Farmers’ Market with Yellow Eggplant and Choral Follies

This market post is going to be a special edition today, because I went from market to choir, where everyone seemed to be suffering from an attack of Horrible Life Issues inducing a general air of madness that spread to the congregation and it was all so dire that it actually became fairly funny, and definitely worth writing about.


But let’s start with the market, which we reached unnaturally early this morning, allowing us to have all the pie.


I know, that doesn’t really look like all the pie, but that’s because I was very late getting back from choir and we were hungry so I forgot to photograph the pies separately.  But when you’ve seen one pie, you’ve seen them all, really.  Anyway, we bought pies for ourselves and for a friend who always commissions us to buy pies, and then moved on to Rita’s veggie stall.

I didn't intend this, but doesn't it look like there's someone with wild hair peering out from behind the carrots?

I didn’t intend this, but doesn’t it look like there’s someone with wild hair peering out from behind the carrots?

And Rita was back!  We like her daughter very much, but it’s so nice to see Rita again, along with all my very favourite things from her stall.  There were cardoons – the first of the season – and those wonderful long, sweet peppers, and red onions and brown, and Tony’s amazing broccoli, and, best of all, Rita’s crumbed artichokes, just waiting to hide in my freezer until I need a special treat.


Given the grant situation, I’m going to need a special treat fairly soon, I think.  Maybe even tonight?

Rita also had big bags of Roma tomatoes that were very much at the sauce stage – ripe to the point of bursting (one of them did, indeed, burst on the way home), deep red, and very sweet.  Just perfect for a Catherine who isn’t allowed to buy her usual tinned tomatoes this month!  I’ve been feeling very Italian this afternoon as I’ve stood over the sink and then the stove, scoring the tomatoes, scalding them in boiling water, skinning them, cutting out the little black bits, and then letting them simmer with a pinch of salt until they are soft.  I now have two tins worth of tomatoes ready for use – one frozen, and one probably going into a tomato broth with gnocchi for dinner tonight.


By the time we were done with the pies and Rita we were already out of money, so I returned to the ATM (on the only slightly specious grounds that most of the pies had been for people other than us, and we should at least replace that money).  We then did our usual tour of the market, investigating possibilities for later.  The Orange Lady (that really is her stall’s name) had olives so big that I mistook them for plums, and also pomegranates – which means we will be having that pomegranate and broccoli salad again very soon… however shall we cope?

Wild Dog had strawberries and potatoes and also broadbeans, which I had no idea were even growable at this time of year.  I really haven’t figured out what is seasonal in Victoria yet, and I begin to suspect that this is because it’s all totally anarchic…

It is a little-known fact that potatoes migrate north at the start of winter, to spend the cooler months in more tropical climes.  Their symbiotic relationship with the fiercer and more hardy brown onion hardly requires comment.

It is a little-known fact that potatoes migrate north at the start of winter, to spend the cooler months in more tropical climes. Their symbiotic relationship with the fiercer and more hardy brown onion barely requires comment.

We stopped to say hello to the jam lady, explaining that we really, really, oh God no, really didn’t need jam, but it was nice to see her anyway!  And then we popped over to the colourful vegetable stall for purple kale, multicoloured carrots, eggplants and spinach that looked absolutely vibrant.

Well-behaved carrots.

Well-behaved carrots.

At this point, we were running low on money again, and it is *fatal* to visit the ATM more than once in a market visit, meaning it was time for some triage.  The next necessity, then, was clearly the new stallholder who was selling a slightly odd mix of things, including spaghetti squash.  Incidentally, did you know that if you leave spaghetti squash for enough time while you dither about what to do with it, it will explode?  Apparently, that’s how they self-seed in the wild.  And in my pantry.  But I digress.


We decided to live dangerously and buy said squash – which has gone onto the menu for Wednesday, so there will be no explosions, thank you – as well as bright yellow eggplants and yellow striped eggplants, something I’ve never seen before.


This left us with just enough money left for eggs and for breakfast (of which more later).  It also left us with a surprising amount of time to eat breakfast and wander around the market looking at things, which is always nice.


Stealth eggplant.

And then there was choir.  Oh, my.  Now, it must be said that a lot of the choir are currently having rotten things happening in their personal lives, and these are no business of this blog.  But the part where one of our sopranos arrived very late and in tears, having been directed by the carpark attendant to drive repeatedly around the carpark before being backed into another car was a whole new level of fun.  Nobody was injured, and the owner of the other car is being very nice about it, but it was all pretty horrible.  Everyone felt a bit frazzled by this, causing the basses to revert to their occasional hobby of pretending they have never seen any of the music before.

Partying carrots, possibly on acid (citric, most likely).

Partying carrots, possibly on acid (citric, most likely).

By the time we’d all figured out what to do about that, oops, the minister was processing in, and there was no organ music for an introit, nor did half of us have hymnbooks.  Susan and I wound up sharing the one that is bound upside-down, which must have looked very odd to anyone paying attention.  Surprisingly, we sang the introit rather well.  Meanwhile, the congregation had somehow been infected by our wild-eyed semi-hysteria, so that when the minister spoke his opening words and waited for the congregational response, everyone drew breath, opened their mouths – and stared dumbly, waiting for someone to start, until the minister finally said “Yes, it’s your turn, you get to speak now…”

Purple vegetable man also finds this situation confusing.

Purple vegetable man also finds this situation confusing.

We were all fairly entertained by that, and things might have been alright after that point, but the second hymn turned out to contain some rather ill-advised lyrics about God being the cleansing salt that ‘cleans us out’, causing the entire female half of the choir to burst into hysterical giggles as we were all simultaneously seized with visions of Epsom Salts, or worse.  This lasted into our next anthem, which didn’t improve it, though we did do quite well under the circumstances.  We then demonstrated that we could indeed do worse by having a mighty difference of opinion in the final piece of polyphony, to the point where three out of the four parts just gave up and stopped for five bars, coming in rather sheepishly on the final three notes.  We’ve never done that before, but it was that sort of day.


In short, it was not our finest hour.  I’d actually been planning to encourage my parents to come along, since the music should have been very nice today.  On the whole, I’m glad I ran out of time and forgot to contact them…


So, how was your day?!

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2 comments for “Farmers’ Market with Yellow Eggplant and Choral Follies

  1. May 5, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Your vegetable compositions have made me giggle hugely 🙂 So much so that I’m not yet safe to keep drinking my tea, or things may get messy…

    • Catherine
      May 5, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      I’m glad you enjoy them! I tend to feel that it could get very boring if I just photographed vegetables and then did nothing exciting with them…

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