You might say that Sunday, Nov. 12 is a bit of random date to hold a so-called “Holiday Market.”
It’s true that it’s somewhat early for Thanksgiving, and the sound of carols may not yet be the constant soundtrack to your daily life errands. But with temperatures dropping, snow already having fallen and the darkness creeping in earlier each evening, couldn’t you just use a reason to be festive?
For me, our Neighborhood Roots Holiday Market is just that: a chance to gather and celebrate.
The outdoor farmers market season has ended, but we still have one more opportunity to come together before the end of the year. Regardless of the weather outside, it’ll be cozy inside the greenhouse at Bachman’s on Lyndale Avenue, where we’ll be from 9 a.m.–1:30 p.m. on the 12th.
And the food! I believe that food is key to any good celebration, and you can find the best of it at the Holiday Market — some to enjoy that day and some to tide you through the coming months. Below are some highlights I’m looking forward to at the market.
It’s a special occasion when all three of our markets’ cheese makers gather under one roof. All offer farmstead cheese, meaning they raise and milk their own animals for their cheese.
Need something simple for friends and guests to nibble on? Mix and match hard and soft, along with fresh and aged cheeses between vendors for an easy cheese tray.
Try combining an herbed or classic goat’s milk chèvre from Singing Hills, a full-flavored, aged Trinity (cow, goat, & sheep’s milk) from LoveTree and a First Snow from Cosmic Wheel (their creamy cow’s milk Camembert). Add a baguette from Sun Street, and you could easily stop there.
Other possible extras? Spiced nuts from Patti’s Granola and a drizzle of honey (available from a variety of vendors).
Apples and pies
Are you DIY when it comes to holiday desserts? Brand Farms, Havlicek’s Orchard and Mary Dirty Face Farm will all have apples ready for your holiday baking.
I’ve recently been on a kick of making applesauce and sweetening it with maple syrup (also available at the market from Walsh Ridge Farm). It adds a complex richness, and I highly recommend trying it when it comes to sweetening your apple desserts.
Need a quicker dessert option?
Wicked Tarts will have whole pies and hand pies. Whole fruit pies and pecan pies freeze and re-heat beautifully so you can keep them on hand as you need. Contact Kara ahead of time at wickedtarts.com to place a pre-order and ensure you can snag one.
Other products not to miss? Just about everything you might need for main dishes, snacks and sides really!
Look for winter squash, carrots, beets, potatoes, turnips, radishes and fresh greens (likely microgreens, kale, and arugula); pastured meats, including chicken, pork, beef and lamb; and other goodies, such as fermented veggies, nut bars, drinking shrubs, granola and chocolates, too.
A freshly sharpened knife will make your upcoming food preparation that much easier and more efficient. Bring along your safely bundled kitchen knives for Minnesota Knife Sharpening to sharpen while you shop.
Gotta drink local as you eat local, right?
Able Seedhouse + Brewery will be serving up their beer at the market and working the bar alongside Bryant Lake Bowl. Thanks to their generous donations all sales benefit our Neighborhood Roots organization, so you can have a drink and feel good about the cause you’re supporting, too!
Sit and relax while you enjoy breakfast and lunch from Rise Bagel, Chef Shack, Sun Street Breads and Dumpling. Brian Peterson will be playing tunes, including kid sing-along favorites, from 9 a.m.–11 a.m., followed Blood Brother from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. with his combo guitar and percussion.
A final key ingredient of a celebration? Gratitude.
We’re able to gather vendors and eaters together at our markets because of those who support our markets and organization financially. Nicollet Ace Hardware, Lake Harriet Veterinary and the Augustine Team Realtors have been sustaining supporters of ours. They are joined by 3 Bears Landscaping, Casa de Corazón, PACT Apparel, South Lyndale Liquors, the Linden Hills Co-op, Professional Data Analysts, Inc., Bachman’s, the Field Regina Northrop Neighborhood Group and many other small businesses that sprinkle our South Minneapolis neighborhoods.
I have learned in my years working for the markets that local supports local, and I ask for you to keep that in mind as you move forward with your shopping and doings this holiday season.
Cheers to you, yours and all of your celebrations and good eating ahead.
Alexandra Cortes worked as the assistant market manager and then executive director of Neighborhood Roots from 2011 to 2017. She is infinitely grateful for the food she’s eaten and friends she’s met via this work; it’s made Minneapolis home.