Friday, September 22, 2017

University of South Carolina Sumter Farmers Market

With great anticipation, I was looking forward to this new farmers market starting in my community. Filling a void, very much needed, and with lots of work behind the scenes, the new market opened Friday, September 22 with just a handful of vendors, but a long list of vendors who will be attending in the coming weeks.

Conveniently located between two large parking lots with lots of shade trees on the University of South Carolina Sumter campus, and just off one of the main roads, I pulled right in and parked.

I was meeting a couple of friends there a bit later, so I proceeded to talk to the farmers and purveyors I knew. As I walked around I saw Russell and Lesa of Sunny Cedars Farm, Marie Dorr of Dorr Farms who is also the market manager, Mr. Billie Harrison, aka "the bird man" and Sandra from  With These Hands Natural Gourmet Foods LLC, who proudly showed off her new food truck. It was such fun seeing all these familiar faces, and before I knew it, people started coming over.

 Some arrived by cars, others walked over from the University, each one curious as to what the farmers market had to offer. Many were learning about Sunny Cedars Farm and their pasture raised pork products for the first time. Listening to Russell and Lesa describe their pork products was an education in itself; their sausage is leaner because pigs raised on pasture have the freedom to move around and graze, or go in the woods and root around for whatever delicacies they find.

Russell Singleton, Sunny Cedars Farm

The next thing I knew people were looking in coolers, discovering all kinds of goodies they immediately snatched up and took to check out.

Sandra, With These Hands Natural Gourmet Foods, LLC
I then wandered over to Sandra to see the new With These Hands Natural Gourmet Foods LLC food truck, and talk about all the exciting things she has has to offer. As she explained "Our farm-to-table model is committed to utilizing the highest quality ingredients while strictly rejecting MSG, artificial colors/sweeteners, preservatives, GMOs and processed/chemically-laced products. Just REAL FOOD!" Everything looked so good to me.

Back over with Marie at the Dorr Farms booth I discovered her strawberry syrup. Marie asked me if I ever made stuffed French toast, to which I replied yes. Then she said "try stuffing it with sliced strawberries, then topping it with the strawberry syrup, it's a match made in heaven" so guess who promptly bought some? You guessed it, me, and a lovely bottle of that strawberry syrup made it home with me. 
Marie Dorr, Dorr Farms

While the Farmers Market is just starting up, there were quite a few people stopping by to check it out. As a long time supporter of small local family farms and purveyors, I was happy to see people milling about, and I look forward to many more Friday markets until they close for the season on December 22. Plans are already in the making to offer this market next season from April thru December, and I, for one, will be shopping there.

Shop local, support local farms and markets, you'll be glad you did. It's the best thing I ever did for myself and my family. I've met so many great people, and small local family farmers are some of the BEST people you'll ever meet.


© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

"Hot Shot" Apple Jam {Cinnamon Whisky}

I love apples and I really love boozy apple jams. There's Bourbon Maple Apple Jam and now this Hot Shot Apple Jam made with Fireball Whisky. Other alcohol's you could pair with this apple jam could be Apfelkorn, sweet apple-flavored liqueur, or Spiced Rum to make a different variation.

It's delicious to eat spread on biscuits or English muffins, or topped on waffles and pancakes. It's even good basted on roast pork or glazed on a ham.