Weekly Open Thread Has Loads of Fun Ideas



On Saturday, meet the new executive chef of Watermark. Matt Bolus brings a pretty high profile with him and his tweets from the Watermark kitchen are always informative. Meet the man, have a drink on the house and some light hors d'oeuvres, then stay for dinner if you fancy. 5 to 6 p.m. at Watermark. (Go here to watch a Watermark video introducing Matt, much of it filmed at the Scene's Iron Fork event.)

Blackberry season in Middle Tennessee kicks off this weekend with the Blackberry Jam at Boyd Mill Farm, presented by Hands On Nashville. Just $10 gets you hours of music from the likes of Jonell Mosser and a whole lot of other bands. For this eighth annual jam, the "Musical Petting Zoo" is also returning — kids can toy with real musical instruments. Boyd Mill is on Boxley Valley Road in Franklin. Tickets $15 at the door, kids under 12 free. Saturday 1:20 to 10 p.m.

The actual berry-picking at Boyd Mill begins Friday, July 1. Hours are 7 a.m.-11 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays or by appointment. Come early because they pick out quickly. Pick your own for $18/gallon (containers provided) or buy pre-picked for $25/gal (order ahead). There's also blackberry jam for $5 a jar.

It's flea market weekend, where you can usually find a country ham — cook a country ham and you heat up the kitchen just once for about 10 days of lunches and dinners. Brenda, the nice butcher at the Belmont Bi-Rite is a genius at cutting them, too.

Down at the Nashville Farmers' Market, Sunday is Swing Dancing day, featuring the Dean Martinis, 1-4 p.m. Free and family-friendly, it'll be rollicking inside the Market House for air-conditioned comfort. So get some dancing with your cucumber and tomato shopping — why not?

And finally, here's a fun contest from Roland Foods, whose quirky product mix runs from olive juice to coconut milk to tea and toothpicks—I keep a running mental list that I'm someday going to turn into a bingo game. Choose your favorite product, then shoot a video of your and friends making something wonderful with it. You could win a Roland gift basket — who knows which of their hundreds of intriguing goodies will be in it. Details and entry form on the contest Facebook page.

What's the news in your corner of the food kingdom? Weekly Open Thread is your place to share the fun.

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