Friday, November 26, 2010

End of the Season at St Stephen's Market

Harmony Hill farm lays it all out for you..

About a month ago I ventured over to St. Stephen's Market for one of the last of it's summer markets. I had been once earlier in the summer, but not since. My husband and I arrived cash and shopping bags at hand, but this time rather than worrying quite so much about filling my shopping bags I was going to stop and take the time to enjoy more of what the market has to offer. I stopped at the first stand we came to even though I was certain I wasn't going to buy anything. I was wrong. An array of different savory cheesecakes, jams, jellies, and desserts lay before us. Before I knew it I was being invited to sample one, then four different cheese cakes as well as the Damson Plum Butter I was eyeing, and that beautiful looking key lime pie. I tried them all. I really should have gotten some of that Damson Plum Butter. It was so good. I said we'd be back for a cold Key Lime Pie wedge (enough for 2 people for $5) as we were heading out. On to the next stop....

I sampled four different kinds of Cyndi's hot pepper and fruit jellies like Mango Habenero, and Roasted Plablano. All were good, but I fell for the Peach Habenero combo. Next, at Night Sky Farm's stall we bought a $3 block of Sweet creme table butter. Everyone at the market, other vendors included swore this was the best butter they had ever tasted. I sampled Night Sky's marinated feta. Jars filled with feta cheese, herbs and olive oil sat on the table, and multiple customers came here just to get this treat. After some nice leisurely conversation with the owner I walked away with the block of butter, and a package of creme cheese to top of that pepper jelly.

Our next stop was the adjacent Haashooms. That's the name of Steve Haas' mushroom business. Steve's a laid back seeming guy, and like everyone here he seemed happy to stop and talk with his customer's. We selected a lion's mane mushroom and some oyster mushrooms. We had a nice time, and learned a few things about growing mushrooms.

This handsome fella was painted by an artist who sells her paintings, including portraits of customers dogs at St. Stephens. We spent a long time talking with her and her husband, and are definitely going to get a portrait of our own pup. We had fresh eggs, bread, produce, cheese, butter, pepper jelly, and mushrooms. By the end of this beautiful morning it was time for lunch. We wondered over to Jazzbo's Rollin' Gumbo truck. I got the chicken gumbo and my husband got the Jambalaya. We stopped there to chat with the owner who is an old acquaintance, and then headed out grabbing the last slice of key lime pie from that first vendor.

On the way out we passed Erin who manages this market and I told her in all honesty that this was possibly the most fun we had ever had at a farmers market. Laid back, friendly vendors mix perfectly with a pleasant atmosphere and plenty of great finds. Happy and ready to head home we approached our vehicle only to discover I had locked the keys in car. Curses! Okay well, a phone call for help was made. Luckily, the car was parked under the shade of a tree. Great music was being preformed by Haze of Haze and the Transients. We had an impromptu picnic of Gumbo, Jambalaya, and jalapeno cheddar bread. We even had key lime pie for dessert. Just as we finished our lunch help arrived. What magical place is this?! I look forward to visiting this market more often next summer.

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