Two years ago, Valentine’s Day fell on a Saturday. The 7th Street Theatre was showing one of their irresistible classic movies for Take your Honey To Hoquiam ( Feb. 11th & 12th they’re showing Romancing the Stone!). Driving along Lincoln Street in Hoquiam, I glanced over as we passed Als’ Humdinger. The outside picnic table was covered with a tablecloth, lighted candles glowed softly, and a young couple were cuddled up under a warm blanket. The cuisine of the evening was accompanied by a bottle of sparkling apple cider. Naturally, I melted. Turned into a cooing damp-eyed female right then and there.
Okay, enough mushy stuff! Mark Wednesday, February 9th on your calendar. From 11:30 until 1:30 the City of Hoquiam is hosting a Relay for Life Clam Chowder Cook-Off! For a mere $5.00 you may get in line to be the judge for the many entries ; Chimacum Chowder, Manhattan Clam Chowder, Pacific Northwest Clam Chowder, just to name a few. Yes, I am planning to enter my very own version of clam chowder for this event, and have my fingers crossed that the discerning culinary critiques will overwhelmingly vote mine as the very best. But no matter, the $5.00 will go toward a very worthy cause. Head for Hoquiam City Hall, on 8th Street for lunch on Wednesday!
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The other big event on Wednesday is the highly anticipated first shipment of Organic Fair Trade Chocolate to the Hoquiam Farmers Market. Now, our general policy at the market is to offer locally made or grown products. But we also have a deep concern for the quality and farm practices of all food products. The overwhelming majority of chocolate is made from Cacao beans grown on small farms. Huge companies pay the farmer wages which do not allow a family to survive. The farmers end up borrowing on future crops, becoming mired in lifelong debt to the company store. Children are not able to attend school, families cannot afford nutritious food, and the cycle of poverty continues.
Equal Exchange is a Fair Trade organization which purchases all of the chocolate used in its’ high quality bars from farmer owned cooperatives. The farmers are paid a fair price and are able to provide for their families. The luscious bars contain up to 71% cacao and all organic ingredients for guilt free indulgence!
More Valentine’s suggestions;
Need some gorgeous flowers to go along with your chocolate? Cindy has brought in the prettiest potted baskets! Primroses, pansies, hellebores, ferns, exotic grasses- these are baskets that will continue being pretty all year long!
Judy has beautiful Rhubarb plants now, ready to be the first addition this year to your garden. As the weather improves, more plants will appear in our garden enclosure. We also have small blueberry bushes available now.
Nancy made her first batch of heart shaped sugar cookies yesterday, and once again my market managers duty of product testing was needed. Trust me, they passed with flying colors. So did the cinnamon roll that I couldn’t resist!
Several market artists have Valentine’s Day cards that are unique and original- Ellen Pickell is offering Spanish greetings on her cards, Corinnas’ are whimsical delights, Carries’ are restrained, elegant letter press nuggets, and Naida has adorable angelic creations. These are cards with character.
Handcrafted jewelry, honey, pure beeswax candles, hand-knit slippers, books, heart shaped treasure boxes, and of course, the finest bakery goodies available anywhere- stop by the Hoquiam Farmers Market. If we don’t have exactly what you are looking for, we probably can tell you where you can find it in one of our locally owned Grays Harbor stores!
Barbara Bennett Parsons, cupids helper at the Hoquiam Farmers Market
Open 5 days a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Call 538-9747