Thursday, June 23, 2011

Coffee, Honey, and Chestnuts!

I began my weekly Wednesday regiment at Green City Market by visiting Hoosier Mama Pie Company and snagging one of their addictive sausage hand pies.  Just as integral part of my regiment is the free Intelligentsia Coffee at the front of the Market.  GCM is dedicated to only providing foodstuffs within a fifty mile radius.  Coffee as some of you might know comes from a little further away than that.  Here's the kicker...the Coffee is free.  So all of the goods "sold" at the market are still local.  They have a small little container to receive donations.  I always put a dollar in.  Today was no exception.
However, that cup is small and after walking around I needed a refill and went back for seconds.  I didn't leave another donation and a gentleman next to me rolled his eyes.  I didn't know what to say.  Half awake I looked right back at him and said, "I donay ready."  Which translates to I donated already.  I immediately felt stupid for saying anything as I don't really care what he thinks because my karma is tight.  I am a chronic over-tipper and I get help elderly across the street....and I donated already.  I also found myself really angry that the market didn't start later in the day just so I could avoid saying stupid half-asleep nonsense like "I donay ready".  At this point the guy had already left.  Who cares what he thinks anyway.  He's probably going to a Green Lantern matinee after this anyways.

I was kind of looking for herbs today but they weren't really to be had in large quantities.  I have done strawberries the last two weeks in my cocktails so I'm also going to skip those.  In the coming weeks I know that a bunch of different fruit will start showing up so I might just go to the old faithful well of preserves, dried produce or maybe...
Honey is a great sweetener in drinks and can have many different flavors depending on the local flora that the bees gather from.  I've personally never been to Berrien Springs or Hillside Chestnut so I consult the GCM website to learn more.


Hillside Orchards has been a family operation since 1836. In 1920, Sarah Feather’s great-grandfather began selling his produce at a farmers market in South Bend, Indiana. Sarah grew up on the farm and married Paul Thelen, who also had a farming background. The couple farmed the Feather orchards with Sarah’s father. Today daughters Rebecca and Erica are involved in the 100-acre farm, which contains 1,700 organic chestnut trees. Hillside’s many types of fruit, including a variety of heirloom apples, are grown using an Integrated Pest Management system. The Good Agriculture Practice sessions the family attends are designed to ensure that fruit is  produced and marketed in the safest manner possible. The Thelen’s goal is to continue using ever safer and more sustainable production methods.

Honey sold.  I also bought some of their dried chestnuts maybe for a garnish.  I am back at the bar and have already made the honey into honey syrup.  This is very easy.  Add equal parts honey and hot water and shake.  Even in a diluted syrup this honey flavor is very cool kind of smoky.  On my first pass  I made an interesting tequila drink with the smoky syrup and Velvet Falernum.  Almost there.  I will finish this libation tomorrow  for sure.  Cheers!

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