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Spicing up Saturday at Pepper Place
Yet another day for the Pepper Place Saturday Market, but this early November mid-morning was actually very warm, which made it pretty near perfect for perusing the Pepper Place.
If you’ve never been to a farmer’s market, and let’s face it, a lot of us have not, you may have an idea of what one is like in your head: a bunch of fruits and vegetables in cute but rough looking little baskets being sold by a bunch of, well, farmers. Right? Those are the most basic standards of a farmer’s market, and of course they were present.
Pumpkins, tomatoes, broccoli, string beans, squash, sweet potatoes, gigantic eggplants, they were all there on the set up tables put under white tents. A lot of the produce came from Chilton and Cullman counties. They all looked very beautiful and vibrant set up in their little displays and one can be sure they tasted just as good as they looked. Some people, though, may find raw vegetables a little overwhelming. Thoughts may occur, such as ‘It’s tempting, but I honestly can’t think of anything I’d use it for,” and then the follow up, “when I do think of something, they probably will have gone bad.” Such concerns may be the ones of the culinary -challenged college student. Sure, some of us may stay up late watching cooking videos, but does the average student really have enough time and money to cook half of what they want to?
Fear not, for there is more at the farmer’s market. Pre-made foods! Lots of small restaurants, other markets, and bakeries like to sell some of their goods here. For the vegan crowd, there are cruelty and gluten free treats from La La Dixie. A sample of pumpkin pie bread was very delicious without the addition of milk or gluten. There were other treats there such as macaroons and sweet little candies enhanced with the extra special ingredient known as “locally made.” And the Steel City Pops vendor cart was there, selling even more vegan-gluten-free-locally-made goodness!
In addition to the sweets were also organic artisan bread, the best pimento cheese in the world, local honey, pastries, canned spices and beef, believe it or not. For people not into taking home a bunch of stuff, bakers and cooks were on sight to make breakfast burritos and biscuits using fresh eggs and other ingredients being sold throughout the farmer’s market.
There were also some non-edibles being sold. Handmade soaps, crocheted crafts, Birmingham-centric art from Alabama designers and craftsmen, and a bunch of very pretty flowers to take home and plant yourself. All this set up to the back drop of some live, smooth jazz. And on a warm Saturday morning in November, what more could you reasonably ask for during this time of year?
The Pepper Place Saturday Market will only be open until mid-December, so hurry up and go if you want to take in its glory. It lasts from 7:00 a.m. to noon, and is located in the parking lot of Pepper Place on 2829 2nd Ave. S. Evidently, dogs are welcome to come along for the occasion! Check their website pepperplacemarket.com for more info, including a list of vendors and recipes.
Senior Staff Writer