There are two things which make the Farmers’ Market a bit less fun. Well, three things, actually, one being still no asparagus! But today’s market was just a little sadder than usual, because it was cold and rainy and a lot of my favourite stallholders weren’t there. No potatoes, no mushrooms, no garlic, no cheesemakers at all…
Worse still, a couple of my favourites were there, and I couldn’t buy from them in the quantities I would have liked, because I am so busy every night this week that I have to be sensible and stick to things I definitely know how to cook, rather than fascinating new things I want to try. So naturally there were goose eggs again, and the man with the wonderful, wonderful green store full of fascinating, amazing, vibrant, healthy things, and I had to grit my teeth and only buy rocket and baby spinach.
This photo really does not do the greens justice, but try to imagine a store consisting of buckets and buckets and buckets of huge bunches like these in every shade and shape of green. Spring embodied in a single stall.
My first stop, however, was the vegetable stall which had the aforementioned terrible lack of asparagus! The stall-holder was very apologetic and promised to write it down and make sure he brought me some next fortnight. Which is choir *and* Shakespeare, but for asparagus, I will venture forth nonetheless! He asked how much I wanted and I said I could use as much as he could get. Then he offered me a 7 kg box. OK, maybe not that much. We settled for 2 kgs of asparagus and the prospect of asparagus at every meal for a week. Which is no hardship.
He did have the carrots and cauliflower I wanted – and the cauliflower was absolutely beautiful, pristine white without a speck of brown. Lovely. He also had some mixed lettuces which I didn’t strictly need (or rather, would normally have bought on Tuesday or Wednesday. But these look fresh enough to last. And he had some fennel, which I like to use instead of onion in casseroles for my onion-allergic friend.
I decided I needed more carrots for my beef and carrot stew, and also lots of rhubarb for tonight’s crumble. So it was on to the next vegetable stall to see what he had. I really should have taken my camera, because he had several lots of two carrots which had grown twisted around each other like brass candlesticks! Sadly, I really needed yellow carrots (not wanting Blue Stew), and the twisty carrots were all in bunches with a lot of purple ones, so you will have to just trust me on this.
He also gave me a gratuitous daikon radish which I have no idea what to do with…
Tonight’s post-choir dinner is pizza – I’ve made roast pumpkin and onion which will go with rocket and shaved pecorino on one, and the other will have grilled eggplant, tomatoes, piquillo peppers and garlicky spinach with mozzarella. So I had to get another pizza base, and also a spicy passata sauce and some rigatone to use during the week.
The pizza and pasta lady told me she wouldn’t be around next fortnight, and we realised that this meant I wouldn’t see her until next year, because October has five Sundays and we’ll be back on the opposite Sundays from November onward (which, on the bright side, means Italian Veggie lady and awesome pies). She gave me a card and said that if I lived locally I could just call her and drop in when I wanted more pizza bases or pasta – I looked at the card and discovered that their factory is on the other end of our street beyond Sydney Road! So yes, I believe we will be getting the occasional pizza base in the next few months…
Since my recent discovery that supermarket free range eggs are entirely different to the kind you get at the farmers’ markets (farmers’ market eggs are much fresher and make anything you put them in amazingly yellow!), I decided I’d better stock up again. I actually had eggs delivered by Koallah yesterday, and can I say that absolutely nothing beats an omelette made with eggs that have just been laid that morning and delivered to your door? Amazing! Anyway, what with yesterday’s omelette, and two Emergency Cakes, and my intention to make a frittata for lunchbox purposes today and a cake for dessert tomorrow, I was already pretty much out of eggs again, so I got another dozen.
I plan to make rhubarb crumble tonight, but it’s good to have backup breakfast plans, so we have Carmen Miranda fruit bread to toast for the next few days. Yum.
And I still had quite a bit of money left, and it was pouring with rain, but these little cupcakes were under shelter, just where they should be. I couldn’t walk past them. Especially without an umbrella.
And then we fled to the car with our bags of goodies, because it was bucketing down, and I just couldn’t face going back to stand in the rain and look at wet apples. Especially with all the cooking I still need to do today.
Fortunately, I have cake to cheer me as I go.