Travelers Rest is a town full of charm and delight, with annual traditions and events that our community passionately supports.
One of everyone’s favorite routine events is the Travelers Rest Farmers Market. During the market season, vendors gather on Saturday mornings and present their beautiful offerings at Trailblazer Park, sitting in the shadow of our favorite Paris Mountain.
For the most part, despite the year’s challenges and setbacks, the Farmers Market was able to be held most Saturdays and both the vendors and the community were grateful for the opportunity to keep this town staple going strong.
There were some favorite events, however, that were canceled this summer. One of those being the very popular Tomato Taste Off. (We always attend and were just as sad as everyone else when this event was removed from the summer line up.)
The Farmers Market is a 501(C)3 Nonprofit. Maranda Williams serves as the Executive Director. The market relies heavily on vendor fees, public sponsorships, local grands and fundraisers like the Tomato Sandwich Taste Off.
“COVID had really left us in a tight spot,” Maranda shares. “With the loss of the Tomato Sandwich Taste Off and City A-TAX grant funding, we found ourselves at a $25,000 deficit.”
That’s a tough place to be for a market as beloved as ours. With a little of that creative spirit that inspires the folks of TR, the idea of a Community Cookbook was born.
“The cookbook was born out of the intent to encapsulate the spirit of the Tomato Taste Off in a form that could be shared and enjoyed from a distance,” Maranda says. “Practically, we also needed a creative avenue to replace lost funds, and a community cookbook seemed like a hopeful collaboration to float us through.”
The cookbook is available now and it’s cover says Volume I. Naturally, that gives us hope that subsequent volumes will be coming, an idea we fully support. The first volume is dedicated to the esteemed tomato, in honor of the missing taste off competition.
And what about that art?
Does it look familiar to you?
It’s the style of the talented team of Jesse and Carissa Bowser. (You know, our fabulous mural artists!)
The cookbook is full of recipes from local cooks – like our own Clint Keels. You’ll find recipes by Mayor Brandy Amidonand Maranda Williams herself too! Local restaurants (and former Tomato Taste Off winners) such as Upcountry Provisions and Sidewall contributed recipes to the cookbook as well.
Here’s how YOU can pick up a copy (or six) of the cookbook. (And yes, these would make fantastic gifts this year!) The cost is $15 and you are supporting a wonderful cause.
You can also purchase cookbook copies at this weekend’s Very Merry Christmas Market at Trailblazer Park.
We can’t wait get our own copy – and to see what future cookbook possibilities happen for Volume II!