Homegrown Marin Market

Homegrown Marin Holiday Market

“Slow Pokes” sets up to serve fab mushroom soup on a cool, cloudy day.

I wish everyone could have an event in their neighborhood like the monthly Homegrown Marin Market. It’s a wonderful way for passionate food-making folks to share what they do with enthusiastic eaters. (You know I won’t say “foodies.”) I love that the market is in a great big art space. The day is all about beautiful creations.

Like these Bergamot Orange Spice cupcakes from FingerSweets. They’re small, so it’s okay that I ate three, right?

Bergamot is a mood lifter. Here’s proof.

I’m not even going tell you how many of  my friend Jennifer Taekman‘s caramels and marshmallows I ate. I think I’m going to get in trouble with her for posting her picture here, but if you make caramels this good and then hand them over to big caramel fans like I am, you’re going to have to get used to it. (Jennifer also won the Iron Cupcake: San Francisco challenge for November with a hazelnut confection. This woman is no slouch in the kitchen.)

I did tote along some jam to sell. Stewart and I counted it all up and it turned out I’d made exactly a gross — 144 jars. (Why can’t a gross be called something else? Even a drool would be better.) As with the last time I attended the market, my favorite part was giving people tastes. One lovely young woman stayed at my table for perhaps fifteen minutes, tasting as many different jams and talking with me about all of them. She was a true jam aficionado, and I encouraged her to learn to make her own at home. It’s not nearly as hard as people fear!

Okay, sometimes jam doesn’t work out. But then you have sauce!

Even though I had seventeen different choices, my bestsellers were the very same as last time: Meyer Lemon Marmalade, Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Jam, and Blackberry Lime Jam. The Meyer sold most, but the strawberry and blackberry sold out completely. Yay. Others that did well included two new holiday preserves: Pomegranate Champagne Jelly and a fig jam that also features champagne– recipe coming this week!

Trading food is, without a doubt, one of the highlights of selling at the market. I was so lucky to set up shop next to the Faerie Goatmothers. We spent a good part of the day figuring out which jams went well with fresh goat cheese — by sampling, of course. (Answer: Pretty much all of them.)

Also, I loved it when another vendor bounded up the stairs and announced, “Me and the jerky guy are going to trade!”

This guy is seriously jerky.

Finally, because yesterday’s market was the holiday market, someone won this glamorous gift basket (that’s a little jar of my Quince-Orange-Cardamom Marmalade tucked in there)  . . .

But I have something beautiful that you can win, too! Check out these gorgeous organic, vegan chocolates from Marcella Dirks at Muse Chocolatier:

I am giving away this lovely little gift box of chocolates, handmade and selected by Marcella. All you have to do is leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite kind of chocolate is — and (this is important!) leave a link or an email address so I know how to reach you. I will draw the winner at random this Friday, December 10. In the meantime, if you want to reach Marcella to talk holiday gift boxes, you can find her at marcellabella@yahoo.com. She’s a peach!

You know you want it.

I hope you and yours are enjoying your holiday season. Stay warm, friends. :-)

Friday, October 10, 8:00 AM: The winner is . . . . Cookie!

Congratulations, Cookie! And thanks to everyone who entered. Wishing you lots of good winter chocolate.

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  • Reply tigress December 6, 2010 at 12:35 am


    my favorite kind of chocolate is a dark milk with anything silky, creamy and nutty inside.

    did that just sound kinky?
    (just noting)

    that market looks amazing. and congrats on your sell outs! :)

  • Reply MEG December 6, 2010 at 12:45 am

    I love dark chocolate with carmel and sea salt… mmmmm

  • Reply Julia December 6, 2010 at 1:07 am

    The market really looks gorgeous. Very high-quality food stuffs! And I thank you for not saying "foodie!" Not surprising that you sold out. Nice work! I love your stamped signs!

    Okay, here's the nitty gritty: dark chocolate over marzipan is my weakness. I could eat it until I get sick. And I have done so!

  • Reply Emily December 6, 2010 at 1:11 am

    My favorite kind of chocolate is….VEGAN CHOCOLATE!! Because I don't much eat other types of chocolate now. My favorite flavor of chocolate is up to 70% dark but no darker. I like it with cherries in it, or sea salt on it, or with something yummy inside.

    Glad you had fun–can't wait to hear all the rest of the details. Congrats on the good sales.


  • Reply Heloise December 6, 2010 at 1:22 am

    I am so lucky I got blackberry coming any day now! I would think this cinches the Alaska all summer dilemma….sold out, you can't miss Fairfax blackberry season.

    I love dark chocolate, around 70%. I also love it with saffron or lavender or some other exquisitely delicate something added to it. I'm not sophisticated to say which country's I like best tho there's a chocolate bar in Asheville who will teach me if I choose to indulge myself.

  • Reply The Morton-Jones Family December 6, 2010 at 1:25 am

    My favorite type of chocolate is the chocolately kind! HAHAHA! No, really anything combined with chocolate it aces in my book, but I do like cherry cordials and anything with coconut!

  • Reply Deb December 6, 2010 at 1:30 am

    I have a thing for the sweet-heat, chocolate n spice chocolate goodies you can find these days. Our local choco shoppe, Ginger Elizabeth, has a Maya Spice that is heaven.

    Oh, and, salted caramel anything.

    Swoon. Thunk.

  • Reply tracytracy December 6, 2010 at 1:40 am

    Ooooh, those Bergamot Orange Spice cupcakes look so good. But then, everything in those pictures looks good!

    My favorite chocolate? That's a very hard choice to make (:
    Lately, my favorite has been dark chocolate w/hazelnuts.

  • Reply marguerite December 6, 2010 at 4:09 am

    Dark chocolate covered almond clusters from See's!

  • Reply Kate December 6, 2010 at 5:28 am

    I love chocolate-covered fleur de sel caramels. Or cherry cordials, total sucker for those.

  • Reply Wendy December 6, 2010 at 6:06 am

    I've been loving dark chocolate with a bit of chili in it lately. So yummy, especially when you drink it!

  • Reply Jennifer December 6, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Lately, I love chile chocolate best. ;-)
    Please remind me which flavor caramel you chose! I dipped into both my grapefruit and my meyer lemon jams this morning. (Hitchhiking to) Heaven squared. Delicious!!!
    And, YES, you are in trouble for posting my picture … but that *trouble* is nullified by the lovely things you wrote about my sweet making!! Thank you!

  • Reply Tara December 6, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Wow, you really do just gotta love the markets!

    As for chocolate, even though I love all sorts, like dark chocolate and salted caramel and all of those lovely things the people above me have been mentioning (thanks for making me hungry guys!), I have a confession to make: my favourite chocolate is something they sell in Australia called a Furry Friend. It's a little really thin bar of milky milk chocolate with pictures of native animals on the packet. They're meant for children really, but since when did that ever stop me from doing anything?

  • Reply Margaret December 6, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    my favorite chocolates have nuts and salt – yum! And maybe a bit of chew too. Double yum!

  • Reply Jane December 6, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    My favorite type of chocolate is the one I'm eating. I must say, I do enjoy them so much. Never met a bad one yet and I don't think I will.

  • Reply Mireya December 6, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    I think right now I'm loving milk chocolate but really I love all kinds!


  • Reply Georgi December 6, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Loved this post about the Holiday Market.

    My favorite kind of chocolate is any dark with some red pepper involved.

    Just met a local chocolate artist this weekend: http://www.patriciaschocolate.com. Yumm, even though I thought her habanero and chipotle didn't have enough zing.

  • Reply kaela December 6, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    That market does look simply fabulous – and congrats for selling so many jars! (Although I had to laugh; when people tell me I should sell my jams, I always joke that, there I would be, at the market, with 17 exotic and wonderful flavors, and everyone would ask for…. strawberry. :)

    As for chocolate, I'm a dark chocolate girl through and through. As a confirmed chile head, I love dark chocolate with chiles, but my latest addiction has been chocolate bars with orange & ginger from Divine. In a word, they are divine!

  • Reply Karol December 6, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    what a beautiful market!

    at this moment, my favorite kind of chocolate is a raspberry milano truffle.


  • Reply Anonymous December 6, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Did someone say chocolate? OK, it's my birthday this week and I intend to find me some great chocolate. My favorite would have to be a dark chocolate over caramel. Hubby and I have a little getaway planned to Half Moon Bay and I'm looking forward to checking out all of the great food places between here and there. Wish I were a little closer to your end of the bay so I could get to the Marin Market, perhaps in the Springtime. Rosemary rideout@garlic.com

  • Reply Virginia December 6, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Caramel chocolate or dark chocolate…or um, ANY non-fruit filled chocolate! :)

  • Reply casey December 6, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Dark chocolate. Dark chocolate with orange and ginger. Candied ginger and orange peel covered in dark chocolate.

    I have to go to my kitchen now.

    My birthday is Dec 11th, this would be lovely!

  • Reply Cookie! December 6, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    My favorite chocolate is dark with espresso truffle. Kills both weaknesses with one stone!

  • Reply Molly-Iris December 6, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Mmmm, I'd have to say that the classic chocolate confections with a sprinkle of sea salt on the top are my favorites. How could you go wrong?

    Email is mollyirisalpern@gmail.com

  • Reply Adrienne December 6, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    My favorite chocolate is chocolate with mint! Runner up is chocolate with caramel. Mmmm….and the kinds that just melt in you mouth…….

    aseipel at pmmilwaukee dot com

  • Reply Anonymous December 6, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Yum! Those chocolates (and jams, and nearly everything else) look so delicious. I love a good dark chocolate with mint combination, but in little chocolates like that I have LOVED dark chocolate & coconut since I was a child. Really any chocolate will do. :)
    My e-mail address is tarynelainehubbard@gmail.com

  • Reply Thyra December 6, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Mmmmmm….my favorite is……basically, anything with chocolate in it, around it, on top of it, or composed completely of it. Greetings from Boston ~ tho I wish I were there instead. ~thyrasherman@gmail.com!

  • Reply Maureen December 6, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    My favorite would be dark chocolate toffee….or caramel….or with nuts….don't make me choose:)

  • Reply Hippy Goodwife December 6, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    I love high quality milk chocolate. Dark is good too, but my hear belongs with the mellow milky kind. I also love the better than average, but not gourmet grocery store chocolates. Truth be told, more than one Cadbury fruit and nut bar has been eaten secretly.

  • Reply Bethie December 6, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    The darkest chocolate possible is my love!

  • Reply Anonymous December 6, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    I love dark chocolate most.

  • Reply Anonymous December 6, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Well, for most of my life chocolate and mint have always been my favorite. However, that was until I tried banana and chocolate. Now chocolate and mint are a close second.


  • Reply Anonymous December 6, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    i love all chocolate but ever since I was a kid I've especially loved white chocolate…which isn't even real chocolate, is it? Oh well. steph25nw@yahoo.com

  • Reply Bethany ~ Sustainable Food For Thought December 6, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    When I was a little girl, I'd always hope for the coconut filled chocolates. (I even earned a reprimand as a six year old for poking holes in the bottom to find the flavor and then discreetly returning all the non-coconut chocolates to the box!)

    These days, deep, dark chocolate makes me happy~

    bethany {at} frenchprairie {dot} com

  • Reply Anonymous December 6, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    crunchy whole cashews enrobed in soft, buttery, melt in your mouth, golden caramel then enrobed with heavenly antioxident rich dark chocolate topped with a dash of glittering sea salt…reminds me of my mom making homemade chocolates for friends during the holidays as a child. (even better my kids do not like dark chocolate so if i offered to share i wouldnt have to) nothing makes your day brighten up faster than a glorious and tasty chocolate.

    another new one i've tried is a moonstruck mayan chocolate…cinnamon & chocolate i would of never thought the two together but it works. if you want to justify a little nutrition then something with peanut butter…then you can use the excuse it has protein in it LOL

    after seeing those pictures i'm now pondering what confections i can make this holiday season to share…i'm sure my mom's cookbook has a gem or two i can recreate with success…christmas has never been the same since she passed but now thinking i can definately bring back some tasty memories


  • Reply IHeartQuilting December 6, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    I can practically taste that chocolate. My favorite chocolate right now is a good hot cup of Hot Chocolate with some whipped cream on top, now that the weather here has gotten wintery. I hoping to learn some things from your blog – I have all of my canning/preserving supplies, but haven't yet tried to use them. I'm anxious to browse through your recipes.

  • Reply The Green Giant December 6, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I love Valrhona chocolate, they have orange flavored, caramel and vanilla, and coffee. Love them all.

  • Reply bamwinecoff December 6, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    My favorite chocolate has caramel and vanilla and is oh so yummy! Home made would be even better!


  • Reply Annie Thompson December 6, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    I love Arrowhead Chocolates from Joseph Oregon!! They are an amazing new company run by some great folks and they make KILLER chocolate – my favorites are a dark chocolate caramel with sea salt and an extra spicy cayenne chocolate truffle. Deeelish

  • Reply Anonymous December 6, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Dark chocolate with hazelnut makes me happy!

    Michelle G.

  • Reply Tidepool December 6, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    I love any chocolate that has caramel! But once I had lavender chocolate and that was AMAZING!

    Thanks for blogging!


  • Reply Lena December 6, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Chocolate-covered macadamia nuts coated in powdered sugar.



  • Reply Melissa December 6, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Your Jams sound wonderful… and I love chocolate!

  • Reply EricaBee December 6, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Now I don't like to be picky about my chocolate. If it's available to me I will eat it. I do not discriminate!!!

  • Reply Shelley December 6, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    orange-y flavor or caramel! Yum!

  • Reply imagrandma2five December 6, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    I love any kind of chocolate, dark or milk, flavored with fruits and nuts or plain. I'll eat it!

  • Reply SallyK December 6, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    Dark chocolate truffles with caramel filling! North Coast Muse @ http://sally1029.wordpress.com and sek1029@sbcglobal.net

  • Reply Cherian December 7, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Chipotle dark chocolate truffles are my absolute favorite but I guess I'm also with the majority of others here who love chocolate and sea salt.

  • Reply Anonymous December 7, 2010 at 12:32 am

    basic milk chocolate with some caramel goodness! carefulwhatuwish@yahoo.com

  • Reply Caroline December 7, 2010 at 12:59 am

    i have to comment on this based especially on my love of chocolate…
    the marin market looks wonderful, as does that gift basket with your jam…

    my fave chocolate is good dark chocolate mixed with orange. i worked at moosewood back in ithaca new york and they made a chocolate orange cheesecake there that was about the best thing i've ever eaten in my life.

  • Reply Two by the Sea December 7, 2010 at 2:15 am

    My chocolate journey began with Hershey's, then Nestles choc. chips, moving right along and moving to Mill Valley many moons ago, Ghiradelli was the best until I was introduced to Callebaut at Tante Marie's cooking school where I worked. Guittard came onto the scene as a favorite then Valhrona(so good). Fast forward to moving to the Central Coast and Scharffen Berger was in vogue and truly the only one who made different % levels (99% is great for blending with 70%). A trip to Berkeley last month brought Taza-Chocolate Mexicano into my life. I bought the Cacao Puro and Cinnamon now I really want the chile one.
    At Michael Richuitti's shop in the Ferry Bldg. I bought Dagoba, an organic chocolate from Ashland Oregon, died and went to heaven with this one. Sorry this is so long but you asked! Your jams are amazing by the way.

  • Reply Susan December 7, 2010 at 2:47 am

    I think there are a lot of people who share my chocolate palate – salty, nutty, crispy, chewy. Current fave is toffee with dark chocolate coated with toasted almonds. Yum! I think I need to ammend my Christmas wish list!

  • Reply sara December 7, 2010 at 4:00 am

    I like almond and sea salt….

  • Reply Anonymous December 7, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Frozen! :)
    Leslie, lemurz3@hotmail.com

  • Reply Denise | Chez Danisse December 7, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Why wasn't I there for this market? Ugh. I was in town and it looks like it was great. Warm mushroom soup–yum! Selecting a favorite chocolate is very difficult. I really enjoy Recchiuti's Fleur de Sel dark chocolate covered caramels and I'm also a big fan of these chocolate sea salt cashews I buy at Real Food Co. Marcella's chocolates look fabulous.

  • Reply Janis December 8, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    "oops, my lose is your sauce" …this is brilliant Shae.

    So sad I missed you at the market last weekend. It looked like so much fun from your photos. Hope to see you Saturday in Fairfax if you are there :^)

    As far as chocolate goes ??? I am not too picky. Milk chocolate, creamy, not too sweet… I think that should do it!

  • Reply Esa December 8, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    It was nice seeing everyone at the market!

    I love chocolate with burnt caramel or something creamy.


  • Reply Dana M December 9, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    I am now desperate to go to this market! And I'm so happy I have a jar of your quince, cardamom, orange marmalade waiting for me at home. I have yet to crack the jar. Want to bring it to Colorado to share with my marmalade-loving boyfriend.

    My favorite chocolate has to be something I had last week at Chocalatier Bleu in Berkeley…

    Rich molten hot chocolate with a hint of chile pepper and cinnamon, and a handmade vanilla-bean marshmallow on top.

    I let the marshmallow melt into the chocolate, and it left a cloud of crystalized vanilla that dissolved sinfully on my tongue.

    Also… pretty much any dark chocolate from Chocolove. Especially the cherries and chili in dark chocolate; the crystallized ginger; and almonds and sea salt flavors.

    And Trader Joes peanut butter cups, of course.

    dana.mathes AT gmail DOT com

  • Reply Sharon December 10, 2010 at 7:55 am

    I''m a nut for chocolate covered nuts – brazils and almonds, specifically. :)

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