Festive Frolics at Covent Garden Real Food Market
I’m not one for noticing detail. One market day recently, I glanced upwards after the lunch time rush, and spotted evergreen gracing the top of my stall.
Of course! We’re getting close to Christmas, and the market is embracing it. We have chocolate salamis and spiced pecans, gorgeous homemade Christmas puddings and mulled wine. I’m serving up my 8 hour slow roast pork with spiced apple, but I am also including spiced soups to warm the senses on these very cold days. Recently I served up a very traditional boiled Irish gammon sandwich, we always have these over Christmas, particularly on St Stephens Day (Boxing Day in the UK) and it filled me with a surge of nostalgia and a longing from home.
I would love to do more festive dishes, like Irish spiced beef, very popular in Cork. Cured for weeks with spices like cloves, allspice, ginger, mace & bay, it’s then boiled and served up over the Christmas period. I adore the leftovers in a sandwich. It’s not to be this Christmas period though. I simply don’t have the fridge space for pork shoulders and spiced beef, not to mention the food I eat normally week to week. Maybe next year. I have however, rolled out the Christmas decorations, and have a new festive red tablecloth, which kept me cheery through the bitter cold.
Soups this week, were all aromatic. Thursday was pumpkin and lentil with a spice paste made from galangal, lemongrass, red chillis, garlic & ginger. Kaffir lime leaves and bay also added some fragrance. A similar base graced Friday’s white bean, pumpkin and spinach soup.
This last week was particularly special, as Sig, blogger behind Scandilicious, had a Scandi Christmas stall On Thursday and happily shared mine with me. She served up some delicious specialities Gingerbread with Lemon Icing, Chocolate & Cardamom Cake and my favourite Potato Pancakes filled with Cinnamon Buttercream. Sig has posted the recipes on her blog, with a fun photos of us, where I am Michelin Man esque (in size only), I blame, in part only, multiple layers of thermals, that market is bloody cold.
We had lots of visitors, and there was much quaffing or prosecco, pork and cake. The simple pleasures life brings! I had a great day, thanks to Sig for being such charming company. Normally by 4pm I am bored and wondering who I can ask to cover my stall while I nip off for a loo break.
Not only that, the market is all inclusive and we also had latkes for Hannukah from Daniel of Young & Foodish. I adore latkes, I’ve blogged about them before, both the traditional latkes with apples sauce and some more avant garde beetroot ones with goats cheese. Daniel’s latkes were delicious, served solo, or with sour cream and salmon roe. Very popular, he sold out early both days, and I, nipped down to catch the last two, as I was desperate for seconds.
So, one more week left of market, and then we close until mid February. This week, it opens Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I will only be at market on Wednesday and Saturday this week, but I am lining up a guest stallholder to take my place on Thursday and Friday. Watch this space!
Come by and say hi! It will be the last of my slow roast pork, soup, and Bisol Jeio Prosecco, for a couple of months. I do plan to come back in February though. I initially only committed to Christmas, but I really enjoy it and want to see if I can push it further. Maybe it can become a real business? Right now it only supplements work, and on bad days when the weather is grim, I am lucky to break even, but I’ll give it a try. The only question is, when combinging it with work, how long will I be able to work 7 days a week for?! I think I can manage.
Some photos are from my iphone, so forgive the quality. Thanks to Willie Lebus for the photo of Sig & I.