Saturday morning early-early, we (Roy, Farmer, and I) saddled up the little red Honda and boarded the ferry (aka the icebreaker) and whooshed our way over to Woods Hole. We picked up Libby in Falmouth and drove up to Wayland, Massachusetts, just west of Boston, where I was scheduled to do a book signing event at a winter farmers’ market held inside Russell’s Garden Center.
I had tried to get to the Wayland Winter Farmers Market in January, but that time we had boarded the boat, only to get backed off due to high winds. No way was I going to miss it this time.
Now, I only wish I could go back to the market next Saturday (which will be the last market for the season) as it was truly wonderful. I was so busy at the signing table (a very good thing, of course) that I didn’t get to poke around as much as Roy and Libby did.
Held inside a big greenhouse (my table backed up to an orchid display), the market was packed with farmers and vendors from all around New England. In fact, this Saturday was New England Cheese Day at the market, and next to me was Ann Starbard from Crystal Brook Farm (right) with her award-winning fresh goat cheeses. I could have spent a good bit of time sampling!
I brought along my own samples—three loaves of Spiced Butternut and Cranberry Quick Bread (top photo), a recipe from Fresh From the Farm. We cut the loaves into small pieces, but nevertheless they disappeared! Along with almost all of the books we brought with us.
The best part was meeting quite a few readers of my cookbooks—and friends of friends—who made a dedicated effort to come to the market. (Sisters Gail Lilligreen, right, and Linda Ohsberg, left, in the photo above, drove up from Rhode Island.) Such nice people.
The nicest of all was market manager Peg Mallett, who is not only super-organized and friendly, but saved me with three bottles of water and a cool spot to sit for a minute when I unexpectedly felt very light-headed and momentarily thought I had come all that way only to fall ill…’Jeesh, Susie,’ was all I could think.
While I regained my equilibrium, Roy and Libby manned the table, holding would-be book buyers hostage with farm stories until I returned. After that, Roy and Libby had a well-earned (and delicious) lunch of thin-crusted pizza from the Vesta mobile wood-fired oven at the entrance to the greenhouse. And then they gave Farmer a tour of the (outdoor) grounds.
We were all so tired at the end that we drove straight back to Woods Hole (one quick stop at Lowe’s) and got on an early ferry. There’s just only so much you can do in one off-Island excursion.
Now, as if Libby doesn’t get inundated enough with everything food-and-cooking (like trips to farmers markets on her school vacation!), we decided to do some cooking lessons together this week. First assignment: Making and baking Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies, solo. (Well, solo, with a few tips from teacher.)
Happy to say she got an A+ on this assignment. (Yes, that is Barney on the kitchen counter in the background of the photo at right.)
The cookies were a surprise for Dad, who is truly swamped with work, both on-farm and off. On Sunday he was starting to build a chicken coop in the yard on a trailer—until we got the call that our 200 new birds won’t be coming this week, after all, but three weeks from now.
What a relief.
The snow is beginning to melt, and it is predictably swampy out there now. But at least we can think about getting the spring work rolling. Oh goody.
Photo credits: Cheeses, courtesy ask.dr.cheese.com; photos of all people at market, Peg Mallett; photo of wood-fired oven, courtesy Vesta Mobile Wood-Fired Pizza; all others, Susie