Thursday, December 11, 2014

Making Local More Accessible . . . With Your Help

No matter how accessible the world is as a result of digital communications there’s nothing better than finding things that are “as good as it gets” and available locally; just down the street  or across town. The Haile Village Farmers’ Market is, as anyone who has read my postings already knows, one of my favorite places to shop locally. Local produce, coffee, eggs, milk and cheese are sold alongside locally made candies, breads and pastries and ethnic entrees and sides.

Some of the vendors have expanded their cottage industries to become commercial businesses and their products are available more widely. One vendor who wants to do this is Nana Pat's Goodies who makes some fine mustard! As I have said previously, I am not a mustard guy, or I was not. But if your mustard-concepts come from visits to baseball games in the 1950s where bright yellow mustard slathered on steamed hot dogs was the standard and you haven’t progressed beyond an occasional Grey Poupon commercial or Gulden’s Spicy Brown, then it’s time to become more adventuresome and Pat would like to make it easier to do so.
Nana Pat's Savories!

I, the former, non-mustard kinda guy, would not be without one of Nana Pat’s varieties in the ‘frig. Doesn’t take much to edge a good roast beef sandwich into being a great one, especially if it’s made with flavorful, homemade bread! Adding her mustard to a roll filled with sausage and ‘kraut amplifies the savory goodness. And she even makes a bicycle related mustard using Fat Tire Beer!
Nana Pat's Fat Tire and Midnight Oil Mustards

Nana Pat’s Goodies are available every Saturday morning in The Village of Haile and her customer base is comprised of people who recognize a quality product. Pat and that guy who hangs out with her are moving toward going commercial, but would like to have some financial assistance with an initial run of their product and have chosen to take a digital route. GoFundMe is one of those online enterprises that presents ideas and seeks funds to provide financial support to turn the idea into a reality. Unlike telecom before the ’00 crash, Nana Pat’s idea is not vaporware, it’s a tangible, honest product that she’d like to make more accessible. The upside to seeking funding this way is that she doesn’t have to plunge into debt to a lending institution. The upside to everyone else is greater access to her culinary skills.

Nana Pat’s request, along with a brief video can be found on the GoFundMe site at I should add that she isn’t looking for tens of thousands of dollar to make a levitating mustard, just a few thou' to defray costs for a substantial initial production run of her most popular flavor, "Midnight Oil Stout Molasses Mustard". Made with Midnight Oil Stout, a dark beer produced by local brewery, Swamp Head, it's thick and rich, with coffee and oatmeal notes that come from the top quality ingredients the folks at Swamp Head Brewery use.

Like local stuff? Good place to consider doing something locally.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sometimes It About What You Get When You Get to Where You Went.

Some of the most important equipment for a regular bike rider is not bicycle specific and one of those things is something to protect the lips. Even in August riding across Coastal Georgia and South Carolina I learned the value of having something to counter dry, cracking lips. By day three I added a tube of generic, mineral oil based stuff that I found in a dollar store. It did the job and I have carried similar products in my handlebar bag since. Of the numerous ingredients in a typical lip balm one is commonly listed as an “active ingredients”; mineral oil or another petroleum product.
Don't Bee Fillthy Lip Balm
Because I like to buy locally and have been using Cross Creek Honey’s soap, which is available at the Saturday morning Farmers’ Market in Haile Village I decided to try their Don’t Bee Filthy branded Honey Kiss Lip Balm. Jennifer makes this along with the other Don’t Bee Filthy products; soap, lotion bar and bees’ wax candles. The ingredients’ list is short; Almond Oil, Honey, and Cross Creek Beeswax. I like that I’m not so going to ingest mineral oil, microcrystalline wax and copernicia cerifera. Those things might not cause me harm, but I am certain that almond oil, honey and beeswax won’t.

The only thing that really matters, I guess, is whether it works and it does; at least as well as commercial varieties. I applied commercial products about every 90 minutes of a recreational ride and Don’t Bee Filthy lasts as long if not longer. Honey Kiss Lip Balm cost $3 and is at least as valuable as a good pair of gloves.

Something that won’t improve your ride but is worth riding to the Haile Village Farmers’ Market to acquire is KN Candied Jalapenos. Few things do as good a job of turning mundane or boring into “damn, that was good.” Combining hot and sweet isn’t unique, but blending the two tastes so that neither overwhelms the other comes close to being an art and Al, the man behind the product, does a good job of creating a masterpiece of taste.
KN Candied Jalapenos
Al tells potential customers that his creation is “a lot like a bread and butter pickle” and it is, with the addition of jalapeno heat. Lovers of heat consume the jalapenos much like a pickle while others use them as an addition to other things. My favorite use is as a finely chopped addition to tuna, potato, chicken and egg salad. The sweet heat amplifies the overall taste of each.

The single negative about KN Candied Jalapenos is that they are not available every weekend as Al serves multiple locations. This is a minor inconvenience since I visit The Village weekly and it might mean you’d have to settle for fresh produce, coffee or some of the other locally produce products.