Quince jelly on the telly

Well, Michel Roux Jr called it quince paste, and it actually looked more like the blocks of quince cheese sold by our suppliers Quince Products Ltd, but I’m using poetic licence here!

In the first of the new series of Food and Drink (BBC2) last Monday, Roux recommended adding a chunk of quince paste when making the gravy for a roast, because, as well as adding depth of flavour, it also gives the gravy a beautiful sheen, adds a little sweetness and acts as a thickener. The recipe he demonstrated was roast pork with roast potatoes and gravy, but I can confirm that a little quince cheese (or jelly or paste) is a superb addition to any gravy, sauce, casserole or bake. Even rinsing out the ’empty’ jar into whatever you’re cooking will give it extra taste and depth.

Can you really afford not to buy some of our quince products at the next market?


Pantry people

If you’re curious to know who the mysterious Pantry people are, have a look at the new page giving a bit more information about us.

First look

We had a great meeting last night, talking about what products we’ll be offering at the Piddington General Store and which stallholders we’d like to invite.

The Piddington General Store is, in essence, a stall held by us – The Pantry organisers – as stallholders. We buy in items from local producers and sell them on our tables. So it gives us the opportunity to do what we like best – seeking out interesting people creating unique products who are based in the area around Piddington, and then offering them to local people ‘in their own backyard’. Half the fun is discovering goodies we hadn’t come across before, but it’s also great to be able to offer items from well-established local producers like Bruce Young of Shaken Oak mustard, Colin (aka Quince Charming) and Elspeth Wainwright of Quince Products Ltd, and the Coleman family of the Cornfield Bakery, all of whom have quite a number of fans here, judging by the sell-out of their products last time. So those are definitely on our list – and we’ll be increasing our orders to cope with the demand.

The stallholders are local producers who rent a table for the day from us and then organise and sell their own items. This enables us to offer a wider range of local produce than we could otherwise manage – fresh vegetables, meat and homemade ready meals, for example.  In this, our second market, we’d like to retain some stalls but also offer something new. Which makes decision-making really hard, as all our stallholders were really popular last time, and we’d love to have them all again – but then where would we put the new people? And, excitingly, now we’re listed on various websites, we’re starting to get enquiries from people asking to take a stall who sound really interesting.

I’ll let you know more when we’ve cogitated a bit longer. In the meantime, please spread the word among your family and friends, share this message by whatever social media you fancy – even conversation, if you must – 9th March, Piddington Village Hall, 9.30-1.30. Be there!

What to do with your flyer

If you live in the Ray Valley area, you may just have received the February edition of Parish Matters, in which The Pantry Spring Market features several times. You can’t say we’re not enthusiastic!

And if you live in Piddington, you also get a free gift – a lovely spring green flyer.

This loose sheet is meant as an additional reminder, in case you miss the advert and notice in the magazine itself (I almost said ‘In case you don’t read the magazine’, but surely no locals would be so remiss). However, we’d like you to put your flyer to even better use.

It would be great if you could pass it on to other people. Perhaps you have access to a noticeboard at work, school, gym or golf club – please pin up the green flyer, so the word gets around that Piddington is the place to shop for all your springtime essentials.

We’re meeting this week to start drawing up a list of goodies we’d like to offer this time. It’s really hard, as there are so many wonderful local producers and suppliers out there, and Piddington Village Hall is only small. Well, it’s not that small, but it’s not Harrods Food Hall! But we’ll cram in as many lovely things as we can, to tempt you to buy.

Spring market

I’ve just done the first poster for the next market (see below), which will start appearing on various noticeboards soon. Then we can start choosing all the goodies for it. We all enjoy that bit!



More photos

If you’d like to see a few more photos of the market – including some of the anxious moments setting it up beforehand – go to the Piddington village website: http://www.piddingtonvillageoxfordshire.org.uk/updates2.html

The website has had a revamp recently, and contains quite a few more photographs of village life as well as other information. It’s simply another way of bringing the village together as a community – a different sort of noticeboard, maybe, but that kind of thing. It would be great if people used it as easily as they pin up notices on the village noticeboards!

Next market

We’ve had such great feedback from people about our first market, and it’s clear that there’s a demand for more. So we’ve set a date for the next market – 9 March 2013.

As Mother’s Day is on 10 March, and Easter Sunday is on 31 March, this will be a great opportunity to pick up some delicious Easter treats as well as a lovely gift for your mum!

We will be choosing produce with spring in mind, and as well as food and gifts, we’re hoping to supply plants and flowers.

Check back now and again, as I’ll post more details soon.