All those following my blog, by now know that I love experimenting with flavours. About a year back the itch to experiment, led me into creating something we all love, jams. But these jams were not your regular flavours available in the market and at the risk of boasting, they were quite a hit among my friends. Sure, they had a few critiques, but overall, they loved it. At this point I’d like to mention, again, those who have been following my blog, may have at some point noticed a sneak peek of narcissism in my culinary opinion of me! What? What’s the harm in loving oneself? The great learned ask you to do so!
Okay, enough of that. Fact of the matter being, the jams I created were well received by my friends and were lapped up in a jiffy. At that point, I thought I’d maybe make jams, sell them and make money. And, that stayed like the perfect plan to rule the world; but in my head. I didn’t really take that idea further, because, well, I got busy with other things. I know it’s kinda disappointing, but well that was that.
A few days earlier one of my closest friends Aditi, discovered that a friend of hers’ held a weekly Farmers Market in their studio on Sundays. This gave birth to the determined persuasion that I sell my array of jams at the market. After a few ifs, and nos, and buts, I finally said yes. But then crept in a small voice in my head that said “Yo, woman, so far only your friends have tasted your creations, not strangers. Maybe they were being just nice. How do you think people who don’t know will react to your concoctions?” I applauded the small voice and decided to take little baby steps at a time. So, I thought, well, let’s do a tasting session at the market then. Let’s see how strangers receive it.
I made a batch of 3 jams and one spread, and decided to give it a go. As usual the flavours were not regular. They were a bitter gourd and fennel jam, a pear and red wine jam, an apple and bacon jam and finally a chocolate and macadamia nut spread.
Armed with the goodies we headed to the Farmers Market on Sunday at Harkat Studios in Aram Nagar, Versova . Now, I have visited many a Farmers Market to buy stuff, but have never really been a part of one; so, this was a first. The studio itself has a very zen vibe to it. And to add to that the people and the participants also had a very peaceful and friendly vibe about them. The place was aplomb with an array of fresh bright colours of the market. The fresh vegetables, straight from a farm in Karjat, looked like they had just been plucked. Just looking at vegetables so fresh brought a smile to my face. To add to the organic vegetables, was an organic super food stall, that had amazing things like Moringa powder, Kharwas tablets, tulsi extracts and other products which were all oriented towards a healthy being. Then to add fizz to your life was a cider stall that had a variety of really unique non-alcoholic ciders. And there were so many more, if I continued, I would have to write for four more pages.
Then of course there was me! After setting up my humble stall,
I waited for people to come and try my sweet pleasures. And wow! What an experience that was. As people started trickling in and coming towards my stall, I did start getting nervous. See I am as honest as I am narcissistic! Anyway, once they got there, the first reaction on hearing the flavours was, “OH!”. I kinda knew that’s the reaction I would first get. Then began the tasting. The not so brave ones started with the chocolate spread and this was a unanimous favourite. In fact, people from the other stalls came to mine, to spread this luscious glory on a piece of bread to sample it multiple times! The brave ones and the intrigued ones started with the bitter gourd jam and the “Oh!” soon turned to “OH WOW!”. This one was a surprising favourite. Someone who actually cannot stand the sight of bitter gourd at all, LOVED it and complimented saying, “I can have this as a jam, as a spread, or hell I can just have it with every meal.” YAY! I was happy. The next crowd pleaser was of course the pear and red wine jam. This one is so, so pretty to look at, that to begin with you are attracted to it, and once you taste it, you are in jam heaven. That just left my favourite the bacon and apple jam. Now a very interesting observation here, I am a through worshiper of all things bacon, and I realised there are many of us enough to form a clan! They of course loved the jam, but, the others were a little apprehensive of a couple of things, the first being how can bacon, a non-vegetarian item be made into a jam and the second was, the flavour of bacon was too strong for them. That made me realise, although quite a few not so brave hearts were not in favour of this one, the ardent worshipers would definitely love it. The high-point was, everyone who tasted the jams wanted to know when I would be selling them. I had to politely smile and say, “I’ll let you know.”
But what a wonderful experience it was to see the smile and wonder and then delight on peoples’ faces when the tasted the jams. Being at a market and selling your produce, gives you quite a bit of perspective about yourself and about the others who walk up to your stall. Of course, there were some who had multiple suggestions about how I should do my business, and how I should sell and what will enrich my life. All suggestions are always welcome, but at the end of the day I am my own boss and I am pretty stoked about that!
The entire experience made me think if I should actually bottle these jams and sell them. While, that is not what I want to do for a living, I genuinely don’t mind doing it to spread the love and spread the joy with an amazing spread to go with your morning toast. So, if you are reading this and would like to come and sample some, or get yourselves a first-hand experience of Strawberries, Cherries and Beautiful Minds, do come over the coming Sunday and make the most of it. Trust me, this market will not let you down. So, see you when I see you then!