Saturday, August 7, 2010

LG Farmers' Market: The Spread

Every time I go to the Loewen Gardens Farmers' Market, I spend about two to three times as much as I would in a normal, productive grocery store trip, and half of the spoils could be considered frivolous delights. But it only happens once a month, right?

I arrived via the chariot of the proletariats, the train and bus, with an assortment of tote bags at my side. Surveying the spread and the crowd, I lamented my inability to make it to the farmers' market pre-noon. There was a good crowd, which meant certain favorites would already be sold out.

I checked with Organic Himalaya and there was Cynthia, chatting away with someone about ginger jam and doling out samples. I came for my usual peach jam, and walked away with their new version (with cointreau), peach classic, and plum jam. If you're a regular reader, you know I love their peach jam, but why the plum? Well, the Resident Taste Tester is very much into plum jam and our recent supermarket purchase just didn't satisfy, so I went to our most reliable (and arguably most environmentally friendly) source, OH.

So after I spent two-thirds of my allotted market money on jam (ahem), I went in search of fresh rosemary. OH was out (though Cynthia said to just send her a message next time and she'll set some aside for me), but The Pantry guy had a nice fat bunch of hydroponically grown rosemary that made me swoon at the scent. Still in a daze from the herb bouquet, I bought over a kilo of Brussels sprouts, nodding in agreement that they probably would make fantastic soup. I wandered through to the back end of the market and sampled some cured ham from the people with the paella (does it really hang around to dry for two years after curing?) and bought organic asparagus from another vendor. My last purchase was half an Australian variety of Japanese pumpkin (yeah, I was a little curious when the nice lady told me that too, but think on it a while) from a stall near the front of the market, which will be roasted if I'm feeling mildly ambitious, or steamed if I can't be bothered.

If you made it to the end of this post, good for you! I sort of can't believe you actually read my recount of Saturday farmers' market shopping in its entirety. For your charitable reading, you are thus rewarded with preview photos of up-coming posts of things I meant to tell you about ages ago:

Yes, it's that welcome back brioche.

Lemon seeds strained out of lemon juice with a tea steeping cup for outrageous lemon cake (RTT birthday cake one of two).

The taste-testing batch of meringue (or pavlova, if you will) for Z's birthday.

By the way, after I drafted this post, I made dinner. I made the pizza dough from and rolled it out really thin, then brushed it with olive oil and scattered thin slices of garlic and crumbled feta on it before baking. Now, before I baked that, I roasted pumpkin slices and halved Brussels sprouts (wow, I've been slurring those words together for my entire life without realizing there was an "S" at the end of the first) with rosemary. Then I piled as much of the vegetables on top of my baked pizza crust and ate it while pumpkin loaf cake finished baking. Score.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Farmers' Market Tomorrow, Saturday 7 August

I borrowed the flyer below from the folks at Organic Himalaya; I'm on their mailing list and they always give a heads up when there's a sale coming (in addition to updates on the varied political situation that sometimes holds up their shipments). Anyway, I love their peach jam and I'm going tomorrow to replenish my stock, so I hope to see some of you folks there.

As I've said before, it's not rife with fresh local produce, but it's a mash-up of homemade cakes, cheeses, imported specialty olive oils, wine (you might even catch my "big brother" there giving a wine talk), stir fry, sun-dried tomatoes, quality fruit and vegetables, and more.

Loewen Gardens is right by Dempsey, so wander the market and then walk ten minutes to have a lovely brunch (if you haven't already gorged yourself on samples).