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Out & About: Business is booming at the Farmers Market

Katherine Scoggins • Jul 1, 2018 at 10:30 AM

This past week has been one for seeing friends, learning lots of new things and discovering new places to try and, of course, spend money!

The Kingsport Farmers Market is getting busier and busier as summer progresses. I marked my calendar to make sure I got a good seat for this weekend's Saturdays with the Chef program. I have attended all of the presentations so far and have enjoyed them thoroughly - so different, but all easy and delicious! The second in the series was a chef from Food City who was capitalizing on the gorgeous fruit - blackberries, blueberries and strawberries - and cream cheese mixed with cream of coconut and rum extract. It made a beautiful and delicious red, white and blue dessert, perfect for upcoming holidays!

After coming a little early to “tour” the market, I found lovely flower arrangements, pots of “Hens & Chicks,” dozens of loaves of bread (sourdough, Moravian Sugar Cake, Amish Friendship Bread, banana bread and so many more), peaches that I could smell a booth away, some yummy pecan halves, and black walnuts (from Lifepoint Church). One of the gentlemen working the church’s table told me that they had prepared 150-plus pecan pies last Christmas! Those pecan halves looked awfully good, as did the walnuts. Fall baking will be here before we know it!

I worked my way to the Saturdays with the Chef spot where Chef Elise Clair with Main Street Pizza and River Creek Catering Company was already setting up a very original and attractive table. There were lots of fresh vegetables, herbs, spices, fruits, marble “lazy -susans,” carved wooden trays and glass bowls. Her dish for the day was zucchini fritters over fatouch (vegetable salad). The crowd that had assembled during the preparation was very surprised at how good the dish was. As the chef pointed out as she introduced the dish, “most everyone who has a garden plants zucchini and squash and is overrun by it by June.” She went on to say that it was a real challenge to use a lot of those vegetables in creative and delicious ways in her restaurant and catering business. Let’s just say she knocked it out of the park! The salad was a work of art with chunks, pieces and diced bits of vegetables, sprouted quinoa, olive oil, fresh lemon juices, tomatoes and assorted herbs. It was a beautiful salad and the zucchini-squash fritters on top were the perfect addition.

If you haven’t made it out to Saturdays with the Chef, you owe it to yourself to make the trip. Every Saturday in June and July at 9 a.m., you can pick up the recipe for the day’s offering, learn how to prepare the dish and shop for the ingredients there at the market. Oh yes, you get to sample the dish as well! Among those enjoying the “lecture” and Chef Elise’s educational and interesting talk were Dr. Bo and Judy Grover, Jane Scott, and those “fun ladies” from the Chamber of Commerce. As we were getting ready to leave, a woman came up to Jane (Scott) and chatted a bit. She looked awfully familiar, but I couldn’t recall her name. Jane had to leave so the woman and I talked for a little while. As she was talking, I thought to myself “this sounds awfully familiar. Then it hit me...” “Are you Mrs. Trabue?” She was and all of a sudden, forty years flashed in front of my eyes! It is amazing how I still run into people I grew up with or have had contact with in recent years. Her son-in-law was one of my physical therapists several years ago when I had my second hip replacement. He had just become a father of four precious little ones that my parents visited with at McDonald’s over lunch a few times a week. One never gets far from their roots when they live in Kingsport!

I spent a little time at the Community Garden, walking through containers of lettuce, cabbage, onions, flowers and vegetables. A lady who was there watering her plot said she had been there a week or so ago and her beans were about an inch long. On this warm, sunny day, they were up to about three inches! She has the beginnings of a great crop!

As you can see from the picture, it is time for the 2018 Week of Caring. Agencies are paired with volunteers and businesses to get much needed work and projects knocked out. Probably most popular are painting projects - rooms, offices, facilities and walls. Taking clients on hikes, picnics, swimming and fishing is also a favorite activity. Getting systems and computers upgraded may not be very glamorous, but it is vital to getting productive work done! On behalf of the agencies, we so appreciate all the planning, and the willingness of individuals to spend the day getting dirty and learning about the very important work that goes on in the agencies. Thanks, too, to United Way staff, volunteers, board members and all the agencies that do the often difficult work the rest of the year. We are successful because of YOU!

While I was visiting with friends over the past few weeks, I heard of several new restaurants that have opened up recently. It’s good to see new growth and businesses putting down roots in Kingsport. Please let me know what’s going on in your world, in the meantime, I’ll see you “Out & About.”

Katherine Scoggins is a Sunday Stories columnist who highlights local happenings and community organizations twice a month in Out & About with Katherine. Share photos and calendar listings at communitynews@timesnews.net.

UPCOMING EVENTS

July 1: The 48th Annual Jonesborough Days Festival will be held in and around Historic Jonesborough. Admission to the festival is free. Fireworks finale at 10 p.m., Sunday.

July 1: LampLight Theatre will present "Let Freedom Ring!" - a musical presentation of freedom, liberty and faith. Performances begin at 7 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays with matinees at 2 p.m., Saturday and 3 p.m., Sundays. Admission is a suggested donation of $10 for adults, $5 for students and free for children under 5. Doors open one hour prior to all performances. A love offering will also be taken at each performance.

July 5-8: LampLight Theatre will present "Let Freedom Ring!" - a musical presentation of freedom, liberty and faith. Performances begin at 7 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays with matinees at 2 p.m., Saturday and 3 p.m., Sundays. Admission is a suggested donation of $10 for adults, $5 for students and free for children under 5. Doors open one hour prior to all performances. A love offering will also be taken at each performance.

July 31: The Kingsport City Schools will hold its Ninth Annual Back to School Expo from 3 to 6 p.m., July 31 at the Kingsport Farmers Market. Anyone who offers lessons, athletics or fun and education opportunities for youth or those with important information to share with area kid and their parents should plan to attend. Vendors receive one complimentary table, but tables should be reserved no later than Friday, July 20. Call Marybeth McLain at (423) 378-2123 or email mmclain@k12k.com.

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