Saturday Morning Biscuit Bust

The morning of the first International Biscuit Festival finally arrived. I didn’t have advanced tickets for the premium event (a sit-down biscuit bonanza) and I arrived around 10:20 for the main event, only to find that all tickets were sold out. I’m not sure who messed this one up, but who thought that a few hundred tickets for biscuits in Knoxville, Tennessee would be adequate? Hello, we are SOUTHERN. Hello, we are FAT. OK, not all of us – but a bunch of us. We do like our biscuits and I guess the consolation is that thanks to the great response, there will almost certainly be a redux.

So what is a body to do? Well, plenty. I got a biscuit from Pete’s after a very long wait (long line, not slow service!) and then got in line at the Java coffee booth at the Farmer’s Market, but decided it was too long, so I walked over to the dependable Coffee and Chocolate. It’s interesting how fast the tables can turn – Java snatched my coffee money  from C&C last night with the poetry slam and today, long lines drove me in the opposite direction. While at Pete’s I did get to meet a couple of members of the New Orleans Slam team and got to talk a bit about Katrina and the oil spill. Everyone was sick about both. What can you say?

After securing my coffee and biscuit, I settled in front of Preservation Pub, which is the best people watching spot for Farmer’s Market, in my opinion. They don’t open until noon and the sun is shaded on that side of Market Square. I sat next to the gentleman to the right and wished I could read his thoughts as he watched the people at the Market.

The Knoxville Farmer’s Market begins in the spring and runs through the fall on Market Square. The best items are usually available when it opens (9AM), but the vendors are open until around noon on Saturday mornings and Wednesday mornings. So far, I’ve sampled fresh flowers, strawberries, some great and unusual lettuce, bread and eggs. All products must be grown in the region and most are organically grown. Market Square and the adjacent Krutch Park are generally packed. The pictures here are from the end, when things were winding down, because I was too slow to make it on this particular Saturday.

Increasingly, it is impossible to go to the Square and not hear good music. Such was the case this day. The Native-American man pictured below playing the National Steel Guitar was once a professional musician in New Orleans, but now has a booth selling hand-crafted jewelry at the Market. The two musicians laid down some sweet blues. While they played, I could hear the words in my head . . . “Woke up this morning with a biscuit on my mind . . .”

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