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Market Post with Higher Than Usual Levels of Madness

I’m a bit under-slept today.  For one thing, my pressure cooker decided to simply stop working last night, when I was trying to cook a casserole – the kind that requires four hours of braising without a pressure cooker. So dinner was quite late, because I had to start again and cook the casserole on the stovetop.  Where it burned, because I was doing music theory homework and forgot to stir it.  And then my brain spent about half of my sleeping hours dreaming about cadences and harmonisation, and the other half dreaming about a new and particularly diabolical grants administration form of my subconscious’s own devising, which  was showing every sign of being as complicated and time consuming to fill in as an actual grant application…  Why do you torture me like this, subconscious?  This is worse than the dream from last weekend with the Mormon missionaries and their underwear (about which I know nothing, but my subconscious apparently has some ideas.  Not aesthetically pleasing ideas, mind, but ideas…).

Andy Warhol’s lesser-known work, Vegetable Flowers. Speaking of aesthetics.  I wish I could blame my subconscious for this, but I was definitely awake when I did it. And cackling. I am going to blame Andrew for this, however, because it was his idea. Or at least, if he hadn’t mentioned adjusting saturation on photos, I would never have thought of Warholing up my vegetables, so it’s basically his fault, regardless.

So it was a rather tired and cranky Catherine who sallied forth to the market and choir this morning, and discovered that it was *exceedingly* cold, to boot.  I usually cope quite happily with the cold, but not today.  Everyone at the market seemed to be feeling it, too – lots of numb hands dropping purses and bags and vegetables and numb brains forgetting the prices of things or how much change to give.  The ambience was cheerful, but everyone was quieter than usual.

Nice, quiet, Warhol-free vegetables…

My first stop, as is traditional, was the stall of Rita, the Italian Vegetable Lady, where I did a double take, because Rita had magically shed a couple of decades.  It turns out that she is at home looking after her husband (who is doing better, thank you), and it also turns out that her daughter resembles her to an *uncanny* degree.

Somewhat saner bouquet of vegetable flowers – cauliflower, broccoli and artichokes are all, of course, flowers or buds of the plant in question.

The cardoons are nearly gone for this year, and these were not really at their best, so I bought baby artichokes, against my better judgment (artichokes invariable suck me in sooner or later, and then I get home and they make me crazy trying to prepare them), and quail eggs, and the sprouting broccoli which is possibly my favourite green leafy vegetable – it’s so much easier to use than the full-sized broccoli heads, because you just wash it and chop it up and chuck it into things (I tend to sauté it with garlic, lemon and pine-nuts to toss through pasta with ricotta, or else I sauté it with garlic, spicy sausage or sausage mince, and a bit of white wine – and serve it with pasta again), no messing about with florets or with peeling stems.  They had cherry tomatoes, too, a rarity at this time of year, and little quail eggs, so I got some of those as well.  And then I had to go back for cauliflower right at the end of our visit, because I’d forgotten it the first time…

I’m not sure if this is a grail full of tomatoes, with the quail eggs radiating out like beams of light, or if the apples are just juggling eggs. You decide!

Our next stop was for pies.  We keep missing our favourite pie man, but there was a lady there selling beef, guinness and cheddar pies, which sounded fascinating.  We bought three, and had two of them for lunch today.  Andrew loved them; I found the pastry a bit too rich for my taste, but the filling was very good.  Which means Andrew will be getting the third one for lunch sometime…

There’s something deliciously chunky about the look of this pie, don’t you think?

The goat man had chorizo again today, and I’m getting sort of addicted to that, so I bought some.  And I’m having a bit of a risotto kick at the moment, so I couldn’t resist risotto balls from the pasta people, and I love their rigatone, too, so I got some of those to go with the sprouting broccoli.  And some onion rolls from the french baker, to go with tonight’s goulash-style stew (you know, the slightly burnt one I made yesterday.  Sigh.  But I will not have that meat go to waste!).

Onion bread with chorizo sausage. This is somehow very reminiscent to me of Italian peasant food – it evokes both my Nonno’s childhood diet of bread and onions and Don Camillo’s pantry, which contained a loaf of bread, a small piece of cheese and a salami. (Which was, as it happens, filled with ammunition, but that’s another story).

Koallah farm are doing eggs again, so I didn’t need to buy eggs this week.  I definitely did need more veggies, however, so I went and stocked up on beautiful garlic from the garlic lady, and Dutch Cream potatoes from the potato farmers.

That doesn’t really count as veggies, though, so I also went to the colourful vegetable stall to get red cabbage, ruby chard, kale, carrots and yellow beetroot.  And some leeks and onions, because they go in everything.

I wasn’t actually trying to design some sort of weird fertility-goddess icon out of carrots and beetroot, but I seem to have done so by accident…

I’m going to use the beetroot and carrot greens in a wild greens pie sometime this week, with some of the kale and ruby chard and other random greens currently lurking in my vegetable crisper.  And I’ve been craving red cabbage – which I want, desperately, to eat with frankfurters and potatoes, only Andrew doesn’t eat frankfurters.  Maybe I’ll have that one night when he has the other pie…  This weather really brings out the Eastern European in me, I must say.

Leafy things of many kinds.

I wanted apples (for my red cabbage, and also for fruit crumbles), so I went to investigate the apple and pear chap’s stall.  The Pink Lady apples were definitely the nicest looking.

Mum, the tomatoes are looking at me, make them stop!

OK, maybe they didn’t look quite like that.  But don’t you love the way the tomatoes are looking at you with their little tomatoey eyes?  I also like the way the blue ones look like they have been X-rayed, and the ones on the bottom left look like those MRI scans of people’s brain activity… I probably shouldn’t be allowed to play with photoshop special effects…

And now I’m going to resist the urge to go away and spend the afternoon photoshopping our cats in creative ways, even though this would be much more fun than music theory.

Oh dear…

Andrew has always regarded Mystery through rose-tinted glasses, and now you can too…

Too late…

Mayhem takes a more post-modern, abstract view of both art and literature…

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This time last year…

Recipe: Nearly-Vegan Banana Bread with Indian Flavours
Adventures with Ingredients – Gewürzhaus
Basics that Aren’t: Scones
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One response to “Market Post with Higher Than Usual Levels of Madness

  1. Love the photos, they look amassing

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