Tuesday 20 December 2011

Christmas Farmer's Market - a labour of love...

Yesterday was the Christmas Farmer's Market. I was up until 2am on Sunday night preparing....icing these dark chocolate & rum cupcakes with whipped milk chocolate chestnut frosting...
tying up little bags of Brownie Bites & my Alternative Christmas Truffles (which are - deep breath - gluten, wheat, dairy & fat-free, with no added sugar & suitable for vegans too! also, despite all that, totally delicious!)
making labels for the loaf cakes...

and finishing the decorations on the Christmas cakes (this one was spelt, apricot & brandy)
I was up at the crack of a very frosty, sparkly dawn...packing the car and filling flasks with very hot coffee to keep me sustained! I also (from experience) knew to wear as many layers as i could - 4 in all. I resembled the Michelin Man, but I was warm...for a while!
I laid out the stall so that it looked as Christmassy and enticing as possible...

Fresh Cranberry Orange Muffins...

plenty of Mince Pies (baked with orange pastry)

my brownies of the month were Frosty Mint...loved sprinkling the glitter & piping the decorations on these...

and then the heavens opened. It poured and poured. Freezing, unending rain.Absolutely miserable. And this, coupled with the fact that our market is usually on the 4th TUESDAY of the month and no-one appeared to know that this one was on a Monday meant that most of my hard work went un-noticed! I did have quite a few regular customers who just stumbled upon the market by sheer chance and were upset that they hadn't realised earlier...but otherwise, it was all fairly miserable and disheartening and, above all, COLD!! Luckily, my 'baby' sister Lucy & nephew Will came to help me pack up at the end and I took them out for a lovely lunch afterwards. I can sell much of what I made elsewhere, but I also thought it would be nice to pack up some boxes of treats to take round to the neighbours this week...and, of course, my family will benefit from the extra cakes & brownies at Christmas!
Despite the lack of footfall, I'm very pleased to say that ALL of my Panforte (recipe in my last post) sold in record time!
So , if you haven't already, it may be an idea to make some for the festivities! I'll be baking some more tomorrow....
Stay warm and enjoy all the preparations. It's a magical time of the year (unless you're standing in the cold & wet for 6 hours that is....!) xo


  1. I'm sorry to hear that the Farmer's Market didn't go as well as it should have. It's unfortunate that many customers didn't know about the change of date. Maybe next year, they should keep the same day (last Tuesday of the month). It is great to hear that you played elf & packed up some sweet gifts for your lucky neighbours. I'm sure your family is glad you have leftovers so they can all dig in during the holidays!! I must tell you...what a great job you did with the labels and packaging. Everything looks beautiful! It IS a magical time of year...enjoy these last few days!

    Rosinda xoxo

  2. It is bedtime and now I am hungry.

  3. Ohh you poor thing freezing your keester off waiting for customers who had no clue they should be there. I guess they're in a cranky state today as they look for you and find you absent. It all looks so delicious and enticing so of course you can sell them but I'm really sorry you had to stand in the rain to sell little. Next time they do this remind them to post signs weeks in advance and maybe print out some flyers the prior month for your regulars so they can take them and remember the change. Sending many hugs!

  4. I would have bought the whole lot from you! The kids would have hoofed up what was left over. Makes me mad that people just don't think about things when you've worked so hard. Love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  5. Terrible to have to stand in cold rainy weather and not have more customers to enjoy your beautifully packaged and yummy looking desserts.
    Advertising early (if they didn't) surely would have helped a little but many people probably wanted to stay cozy in their homes.
    Oh nice you a turning it around by sharing the bounty with family and friends. Great idea that I'm sure will be greatly appreciated. Everything looked lovely and very enticing.

  6. Oh, Rachel! It must have been miserable having to stand out in such weather! I would have loved to be able to shop at your Market, though.
    We are having unseasonably warm weather here, and lots of rain during the past two days have made for very soggy conditions.
    I send along wishes for a wonderful week-end! Be sure to do what you love!

  7. What a shame, it all looked so lovely and festive. Luckily, you have lots of willing mouths to feed! Do hope you don't get too many more such days and you will be sold out for all your markets to come next year.

    Hope you enjoy the break and have a lovely Christmas


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