A bit of the Caribbean at the market

Stir it up CuisineHave you seen who’s coming to the Thanksgiving Harvest Festival? This first ever indoor farmers’ market in Melrose will be this Sunday, November 24th from 12-4pm in Memorial Hall at 590 Main St. in Melrose We have 25 vendors who can complete a full dress out your table for Thanksgiving.

I spoke with Pat Kiernan from Stir it Up Cuisine this week. She started her cooking venture after her 20-year job as a medical transcriber became obsolete when voice recognition came along. She saw the writing on the wall beforehand, though. She started a catering business in 2006. Caribbean born, she created a niche for herself in her spicy concoctions. Her friends had told her how good her pepper jellies were and that she should market them. So in 2008, she started selling her pepper jelly at farmers’ markets. Once she started selling the pepper jelly, they became an immediate hit.

Pat uses a pepper that is indigenous to the Caribbean – Scotch Bonnet Peppers. Being sweeter than most hot peppers, it gives her jellies a very distinctive flavor.

Pat can sometimes get the peppers from local farmers markets but she mostly gets them from a small farmer in Florida who grows the variety that she uses.

Pat even made it on Supermarket Supestar, a Lifetime reality cooking competition series, and won in her category ‘Spreads and Dips’ against 2 other contestants with her Sweet Heat Pepper Jelly on the August 22, 2013 episode.

Pat also makes an Orange Mango Sweet Heat Pepper Jelly, Lime Zest Sweet Heat Pepper Jelly and I shot the Sheriff, packing a lot more heat than the other 3. She also makes a pepper jelly cheese torte that is delicious. Pat was at the Lexington Thanksgiving farmers market last year where I first ran into her. I tasted her pepper jelly cheese torte – it was fantastic! It’s great to bring over to your Thanksgiving family for a wonderful appetizer.

Pat’s jellies and tortes will be for sale at the Thanksgiving market To see more of the vendors we will have at our Thanksgiving Harvest Festival, go to our website at

See you at the market!