Wymondham Farmer’s Market, third Saturday in the month, is a non-negotiable date in my calendar. There’s something so seductive about getting there early, wandering up the quiet back streets, baskets idly dangling off my fingers, smelling coffee brewing in the cafe’s, wondering what will be there to tempt and delight. This Saturday was no exception.
Exceptionally hot it was, 26C at 08.45, I pretended I was in Spain and fantasized about white peaches, giant tomatoes ripe for baking, toppling piles of broad beans, garlic and onions. As always, Wymondham FM delights (though no white peaches or broad beans). Instead I went straight to the Fielding Cottage stall – full of goat. Not an insult, definitely a compliment! Andy and Helen were there with their hard cured goats cheese, and the wonderful soft feta-like cheese which I crumble into a plateful of salad, shoots, seeds and beetroot. Their famous Billy Burgers are also fabulous, well seasoned and moist – believe me they are divine. We had a quick conversation, took photos and a lovely invitation to develop some goat recipes. Already my brain is mulling this over – I’m thinking curry goat, or braised goat leg with aromatic oregano cooked like Kleftiko with a chunk of feta in the juices and finished off with a squeeze of lemon juice, or a rich tagine with prunes and almonds. www.fieldingcottage.co.uk
Only two steps to the right to Pye Bakery and their stall which groans under the weight of delicious breads and pizza heavy with herbs and olives. I have my eye on an aromatic loaf of rye bread and a plump round focaccia studded with rosemary are carefully laid in the basket. And my favourite, wholewheat with caraway. Yummy (with feta, or a soft terrine of rabbit and pistachio with quince chutney on the side). Anyway, two of those please. www.pyebaker.co.uk
Then it’s over to see Tim at MacaronsandMore. You might remember Tim as a finalist in Masterchef. My only claim to fame there is that I know his dad! Tim is King of all things patisserie but in particular his macarons, and my mouth was already watering in anticipation of macarons at tea time – luckily Jane and Dave were staying so I could indulge in a box of 12. Consider this: violet and blackcurrant, praline, salt caramel (my favourite), lemon, passion fruit and milk chocolate, gingerbread and chocolate, all in a lovely box, sitting in your fridge just waiting for tea-time. Torture! Tim and I chatted about cooking business and cookery writing – watch this space on that one. Lucky for you, Tim does mail order www.macaronsandmore.com
Those were my three favourite food stalls on Saturday, but I just had to whizz over to the plant stall, full of succulents and tropicals as well as beautiful species geraniums and pelargoniums. Many of which have luxuriated in my courtyard for a few years. But I was tempted by a Fatsia and a Sinocrassula yunnanensis .
Saturday started well – farmer’s markets rule!