Saturday, 26 May 2012

Lanarkshire Farmers Market

So the Spring weather has eventually turned up, although wearing a very good Summer disguise, and the unmistakable smells of backyard barbecues fill the air. The Lanarkshire Farmers Market was in Clarkston today so in preparation for my own outdoor cooking, I made my way down to pick up a few bits and pieces.

They say the early bird catches the worm and today was no exception, by the time I arrived I think the majority of the residents of Clarkston had already been to the market and left the meat suppliers low on supplies of burgers! Fortunately for me, the Carmichael Estate stall had a good choice of both venison burgers, and lamb burgers. I took a pack of the lamb burgers which cooked very well on the BBQ. Both myself and Nicola are big fans of lamb and these burgers definitely hit the spot when served in between a toasted ciabatta.

Another exhibitor at the market was Lochbyre Rare Breed Meat who sell a wide range of home grown meats and who actually rear their beasts only a few miles from my back garden. The early rush had cleaned them out of burgers but I was able to get my hands on some pork ribs and their 90% pork sausages. The sausages are still in the fridge but if this weather continues, they will be on the coals before the week is out. I marinated the ribs in a mix of garlic, tomato pureé, soy sauce, Worcester sauce, honey and syrup, before roasting in the oven and then finishing on the BBQ. If I'm being honest with myself, I maybe cooked them just a few minutes too much and although the meat was tasty, it was maybe just a little dry. In future, I'll be much more careful.

My wife's business, LittleGems Jewellery had a pop-up shop today in one the local childrenswear shops, so to help keep her sugar levels up whilst she worked hard in the high temperatures, I bought her some delicious raspberry & white chocolate fudge from The Wee Fudge Company. I managed to steal a little bit tonight and have to say that I'm surprised that there was any left. It was delicious! There's a knack to making good fudge and I think that these guys definitely know what they're doing.

The final purchase made today was from AleselA, a quality seller of handcrafted beers and ales from microbreweries in Scotland and abroad. There was a huge range of bottled beers that I had never seen before and after a little taste or two, I decided to take home a couple of bottles of beer from The Loch Lomond Brewery. Both beers were very good. Bonnie'N'Blonde is a very refreshing classic pale bitter whilst the West Highland Way is a great summer beer, bursting with distinct citrusy flavours. The West Highland Way was definitely my favourite of the two, in fact it is one of the best beers that I have tasted in a long time.

Lamb burgers, pork ribs, sausages, fudge and handcrafted beers! Not bad for a quick fifteen minute walk round the market. When the farmers markets are in town, try to get along and talk to the suppliers. There are many fantastic products out there that you won't find anywhere else, everything that I tried today was either something that I had never had before or from a supplier that i had never used, but of course I will be sure to try again.

Tomorrow I will be at The Newton Mearns Farmers Market helping LittleGems Jewellery with her stall, as the sun is due to be about for the next few days, I will be keeping an eye out for more new products from the various suppliers on display.


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