Posts Tagged ‘Susan Mallard’

We rolled into town from a little vacation on Saturday ~ just in time to hear a fabulous parade of thunder and lightning.  The thunder sounded like a big stout troll was lumbering through the neighborhood shaking the earth, and slinging lightning bolts as he went.  A blessing of rainfall followed in his wake. 

Unfortunately, we missed the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the North Asheville Tailgate Market by a few hours.  According to my friend 

Jean is selling, Bill is buying


Jo, “It was…a lot of fun to see friends, & celebrate such a great market (now in the best place they’ve ever had.)  I learned the entire history from Ron Ainspan, and talked to Ian Robertson who was in on it at the very beginning also (from Warren Wilson Farms).”  Jo and a bunch of my buddies are Tailgate Market regulars that love the food, know the growers at least by sight, and look forward to quickie visits with friends during the market. 

The UNCA location truly is quite wonderful.  The sun is buffered by lots of shade trees, the layout is very inviting, and live music is always drifting though the market crowd.  Because I have to dash off to work by 8:20 many Saturdays ~ many of my visits are limited to about 20 minutes.  Even though I find a parking space with ease, the parking lot is mostly full at that early hour.  Lines are forming for bread, tomatoes or berries.  Since I have so little time and I am sidetracked into visiting, I usually bring a list so I don’t forget crucial items. 

30 years! How cool is that?  The North Asheville Tailgate Market started in 1980, and could rightfully be called the leader of the pack.  It has been 

Susan Mallard with her son, Blue Heron Farm


chugging along through a number of locations, and gaining momentum from the start.  It still retains some of the original vendors AND ultra-loyal customers.  The market predates “Buy Local” slogans, but has benefited from the renewed dedication of customers seeking out real-life connections to the locally grown food they want to eat.  Congratulations to the North Asheville Tailgate Market, to the fabulous market and all its vendors, and to the faithful customers who support it!


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November 13, 2009

Dear Tailgate Market Fans,

November’s market reflects the season with squashes, honey, sweet potatoes, greens, cornmeal, grits, eggs, and so much more.  You can pay a quarter to watch Bill Whipple’s famous veggie peep show, but remember to hold on to your hat and get some pears while you’re at it. Cathy Bennett has been attending two different markets with Doubletree Farm’s delicious sorghum molasses.  She’s got tiny stocking stuffer jugs of the sweet stuff, and labeled half-pints, pints, and quarts.  For the true believer, half-gallon glass jugs of sorghum are just the ticket.  Cathy’s young son, Lewis, sells bundles of kindling.  So if you have a fireplace or stove, be sure to look Lewis up and support a budding entrepreneur.  Maple Creek Farm, out of Yancey County, is selling sorghum too.

Amy (Sweetheart Bakery) still has my favorite spelt scones, while some of her other treats reflect the season – featuring fall fruits and veggies like apples and pumpkins.

Farm & Sparrow Bread

Farm and Sparrow is coming through with great hearth-baked, wood-fired breads, including croissants, and beautiful holiday breads.  Susan Mallard at the North Asheville Market always has tarts so pretty you don’t want to cut into them- both savory and sweet.  Try Joanne’s shortbread there too, early in the morning.  Primo homemade baked goods can be found at all the markets, plus jellies, jams, honey, and mustards too.

Fall is one of the best times for fishing and shrimping, and super-fresh NC coastal seafood shows up on Wednesdays and Saturdays at some markets.  Get some heirloom grits to make Shrimp and Grits.  Salmon Guy is back from Alaska with all that kickin’ wild salmon.  And the trout people give samples if you aren’t quite sure what you want – all tasty for sure.  A number of farmers are bringing meats and sausages, and I’m pretty sure you can still order free-range turkeys for your Thanksgiving dinner (hurry before they are all gone).  Free-range eggs too. And of course…the ever-popular goat cheeses…the perfect grab-and-go hors d’oeuvres.

Yes, our local abundance can still be found at the tailgate markets. Get up and get out there!

Shrimp and Grits (last Sunday’s breakfast)

About 8 servings


2 cups Blue Hill Farm Grits

8 cups Water-salted

1 Onion – chopped

1 or 2 Green Peppers – chopped

8 oz. Goat Cheese (chevre) or cream cheese

Picante Sauce, Homemade or Pace

3-4 lbs. Shrimp

Garlic – a few cloves minced

Salt, Pepper, Tabasco, fresh Parsley – to taste

Add grits to briskly boiling water-stirring constantly while adding, and occasionally thereafter.  Simmer until tender on low heat (30 minutes?).  In a skillet, sauté onions and peppers in olive oil or butter until onions are clear.  Once grits is tender, add sautéed onions and peppers, cheese, and Pace Picante (I like it spicy).  Adjust seasonings.  Sauté garlic in oil or butter in the skillet, and then add shrimp, sautéing until shrimp is just tender.  Stir shrimp into grits, or just ladle shrimp on top of grits.  Don’t forget the Tabasco! Or as my Dad likes to say…God Bless the McIlhennys (the family that makes Tabasco on Avery Island, LA).

Top of the morning to you!

Ruth Gonzalez

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