Day Thirteen - Market Day
Seriously ... someone was taking the "Michael" ... when my alarm went off this morning ... dear Lord ... but ... I got up ... 5:45 a.m ... down to the school at 6:30 a.m. ... helped to load the truck and then a little spin to Midleton (an easy drive with no one on the road!), the farmers market is beside the car park of Super Valu and it quickly takes shape from 7:30 a.m. onwards ... Julia and Igor have been running the Ballymaloe stall for the last 9 years or so, Julia makes all the food for the markets and is a graduate of the Ballymaloe Cookery School, Igor is one of the gardeners that brings us amazing vegetables and herbs each day. Their efficiency at setting up the stall is worth seeing! The Ballymaloe stall has everything from fresh bread, fresh vegetables, raw milk yogurt, buttermilk, herb bunches, potted herbs, organic eggs, homemade sweet chilli sauce, ketchup, salad dressing, cakes, biscuits, chutneys, jams (sweet & savoury), sauces, soups, cookbooks and many more goodies ... and all need to be laid out for each farmers market (not just Midleton). I was joined by a fellow student from California, Jessica and we had a great laugh with Igor and Julia who were also eager and happy to share whatever information they could and to answer the thousands of questions we asked! It’s great to watch all the regular shoppers interact with them ... each customer has their own favourite and likes to talk about what they are buying ... from fresh Swiss chard to a gluten free sauce!
For Jessica and my parts we just refilled shelves and sample plates with sauces and bread and interacted with some customers! It was great to see young and old trying the samples and then buying based on taste! But the highlight for me was seeing the young kids take a piece of bread and trying the wild garlic pesto or chilli jam, smiling and then asking their parents to buy some ! How cool is that !
The whole famers market concept is fantastic ... I know in Luxembourg we have the Knuedler market twice a week but ... for me it doesn't have the same feeling as a local farmers market (maybe I need to revisit when I get back!) I did see Rory O'Connell at the market buying all local produce but I didn't get the opportunity to try sell him one of his own cookbooks ... next time (as long as he doesn't read this!!!)
The morning / early afternoon went really quickly and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I am not scheduled for any more slots on the market but I reckon if I'm nice to Julia and not steal anything from her kitchen next week I might get another few shots at using my customer relationship skills !!!
When I got back to the cottage I realised I needed a dose of home ... Lux / Greco home ... and as I had to practise a technique or two ... I decided to make my old favourite ... a Greek Chicken pie ... so jointing a chicken was completed (some more practice needed to perfect with fluidity) and I indulged in my dessert island food ... with some Greek yoghurt! 🇬🇷😇😜
A long enough day for a Saturday ... I think I will allow myself a lie on in the morning and then ... the world is my oyster ... or at least Youghal is ... time to pay an overdue visit to Tommy (my cousin) and Noelle and their 24 kids 😜