So this is my first formal post. Ok, I know there are other posts on the blog, but this one is not just about me and what I did, but it’s about some great people I met at the Westwood Farmers market.
I figured, since I wanted to start a blog that involved food, I would also need to talk about the people involved in getting those items on the table. Also, since my husband is starting his photography business, what better way to incorporate both our interests. Food and photography, AHHH a match made in heaven. So I convinced him to come with me to the market.
There we met some really great people, selling some really great stuff.
The first vendor I was drawn to was Pit Bull Pottery where we met a wonderfully talented lady by the name of Karen. In speaking with Karen, she told me that part of her proceeds goes to animal rescue. Being an avid animal lover (our own dog being a rescue) and pottery lover I was drawn to her wares.
She had the most beautiful mugs, bowls, teapots, plates, vases, cups and other items. They were all colorful and each unique in it’s own right. Karen also said that if I had an idea of the items I would be interested in, she would set up an appointment with me to see which ones I would like to purchase. I will be getting in touch with her really soon. I’m a huge pottery bowl collector and have my eye on a few interesting items. You can reach Karen through her email at Ksnyderk@aol.com
The 2nd vendor I met was Carol of Sweet Carol’s Handcrafted Jams. Carol was very excited about her product. She had traditional jams, jams with less sugar and jams with no sugar. Me, being a sucker for homemade jams and preserves, had to taste one. So I tried the “No Sugar added” Peach Jam. All I can say is, WHY ON EARTH would anyone want to add more sugar to something that is so naturally delicious. The peach jam was so yummy, I could have just eaten the whole jar with a spoon. Well done Carol! My goal is to stock my entire pantry with all her jams. Imagine all the different recipes, peach jam as a glaze on ham or chicken, strawberry jam over greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream, blueberry jam mixed through oatmeal. Oh my, all the things you can do. I can wait to get back to buy some more.
Another vendor that we met was Rob. He was selling his homemade beef jerky. I’m usually not a jerky fan, since my only experience has been the awful processed store bought type that is chewy like the sole of my shoe and as salty as seawater. Rob though, has changed my mind about jerky. All his products have ingredients that you know, like, sugar, honey, spices, garlic and there is no need for added preservatives. He is the First place with his teriyaki and second place with the smokey and spicy at the NJ State Fair and I can see why, you can taste the pride in his jerky. My husband and I tasted two flavors and one recipe that Rob is in the process of perfecting. The first flavor was Teriyaki. It was sweet, tangy and very tender piece of dried beef. The next was the “Smokey and Spicy” beef jerky. This jerky tasted like a piece of smoked brisket from a local BBQ joint, with a hint of spice that hit the back of your tongue. The last piece, was a test drive for his new recipe of Turkey Jerky, it had great flavor, but even Rob said it was a work in progress. In the end we decided to go with the Smokey and Spicy jerky. Well all I can say is, it didn’t even last the weekend because we ate it so fast. Rob can be reached by email at Jerkyrobnj@gmail.com
Last by definitely not least, hubby was thirsty and found this great lemonade stand. NO, not one that was run by the neighborhood 10 year old’s, but one that mixes fresh fruit with their fresh lemonade. This is not by any means your average lemonade, which is normally sugary sweet or insanely tart. I have yet to be able to find someone who can make a lemonade that has a great balance between sweet and tart. UNTIL NOW, meet Lizzmonade. Nicole, the young lady who was minding the stand, introduced us to this thirst quenching drink. It is a mix of their perfect lemonade with your choice of muddled fruit. On a hot day, it was just what the doctor ordered, the most thirst quenching drink that I have ever had. Hubby had two, they went down so fast. He had one strawberry and one watermelon. Nicole was so sweet she mixed a blackberry one for me and OH MY, was it great! When I told her that I was doing a blog about markets, she was so excited that she let us take her picture. Shout out to Nicole and thank you for selling a great drink on a hot day.
There are great treasures to be found at your local farmers market so get out there and see for yourself. Even if you don’t cook, it’s great to go to see what they have to offer. Don’t be ashamed to ask if you don’t know what something is, how it’s made or what to do with it. Even if you just buy one jar of Carol’s jams and put it on a slice of the bread from fresh bread vendor, you have now contributed to the local economy and you have tasted something that the local grocery store cannot offer, food products made and prepared with pride and love.
Check out the gallery of pictures and the great people I met.
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