One Saturday, a few weeks ago, The Crunch granola invited us to come down to their stall at Brockley Market to hang out with them. This is the most fun I have had in a college car park since I was seventeen and just learnt to drive!
We had agreed to hang out weeks before, the date was set and Smoke & Salt's then reasonable diary meant we were well up for it, offering to bring free cookies with us to please the punters and give us an excuse to push our business cards onto innocent Crunch customers.
This tale begins the evening before our market trip however...
I received a phone call from R earlier in the afternoon, as is customary, to tell me to look at emails and generally hold up my end of the business. He mentioned that we were indeed meant to be going to market tomorrow (and did not laugh at my response - 'to buy a fat pig'), in fact we were scheduled to be rocking up with a truckload of cookies exactly 15 hours from that point! Now, R, being of part American heritage, forces me to assume he can knock out cookies for days, all you need is a cup measurement and some basic ingredients right? Wrong!
I was this wrong assumption that led me to be sat outside the cash and carry on a Friday evening, eating dinner (Roast Chicken flavour crisps), at about 7pm. R met me for a bit of late night supermarket sweep in which we decided on cookie flavours off the cuff. I was adamant for an oat and raisin cookie (I think I just wanted pudding), R wanted to make corn cookies as he had some amazing ground cornmeal leftover from James at Imbham Farms in the freezer. that just left one more flavour (because chefs are suckers for hard work and odd numbers right?). This is what R came up with - Darjeeling tea and cardamom. I was beyond arguing.
Three hours went by, much flour was spilt and much washing up was not done. R's wife got annoyed, R was excited about a Darjeeling tea and cardamom cookie, I was still too tired to argue.
Suffice to say I left R's late with a bag full of cookie dough and strict instructions to weigh them out, let them firm up and bake them on morning of the market trip. I was late to the market.
Jon from The Crunch wanted us to be there at 8.30am to help set up the stall and so he could introduce us to other marketeers(?). R was on time 9having sneakily baked his cookies the night before it turns out!), I was on the bus and cursing myself, and not because I had packed all the still warm and sticky oatmeal and raisin cookies all higgledy-piggledy into a tray without any non-stick paper, but because I hadn't worn a bloody coat! Ah well I was halfway there, how cold could a market stall be in February?
I immediately regretted my whole life. Suffice to say I jumped at the opportunity to cook the porridge on the stall wearing one of J's stall aprons and had constant thoughts of sticking my hands into the gas flames. It must've been one of the windiest weekends of the year. I was cooking porridge, R was running between holding on to the stall to stop it blowing away and making sure the wind didn't knock over his camera and tripod, while J seemed content to flog his wares and delight in watching two chefs out of their comfort zone! He even got bought a complimentary steaming hot coffee at one point, the bastard.
Good times ensued, my whole body numbed to the point I didn't notice the cold, we got given free Fish and Chips by the guys at Saltwood, free burgers by J's mates who run Mother Flipper, free beer sticks from the awesome guys at Moons Green Charcuterie. I also had to buy a Korean Fried Chicken Bun with peanut hot sauce from Spit & Roast. It looked too good to ignore.
If you find yourself in South London on a Saturday morning for a hangover market trip or post walk-of-shame breakfast, or even indeed because you are a normal person who just likes going to markets - We highly suggest hanging out in the car park of Lewisham college with a bunch of artisan food producers, cool parents and even the odd celeb or two (Pro Green and Reggie Yates sauntered by at about 11am)!
Oh yeah, and you missed out, we gave out a whole load of free cookies!