This Week At The Farmers Market by Charlene LeJeune

GROW.Farm December booth, 2012
GROW.Farm December booth, 2012

Hi, friends and a very jingly bells Tuesday to you all! I expect tomorrow to be a deliciously beautiful day – the perfect day for a trip to the Wednesday market and a lunch to make you forget about all the Black Friday/Cyber Monday madness …you’ve survived.
I really do love the holiday season – from Thanksgiving clear through to New Year’s Day! Like just the other night I was in my cozy little bed with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head and my dreams turned to the Covington Farmers’ Market (sorry, Mr. Wonderful). I probably shouldn’t have eaten that store-bought pizza. Anyway, I’m walking through the market and I overhear, “Oh, hon, wouldn’t this creamed honey (Blood River Honey) make wonderful gifts for your clients?” “I guess so.” (Why did you bother to ask him?) “Do you have 32 of these?” This is where you find out that there aren’t enough jars for the number of gifts you need. Quelle Nightmare!?
Well, that woke me up with a start and I got this flash of brilliance…wouldn’t it be great if you spent a morning at the Market (isn’t that where you’ll be anyway?) and get inspired gift ideas and then pre-order them? I know… it would be like having someone shop for you. So, before you begin decking your halls and trimming the tree, start making a list, checking it twice and, of course, visit the Covington Farmers’ Market.
Well, you know me; I’ve got to talk to the vendors about my scathingly brilliant idea!  Hey, Kevin, (Coast Roast) wouldn’t it be great if customers could order gourmet coffees in time for Christmas? “Sure,” he says, “I do it every year, whatever flavor they want – Ethiopian, Mexican, Bali. Apparently, Kevin must have had the same dream.
Michele, (Sweet Home, Sweet Earth) that ‘Miracle Balm’ you created would make fantastic gifts. Ever thought about taking orders? “Absolutely, I did that last year and it really worked out well for me and my customers!” Althee, those jellies will make great gifts; you should take orders for the holidays. “Yeah! I did that last year; my customers loved it.” Jamie, (Mauthe’s) your cheesecake is to DIE FOR! Have you thought about taking orders for the holidays? Sure, not only that, but we offer different sizes. Pam, (Lolly Marie’s Chocolates) your divine chocolates are the perfect gift. Who could possibly resist those luscious handmade Belgian chocolates? Have you thought of …“Sure, last year…” And so it went; was everyone in my dream? You’d think I’d be upset that everyone is having the same scathingly brilliant idea as me. But, I’m not! I’m having a ball… talking to everyone…listening to their plans and ideas…getting a few ideas of my own for gifts. There’s a reason I love being at this market.
Gina, (Bechac’s) maybe you can take orders for those wonderful jars of Brownies-in-a-Jar and Cowboy-Cookies-in-a-Jar for Christmas. “Waaay ahead of you on that. I may even have another kind but I have to test the recipe.” (Naturally, I volunteered my services) Then, Angel (Dolese’s Artichokes) piped in, “I’ve been asked to my make my Honey Mustard dressing again this year.” (Get those orders in early!) Vincent (Teresa’s Italian Cookies), can George do orders for those mixed bags of Italian cookies that are so popular? “Oh, sure, I even asked if he would make a smaller bag this year.” Suzie (Windfield Farms), will you have those amazing pumpkin Ooey Gooeys this year? Oh my goodness! Is that your raspberry crumb cake!? “Yes, I’ll have Ooey Gooeys and the raspberry crumb cake, pecan squares, and lemon squares.” Have I died and gone to heaven?! Focus, girl, focus…there are a lot more vendors to talk to.
Robin’s (Rockin’ Pepper Jelly) cranberry pecan and spiced apple pepper jellies simply sing out “Holiday”. (Hmmm! Cranberry pepper jelly glaze over leftover turkey…) Not just for salads, Jennifer’s (Basically Basil) vinaigrettes are perfect for dips, marinades, sauces, gifts. Tiffany (Farmhouse Dairy) will make a lovely goat cheese party tray per your request. (Pssst! Check out her goat milk soaps.) Bring home a blend of freshly squeezed orange, pineapple and strawberry juice! Definitely order ahead; Amanda says this blend is very popular. Bridget (Aunt Bee) is a fragrance artist. Think Frankincense & Myrrh or Cinnamon & Orange. Jasmine Aubert’s natural skin care products are terrific, but which do you choose – body powder? hand cream? No worries, gift certificates are available.
The girls at Windowsill Pies are planning an Amaretto Pear & Dried Cherry Pie with a leaf lattice topping (I know…my mouth is watering too.) Kombucha Girl is working on holiday blends to include cranberry, chocolate chicory bitters and a plum bitters. Melanie (Herbs & Spice) can make up a gift package of her herb and spice blends. Ask for her recipe for Moroccan Rice. Nuccio’s makes THE best olive salad – hands down! Their gift packages of orange, lemon, Cajun, garlic and basil olive oils go fast. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a basket of herbs to set in a sunny kitchen window? You can snip herbs from it anytime….and OH! the aroma!!! Alton & Sandra can make it happen.
On Saturday, Reed Alleman will be jingling your bells from the gazebo. Chompers BBQ will be in the cooking tent with samples of their incredible pulled pork, complete with their famous barbecue sauce.  If that doesn’t make you a jolly, happy soul, then you need to defrost with an immediate infusion of market cheer. We will be there with music and laughter. Won’t you join us?
Lots of love,
Charlene LeJeune
Abundant Life Kitchen

The Covington Farmers’ Market is open each Wednesday, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire and every Saturday from 8a.m. to 12p.m. on the side lawn of the Covington Police Station, 609 N. Columbia St. Call (985) 892-1873 for information or visit