Farmers’ Market: Can We Have Autumn Now, Please?

I’m about ready to do that dance from It’s Too Darn Hot, and I can’t even dance.

all

Darn hot or not, we went to the market this morning before the temperature got too stratospheric, and started, as is becoming traditional, with our usual chat with John from Wild Dog.  He’s not enjoying the weather either, though at least that tropical phase we had a couple of weeks ago filled the water tanks.  He did, however, have beautiful two-coloured corn – the lovely kind with the yellow and white kernels – as well as the usual strawberries and garlic and potatoes.  I couldn’t even think about potatoes in this weather, but strawberries are never wasted, and garlic is inevitable, really, and I haven’t bought corn yet this year, so that was irresistible, too.

Did you know that you can plant corn, and then plant beans a week or two later, and they grow up the corn, using it as a stake?  I think that's awesome, don't you?

Did you know that you can plant corn, and then plant beans a week or two later, and they grow up the corn, using it as a stake? I think that’s awesome, don’t you?

Then we went for a wander to see what looked delicious. One of the new stallholders had beautiful big yellow tomatoes, a variety I haven’t seen before, and also crisp beans and all sorts of herbs.  We bought basil and rocket and I’m kicking myself for not buying coriander, because with the tomatoes and corn and basil I had virtually all the ingredients I needed for quinoa, tomato and corn salad.  (I’ve since gone out and bought the coriander – there’s lunch for this week sorted).

This is reminding me that I want to make Cindy and Michael's strawberry salad from Where's the Beef again...

This is reminding me that I want to make Cindy and Michael’s strawberry salad from Where’s the Beef again…

My favourite vegetable stall had all sorts of goodies this week – baby eggplants of two kinds, silverbeet so young and tender that the stalks were barely there, chinese broccoli and giant green tomatoes.

This was meant to be a photo demonstrating the glorious size of the tomato, but it looks more like I'm about to bean someone with it.  Blunt instrument, anyone?

This was meant to be a photo demonstrating the glorious size of the tomato, but it looks more like I’m about to bean someone with it. Blunt instrument, anyone?

It also had the most indecent carrot I’ve ever seen.  I took one look at it in the box and started giggling.  The stallholder giggled, too. “It’s a symbol of man,” he told me.  Hard to argue with that, really.

... honestly, where do you start captioning something like this?  The possibilities are almost overwhelming.  But sometimes a carrot is just a carrot.

… honestly, where do you start captioning something like this? The possibilities are almost overwhelming. But sometimes a carrot is just a carrot.  With a Y chromosome and very well developed… no, I’m stopping right there.

Moving on from obscene root vegetables (oh dear – I really didn’t mean that, but I can’t bring myself to undo it), I decided to investigate a brand new stall selling pumpkin seeds and their various offspring.

tomato

Glories of summer. These tomatoes are very nearly worth the weather. But only very nearly…

These stallholders come from Swan Hill, and are apparently the only growers of pumpkin seeds in Australia.  Apparently, the variety of pumpkin seed they grow comes from Austria, which is not normally known for its northern Victorian climate, but there you have it.  They had all sorts of amazing things – pumpkin seeds plain or roasted or roasted with various flavours, pumpkin seeds coated in dark chocolate, pumpkin seed dukkah, pumpkin seed oil, and pumpkin seed meal.  All of it tasted very much like pistachios, and the oil was a gorgeous deep green colour.  The pumpkin seed meal can apparently be used to make flourless cakes, and I instantly started thinking of flourless pumpkin seed cakes with fresh apricots.  The oil will be fantastic in salads, which is about all this weather is currently good for.  Actually, I should put some in my quinoa salad…

Pumpkin seed oil, pumpkin seed meal, and chocolate coated pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seed oil, pumpkin seed meal, and chocolate coated pumpkin seeds

My next stop was for eggs, because obviously one needs eggs for the aforementioned flourless pumpkin-seed cakes (pumpkin seed and chocolate also comes to mind).

Eggs with eggplant.  Or eggplant with eggs.  And speaking of which, I must do something about that eggish challenge of mine...

Eggs with eggplant. Or eggplant with eggs. And speaking of which, I must do something about that eggish challenge of mine…

Next to the egg man was the walrus.  OK, that’s actually not true.  But there was a man selling pies which almost certainly didn’t have walruses in them, so you can see why I would get confused.  I’ll admit to having fallen off the vegetarian wagon a couple of times this Lent (that conference kind of weakened my resolve, but I’m back on the horse now), but I resisted the delicious meaty pies and instead bought a beautiful apple and rhubarb one.  I am ready for my autumn vegetables, even if I’m unwilling to cook them myself in this heat…

This is in the oven right now and it smells amazing.

This is in the oven right now and it smells amazing.

We still have pasta and pizza bases from the last market, so we decided to give the pasta place a miss, and investigate the last of my preferred veggie stallholders.  They had a special on for lettuces, and this is definitely a time for salads, so I bought two, as well as more tomatoes, and some onions.

Rocket, basil, chinese broccoli, silver beet, and two kinds of lettuce

Rocket, basil, Chinese broccoli, silver beet, and two kinds of lettuce

By this time, we were all melting and it was time for choir anyway, so we headed back to the car, pausing to finish a pain au chocolat from the bakery for breakfast, and to consider with gratitude the fact that the Wesley choir doesn’t go in for robes, which really would be painful in this weather…

I hope you are staying cool.  Rumour has it there might be some rain tonight. We had a good little storm this afternoon, but then it all got steamy again…

onions

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This time last year…

Farmers’ Market: Cooling Down

 

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2 responses to “Farmers’ Market: Can We Have Autumn Now, Please?

  1. Oh, that carrot. Most amusing vegetable ever! Leaving shape-related jokes aside, what a great selection of produce you picked up. And I too hope autumn is on its way…summer has over-stayed its welcome.

    • It’s a very special carrot, that’s for sure.

      I do love my farmers’ market. There’s always so much inspiring food there.

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