It's June! June! June! I always get this song stuck in my head when summer starts creeping up. That uncontainable excitement that overcomes us when spring is almost a memory and the longest day of the year is just around the corner is oddly, perfectly captured by this delightfully weird (suprisingly dark!) and musically wonderful Rodgers and Hammerstein show, Carousel.
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local food finds
sometimes twitter is just the best.
While many of us have a love/hate relationship with social media, I find that outlets like twitter can be quite useful for finding out what's going on in the food world. I follow tons of local businesses, food news sites, and fellow food bloggers who are all posting the latest and greatest information on All Things Culinary. It was one of my favorite local preserves makers, Red Camper, who posted on twitter that they would be at The Denver Flea, and I was all like "What the heck is the Denver Flea? I want to go to there!"
And so we did.
Even though the skies looked pretty threatening all evening, the rain clouds kept away from City Park as the crowds of Denverites milled around tent after tent of local food, beer, jewelry, clothing, furniture and more. Some of my favorite folks were there, reppin', like The Real Dill with their beautiful and delicious pickles, Svper Ordinary from The Source with their interesting and artful items, Corvus Coffee with their artisan coffee, and a newly-discovered favorite, the Bakin' Bakery truck.
This magical black truck is pumping out the best donuts I've ever put in my face. Literally. I went for their Vanilla Bourbon donut, made with a cakey donut dough that's got the distinctively savory taste of bacon fat, then covered in a boozy vanilla bean glaze with little bits of bacon. We tempered our enthusiasm and got a large one to share, but I'm pretty sure I could have wolfed down an entire dozen all by myself.
Another discovery at The Denver Flea was local jewelry maker, Native Clutter, who sells beautiful handmade and vintage jewelry (like those pretty gold earrings pictured below) which you can purchase online, or at my favorite Denver boutique, and one of the best places in town for locally made jewelry, Fancy Tiger Clothing. I also found a new preserves maker called Puff's Preserves, who makes boozy artisan jams using Colorado spirits.
I purchased Puff's weirdly wonderful watermelon, rum & sea salt jam. Her blackberry lavender is the most popular, owner Kirsten Farabi told me, but I had to go with the watermelon because it sounded so unusual (and I'm a sucker for pretty, bright pink things). After just one taste I was already dreaming of how I wanted to eat through my jar this summer: whisked together with lime juice and tossed with fruit salad, spread onto cream cheese biscuits, melted down and mixed with a little minced jalapeño and poured over grilled chicken. And there are definitely some cocktail ideas floating around in the ol' noggin (but then again, aren't they always?).
It just goes to show that Denver is a really neat place to live. After living in Colorado for over 16 years and working in the food biz for nearly 10, there are still so many cool new things to discover, and old favorites to fall in love with all over again. The Denver Flea was a great way to do that, and a fun way to spend an evening with friends! But next time I'm getting my own donut.