I love shopping in Farmers’ Markets – I love talking to the stall holders and wondering how I’m going to use their products. When I lived in Dublin I loved wandering around Temple Bar Market on a Saturday morning, deciding what to cook that evening. On a trip to San Francisco a few years ago I was in heaven in the Farmers’ Markets in Berkeley and in the Ferry Building. And then there was the fun exploring the St Lawrence Market in Toronto with some of my fellow Fáilte Ireland Food Champions.
So why not have a Farmers’ Market in Tullamore?
I’ve been Chairperson of Offaly Delicious Food Network for the last two years . We have a great group of food producers and earlier this year we decided to take the plunge and start our own market. It started it as a monthly venture and I’m delighted to say it’s proved so popular that since the beginning of September it’s now a weekly event. We want people to come and meet the producers and get to know the people and the stories behind their food and to transfer at least some of their weekly purchases from the supermarkets to the market .
As one of the market organisers I’m present at all the markets so it made sense that I should have my own stall but what to sell?
Regular readers of my blog may have gathered that I am very proud of all the amazing food we have in the Midlands. Therefore I decided on Salads and Savoury Bakes Stall using as much local and Irish ingredients as possible.
So far I’ve been baking a selection of different flavoured tartlets – all made using Glenisk organic cream and free range eggs; sausage rolls made using Pigs on the Green sausage meat flavoured with apples and sage from my garden and flavoured soda breads. Once the stall is set up my wonderful assistant James heads back to the kitchen to make a batch of fresh savoury scones which always sell out once they arrive! With the addition of a fridge (thanks Fergus!) we now also have three different salads every week. We’re trying out different recipes all the time and love getting suggestions and feedback from our customers.
I’m also stocking local Glen Field rapeseed oil which is grown, pressed and bottled by Fintan on his farm near Birr and is the oil that I use in most of my cooking. Another product I’ve taken on is the range of the fabulous ready to use Tastefully Yours Thai Cooking Sauces – one of the few ready-made foods allowed in my kitchen and of course I’m selling their amazing Sweet Chilli Sauce – all made by the lovely Audrea and Norbert 🙂
As well as my stall you’ll find lots to interest you – fresh breads from O’Donohue’s Bakery, delightful cupcakes from Vanilla Bean Bakery, organic vegetables from Lough Boora Farm, old syrup recipes brought to life by The Wild Irish, gluten-free goodies from Jenny’s Kitchen, soups and wraps from La Merienda, jams and chutneys from O’Gorman’s Cottage, tasty snacks from Snacktastic, all things chocolately from Ballyshiel, Cheeses from the Flying Cheese Brigade, sweet treats from Dee’s Kitchen and free range meats from Pigs on the Green and Quarrymount ………… And how could I forget two of my essentials – Andy and Alison from Packman Pizza and Mark from the Warehouse Cafe who keep us fed and watered 🙂
I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone else but if I have I apologise in advance.
So if you’re in Tullamore on a Saturday morning do call into the market in the Kilcruttin Business Centre and say hello. By the way did I mention the market is indoor and there’s lots of free parking.
If you can’t make it to the market you might like to try making my Black Pudding and Apple Soda Bread for yourself…
What you need:
- 450g/1 lb. white bread flour
- 1 level teaspoon salt
- 1 level teaspoon bread soda
- 340-400 ml / 12-14 fl.oz approx buttermilk
- 1/2 packet Inch House Black Pudding
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
What you do:
- Preheat oven to 230ºC/Gas 8
- Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl, making sure that you sieve in the bread soda.
- Chop the pudding and apples into small pieces. Mix into the dry ingredients.
- Make a well in the centre and pour in most of the buttermilk at once. The exact amount of buttermilk can vary, even according to the weather!
- Stir in the liquid until completely mixed but be very careful not to overmix.
- Divide the mix between two oiled 1 lb loaf tins (or 4 mini loaf tins)
- Bake in a hot oven for 20 minutes then reduce heat to 180ºC/Gas 4 for another 15-20 mins, or until just cooked.
- Remove the bread from tin and tap the bottom of the bread; if it is cooked it will sound hollow.
- Cool on wire rack .
I like this bread as a part of a tapas style starter but it’s good at any time 🙂
If you would like details on upcoming cookery classes, our catering service or indeed the Offaly Delicious Market you can contact me on 087 2488124 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Offaly Delicious Market is held every Saturday from 10-2 pm in the Kilcruttin Business Centre, Tullamore.