Firstly I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who came to see us at Marlow Market on Saturday! It was a fantastic day and we sold out on our chicken satay, curry puffs, and returned with only a handful of jars. Whilst I look forward to attending every month, the preparation that takes place prior and on the day is immense. My kitchen is a hub of activity on market week as work surfaces are littered with onions, ginger, garlic, chilli, spices, jars, chicken and pots on every hob. Once the sauces are made and bottled, the chicken is marinated and then begins the laborious process of skewering which is probably one of the most mundane tasks. After about 20 skewers it’s quite easy to lose the will to live but we soldier on encouraged by the fact that the mound of chicken is gradually reducing!
Sauces and satay aside, there are my homemade curry puffs waiting in the wings which means making the pastry, filling, moulding, and crimping. This is where I praise god for Netflix as it’s my constant companion whilst I sit and put these babies together. Feel free to comment with your favourite Netflix series as I’m always looking for new things to watch!
Then market day dawns with an early 6am start and me wishing I could spend another hour in bed. Once the car is packed to bursting point, god forbid we haven’t left anything behind (this time it was the serviettes we forgot), we set off in our 100 year old Renault scenic looking like we’ve just fled our Homeland! There is a flurry of activity when we get there with tents being erected, boxes being unloaded, tables appearing adorned with homemade cakes, bread, sauces, tea, cheese, meat, biltong, and all sorts of goodies worthy of Ali Baba’s cave. I’m sure anyone who has run a stall at a market can vouch for the feeling of excitement that comes when setting up! Then begins the wait for customers as I agonise whether we will be eating satay and curry puffs for the week, and if all my jars will have to be reloaded into said Scenic! Needless to say I’m totally elated when we are swamped and all our hard work is rewarded, the smiles from happy customers is what keeps us going, especially during the difficult days!
Packing up is easier as we have less to fetch and carry but sore feet and backs makes the task twice as hard. However the promise of a large G&T at the end of it all is a motivator! As hubby and I sip our cold drinks with Nev and Charlene from the Biltong stall, which has come to be known as our ‘debrief’ session, we ponder over the events of the day. We all agree that the blood, sweat and tears might make most run a mile, but for us and all stakeholders, it brings hope. Hope that a day will come where we will be discovered, hope that our products grace the shelves of supermarkets, and hope for a brighter future for our children and family.
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