Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Community of Findlay Market

Sometimes I think Findlay Market should have its own zip code. It's a small town within itself. Merchants are there when the sun comes up, and many of them are still there as the sun sets. They share common concerns. When a merchant is ill or has a family issue, everyone cares. When someone has a new grandchild, everyone celebrates. Dating, marriage, divorce, agreements, arguments, partnerships, and contracts have all occurred within and among the merchants. And you can be sure, just as in any community, gossip has been known to be exchanged.
The definition of community also includes "sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals." The merchants of Findlay Market definitely share the goal of sustaining the market as the focal point of Over-the-Rhine. They relish the tradition and share the passion generated by over 160 years of Findlay Market history. Change comes slowly, after careful consideration, but it does occur as everyone adjusts to new shopping habits, preferences, and procedures.
In addition to emotional support, merchants support each other financially. Did you know that several of Daisy Mae's best customers are actually other Findlay Market merchants? It's not uncommon for other merchants to purchase fresh produce from Daisy Mae's, rice from Saigon Market, beef from Eckerlin's Meats, or spices from Colonel De to use in dishes prepared to sell at Findlay Market. More than once, I've heard one merchant yell across the aisle, "Toss me a pound of bacon!" Why go to a wholesale restaurant supplier when everything you need is available from your neighbor?
Findlay Market merchants take the "Shop Local" message to heart. They support each other and all benefit from their cooperative efforts. More than 35 individual businesses all work together to survive not only individually, but also as a community.

Monday, August 25, 2014

I Hate Wrappers

I know I'm not the only one who hates wrappers and packaging. It's not just the irritation of trying to figure out which end to open or where the flap starts. I hate the waste and the smell, and if it's food wrapped in too much packaging, I wonder about the preservatives.

It also bothers me when the thing I want requires a 6-inch knife and a whole lot of patience to open--like this:

Or when way too much packaging is used for one little item--like this:

Or when it's not even necessary to put something in a wrapper--like this:

I also dislike the taste of commercially packaged baked goods--like this:

I much prefer my baked goods made at home with no preservatives, no packaging or wrappers, and healthy ingredients. Like these Healthy Carrot-Zucchini Mini Muffins. Who's with me?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Catch Some Summer Before It's Gone

When I was young, summer was when my mother and aunt would take outings just to buy fresh produce. Sometimes it was a trip for tomatoes or sweet corn from a local farm. Other times, it was a "pick-your-own" adventure for raspberries or strawberries. I didn't always tag along, but I remember the evening meals after such an outing. I especially remember the strawberry shortcake.
With the exception of birthday cakes, we rarely had dessert as the final course of the meal. Don't get me wrong. We had our share of sweet treats, but it was usually ice cream or cookies and not a formal dessert, per se. However, when fresh strawberries were available, we had shortcake.
Shortcake at our house could be Angel Food cake with smashed strawberries on top, or it could be a store-bought sponge cake. Either way, the shortcake was topped with a small dab of whipped cream and the strawberry juice oozed throughout the cake. I loved it.
As we wind down the days of summer and the kids head back to school, why not treat yourself to some strawberry shortcake? It just might remind you of days gone by, and you might be making new memories that others will share.