Chapter Nine- Milwaukee County Winter Farmers’ Market (AND A BONUS! Explanation for Intermission)

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A friend of mine sent me a link about the Milwaukee County Winter Farmers’ Market, and I decided that Saturday April 13 was my last chance…so I went.

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Upon arriving (located in the Tommy Thompson Youth Center), I easily found free parking and entered into the bustling commons.  There were lots of people shopping and buying meat, dairy, honey, veggies, soups, jams, and much more. I had a little trouble figuring out the flow of traffic, but soon realized there wasn’t really one.  I took a few laps to scope everything out, tasting some samples along the way.

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Valentine Coffee Roasters were busy pouring coffee for lots of customers who seemed very pleased with their purchases.

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Winter veggies looked delicious.  Parsnips, beets, greens, mushrooms and more were available in abundance.

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Fresh and local goods always make me smile.  Vendors were very pleasant and offered lots of delicious samples.

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Let’s talk for a minute about samples.  And toffee.  KP’s Toffee makes some of the most delicious toffee (and other treats) that I’ve tasted.  Now generally I’m not drawn to sweet treats like this, but the nice lady enticed me to try.  Let me tell you, I wasn’t disappointed.  It was light enough so my mouth didn’t get tired of chewing before I finished.  And not over powering in the sweet, either.  The toffee cake was amazing, too.  I love generous vendors who encourage you to sample!

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Caroline’s raw and vegan cuisine surprised me.  I hadn’t yet ventured into the land of raw food, but these samples may have changed me.  The Chia seed crackers were so flavorful, especially when sampled with some delicious dips.  And the raw sweet potato chocolate mousse was incredible!  How surprising that it was all raw and vegan.

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And then I met this lovely lady, Christina Ward of Kick Out The Jams. I first tried the Carrot Cake jam on it [I must explain that in my house, we refer to jam as “jam on it” and our three year old often raps “jam on it, jam on it, j-j-j-j-jam on it” while requesting a PB&J sandwich] that two other women were sampling, and we all oohed and ahhed trying to guess what was in the recipe.

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Christina shared the simple list of ingredients and collectively, our minds were blown.  There must be a lot of love added.  And then I saw THIS!

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Booze infused jam?!  Since I haven’t had a brandy old-fashioned in a long time, I asked for a sample.  Mmmm.  And yes, you can taste the liquor.  It’s sweet and unusual.  I was advised on how to use the jam besides with toast, and there are plenty of ways to consume this bit of bliss.  Mix with oil and vinegar for a dressing, top some vanilla ice cream with it, put on top of cream cheese for your Wisconsin cheese and cracker platter…genius.

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It was a short trip, very manageable.  Easy access, just the right amount of vendors.  This definitely got me excited for the upcoming outdoor farmers’ market season!  My spread: Brandy Old Fashioned Jam, Smoked Salmon, Fresh Butter, Maple Syrup, and Eggs.

BONUS:

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For those of you who know me, “morning sickness” doesn’t really describe pregnancy for me.  “Hyperemesis Gravidarum” is more like it.  That said, I’ve been out of commission the past few weeks trying to regain feeling like a human, which is going pretty well.  I’m 3 months now, and hope to welcome baby Storm #4 into our house around Halloween!  And no I’m not having twins again…whew!

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