That right there, ladies and gentlemen, is how you prepare a turkey! It just needs a good rub! Ba-dump-cha! But seriously folks, if you haven't yet, you should check out the Holiday Guide 2010 — the dude from American Pickers is in it! All we need is the Millionaire Matchmaker lady and living here will be like living in my DVR!! Oh, ya, and I was lucky enough to cook an (almost) all-local holiday feast, which was super fun. I'm originally from Massachusetts, so it was tough to give up my cranberry sauce, but other than that the spread was exactly what the Pilgrims would have made, had the Mayflower magically landed right in the heart of Tennessee 400-some-odd years ago. Or something like that. Either way, it was really tasty and it had everything to do with using great, local ingredients.
While we never miss an opportunity to savor our food, rarely are we afforded the opportunity to savor its acquisition. We offer a hearty high-five to whatever brilliant mind at the Nashville Farmers' Market came up with the idea of combining grocery shopping, music and adult beverages into a Night Market — truly a stroke of genius. This Friday night's incarnation — their second such event — isn't a radical departure from a typical day at the market. There are many of the same vendors we see every Saturday in the farm shed and with the same great food we've come to expect, but there's something about the ambiance after the sun goes down that makes it seem like a whole different place. Add the wine for sipping from the cash bar, Fleur de Lis spiking their signature snowballs and the plethora of samples from our favorite vendors, and it really seals the deal. We've got our fingers crossed that this becomes a regular thing once spring comes around. (Psst: Marketing director Jolie Yockey says if this week's night session is well-attended, the merchants might be persuaded to make this an annual event.)
Think of it as the Art Crawl for our burgeoning food scene: a relaxed environment where our sometimes-splintered local food culture can come together to just chill out — a pretty big deal considering the get-in-get-out-gimme-your-coupons grocery experience we've come to expect from the chains. Be honest, have you ever had a nice chat with one of those supermarket checkout scanners? Those things are pretty dumb, even for robots. Compare that to this Friday's edition, where recipes are circulated, vendors stand by to take pre-orders for the holidays and Hill and Hollow are on hand to teach a crash-course in DIY shiitake mushrooms. Plus, there's always a good chance you'll find yourself in the midst of more than one informative, educational dialog before the night is through. A cash bar is good for that sort of thing.
It's a pretty great way to start the weekend.