This weekend Mr James and I visited Stroud market. Named the Best Farmers Market in the UK last year, it is one of the largest and most popular UK farmers markets with a good selection of stalls to choose from. We never go to a market with a list, just an open mind to be inspired by the offer and are rarely disappointed. We made a beeline for the fruit and veg which is so abundant at this time of year, finding some organic seasonal yellow courgettes, mini beets, green garlic, various leaves, berries and also wild flowers to take back with us.
A stroll through the Shambles revealed all sorts of small producers including a new muffin stand selling some interesting savoury as well as sweet muffins, the well known Jess’s Ladies organic milk and bread loaves from The Artisan Baker. Renee Loveridge from Windrush Valley Goat Dairy was also there with her goats cheeses. Made from the milk of their pedigree British Saanen goats, using traditional methods, her cheeses are a regular purchase for us, as well as her goats cheese cheesecake. Renee regularly comes into London to do the farmer’s markets here including Marylebone and Pimlico so you can find her there.
Armed with our bag of goods, we returned home to piece together what we were going to make.
Time in the kitchen means time to test recipes for our shops and also our new book which is coming out in October. This week we were testing pastry, treacle tart, a trifle and all sorts of salad dressings. In between we managed to make a ham hock salad with the yellow courgettes, some store cupboard cannellini beans and home grown lovage. The goats cheese inspired a quiche with broad beans and lemon and Mr James also plucked tubfuls of tayberries fresh from the garden. The flavour is quite unique and he turned them into the most wonderful jam which will sit in our cupboard waiting for next week’s breakfast.
Sunday was a chance to photograph some things for future shop activity, turning the kitchen into a makeshift studio and ensuring the sunshine was in just the right place to manage the light. They will be featuring on instagram and facebook in the coming weeks.