Saturday, June 27, 2009

Red Wax Circle of Love

There is a local woman who has turned her big porch, and part of her home into what she calls a Farmer's Market. She has commercial refrigeration units installed and everything. Outside, she has her own garden and also sells starter plants.

She has rules for shopping at her place, which she has posted all around on boards and scraps of wood, painted in her scrawl. As you turn in to her place, the first sign states, "READ THIS FIRST. Yes you. Drive around the house then park". She has fashioned a rustic circular drive so everyone will be facing the same direction as they exit. No backing out.

This little store is only open from late spring until fall. She sells locally grown vegetables and fruits, her own tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers. She offers fresh pasta, butter, cheese, and meats, including bison and country ham. Homemade pickles, jams and jellies. A shelf around the perimeter of the porch, near the ceiling, showcases an amazing collection of antique canning jars.

She has excellent products and very good prices. The store is very convenient to me, although the service is anything but friendly. In fact, she is a bitch. She is the sole proprietor and I've never seen anyone helping her--she does it all. She has taken the time to post the rules, so she doesn't expect or want any questions or inquiries. She does say "thank you very much", sincerely, at the conclusion of the transaction.

She won't be winning any J. D. Power awards, but for anyone who has ever worked in customer service, and has answered the same question, over, and over, and over, and over again, it becomes a fantasy to be like her. Oh how many times, I have wanted to point to the sign right in front of a customer's face, rather than smile and answer the question, again.

Yesterday, among other things, I bought a couple of wedges of hoop cheese, which always reminds me of those old country stores, that had the big, red, wax covered, wheel of hoop cheese on the counter. Also lined up on the counter would be those huge jars of giant dill pickles, pink pickled eggs, those frightening looking sausages, and grotesque pigs feet. Was that sanitary?

The hoop cheese I bought was made right here in the mountains of North Carolina. I know this because I read the sign, not because I asked. Hoop cheese is a fresh, mildly sharp cheddar with a very clean taste, and an almost squeaky texture. It melts beautifully for recipes, but the best way to eat it is the old timey way--at room temperature with saltine crackers.


  1. I enjoyed your story about the curmudgeony host of this unique farmer's market. BTW, the cheese sounds delicious! I'm hoping I can find a Red Wax Circle of Love in Wisconsin.

  2. Curmudgeon, yes, that is nicer than what I called her. You should be able to find any kind of cheese in Wisconsin, right?