Fairfield Farmers’ Market with Pastry, Giant Mushrooms, Asparagus, and an Uncharacteristic Obsession with Football

I am, when it comes down to it, a pretty terrible person.  I don’t actually follow football, but I do have a longstanding, if vague, allegiance to the Hawks, such that when one of my little students starts talking about the semi-finals and how he is a Cats fan, and that the Cats are bound to beat Hawthorn, because they have won every game against Hawthorn since the start of 2009, well, I feel compelled to comment.


(Also, how can someone who is too young to even remember Gary Ablett possibly be a proper Geelong supporter?  Or old enough to be doing a PhD, for that matter?  But I digress, for I am old and cranky.)

Anyway.  It was clearly my duty to watch the football last night, which may have been a mistake, because it also turns out that I am that worst of all possible football creatures, the sore winner.  You see, for once I actually paid enough attention to the game that I finally worked out what some of the rules were, and then there was this very poor umpiring decision (even the commentators agreed that it was odd), and then there was another one, and then I got so annoyed I switched off the TV and went to rant at Andrew (who did not enter into my feelings even slightly).


And then it turned out that while I was boycotting the whole final quarter out of sheer vexation, Hawthorn actually won.  And despite the fact that I’m pleased about that, I’m still infuriated by the umpiring, which I have since been informed involved bad decisions in both directions (unsurprisingly, I didn’t notice the ones that went in Hawthorn’s favour), and that is actually even more annoying, because why ruin what I suspect was actually a very good game with bad umpiring?

I can’t believe I’m still going on about this.  I told you I was a terrible person.

(Andrew can’t believe I’m still going on about this either.)

But I’m totally having a Grand Final party next weekend.  Even if I’m the only one who attends it because nobody in their right mind would watch football with me now…


Which leads me, by, I must admit, a very circuitous route, back to the Fairfield Market, where we hied late this morning in search of asparagus (because asparagus) and pastry (for pies!  A Grand Final party needs pies!).  We have only been to Fairfield once before, but I remembered that there is a rather glorious stall there selling puff pastry and sweet and savoury shortcrust pastry, as well as biscuit pastry.  It also turns out that the maker of this pastry is a Geelong supporter, which is how I know that the umpiring was awful in both directions (also, I know a lot more about the rules of the game, now, which is bound to be useful).  We discussed the game at some length while I dithered over my pastry, and she was much nicer to me than I probably deserved.


And now I have pastry for pies and sausage rolls for next weekend.  Yum.

But actually, this should not really be the start of my market tale, because not only have I probably just annoyed every Geelong supporter who is reading this (not to mention confusing all the overseas readers who have no idea about Aussie Rules football), but also, that wasn’t where I started at the market today.  I started the market with yoghurt!


One of the fun things about coming down to Fairfield market is that we get a bunch of the stallholders who don’t tend to go north of the river.  Well, technically, Fairfield is north of the river, but only by a block, so that hardly counts.  None of the people selling your basic dairy goods (milk, cream, yoghurt, quark) come up to Coburg or even Flemington, but they go to Fairfield and Slow Food Market, so that’s where we have to go to find them.  I snaffled a tub of Greek yoghurt, and then went next door to chat to Felicity of Take Me Home Pastas.

This was pretty much a gratuitous stop and chat, because my fridge is still full of gnocchi from last week, but we did have fun speculating on the possibilities blood orange gnocchi, and then I got to drag my friend A over so that I could enthuse about all the pizza and pasta possibilities at her.  She bought a kangaroo lasagne, and I found that I could not, after all, resist a garlic and herb pizza base.  It’s just the right time of year for pizza primavera.


Happy Fruit were here, and I bounced over to their stalls to try everything (as usual) and then buy apricots for Andrew and pears, for which I have vague baking plans.  Sweet rolls of some kind, I think, with pears and oats and chocolate.  I’m into yeast at the moment.

dried fruit

Then I noticed an asparagus stall, which naturally drew my attention absolutely and to the exclusion of anything else.  Have I ever mentioned that I am rather fond of asparagus?  This chap had half kilo bunches, so I got three of those, expounding gleefully on all my asparagus-filled plans, and he got me to wait while he went back to his truck and brought me a big handful of asparagus tops which were too short to sell (but still tasty!).


A few stalls down was Rita’s wonderful stall, but with no Rita, since she and Tony are currently on an extended holiday. I had a lovely chat to Rita’s daughter, and then gleefully pounced on an entirely new (to me) variety of cauliflower in brilliant saffron-yellow.  Then I had to buy one in purple, too, of course.  And a few onions and Fat Hen, because one cannot live on asparagus and cauliflower alone, though apparently I’m willing to attempt the feat.


(in case you are wondering, the cauliflower really is that yellow.  It isn’t just the light)

We wandered around the market randomly for a bit, then.  I hadn’t really planned to get mushrooms, but as I walked past the mushroom stall, I saw this gorgeous creature:


“That is my mushroom,” I informed the stallholder.  He said that he had been wondering whose it would turn out to be.  I bought a second, slightly less majestic mushroom to go with it.


A certain amount of mushroom-related gloating was required before I could move on to my next stop.  One really cannot have a mushroom like that and fail to gloat over it.  In fact, you can expect a further gloating mushroom post, because I used both mushrooms as pizza bases for tonight’s dinner, and they were *glorious*.  As you would expect.

Having disappointed A by taking the best mushroom, it seemed only fair to show her the gorgeous L’Artisan cheese stall, which specialises in organic, French-style cheeses.  The stallholder also has a lovely French accent, which makes the cheese taste even better in my view (what can I say?  I have a thing for beautiful accents.  Lucky me, working in a medical research institute full of postdocs from overseas…).  I bought some of the beautiful Fermier cheese, which is like Raclette only even more stinky.  Essentially, it’s the perfect cheese.


I honestly wasn’t going to get broccoli, after all that cauliflower, but a stall I hadn’t seen before actually had purple sprouting broccoli, which is another brassica I’ve heard of but never tasted. Well, at least we’re going to have our brassica needs well-covered this week.  I also fell for the ruby chard, which always looks so festive when fresh.


At this point, I thought I was all out of money, but just as I was putting my purse away, I saw something blue peeking out of one of the pockets – another $10 note!  Bliss!  Ten dollars left at the end of the market basically means pie or cake.  On this occasion, it definitely meant pie.  Apple pie, to be precise.


Yes, just like that.  And speaking of apple pie, the timer just went off in the kitchen.  I’d better get dessert out before it burns…



One year ago: Recipe: Gluten-free flour mixes (including self-raising)
Two years ago: Recipe: Sunshine-Yellow Lemon Cake
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2 comments for “Fairfield Farmers’ Market with Pastry, Giant Mushrooms, Asparagus, and an Uncharacteristic Obsession with Football

  1. Hayley
    September 22, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Haha, I am that other kind of terrible person endemic only to Melbourne who follows other forms of sport but has little to no interest in AFL at all, and gets quite huffy at the ubiquity of it and how it subsumes all other sports coverage. Although even with my minimal interest I think I should like to see Fremantle win, first timer underdogs and all that.

    On other more important subjects, ASPARAGUS! I bought my first new season bunch during the week and ate it simply with melted butter after a brief boil. Achingly delicious.

    • Catherine
      September 22, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      For at least 363 days of the year, I have absolutely no interest in football, either. But if we start getting towards the finals and I happen to notice that Hawthorn is still there, well. Mind you, I had no idea I was capable of getting so cross about umpiring until Friday night.

      Also, ASPARAGUS! Oh yes! I love to sauté it briefly with olive oil until it is bright green and has a few golden brown bits. Butter is also goood.

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