Photo of a centerpiece from the 2017 Maryland Buy Local CookoutHere at Neat Nick Preserves, we “buy local” whenever we can. Not only does it make economic and environmental sense, doing so supports our neighborhood growers, our community, and allows us to use the freshest, most flavorful fruits and vegetables in our handmade preserves.

So when the call went out for local chefs to partner with local farms to submit recipes highlighting Maryland-grown products, Neat Nick’s Founder Nicole Paterson partnered with R.J. Caulder of Breezy Willow Farm at Hopkins Spring on a recipe for Summer Party Peach Pies featuring fresh peaches grown right here in Howard County.

The recipe was one of only nineteen selected to be included in the Maryland Governor’s 10th Annual Buy Local Cookout, an invitation-only event that kicked off Maryland’s Buy Local Challenge Week (July 22-30). The week “encourages all Marylanders to eat at least one locally grown, made or harvested product each day.”

Photo of crowd at 2017 Maryland Buy Local CookoutThe Cookout was hosted by Governor and First Lady Hogan at Government House in Annapolis, with tented stations set-up throughout the gardens. Close to 600 people mingled among the flowers and trees, tasting everything from kale salad to scallops, from craft beer to crab soup, from corn salsa to cantaloupe sorbet.

Photo of Neat Nick Preserves Founder and Staff at 2017 Maryland Buy Local CookoutOur Summer Party Peach Pies were a crowd favorite (in fact, we ran out by the end of the evening!) and can be easily replicated. All you have to do is buy (or bake) small tartlets, fill them with Neat Nick’s signature Bourbon & Vanilla Bean Peach Jam, then top each with a dollop of whipped cream. Photo of Summer Party Peach Pies by Neat Nick PreservesThat’s it! So simple and so perfect for anything from a picnic to a party.

If you’re interested in making this or any of the other featured recipes from scratch, visit the 2017 Maryland Buy Local Cookbook online (pdf). Once there, you’ll also learn more about the chefs, their producers, and suggested Maryland-made beverage pairings from the Maryland Wineries AssociationBrewers Association of Maryland, and the Maryland Distillers Guild.

Bonus tip: the cookbooks from 2009 on are also posted online.

And of course you can take part in Buy Local Week – this week or any week – by visiting our Stockists, Partners, or ordering your favorite Neat Nick Preserves handmade jam, jelly or butter online to show up right on your doorstep.

You can also find us at the Clarksville Commons Farmers’ Market (Thursday from 3-7pm – this week is our first time at this market, hooray!), the Ellicott City Old Town Market (Saturday), the Sykesville Farmers’ Market (Sunday), or the Catonsville Sunday Farmers’ Market.

So happy Buy Local Week, friends and fans!