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, 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.
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 small 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?
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?