It’s not exactly local for us - over an hours drive - but we just fancied an outing this morning. There’s great views as you drive over the high peaks around Buxton. Well, there’s great views in better weather - we quickly got into the clouds and visibility was down to less than 50 yards.
It’s well over 12 months since we were last here. There’s fewer stalls. And fewer customers. I’ve noticed that at other farmers markets. My take on it is that business has contracted as folk find their budgets tighten and they can no longer afford premium prices for food. The market is held at the agricultural centre - on weekdays it’s where the livestock auctions are held. As always , the cafe was the first stop. Actually, the loo was the first stop – but enough of my prostate problems. OK, the coffee is instant and insipid - but the bacon cob was good, as always. The humble bread roll has become a cob in that hour’s drive. It started out, where I live, as a barm (cake). I’d almost certainly driven through areas where the locals would know it as a bap or batch.
We did quite well with the shopping. It’s hard to avoid the Port of Lancaster Smokehouse. They tend to appear at every farmers market. We bought four pigeons from them – for a bargain £10. The breasts are off and in the freezer – they make a belting starter quickly fried and dumped on salad leaves or toast. Another stall sold us a couple of organic steaks (Dexter cattle I think). Oh, yes, the mushroom people – they grow and sell all sorts. We bought a mixed bag – sliced and fried with garlic and parsley, they’re tonight’s starter. Another stall was run by market gardeners who sell what they grow – in this case, chard and carrots, which will go with tonight’s main course – braised Jacobs Ladder (highly appropriate as the hill with that name is not far away from Bakewell). And there’s a kabocha squash for another night. We stocked up on sausages, as well – there’s a guy who keeps Gloucester Old Spot pigs and turns them into well flavoured bangers. And, last but not least, the Scotch egg stall . Great variety here – although not all to my taste. I tried the “Thai flavours” and “sweet chilli” ones but they were just wrong. The black pudding was outstandingly good. They’ve used a high quality, very peppery, pudding which works so well.
And then it was off through the clouds again