If you follow my postings, you are familiar with my passion for the farmers’ markets and local artisans. Celebrating Our Markets’ Bounty, indeed! Let me tell you about when I met Big Spooners, Mark Overbay and partner, Megan Lynam in April 2011 on their first day as a vendor at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market.
First impression: Two engaging and enthusiastic 30 something year olds. An eye-catching venue staged with a huge (I’m estimating 4 ft.) spoon, a basket of polished apples, and precisely stacked towers of jars of nut butters: peanut, peanut pecan, peanut cashew, and peanut almond. Gracious samplings of apple slices schmeared with nut butters being offered to curious shoppers who wandered up to check out the new kids on the block.
In less than a year, Big Spoon Roasters has not only garnered quite a large and faithful following in the local area they have even been touted in nationally acclaimed bon appétit and Food & Wine! Visit www.bigspoonroasters.com for the inspirational story of their philosophy, conception, product information and to learn what the culinary aficionados have to say about this dynamic duo.
They had me with “would you like a taste?” on that spring Saturday and it is a rare day when the pantry lacks a jar of Big Spoon Roasters’ deliciously fragrant and mouth-watering nut butters. Made with nuts, wildflower honey and sea salt, these are simple, straightforward and sublime! Favorite breakfast: BSR nut butter on Box Turtle Bakery’s thinly sliced honey wheat bread; a nutritious combination of protein, grain and good fat. Over the past nine months, appreciative friends and family in FL, CA and NY have received more than a few jars of fresh roasted nut butters. My son and his roommates re-cycle the jars to use as “glasses” for coconut milk and beer!
All of us Big Spoon groupies were delighted when November’s Bon Appétit magazine featured Megan’s recipe for Peanut-Pecan Butter and Oatmeal Cookies! Megan, whose day job is Director of Admissions at Duke Fuqua School of Business, credits her mother, “an amazing cook and cookie producing machine”, as responsible for her love of baking. “I love the predictability of the outcomes, and mostly love the time in the kitchen, with Mark, good music, and how my love and energy can get channeled into something that brings a smile to the faces of others.”
I, admittedly, am an improvisational cook, not a baker, though I was determined to tie on the “rule follower” apron and give it my best shot. I followed the directions to a “t”, though, per Megan’s instruction, used 2/3 cup of BSR peanut-pecan butter instead of the peanut butter and toasted pecans. I do believe she would be proud of the results! As my friend, Mary-Ann, said, “”Yum! These are fabulous! The peanut and pecan flavors are rich and true and the texture is wonderfully moist and chewy.”
Milk and cookies, anyone?
Porcelain drinking vessel courtesy of Eddie Smith Pottery, a vendor at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market.
Box Turtle Bakery is a vendor at Carrboro Farmers’ Market.
If you run out of BSR during the week, you can find your favorite nut butter at Johnny’s in Carrboro.
Mark and Megan’s dog, Riley, was the official taste tester for Big Spoon. They would count the number of licks after a taste of nut butter to determine how good it was!