Our attendance at our favorite annual Christmas craft show at the Kimberton Waldorf School this past weekend marks eleven years at the venue. Less than five miles from home, this school is one of the big hubs of our community. Not only is it a great sales venue for Farm at Coventry products, but it is a weekend of catching up with old friends~ shoppers and vendors alike~ honestly, the highlight of our sales year. One of our vendor friends is Kurt Walser, the man who makes the beautiful chocolates pictured here. He is a baker by trade, but every Christmas season he is known for his incredibly fine handmade chocolates. I love Tom Hanks' character, Forrest Gump's famous line "My Momma always said that life is like a box of chocolates". Well, Life is indeed grand when you have these beautiful handmade Swiss chocolates in your possession. Kurt lives and works less than an hour away, but we only see him once every year at this show. He comes to our booth before the show opens on Friday night, picks out gifts for his wife and daughters and we barter for the chocolates (always the biggest box, of course!) The chocolates are so fine that the MAN and I split each one down the center with a sharp knife and share each delectable creation. Let me describe the ones we have savored so far: Rose Dark Chocolate Ganache with rosewater covered in dark chocolate, Honey Truffle~ honey, butter, vanilla bean, dark chocolate dipped in cacao chocolate powder, Lavender Dark Chocolate Ganache with lavender flowers covered with dark chocolate and White Truffle Lemon Ganache covered with white chocolate... they are unbelievably delicious and an anticipated once-per-year treat.
The show is full of artisans with beautiful handmade gifts ...baskets brimming with hand spun and dyed wool, hand knit hats and scarves, earthen potteryware, hand-loomed rugs, hand-hammered silver jewelery, turned wood bowls, hand-dyed silk scarves, hand-dipped beeswax candles, handmade wooden knitting needles, wood block prints...etc, etc. Can you imagine all the hands coming together to create this wonderful annual event?
The library is the stage for the coffee, tea and dessert bar (a wonderful selection baked by many parents) The music for the entire weekend is performed by various students and faculty...singing, harp playing, piano duets...all by candlelight. The lunch is prepared by students and parents: always a delectable soup, green salad and homemade bread and homemade pizzas. It is this huge community effort that sets the stage for our first real taste of Christmas Spirit. Even in this difficult economy, the community of friends supports each other in their various works while sharing good food and fellowship. This year we shared a corner with a new vendor, artist Michael McNelly who created this beautiful chicken sketch. We giggled like school kids with him the entire weekend and of course, bartered for goods before sharing hugs and goodbyes until next year. We have joked that there is no recession when it came to soaps and creams this year because sales were so great. But it is the rich traditions of friendship and community and the common values of offering beautiful handmade items to a crowd of appreciative consumers that kept us warm and carried us home in the snow on Saturday night.