Last week was all about tomatoes! It started with Purple Cherokees from 4got-n-Tymes, continued with The Potager’s gorgeously curated heirloom tomato mixes, and ended with our Tomato Day Celebration. This celebration, a joint venture with Central City Market, featured contests for largest and ugliest tomato, BLT Chicken Salad (and other homemade goodness) from Two Chicks on the Run, and a salsa contest that pitted 22 contestants against each other.
The salsa contest has been a favorite of vendors and visitors to Central City Market for years. We were honored that market manager Ken Bolen asked us to organize it this year. I didn’t try any of the salsas until after the judging was over. But I did have the fun job of setting up the salsas for the judges and could not help but oohing and aahing over these gorgeous salsas! I also enjoyed reading the notes that the salsa chefs added on their entry forms. Several informed me that the contents of their jar were “The Winner!” while others just provided a clear, one word warning – “Hot.” The variety was impressive; we had everything from pico de gallo to cooked salsas to versions that seemed more sauce than salsa. Some had been canned last tomato season and some were made that morning! Our judges: Shelly, Market Manager at The Wild Ramp, Sonia, star volunteer and baker-in-chief at 3 Chicks a Bakin’, and Pat of Broken Coffee Mug took their time making their decisions. We had nervous salsa-makers pacing inside and outside the market. As the judges judged, we also gave our customers the chance to try the assorted salsas nearby. There were some spirited conversations going on around the public salsa table.
And the winners are:
1st Place – Jocelyn Gibson
2nd Place – Kym Blake
3rd Place – Mike Bostic
4th Place – Phyllis Hickman
The winners received $100, $75, $50, and $25 respectively. Central City Market supplied all of the prize money. Thank you to everyone who made salsa – all of them were delicious!
Tomatoes are not the only things that are in season. We also have a bounty of beans, corn, cucumbers, and eggplant. Peppers are also coming on strong and we have a wide variety available at the market. And we already have some fall squash coming in – acorn, butternut, spaghetti and even pumpkins!