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Farmhouse Breakfast at Cirencester Farmers’ Market

The official ‘farmhouse breakfast week‘ is already well underway and whilst the designation of a week to ‘farmhouse breakfast’ shares a certain banality as Penguin Awareness Day (January 20th) or International Talk Like A Pirate Day (September 20th) it is without doubt a great excuse to get excited about truly scrumptious and wholesome breakfasts. It’s obviously an old maxim that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but it also has an incredible variety to it that should keep us excited about it every day of the year!

However, I thought a few facts about the importance of breakfast might help stimulate the renaissance of the breakfast;

– The word Breakfast comes from Italy and it’s definition originates from breaking the fast of the prior night.

– A staggering 128 Billion bowls of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes are eaten each year across the Globe

– Studies show that children that eat breakfast before going to school have much better concentration (I can’t find a fact that says the same for adults)

Cirencester farmers’ market can help you do breakfasts very well, especially those breakfasts with a farmhouse theme! Why not pick up half a dozen sausages from Orchard Park Farm, a few rashers of smoked streaky bacon from Chesterton Farm, a few slices of Native Breed’s luxurious black pudding, half a dozen of Lucy Muller’s eggs (which have the tastiest and most golden yoke I have ever seen), a punnet of mushrooms from Forest Mushrooms all on a slice of that irresistible toasted Sherston Loaf from Hobbs House Bakery! You can virtually rearrange that list in any order and still have a wonderful farmhouse breakfast! However, if the ‘Full English’ isn’t your cup of tea (something else which is essential for a farmhouse breakfast, and which you can pick up a fine selection of leaf tea or freshly roaster and ground coffee from Keith’s on Black Jack Street) then Cirencester farmers’ market can still cater for you! Hobbs house have a wonderful range of croissants which could be served hog with a cold glass of bubbly from Bow in the Cloud, I am not sure that is a ‘farmhouse’ breakfast but it sure does sound luxurious! Finally, if you are still recovering from a Christmas binge and are on a diet (where of course you will still be eating breakfast, as it is the most important meal of the day) then you could pick up one of a variety of Yoghurts from Chedworth Farm!

All in all I have just made myself very hungry and it is going to be a long wait until Saturday’s Farmers’ market!

See you then!

 

 Love Breakfast, Love @CirenFM 

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A Merry Christmas

From all at Cirencester Farmers’ market we hope that you had a fantastic Christmas and would like to wish you a happy new year!

We hope to see you all in the new year, when the first market will be held on Saturday 12th January!

See you then!

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Corinium Ales – The Empire Returns!

Just a quick note to say Corinium Ales had a fantastic first day at Cirencester Farmers’ Market on the 24th November. Despite a very wet and cold morning there were still queues for samples of their three ales and with half an hour of trading time to spare they completely sold out!

 The welcome addition of two Roman centurions added to the atmosphere and they received a glowing, and thoroughly deserved, write up in the Wilts & Glos Standard!

 They will back this Saturday, along with a number of other new producers, so don’t miss it!

 

Love Ale, Love @CirenFM

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Corinium Ales – A New Empire!

This Saturday we are incredibly excited to welcome a brand new local producer to Cirencester Farmers’ Market. Corinium Ales is the newest and possibly the smallest microbrewery in the Cotswolds. It is the culmination of many weeks of experimenting and tasting by Lucy Cordrey & Colin Knight in a converted garage in Cirencester.

 Corinium Ales, which takes its name from the Roman origins of the much loved Cotswold market town, joins the growing band of microbreweries to emerge in the region. 

 Lucy Cordrey has said that: “Cirencester not only has a Roman history but a brewing history too, going back hundreds of years. Corinium Ales aim to revive this long and proud tradition taking inspiration from the town’s Roman roots.”

 On Saturday Corinium Ales will be launching three beers from their Roman Collection;

  • Corinium Gold (a quaffable deep golden ale)
  • Centurion (a delicious toasty stout)
  • Ale Caesar (a classic hoppy Indian Pale Ale or IPA).

 You can meet the brewers of Corinium Ales at this Saturday’s Farmers’ Market which is currently their only outlet! They will have a selection of their real ales available to ‘try before you buy’.

 There will also be a special one off appearance from two legionary soldiers, who will provide a unique Roman twist to the occasion.

 Love Ale, Love @CirenFM

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Autumn is here… It’s Pumpkin Time!

Unfortunately it has been quite a while since my last post on here… But I am back just in time!  

The market was wonderful through the summer months, loads of fantastic fruit and veg filled the stalls of Duchy Home Farm, Over Farm Market & Pagets! However it is growing more evident with every day that Autumn is well and truly here. This Saturday’s market, on the last day before the clocks go back, will have a real Autumn feel! The wonderful summer squash’s will be replaced by their winter counterparts and the courgettes and aubergines will be replaced by delightful beetroot, leeks and parsnips! 

Autumn Veg – Duchy Home Farm

With Halloween only a few days round the corner it is the perfect time to pick another autumn favourite, the pumpkin… for those of you with an artistic talent there should be some fantastic shaped specimens this year to create some creepy characters to light up the windows for expectant trick or treaters. However if, like me, art is not your bag, then make sure you get your hands on that carved out pumpkin flesh (I know all too many people throw it away) and use it to make Pumpkin Pie. It never quite feels like Autumn until there are bonfires being built on the village green, leaves on the floor and pumpkin pie in the fridge! 

The recipe we always use for Pumpkin Pie is by Anthony Worrall Thompson off the BBC Website. Obviously when using the flesh from a carved out pumpkin it wont come out in uniform chunks, but don’t worry the recipe works out just as well with scraped out flesh! 

PUMPKIN PIE

Ingredients

For the pastry

•             sweet short crust pastry case (or a packet of ready made sweet short crust pastry with 40g/1½oz crushed pecans mixed in.)

For the filling

•             450 g/1lb prepared weight pumpkin flesh, cut into 1in/2.5 cm chunks

•             2 large eggs plus 1 yolk (use the white for another dish)

•             3 oz/75g soft dark brown sugar

•             1 tsp ground cinnamon

•             ½ level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

•             ½ tsp ground allspice

•             ½ tsp ground cloves

•             ½ tsp ground ginger

•             10 fl oz/275 ml double cream

Preparation method

1.            Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

2.            Use a shop bought sweet crust pastry case, about 9 inch/23 cm diameter and 1½ inches/4 cm deep.

3.            To make the filling, steam the pumpkin then place in a coarse sieve and press lightly to extract any excess water.

4.            Then lightly whisk the eggs and extra yolk together in a large bowl.

5.            Place the sugar, spices and the cream in a pan, bring to simmering point, giving it a whisk to mix everything together. Then  pour it over the eggs and whisk it again briefly.

6.            Now add the pumpkin pureé, still whisking to combine everything thoroughly.

7.            Pour the filling into your pastry case and bake for 35-40 minutes, by which time it will puff up round the edges but still feel slightly wobbly in the centre.

8.            Remove the pie from the oven and place the tin on a wire cooling rack. Serve chilled (stored loosely covered in foil in the fridge) with some equally chilled créme fraïche.

See you on Saturday… don’t forget to pick up a Pumpkin!   

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Summer and the market (super or not?)

Originally published by Sarah Jaskowska (Fair & Square Brownies) – Eat Eat Eat

 I love the farmers’ markets which I attend.  If you are lucky enough to have a well run market in your area, please, please use it.  I’m no fan of food elitism and it’s sad to say that, on occasions, some markets did become the preserve of expensive foodstuffs not within the budget of the average family or became dominated by the kind of produce which the majority of the population would not want to consume on a regular basis.  But, done right, markets fulfil an essential role in bringing vitality back to parts of our towns (or villages) which have been stripped of so many food shopping outlets.  Markets bring people together (traders and shoppers), they bring out the curious, the ‘regulars’, those who want to linger over their food acquisitions, those who love to discuss what they’re buying. A good market can provide locally grown and produced foods which are fresh, (not cool stored for months on end) maybe a little bit different and provided by people who know a lot about what’s being sold now and what’s going to be available next week. 

Being an everyday meal provider, I buy food on a very regular basis and have to say frequently use my local supermarket for day to day needs. I’m frequently busy, I’m sometimes stressed and tired and want an easily available option for my food supplies.  But I’ve learned that this does come at a price if you care about where and how your food ends up on those shelves.  A number of recent issues have made me think even more carefully about my food options.  To begin with, I have become increasingly aware of the plight of our home dairy farmers.  The recent protest in London highlighted the fact that dairy farmers are having to sell their milk at increasingly unsustainable prices to regional distributors (who in turn supply the milk to our supermarkets). The ever increasing push for cheaper food has an insidious side effect which we can’t hide from.  When prices come down, somebody somewhere has to bear the cost, and you can bet it’s not the supemarkets.  When prices are slashed, the cost is usually passed onto the producer.  A food producer (be it a local farmer or manufacturer) is asked to provide the exact same quality of food item (uniformly shaped, sized, weight) as usual, but at a reduced price.  If you happen to be a large manufacturer you can maybe swallow the cost of this but for producers operating on increasingly slim margins, it’s a different matter.  If you have to sell your produce (in this instance milk) at a lower and lower price then what are you to do? A friend of mine has lived on subsistence level with their dairy herd for several years now it’s the income from their small campsite which makes the difference. They are now facing the possibility of culling some, or all, of their herd because they may not be able to afford to feed the cattle through the winter.   There’s something very wrong when supermarkets set prices and yet many members of the public testify that they would happily pay a few pence more for their milk if it meant supporting the home dairy business. It does take an effort for the public to make their voice heard but  we must make that effort.  The difference when buying at a local market is that you are buying from the person who produces and has put their price at a level which works for them and hopefully works for you as a customer. 

As a producer I was bowled over with excitement when I spotted a stall setting up in its spot directly opposite me at Cirencester last Saturday.  Bottles of milk from Holmleigh Dairy were spread out and in the centre some vibrant yellow packages which turned out to be THE most fantastic butter I’ve ever tasted.  Having been utterly amazed to learn that there is only one nationally available brand of butter which makes a point of using British sourced milk (currently advertised by Mr John Lydon), the rest is from the EU or New Zealand, or God knows where.  Here was a totally local butter which tasted fantastic and was on sale at a totally affordable price.  I hope I’ll soon be buying it to use in my chocolate brownies.   So, as my brownie recipe is absolute take-to-the-grave secret, here are my two favourite ways to each such fabulous butter:

Sliced fresh soda bread spread with butter. Eaten with olives and air dried ham.

I can eat a staggeringly large amount of this but that’s no bad thing.

Very fresh new potatoes.

Rub off the skins (the mark of a good, fresh potato) and boil until just tender.  Drain.  Add a generous knob of butter, chopped up chives (or spring onions), a generous grind of black pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt.

 The second issue which bugs me and can be very depressing is to go into my local supermarket and look at the fresh fruit section.  Recently I saw a sign advertised English Strawberries and Pontiac Cherries.  The implication being (as we are in the middle of the English cherry season) that the cherries were also English; they were not.  Very close inspection of the packaging revealed that they were from Spain.  Mad.  How can a supermarket located about an hour or so drive of cherry growers, sell fruit from overseas?  Not only that, but how cynical to hide it with the English fruit.  I sought out a member of the ‘Fruit and Veg Team’.  I’m told that they have no control over what produce comes into the shop or where it comes from.  They aren’t mass produced in a controlled enough environment on a big enough scale to secure a big enough profit and national availability. Next time it’s the season for any of our nationally traditional foods (asparagus, cherries, strawberries) please check the country of origin.  Produce is there because supermarkets say the customer expects it.  You are the customer, what do you expect? 

These are all reasons why I love my local market and the local shops which make an effort to source good stuff.  I will probably always need to shop at supermarkets but there are certain things I will not buy there, namely fruit, vegetables and meat because, quite frankly, I do not trust them as far as I can throw their Chief Executives.

As a market trader I am no farmer.  I class myself as a producer and many markets name themselves to reflect this fact.  Everyone present is a producer who makes what they sell (or has a very close connection with the production process).  I love meeting up with fellow producers as much as my customers.  They’re an entertaining crowd who will laugh, chat, sometimes grumble and sometimes reveal unexpected talents and interests.  I happened to be next to a butcher at Cirencester recently and, having eyed up the lovely farmhouse sausages decided that this would be on offer for that evening’s supper with friends.  He would normally have been selling pack after pack of sausages for barbecues by the hundred; but this is the British summer of 2012 and barely a pack of charcoal has been bought.  We have reverted back to winter food.  I told him it was, without doubt, a sausage and mash sort of day and he agreed.

Sausages in cider sauce

Finely slice a couple of onions in a tablespoon of neutral flavoured oil.  Gently sauté until softened and slightly coloured. 

In a separate pan brown enough sausages for your needs and set aside. 

To make the sauce, add about half a pint of cider to the onion mixture.  Cook through and, as it thickens add water a couple of chicken stock cubes and a dollop of wholegrain mustard.  You need to aim for the consistency of double cream.

Let the sauce cook gently to cook gently. 

Finely slice half a dozen rashers of smoked streaky bacon, sauté in a pan until starting to brown then add to the cider sauce.  Season to taste.

Add the browned sausages and gently cook to ensure the sausages are cooked through (or transfer to oven if the pan is ovenproof).

Serve with mashed or new potatoes and vegetables of choice

 Finally, I bought some fabulous cherries.  I did plumb the depths of my mind and cook books for  the ideal dessert before remembering that inalienable truth; the best way to eat delicious fresh fruit is just how it grew.  So we shared a bowl of fresh cherries and a tub of vanilla ice cream for those who really felt that they needed an additional adornment (there weren’t many in that camp).

Sarah JaskowskaFair & Square Brownies

 

Sarah Jaskowska and her fabulous Fair & Square Brownies have recently joined Cirencester Farmers’ Market.

This blog was originally published on the 16th July 2012 on her personal blog, Eat Eat Eat.

It is copied here with Sarah’s permission.

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Cirencester Food Scene…

I hope you all read our local rag, The Wilts & Glos Standard, but if you don’t you should! Not only has it featured some fabulous campaigns on local issues but from last Thursday it published the first in a series of weekly articles by The Cotswold Chef, Rob Rees, who will be chatting about all of the fantastic news from the Cirencester Food Scene. These short but sweet articles will feature news on the best seasonal produce currently available with some quick tips on how to turn it into a scrumptious meal. As many of you will know Rob Rees is a fantastic advocate of local & seasonal produce, and we were proud to welcome him to the Cirencester Farmers’ Market Festival, where he did a couple of fantastic demos (See Picture). Obviously the article couldn’t claim any insight into the Cirencester Food Scene without featuring the latest news from Cirencester Farmers’ Market and as such we will be keeping Rob up to date with all of the new and exciting things we have planned for the rest of the summer!

Love Food, Love @CirenFM

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Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards 2012

I just thought I would post an update following the fantastic news that Chesterton Farm Shop were the deserved winners of the Best Farmers’ Market Stallholder category at last night’s Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards. This was a brilliant recognition; Chesterton Farm produce and sell some of the most fantastic meat available in the Cotswolds, with a particularly speciality being their Beef! It is a real testimony to high quality Butchery and the effort and time deserved of rare breed meat. Chesterton Farm has been a stallholder at Cirencester Farmers’ Market for many years and you can always guarantee to receive service with a smile from Caroline.

Cirencester Farmers’ Market would also like to convey our congratulations to Pancake Farm and Star Bistro both of whom received runners up prizes in the Best Local Supplier/Producer and Best Newcomer categories respectively. Students and teachers from National Star College & Star Bistro joined Cirencester Farmers’ Market at our Market Festival on the 23rd June and were a huge success with their Seasonal Strawberry Smoothies. We hope that they will be joining us again with more seasonal treats! Pancake Farm produces fantastic Rose Veal and we are proud to say that they will be joining us at Cirencester Farmers’ Market very soon.

The well-deserved Cotswold Food Hero was Tom Herbert of the Fabulous Baker Brothers and Hobbs House Bakery. Tim from Hobbs House Cirencester and their fabulous Real Bread has been a welcome addition to the stalls of Cirencester Farmers’ Market for a few months now and we hope that Tom will be able to join us soon!  

All in all a fab night for the Food & Drink producers of the Cotswolds, it has a growing pedigree and Cirencester Farmers’ Market is proud to showcase some of the very best available!

Hope to see at the next farmers’ market on Saturday 14th July 8:30am – 1:00pm!

Love Cotswold Food & Drink, Love @CirenFM

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Farmers’ Market Festival – Saturday 23rd June…. More Info!

As promised here are the latest details for this saturday’s (23rd June) Cirencester Farmers’ Market Festival to celebrate the start of the first annual National Market Fortnight. We are throwing a festival to celebrate the best things about being a street market aswell as the beautiful produce available from the Cotswolds! and we want you to come and join us!

To help us out Rob Rees (aka The Cotswold Chef) will be doing some cooking demonstrations using products from the market. The recipes will use some of the best local & seasonal produce available from Cirencester Farmers’ Market. So don’t forget to pick up the ingreidents and recreate them in your own Kitchens! Keep watching the blog and twitter feed for more information on what and when Rob will be cooking!

Obviously it wouldn’t be a Farmers’ Market without our outstanding producers who will of course be stocked up with some of the best seasonal food and drink in the Cotswolds. When we say Cirencester Farmers’ Market has fantastic producers, we aren’t exaggerating either, on the 23rd June we will be joined by no less than four 2012 Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards Finalists along with a host of other award winning local producers!   

To complement our regular stall holders we are also inviting a number of guest producers to the market. These include Artisan Brownies and Arkells Brewery, Wilderness Discovery and Stainswick Farm Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil.  

Strawberries are the epitome of British summer time and they are now starting to come into full swing. In celebration of this we will be joined by Over Farm Market’s very own Strawberry Queen, so make sure you don’t miss out on some tasty strawberry treats.

All of this starting to make you hungry? Well so it should be! So to help you along at the Festival there will be a numerous producers offering tasters, samples and street food! Students from National Star College will joining us to sell some edible goodies made using products straight off the market. In addition we will be welcoming a local crepe producer, who will be selling both savoury and sweet crepes made from locally sourced ingredients! 

However it wouldn’t be a street market without the reassuring mellow notes of the busking saxophonist, Jools Baker! So don’t forget to show some love and pop some pennies in his pot!

The Festival will be at the normal time of 8.30am – 1pm so no reason to miss out!

The additional beauty of a street market is once you are there you are in the heart of a wonderful town with an incredible range of shops, pubs, cafes, museums, craft markets and so much more. So save the date and make sure you join us to celebrate the best of Cirencester Farmers’ Market!

See you there!

Love Markets, Love @CirenFM

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SAVE THE DATE: Farmers’ Market Festival – Saturday 23rd June 2012

National Market Fortnight will kick start on Saturday 23rd June 2012. This will be a great opportunity to get out and wander the aisles of their local markets and absorb the atmosphere, browse the fantastic produce and chat to friendly stall holders. Cirencester rightly earns its place as a market town as it hosts a multitude of wonderful markets throughout any month that will provide something to suit everyone’s fancy.  

To mark National Market Fortnight, Cirencester Farmers’ Market will kick starts events on Saturday 23rd June, with a festival of local market produce! The market will feature guest stallholders, street food, entertainment and cooking demonstrations all alongside the fantastic produce available from our stallholders every second and fourth Saturday month. 

So make sure you Save the Date, Saturday 23rd June, in your diary to ensure you can make it to Cirencester Farmers’ Market and join in the vibrancy and fun and learn to ‘Love your Local Market’.

We will be announcing more details over the next couple of days so keep an eye on twitter (@CirenFM).

See you there!

Cirencester Market Links:

Cirencester Farmers’ Market: http://www.cirencester.gov.uk/index.php/shop-local/farmers-market

Cirencester Charter Market: http://www.cirencester.gov.uk/index.php/shop-local/charter-market

Corn Hall Markets: http://www.cornhallcirencester.com/

Cotswold Craft Market: http://cotswoldcraftmarket.co.uk/

Cirencester Christmas Market: http://www.christmasincirencester.org.uk/

Livestock Market: http://www.voycepullin.co.uk/salesandmarkets/cirencestermarket.htm

Flea Market: http://www.glosfoe.org.uk/fleamarket/

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