People have flocked to Trinity-by-the-Cove’s Christmas Market for the past 60 years.
But for food lovers, it’s worth a trip alone to check out the chutney, chipotle-spiced barbecue sauce and more from the flagship Trinity Gourmet booth.
It’s not the only station in the parish hall selling food—you can find retailers like Black Tulip Coffee and Olde Naples Chocolate alongside baked goods from parishioners—but it’s the heart of the festive market in how it has united a team of volunteers from the beginning who work tirelessly for months on end preparing for the big day, which this year is Nov. 14 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Back row, left to right: Donald Stitt, Cindy Peel, Carol Williamson, Jeanne Feight, Anne Lewallen, Jenny Anton. Front row, left to right: Sharon Julian, Pat Wheeler
Starting in August, no fewer than five women and men—some wearing blue “Trinity-by-the-Stove” aprons, many with backgrounds in food (one had been a registered dietitian, one has a degree from the Royal Horticulture Society in her native Britain, another worked in catering)—were peeling mangoes, slicing lemons, chopping herbs and sterilizing jars for several hours a day, five days a week, for weeks on end.
The fruits of their labor include about 250 jars of mango chutney (a best-seller and made almost exclusively from local fruit, some donated from parishioners’ backyards) and 103 jars of red cherry jam (Carol Williamson, the “mother” of the group, according to Mary Cooper who helps promote the philanthropic work of the parish, buys the cherries from an orchard near her summer home in Michigan and drives everything here). Between 100 to 150 jars each of other favorites, such as bourbon-chipotle barbecue sauce, red pepper jelly and calamondin orange jam, are also sold.
If it’s amazing to think that all of this work could go into one day and one day alone, here’s some food for thought: Any extra jars (and the women assure there will be extra jars) are sold each Sunday after church services in the parish hall. Like with the Christmas market itself, they welcome anyone to pop in and shop—all proceeds benefit local charities. So if you’re looking for great food gifts or an easy appetizer to serve at your holiday cocktails (see below for a recipe), it’s the best kind of retail therapy.
Mango Chutney Appetizer
Buy a half-pint jar of Trinity’s Major Grey’s-style recipe ($6) and with barely any work, you’ll have instant canapés for your next party.
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon sherry
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup mango chutney
3 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
Crackers, for serving (about 30)
Combine cream cheese and cheddar in a bowl. Add sherry and curry powder, stirring until blended. Spread cheese mixture on crackers. Top with chutney, then sprinkle with scallions. (Alternatively, place cheese mixture in a medium-sized serving bowl, spread chutney on top, sprinkle with scallions and serve with crackers.)
To plan a visit:
553 Galleon Drive, Naples
**The annual Christmas market on Nov. 14, and subsequent Sunday afternoon sales of the Trinity Gourmet products are held in the parish hall across Galleon Drive from the church itself.**