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Hope you’re all making the most of this lovely weather. Long may it last. But don’t be sad about the approach of autumn, because it brings an exciting new event to Piddington in the form of The Pantry Food and Wine Extravaganza!

We always try to make each Pantry market a little bit different, but this autumn, instead of our regular market, we’re putting on something really special.

On Saturday 13 September, we’d love you to come and join The Pantry team for a food, wine and beer tasting extravaganza! We’re still working on the details, but it’ll be an evening event, open only to ticket-holders, where you’ll enjoy a food-and-wine-pairing presentation (the ticket price will cover the full tasting plate), meet local producers and do a bit of shopping too.

I’ll let you know more details when I can.

Thank you to all those people who made it through the rain to join us at what we think was one of the best markets so far. Despite the almost biblical torrents, not to mention the many other local events going on at the same time, villagers and people from further afield stoutly stomped through the storms to enjoy the summery delights of The Pantry.

And a huge thank you, too, to all our doughty volunteers for their hard work setting up and putting away the market, including putting up the marquees in the sweltering heat on Friday (and for improvising gutters between them in anticipation of the deluge to come!) and for turning up and helping on the day.

We’ve had a couple of lovely emails, one from a visitor and one from a stallholder, both saying what a lovely atmosphere the market had, and what friendly people they’d met. I know there are a lot of community and farmers’ markets around these days, but it really does seem as though we have something a bit special here.

I felt extremely sorry for the chap selling Bradshaws Farm Ice Cream from his trailer in the car park, outside the main hall. On a sunny day, he’d have done a roaring trade. But there was plenty of interest in our other new stallholders, Emma Arnold (Blue Hydrangea), with her fascinating range of handmade pieces, and Vasiliki Ntavertzani, who presided over a table of mouthwatering Greek delights, including the most delicious homemade Greek pastries (oh, that heavenly baklava!) and pine and thyme honey, from bees kept by her family in Delphi. (Contact details: 07772 454 411; gaia.products@outlook.com) Vasiliki has sent us this photo of the family beehives – if you bought a pot of honey from her on Saturday, this is where it comes from!

Hives4small

Finally, as we slowly start to recover from the summer market, we have already started planning our autumn event. We’re quite excited about this, as we’re hoping to do something a little different this time. Local food and drink will still be involved, of course, but with a twist. I’ll let you know more later, when plans are a little more advanced …

In the meantime, have a great summer!

I’m just printing the menus for the Coffee Shop, and thought you might like a sneak preview.

As you can see, there are some delicious ice cream flavours available, homemade using local ingredients by St George’s Gelato, based in Haddenham. Enjoy one at the market, then take one home for later. (We’ll be selling them on the General Store too.)

As a change from (or as well as) the ever-popular bacon baps, you might like to try our new mushroom baps. And of course there’ll be croissants and pain au chocolat supplied by the Cornfield bakery and delicious cakes made by the bakers of Piddington.

Whatever the weather, you’ll find a great welcome at the Pantry Coffee Shop.

Pantry menu_summer 2014-page-0

 

It’s wet. And cold. And coldly wet. Summer, eh?

Squelching back home through the puddles last night, after a shorter than usual Pantry meeting (owing to one of us having to dash off for physio as a result of a yoga-based injury), we had all our fingers crossed for a return to summery weather by 7 June, when we’ll be holding our summer market.

The theme this time is holidays,asparagus both at home and abroad, and we’ve tried to bring to Piddington a few of the delights that lazy summer days can bring.

Think of early summer in England and the chances are you’ll be picturing fresh green bunches of delicious asparagus and bowls of luscious strawberries. We’ll have both of these for sale at the summer market, freshly picked from Rectory Farm.

strawberries

What else? Well, naturally, you need some ice cream, and all the better if it’s locally made. We’re quite excited about the fact that at the market this time you’ll be able to enjoy delicious homemade ice cream from local milk from two different ice cream makers. On the General Store, and at the Coffee Shop, you can buy single-serve tubs of ice cream from St George’s Gelato, based in Haddenham. You may have tried their gorgeous Italian-style ice cream at one of our markets last year. In the car park, outside the main hall, you’ll find Bradshaws Farm Ice Cream, who’ll be selling cones and smallice cream pots of ice cream made from fresh milk from their family herd of Holstein-Fresians in Grendon Underwood.

If Italian gelato sets you dreaming of more far-flung holiday destinations, look out for Vasiliki Ntaverzani, who will be selling real Greek honey and homemade Greek pastries. Are you hungry yet?

Also coming on 7th will be the very popular stalls from Waddesdon Deli and the butcher John Walman, who this time will also be bringing a range of salad produce.cakes

Once again, members of St Nicholas Church will be running the Community Stall, selling delicious homemade cakes in aid of the fabric fund. So do go and treat yourself – and support an important part of the village at the same time.

And when it’s time for a little drop of something? Never fear, the beer stall will be there, with beers from Vale, XT and Oxfordshire Ales. Have a glass at the market, then take home a few bottles for later. Or you could choose tea, coffee, chocolate, squash from the Coffee Shop  – and maybe a bacon or mushroom bap to tide you over until it’s time for an ice cream.

Of course, it’s not all food and drink at The Pantry. Emma Arnold, whom you may have seen at Art on the Hill at Brill earlier this year, will be selling her gorgeous hand-printed garden cushions and other items, Zena Ashdown will be offering bespoke handbags and baskets, Tony Pearce will be bringing a lovely selection of plants for your summer garden, we’ll have a brand-new selection of secondhand books, CDs and toys, and of course, there’ll be the General Store, with an interesting selection of local foods and toiletries.

So all we need now is for the sun to put his hat on. But even if it’s raining, we’ll just put on our plastic rainhats, galoshes and scratchy plastic macs, raise an ice cream in one hand and a hot chocolate in the other, and enjoy the Great British Summertime. We know how to have fun, don’t we?

Rain-and-Sunshine-Photography

 

 

Pantry poster summer 14 colour 1-page-0

The Pantry is well into its second year now, so it seems a good time to issue a brief update on how things are going.

If you’re a regular at The Pantry, you’ll know how popular these markets are. We advertise them widely, and visitors come from quite far afield, many making a point of telling us how impressed they are to see such a small village put on a regular event like this.

The small group of people who organise The Pantry rely hugely on the enthusiasm and commitment of a band of excellent volunteers, without whom the markets couldn’t happen. The volunteers are mainly (though not exclusively) Piddington villagers, which is great because The Pantry is a community project intended to benefit Piddington. The goal is to provide a foundation for a permanent community shop and cafe in the village. Some of the money raised at the markets is used to replenish stock and improve subsequent markets. The remainder is put in the bank, as the foundation of a community shop fund. There have been six Pantry markets in Piddington and two ‘Portable Pantry’ stalls at other markets. So far, we’ve raised around £4,000, which we think is pretty amazing.

So thanks, everyone who has supported the markets so far – and if you haven’t been to The Pantry yet, why on earth not? The atmosphere is great, there’s always lots to look at and tasters of food and drink to try, there’s plenty for children to do, and the bacon baps are legendary. Come to the Summer Market on 7 June, and don’t miss out on something that Piddington is doing so well.

Pantry summer 2014 poster 1_A4-page-0

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