How are your curtains ?
I always love to see Summer time start. Its so lovely to see the bright evenings and I often feel people are like tortoises. They start to emerge from their shells and stretch out. Even driving through town yesterday evening I was struck by all the people out sitting having the tipple of their fancy - everyone was in great form. The Market is the same. There are more stall holders and we see the return of our fair weather customers and the sense of community builds once more.
But this has made me think about the long dreary winter months and how we get through them. Once the buzz of Christmas is over we sink into a lull of hardcore regulars! Quite often as a stall holder this is a difficult time. So how do we keep going? Sure its for the love of what we do and for many their livelihood depends on it but its also because of the camaraderie and friendships that have formed between customers and stallholders alike.
Our fish stall holder is what can only be described as a devil. What he gets away with saying to his customers is unreal. The amount of times I've heard him chatting up women of all ages is phenomenal and he does it with such charm and humour that he gets away with murder. And while he's no George Clooney what woman doesn't mind being told she's only gorgeous! Because of this an orderly queue forms at his stall every Saturday whatever the weather and the roars of laughter can be heard and keep the customers coming back.
Then there are the customers who sweep in every Saturday laughing no matter what ! One lady in particular arrives with her dog Guinness every Saturday. Guinness always looks suave in his reflector jacket !!! He trots up to me and sits looking up at me with the most beautiful chocolate eyes that say please give me a treat. He is particularly fond of Gubbeen and Manchego. His owner then follows him over and decrees that her dog has the best taste ever and knows a good cheese when he smells one !
Then she will have a story for you. One that is normally not for small ears if you know what I mean. My particular favourite was about a French man, Italian man and an Irish man. While I could not possibly tell you the rest of the story on this blog as I would most certainly be tracked down and arrested suffice to say to say there were curtains involved and hence Mary now greets me with the line - "How are your curtains?" and the laughter rises again.
This is what makes a Market, this is what makes my Saturday mornings sunny all year round and in honour of the sun here is a nice little week day supper that celebrates the start of Summer flavours.
Roast Mediterranean Vegetable Salad with
Grilled Goats Cheese and Wild Garlic Oil.
Prep 30 mins plus cooling
1 Red Onion
20 Cherry Tomatoes
A mixture of salad leaves in season.
8 thin slices of Chevre Buche
Big bunch of Wild Garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & pepper
Chop up the onion, courgettes, aubergine place on a baking tray along with the cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, season and roast in a preheated moderate oven (180 deg) for twenty mins. Then allow to cool.
In the meantime wash the wild garlic and dry.Then crush it with a pestle & mortar or whizz it in the processor and add enough oil to make it loose enough to drizzle. Fry the lardons until a they are a little bit crispy and allow to cool.
Place the slices of goats cheese on a baking tray. When the vegetables are cool place the goats cheese under the grill for two to three minutes. In the meantime arrange the salad leaves nicely. Arrange your vegetables and lardons on top. Finally place two slices of the grilled goats cheese on top and drizzle with the wild garlic oil. A lovely taste of Summer.