. In advance I made aioli, onion confiturra, pecan and parsley pesto and labelled the jars. The confiturra is really just marmalade with rosemary and is truly delicious.  Aioli is so easy to make with fresh farm eggs, local garlic, karoo oil and kalahari salt, although my arm does get a little tired from the whisking. Pounding pesto is not too hard either as I chop up the nuts and parsley first, and it is fun to bash away.

I used the abundance of onions in season now to make pissaladiere, delicious “onion pizza”. Onions are slowly caramelised with bay leaves until golden brown and gooey.

I slathered them onto focaccia and baked for half an hour.

Dizzy and I walked down to our neighbour, Barend’s, “fruit cage” to collect tree tomatoes (they have fallen off the tree now so I can just scoop them up) and

Cape gooseberries. A bit of a palaver to pick, but with a good shake of the bush they fall off and can be picked up off the ground too.

Barend also dropped of a bunch of his Venda Chicken eggs, which I put into boxes (old ones with the garish labels peeled off). I adore packaging and enjoy the creativity of not using too many unneccessary resources.

Sharon’s raw milk and grapefruit cordial went into these clear plastic bottles (re-used, obviously), as I really don’t believe they would have sold in blue containers. Her mozzarella just gets a twirl of twine to jazz it up.  I add deposit to every product that comes in a bottle or jar to encourage shoppers to return them, and they do!

My Cardomom and Lemon Cookies go into compostable cellophane packets.

All the while I had bread rising and baking – both to sell as ciabatta and to make focaaccia to use in my new product this week – Seasonal Sarmies.

At the last few markets, there has only either been duck rolls or cakes to eat, neither of which appeal to me, so I decided to offer something new. They went down a treat.

Of course, there are always bunches of mixed greens to pick and tie up – I couldn’t go to the market without a big bowl of greens.

Whew, I’m pretty exhausted before the market even begins, but as soon as everyone starts to set up and the customers arrive, I perk up and have a whole lot of fun! You can read about the market day at http://darglelocalliving.wordpress.com/posts/

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