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The Pantry is bursting into life for a new year

The Pantry group’s first meeting of the year is always a buzzy occasion.

It’s a chance to debrief after the previous market – to mull over what went well and what was less successful, and think about how we can improve things next time. And it’s also when we look into our crystal balls and pick what we hope will be the best dates for the coming year’s markets.

Of course, we have to make sure that key people won’t be otherwise engaged – the date for the spring market was finalised only after a quick phone call to a rather startled parent that began ‘I’m in a meeting … when are we on holiday?’ But we also try to pick dates that, from previous experience, will encourage the most people to come along.

The Christmas and spring markets are always well attended, the summer and autumn ones less so. We’ve therefore decided that, like last year, we’ll just hold three markets this year, on the following dates:

16 April

20 August

3 December

Any changes to these dates will be posted in this blog.

We look forward to seeing you!

Pantry_xmas15_1

Indeed yes. This was the big marquee on Saturday morning, just before the stallholders started to arrive. Despite the team’s best efforts to secure it, the winds overnight on Friday were so strong that the marquee was practically blown inside out, with the force of the gusts tearing the fabric and mangling the frame.

People – including the early stallholders – rallied round to help dismantle it, and some villagers brought their own gazebos to shelter the foodie stallholders, who should have been in the marquee.

The wind was still very strong on Saturday, and there was much British determination and stoicism in evidence among the (now) outdoor stallholders, hanging on to their gazebos to stop them blowing away while at the same time trying to give customers change or, in Sandy from Waddesdon Deli’s case, to cook sausages!

All the stallholders were great about the far from ideal conditions, and we are very grateful to them for their good humour and helpfulness. We are also hugely grateful for everyone who rushed to help, so that the market could carry on and to the volunteers who showed real Blitz spirit through the day. And of course, thanks to all the people who came along to buy, to snack, to chat – in fact, to everyone who helped make The Pantry’s 3rd anniversary such a success, despite the weather’s best efforts to disrupt it!

See you next year!

 

For those of you who like to plan your snack opportunities well in advance, here’s a menu for the Christmas Market tomorrow.

Pantry menu xmas 2015-page-0

It looks like it’s going to be the usual Pantry weather – gale force winds and possibly rain – so I expect sales of comfort food and drink will be brisk.

The marquees are up, and hopefully well tethered down – though if you see a huge white tent-type thing flying down Ludgershall Road tonight, please alert one of the Pantry people!

See you tomorrow.

VH Xmas Pantry pic

The very first Pantry market, 1 December 2012.

Wow! We have a record number of village people (no, not them) selling their wares at the Christmas market on Saturday 5 December. Please come and support them, and make this a really special third anniversary.

Avon: Jackie Cooper-Smith has been Piddington’s Avon representative for many years, and will be offering a range of toiletries, cosmetics and gifts from this popular and great value range. You’re bound to find plenty of gifts and stocking fillers for all your family and friends as well as something to make you look fabulous throughout the festivities.

c17_christmas_secondaryspotKim’s Jewels: Kim Elliott, who has recently moved to the village, will be selling handmade glass jewellery, along with other costume jewellery, scarves and accessories, all reasonably priced.

Pea Green Designs: Alex White, another Piddington resident, offers an eclectic variety of home accessories and gifts, from ceramic tealight holders to reindeer hides. They are upmarket but keenly priced – I promise you won’t be able to resist buying something, even if it’s just a little silvery bird Christmas decoration. They flew off the stall at the last market – well, not literally!

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Liz Tagert: Liz, who also lives in the village, is selling kitchen wares and home goods.

Of course, there are also the Piddington Bakers, villagers who bake delicious homemade cakes to sell in aid of St Nicholas’s Church fabric fund. As this is for the benefit of the village, The Pantry waives the fee for the stall – so everyone benefits. And we all get to scoff cake.

Cake stall collage1

As well as Piddington people selling their wares, we also have even more local treats made from the village’s own produce.

You may already be a fan of Piddington Christmas Chutney, made by Jim and Jules from Piddington apples. We’ll be selling this again – and Rosemary (another longstanding Piddington resident) – has made up another collection of her fantastic Hedgerow Jams and Jellies, which she creates using the good things growing around the village.

Cherwell-20131205-00540 (2)

Last year, you may have bought these two together – as ‘A Piddington Pair’ – and you’ll be able to do so again. This year, however, you’ll be spoilt for choice, as we’ll also be selling the the range of three Piddington apple juice blends: Piddington Apple Juice, Piddington Apple and Pear Juice and Piddington Apple Juice – Cider Day Blend. The juices have all been pasteurised, so they’ll keep for a long time.

Piddington BlendIf you live in Piddington, you’ll know that the Cider Day Blend (no photograph, as we haven’t collected it from the apple presser/bottler yet) was made with the apples remaining after our first village Apple-pressing Day on 31 October. This event was intended to provide enough juice from apples donated by villagers to produce a trial batch of Piddington Cider.

To say the day was a huge success would be an understatement. It brought people together in an atmosphere of industrious hilarity, the number of apples – and pears – donated was incredible, and the great cider experiment is well under way. You can read more about this new village venture, follow the progress of Tom, Dick, Harry and Dave – and see the incriminating photographs – here.

At last we have the definitive list – barring any last-minute surprises – of who is coming to The Pantry Christmas Market.

Drum roll … we have (foodies first):

Brill Organic Vegetables: Kevin is currently selling organic produce bought in from Sandy Lane Farm and North Aston Organic and offering veg boxes and home deliveries, but hopes to progressively sell more of his own organic produce grown on land he cultivates in Brill.

Debbie’s Home Cooked Food: Debbie produces ‘proper’ home-cooked food using local ingredients, selling at farmers’ markets and delivering to customers’ houses. She offers a bespoke service, including catering for special dietary requirements and providing smaller complete meals. To order in advance and collect at the market, email: debbiesfood@outlook.com; tel.: 01296 770196.

Orchard View Farm: We’re delighted to welcome Orchard View Farm to The Pantry. In 2009 Jim and Helen decided to build a farm which encompasses their core values of raising happy animals and showing people how their food arrives on their plate. Their sausages and pies are award-winners: they have recently been awarded a Great Taste 3 Gold Star Award for their free range pork – the equivalent of 3 Michelin stars for a restaurant – and last week were crowned winners of the best innovative sausage in the south east & London! The farm shop and cafe (at Little Meadle, near Longwick) is lovely – do go and sample some of their delicious food and see all the animals. Free-range bronze turkeys are available to order. To order in advance and collect at the market, contact them on 01844 273387 or via their website.

Waddesdon Deli Company: A Pantry regular, Sandy’s stall selling delicious home-cured and home-smoked produce, cheeses and more is always buzzing with customers.

Zena Ashdown: Everyone makes a beeline for Zena’s gorgeous range of reasonably priced handbags and baskets.

Jennie Bosher: Handmade decorations and cards, knitted cushions and toys.

Michelle Bridges: Michelle’s handmade quilts, cushions, draught excluders and door stops were a big hit at the last market.

Kathy Chalk: Individually designed decorative glass pieces. Offering unique gifts and decorations, Kathy’s stall is a favourite at our Christmas markets.

Avon: Jackie has been Piddington’s Avon representative for many years, and will be offering a range of toiletries, cosmetics and gifts.

Kim’s Jewels: Kim, who recently moved to Piddington, will be selling handmade glass jewellery, along with other costume jewellery, scarves and accessories, all reasonably priced.

Horton Accessories: Chris Cox’s fine-quality accessories are always very popular at The Pantry.

Paul’s Cards: Phoenix Christmas and birthday cards, stationery and gifts.

Pea Green Designs: Alex, who lives in Piddington, offers an eclectic variety of home accessories and gifts, from ceramic tealight holders to reindeer hides.

Rustic Homemade Decorations: Gorgeous Christmassy decorations made by Milly (aged 11) and Bryn (aged 7) from Brill. How could anyone resist those reindeer?

Liz Tagert: Liz, another Piddington resident, is selling kitchen wares and home goods.

Jenni Walker (The Hat Hire Company): Jenni’s is another stall that people really love, with her range of beautiful and affordable jewellery and accessories. She also sells her photographer husband Richard Walker’s mounted and framed prints, cards and calendars

Piddington Bakers: Village community stall selling delicious homemade cakes and bakes. All profits are in aid of St Nicholas’s Church fabric fund.

As well as all these stalls you’ll find the …

Beer Stall: Local ales from Oxfordshire Ales, Vale Brewery Co. and XT Brewing Co. Tasters available. Choose from our selection and make up your own mixed case of ales – for yourself or as a gift. Or just come and say hello to Andrew and Ian.

General Store: All your favourites, including products from the Cornfield Bakery, Jim and Jules, Shaken Oak and our own ‘Piddington Blend’ apple and apple and pear juices, made from villagers’ fruit.

Pantry Raffle: Fantastic prizes! Make sure you buy a ticket!

Secondhand Book Stall (if we can fit it in!): Have a rummage and see if you can find that modern first edition that’ll make your fortune. Or ponder over just how many John Grisham fans there can be in one village.

And last, but certainly not least, the …

Coffee Shop: Homemade cakes and Christmassy goodies from the Piddington Bakers, croissants and pain-au-chocolat from the Cornfield Bakery, legendary bacon and mushroom baps and more, all served up with frightening efficiency by the dazzling duo of Maggie and Karen and a crack team of volunteers.

We got together last night to finalise who is coming to The Pantry Christmas Market and what we’ll be selling in the General Store. This will be our third anniversary, so we were hoping to make the market our best yet – and it’s looking good so far.

Some of the items in the General Store are very locally sourced indeed – look out for our Piddington Christmas Chutney, made by Jim and Jules from Piddington apples, a new collection of Rosemary’s Hedgerow Jams, made from the good things growing all around the village, and the range of three Piddington apple juice blends: Piddington Apple Juice, Piddington Apple and Pear Juice and Piddington Apple Juice – Cider Day Blend. The latter was made with the apples remaining after our village Cider Day last Saturday. You can read more about this new village venture – and see the incriminating photographs – here.

We have a fantastic range of stallholders lined up, offering everything you need for a great locally sourced festive season, from free-range bronze turkeys and Christmas meats to handcrafted jewellery and reindeer hides. I’ll give you more details in a later post, but for now, here are a few tasters of what’s coming.

Reservoir_pigs

Reservoir pigs – Orchard View Farm

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Pea Green Designs

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Kim’s Jewels

jennie-bosher

Jennie Bosher – Crafts

reindeer

Rustic Reindeer

The posters will be going up soon, and it’s time to start telling your friends and family about the Christmas Pantry on Saturday 5 December. We have some exciting new stallholders as well as some old favourites, so get ready to fill your Christmas stockings with lovely locally sourced goodies. It’s our third anniversary, and we hope to make this market the best yet!

Pantry Xmas poster 15 colour-page-0-1

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