1st July – Huntly Farmers Market!!

Delightful, delectable, delicious delicacies for your delectation — try saying that lot when your sober, never mind after a couple of sherberts??!! We’ll have all our usual range , some in the new shape jars that have been introduced by us to counter the frustration of not being able to get the last morsel from the square jar corners??!!! The new Hot Mango & Lime Chutney has been well received and our KB Sauce continues to fly off the display at each market!! Our produce is a great accompaniment to all the wonderful meats and cheeses, breads and goodies that are displayed for your pleasure at Huntly Farmers’ Market!! We can only hope that the elements are going to be kind to us!! Stay safe, stay well and see you there!!!😋😀

The first batch of labels were a little bit too big as seen in these pictures, new labels on the way as we speak!! The new look jars will make splendid gifts as they are quite an attractive presentation, although awkward to stack and transport – hey-ho!! can’t have everything!!

Bright, breezy & blustery Banchory!!

It was beautifully sunny last saturday at Banchory but the blustery nature of the wind late morning caught a few traders out?!!  Gazebos were lifting and trying to take off and folk were at times, hanging on for dear life!! Gary, the chap next to me was having a quiet chuckle to himself as he had made the decision to come without his gazebo and laid out his wares in the open, hence he had no problems with the elements??  Smart man!!

From a trading point of view, it was a fairly quiet day, plenty of folk about enjoying the warmth and sunshine but not a great deal of business.  As always, it was worth going, even if only for the crack with the other traders and newsing with the customers??!! The new jars seemed to be well received, although of course, nobody has yet got to the bottom of them – too soon, but hopefully folk will get back to us regarding the ease of extraction with the new shape??!! — please!!

Back to Bonny Ballater next Saturday 24th June, looking forward to it as always. Hopefully, there will be a few new traders from now on as the news about how good the market is, travels through the market community?!!  It really is a delightful venue and Amy does a fantastic job with the organisation and set up of the market!!  Bravo Amy!!!

Hope it’s like last time for the weather but, we’ll be there regardless, hope to see you too??!!  take care, stay safe, stay well — cheers for now!!

 

We’ve listened – and acted!!

Some of our loyal customers have commented on the difficulty of extracting the last delicious morsel from our current range of square jars?!!  Stuff sticks in the corners and no spoon or implement currently available is able to dig it out?  — So!!  we have bought some new shaped jars which will help to resolve this unaccepatble predicament!! We still haven’t put all our lines in them yet as we thought we’d try them out with you guys first and see if you approved!!  We love them and the only small problem we had was where to put the labels as the jars have a spherical shape which precludes flat labels??  They wrinkle up round the edges so – obvious solution really, labels on lids and bottoms?!!  Anyway, here are a couple of pictures to show what we have done and we really would like your feedback??

The other problem we have encountered is that there is no exact equivalent with regard to content volume so, at the moment, you are benefitting from an increase in the amount you are purchasing without the equivalent increase in price – better get in there and buy now as that will only last for the time it takes to sell our first batch of jars (only 50!!) so they won’t last long, The trial involves only 5 of our products, Chilli Jam, Hot Chilli Paste, Chilli Beetroot, Hot Pineapple Sauce & Hot Mango & Lime Pickle.  If this works out well, we will purchase more jars closer to the same size as the square jars, which will keep the price the same – the trial jars are around 50 grams more than the square jar contents??!!

We are at Banchory Farmers Market this coming Saturday 17th June, we really hope to see everyone turning out for the traders who have worked their socks off to provide all that will be available on the day – eat local, drink local and buy local and the local economy will benefit, consequently so will you!!!  Have a great weekend and, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, keep well and stay safe!!  Cheers for now!!

 

Restocked and ready!!

Thistle Street was a mixed bag last Saturday, initially thought it was going to be a non – event??!!  However, despite a smattering of rain and the occasional strong wind gusts, it did rally round to become a normal, but not exhilarating, day!!  Several of our regular customers were very happy to see us and, because we were sharing a stall in a different position to before, some were confused as to our whereabouts??  Worry not dear punters!! We will regularise our situation and try to make one spot our own, with the help of the market organisers Maura & Laura( sounds like a double act?!!!) We wish to say a huge thank you to them for all the hard work in organising and setting up of the market and hope that it goes from strength to strength – certainly on course to do so!!!

We had our work cut out the previous week, restocking after a heavy day at Taste of Grampian and we still have more to make but, we had sufficient in time for Thistle Street – thank goodness!!  Folk don’t seem to realise how much hard work goes into the purchasing, preparation, and making of this stuff but it does explain the sometimes haggard look about the traders on occasion??!!  Anyway, onwards and upwards to the next event which is next Saturday 17th June at the lovely town of Banchory, where we always have a good turn out, well, almost always!!!  Young David Ritchie is having to manage without the lovely Lauren by his side, but, stalwart that he is – he is struggling on in the face of the harassment from his bunch of traders and stall holders – well done David!! Admirable chap!!!  Seriously, huge credit to him for what has turned out to be one of the best Farmers Markets in the North East – we always look forward to attending!!  Until then — take good care and stay safe and – importantly – STAY AWARE!!!!

                       (this was our setup at TOG!!)

Exhausted but happy!! TOG was a storming day!!

Our outstandingly talented 10 year old grandaughter designed and painted our display stand sign for The Taste of Grampian Food Festival.  The style and content of the picture are a reflection of her happy, cheerful disposition and she never fails to lift our flagging spirits!!!

The day started as it continued – at a pace that left us totally pooped at the end of the day but, we didn’t realise how much until we stopped??!!  We didn’t sit down once, ate a small amount of stuff that we shouldn’t have and suffered semi permanent ear damage from a tannoy system that was at times excruciatingly loud!!!  But the place was buzzing, folk were there for one purpose and that was to sample and buy the regions produce which we had all slaved away at making for weeks in advance!!  Thank you to all the wonderful customers, old and new, who stopped by our stand and sampled our stuff and bought so much!! Not all who sampled were pleased with the experience, some red spluttering faces and sharp intakes of breath were seen, despite advice and warnings from myself and Suzie about the fiery nature of our hottest products!!  You can’t please everybody??!!  As always with the stuff we make, the emphasis is on flavour with the chilli kick at various levels, coming in after a while – from mild to (as our grandaughter says?!!) positively volcanic Grandad!!

Now we have to get going again and make a whole bunch more for the coming markets – no rest for the wicked, the next one being at Thistle Street in Aberdeen on Saturday 10th June.  So, if you missed us at Taste of Grampian, come on down to the West End of town and see us there!! We’ll be restocked and ready for you!!

Have a safe and happy week and spare a thought or two for those who have suffered lately from the atrocities that have blighted our nations cities!!  Take good care and, BE AWARE!!!!

All set up & ready to rock & roll!!

Tomorrow is the big event of the year for all foodies in the Northeast of Scotland and we have been going for the past 3 years.  It is always a manic, crazy busy day and we have traditionally done rather well but never, until this year, have we been so prepared and on the ball — something has to go wrong — this isn’t normal??!!  I have just got back from Thainstone in Inverurie, having taken all our produce and paraphanalia and set up our stall ready for tomorrow morning  – here’s the proof — piccies of the stall in all it’s pristine glory before the madness descends and the doors open to the public!!

Now we’ll be able to get up at a sensible hour and cruise in to be there for about 0845 instead of getting up at silly o’clock and behaving like headless chickens — pure joy!! we’ll have to try and do this organised thing more often – better late etc??!!

So, now we’ve made the effort, how about all you lovely people out there get down to Thainstone tomorrow and join in the fun — it’s open all day so you can have a sleep in first?? for those that have Saturday lie ins!!  It’s busy, noisy and crowded but a lot of fun with so much to see and do and loads of great stuff to eat & drink, you’ll be spoiled for choice!!

Whatever your doing, have fun & stay safe!!!

Beautiful, Busy, Bouncing, Buzzing Ballater ( not to mention gloriously hot & sunny!!!)

Hi folks!!  at last they got it right – the forecasters were spot on for a change!!  It was beautiful – hot & sunny – around 26 or 27 degrees and blue skies!!  Already a lot of tourists around who were very engaged with us stall holders, spending time chatting and buying, although those who were travelling that day or within a couple of days, were reluctant to buy our produce as it would have been potentially classed as forbidden goods (note to self – provide travel sized jars??)  Unfortunately for me, my little princess Alana decided not to come so I was on my own – not that it seemed like it as I was very busy right from the start!!  It was so good to see all the smiling faces enjoying the ambience of a really gorgeous venue. Amy took care of us stall holders by providing bottled water to ensure we remained hydrated and generally taking care of our welfare!!  Well done Amy, you are doing a fantastic job and deserve high praise for your efforts!!!

By dint of good positioning and a judiciously hung banner, I managed to keep our produce mostly in the shade!!  One corner of the table was in the sun for a short period but did not really last for long so no harm done??!!  A jar of hot stuff cooking off in the sun would have been quite spectacular — chilli shower??!!

We now have a very busy week ensuring that stock levels are high enough to last for the expected frenetic day at the Taste of Grampian Food Festival at Thainstone, Inverurie next Saturday 3rd June 2017.  I will not have time to post again until after that so I hope you can all contain yourselves whilst awaiting the next instalment( I know – the suspense is really intense??!!! – although I’m sure most of you have better things to do than wait for my drivel to appear!!) — for those of you that do read this stuff, Thank You!!  You are true heroes!!  Until the next instalment then, just be bad – you know you can (and it gets better the older you get??!!)  Take care, stay safe!!

Ballater Hottie (or that’s the forecast?!!)

We should be in the middle of a mini heat wave by Saturday and me and my little princess Alana are going to be doing the business at Ballater Farmers Market?!! We will have the usual array of goodies for your delectation, including the return of the fabulous Chilli Peach Chutney!!  We will also be trying out another newbie which we have called Tropical Tomato Chutney – a spicy blend of tomatoes, pineapple, spices(including cinnamon and cumin) chillies, vinegar & sugar.  A lovely tangy mix which we tried out last Sunday for brunch sat out in the sunshine in our back garden. Home made sausage rolls and the chutney washed down with a cold beer – or two!!

Our other new kid on the block, the KB Sauce, has been going down an absolute bomb (in more ways than one??!)  We can’t make it fast enough to keep up with the demand?!!  So — if you want to sample, restock favourites or try something new, get to Ballater Farmers Market good and early,  ‘cos we are thinking folk will be out in force to enjoy the weather and we could be selling out??!!!  Whatever you decide to do be happy, be safe and have fun and, if you have the time, come and say hi to all the lovely traders that will have been slaving away to provide goodies for your fridge, cupboard or larder.  See ya!!!

A very long weekend!!

Thistle Street last Saturday was a little slow in starting up but a steady trickle of folk slowly picked up to a reasonably busy day.  The weather held quite fair and we sold out of one or two products, especially the KB Sauce!!!  Having set out from home in Turriff at 0745, we eventually got home around 1930 tired but happy with our day!!  We had diverted a little to pick our son up from Aberdeen railway station. His train came in at 1715 ish after we had paid a visit to the Asian Spice Shop in John Street to pick up more fresh garlic, chillies and ginger for the next batch of KB Sauce??!!

Then of course, there was Sunday?!!  Suzie stayed at home and I toddled off to Banchory to set up for the Pipe Band Championships event that took place in King George V Park. It’s about an hour and fifteen minutes from Turriff and I had to be there for around 0845 – 0900 to be set up for 1000-1030 which meant leaving home at 0730??!!  That was OK-ish, but the event didn’t finish until 1730 and by the time I’d packed up and loaded the car it was 1815 and there was a requirement for a little shopping on the way home – eventually staggered in the door at 1930 – again!!!  two 12 hour days on the trot – we must be absolutely bonkers???!!  Banchory was actually a lovely day!! Around mid-day, the sun came out to play and stayed for the rest of the day. Listening to the pipes and drums was a great backgound to the whole affair, although I have to confess to being “piped out” by the end of play — that was until the finale — the massed bands of all participants at the event played out the day together!! WOW!! what a spectacular sight and sound ….. with the sun glinting on the pipes and the metalwork shining on the drums and the wonderful swell of sound … always guaranteed to bring a lump to your throat and smile to your face!!  Unless of course, you have no soul!!

This was our stall at Thistle Street!!

Wherever you were and whatever you were doing at the weekend, we hope that you were happy – safe – and living life to the full!!  Cheers for now, next weekend at Banchory Farmers Market on the Saturday — see you there!!!

Chilli Peach is back!!

We are all set for Thistle Street Market in Aberdeen tomorrow and are happy to announce that our very popular Chilli Peach Chutney is back in production!!  There has been a long period of  a distinct lack of fresh peaches available from all our usual sources, I know they are seasonal but they are not normally absent for this long.  This little beauty is exceptionally peachy and a touch sharper than previous batches as the peaches were not over ripe?!! As well as not so sweet, it means that they retain some shape and pieces of peach are throughout the mix giving it a little more body and not so mushy?!!  We look forward to letting you all taste this wonderfully fresh and deliciously tangy concoction.

By special request, we have also made a fresh batch of Cucumber Relish but there are only 8 jars made so, if it’s one of your favourites, be sure to drop by and pick up a jar before they all sell out!!!  I think it’s going to be quite cold again and there is a strong chance of some showers but that’s not going to stop the hardy folk of Aberdeen — is it??!!

Never mind the weather, we look forward to seeing all our regulars and meeting new friends at Thistle Street Market!! Stay safe and stay well!! Cheers for now!!