Pick a food. Chances are, there's a designated day (or two) to celebrate it. Simmer a pot of turkey neck soup for Friday; steam clams on the half shell for Saturday; and get your sourdough starter ready to bake bread on Sunday.
Monday is all set: This & That Jam (thisandthatjam.com) is hosting an event for National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. The celebration will commence at 8 p.m. at Fullsteam in Durham. In addition to This & That's preserves, Big Spoon Roasters will provide nut butters, Bread & Butter and Crumb will supply bread, and Monuts Donuts has agreed to create a PB&J-inspired pastry.
This & That's jammers, Ali Rudel and Ben Filippo, will kick off the event with a quick canning demonstration. It's in large part the reason for the event, which serves as the capstone to a two-month fundraising effort.
In addition to selling jams and jellies made from local ingredients, Rudel and Filippo have led a number of donation-based workshops in town and on farms to show how easy it is to store seasonal foods. "If we can do it outside on a portable stove on a farm, you can do it in your house," she says. Funds raised recently will help offset fees and costs associated with those workshops, which Rudel calls a "step to sustainability."
For more information about the Chapel Hill-based preserves business or the National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day event, visit This & That online.
Sourcing goods to can or jam will soon get easier. Saturday, April 7, marks the start of earlier hours for many local farmers markets. The Carrboro market (carrborofarmersmarket.com) will shift its opening to 7 a.m., while a number of other markets—including Durham (durhamfarmersmarket.com), Western Wake (westernwakefarmersmarket.org) and Eno River (enoriverfarmersmarket.com)—will start at 8 a.m. Each of these markets closes at noon.
To start the new season, Carrboro will host Vimala Rajendran of Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe at 9 a.m. to give a cooking demonstration using produce from the market. Rajendran often uses market-sourced vegetables in her Chapel Hill restaurant. "We're excited to have her around because she's a big supporter," says Erin Heiderman, assistant manager of the Carrboro market.
Western Wake also has plans to celebrate the start of its longer hours. Since it will be Easter weekend, the market will host a number of egg-themed events for children. There will be a station for creating eggshell flowerpots, in which kids can plant a flower or vegetable seed. An Easter egg hunt will take place, and there will also be face painting.
Later this month, look for the start of a number of midweek markets. On April 11, Bill Smith of Crook's Corner will offer samples in conjunction with Carrboro's first Wednesday market of the season, which will operate between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. If you are able avoid the temptation of a sample, at least drop by to tell Mr. Smith congratulations: His restaurant recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.
Know of a restaurant happening or food event? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.