Thursday, April 14, 2011

All together now: send me some sunshine

I've got cupcakes baking in the oven at this very moment. Chocolate cupcakes, strawberry ones, Black Forest Gateau cupcakes, banoffee, white chocolate and raspberry and even lemon meringue ones: all destined for my stall at Dingle Farmers' Market tomorrow.

And lest fans of my brownies despair, they'll be on my stall too.

I've been back at the market for the past two weeks and it's been a bit of a rollercoaster ride so far. Two weeks ago, I ignored the weather forecast, mixed up some cupcake batter and decided the time was right for Little Miss Cupcake to return. After all, how bad could the weather really be?

It turns out that the question I should have asked was: how foolish can a cupcake maker really be? When I arrived at the market that Friday morning, it was so windy that everyone's canopy umbrella's were literally taking off. Anything that wasn't firmly tied down was blown away.

Hmm, thought Sharon. I don't have anything to tie my canopy down with and I don't really have anything to tie it to either.

Fortunately, my ever-resourceful boyfriend was nearby and together we found rope and tied my stall to a phone box, a tree, an electricity pole and my car! On a normal morning, it takes between 20 and 30 minutes to get my stall set up but on this windswept morning, it took two whole hours. Two hours of tying everything as tightly as possible, of chasing objects that would suddenly become windborne and at one stage rescuing a box of 50 cupcakes that was about to crash to the ground. STRESS!

Even worse was the fact that all but the most weather-beaten of our customers were scared off by the wind and I had very few sales. I was hugely disappointed that this was the outcome of my first day back at the market but the fact that I was able to barter cupcakes for produce from the other stalls made up for it a little.

Last Friday, the sun shone and things were better. More of the stallholders had returned too and with them came more customers. It felt like the market had come back to life after its winter slumbers.

Saorla was there with her vegan delights and delicious sandwiches (you should all try her roasted veggie sandwiches - they're scrummy!)

Mary had returned with her jams, home baking and hand-knitted cardigans for babies.

Janet's stall displayed her farm-fresh eggs, wonderful honey products and sweet treats.

Vegetable man Tom was especially proud of his rhubarb.

Eithne was pleased with her pancakes.

Lorna (who runs the Phonenix Restaurant in Keale and makes fabulous vegetarian food) had brought along someone who serenaded us with her violin.

Marie (from Quebec) is new to the market and as well as her excellent preserves and chutneys, she makes fudge that is to die for.

Greg is new too and one of the things he sells is bird houses that he crafts himself.

Neil's bread stall (with bread made by his wife Orla) is one of the market's busiest and last week, he was joined by Aine who was learning how to bake as part of her transition year work experience.

We will all be back again tomorrow and so will Olivier, Bríd, Britta, Sarah, Betsy and more. If you're there, do call by to say hello.

And don't forget: send some sunshine our way!


  1. Fantastic photos, Sharon - they really capture the spirit of the market. Fingers crossed for a dry day tomorrow!

  2. Thanks, Catherine. I'm hoping if lots of you cross your fingers, the sun will most definitely shine!

  3. What an absolutely lovely market! And your stall would be my favorite!! Love the blog! Look forward to coming back to peruse more!!
    ~Juliane of

  4. I loved this post. Our Farmers market opens for the first time this weekend. Oh how I hope that our sweet baker is there with some goodies because looking at your pics of your cupcakes has made me ever so hungry. My fave pic is that of vegetable man Tom.

  5. Juliane, thanks so much for the compliments. You'll have to visit if ever you're in Dingle. And I'll have to check out your website too. It's top of my to-do list!

    Mandi, thanks ever so much. I hope your market goes well tomorrow and that it doesn't rain on them (I hope the wind doesn't blow too hard either!).
    Call by to my stall if ever you're in Dingle. And say hi to Tom too!

  6. Wow, Juliane! I've just checked out your website. You're some talented lady. Food, art and lots of American style. I love it!

  7. Hey dear, you've failed to mention your fab new hazelnut mocha cupcakes - please tell me it was a chance omission - and that they will be back tomorrow!! xxMichal

  8. I'm so glad you liked them, Michal (and that you succeeded in posting a comment - glad I finally sorted that. Phew!)
    Unfortunately, they aren't on the menu today. They will be back though and there will be many other options to tempt you!

  9. Love this post! It's so cool to "meet" all the Dingle stallholders. Amazing!

    How exciting that you have your own stall, too! I'll have to come visit when I make it down to Dingle this summer :)

  10. Aoife,
    We would love to meet you when you come down. It's sunny here in Dingle today so my fingers (and toes) are crossed that it will stay that way for tomorrow's market!