And a happy blog birthday to me! But that’s a whole other post…
Today started well, with a trip to Coburg Farmers’ market. I usually try to eat before going, but I hadn’t had nearly enough sleep for that – we basically tumbled out the door and headed for the market in search of breakfast. Oh yeah, and also mother’s day presents and birthday presents, and maybe even a vegetable or two…
Technically, then, my fast-breaker was this little cup of dried fruit and nuts from a rather luscious stall that I’ve only previously seen at the Convent.
I got to follow that up with a little pail of pomegranate seeds, before buying a pomegranate which would become part of today’s lunch. We then went present shopping for two birthdays and Mothers’ Day.
My brother-in-law and my husband don’t really exchange presents, but my sister-in-law and I can’t cope with that, so we always sneak in little things for them somehow. Generally edibles, because everyone knows that they aren’t *real* presents. The chocolate stall was there today, so we bought him a collection of the dessert chocolate bars with the Australian flavour infusions.
My father-in-law had asked for something wine-related that turned out to have been lost in translation. We decided to accompany this with some Shiraz from one of the wineries that comes to the market – Baddaginnie Run, from the Strathbogie Ranges.
Then it was time for mothers’ day presents. My mother-in-law has a passion for nectarines, so we bought her some wonderful dried ones from the dried fruit stall, as well as some gourmet muesli from the muesli people.
There was an absolutely magnificent jam stall with all sorts of fascinating flavours, only I’m really not allowed to buy jam for myself until I eat what’s in the pantry, so I bought some for my mother instead (and I do hope she isn’t reading this post yet!). I was vastly amused to discover feijoa jam among the offerings – we had a feijoa bush growing up, as did my Oma, and I absolutely hated the things, plain or made into jam by my Oma. I don’t honestly know whether my mother actually liked feijoas or whether she just objected to waste, but I couldn’t resist buying her feijoa jam to go with the safer quince jelly and purple raspberry jam. This probably makes me a very bad daughter. Though I’m *fairly* sure she likes feijoa jam. And I suppose if she doesn’t, twelve years of living with a feijoa bush in the garden means that she probably knows who does…
Our present duties accomplished, it was time for some proper breakfast, and a bit of shopping on our own behalves. Once again, we were pretty well off for veggies after last week, so these were not our first priority – instead, we headed straight over to Take Me Home Pasta to investigate their nettle gnocchi, fresh rigatone and – yay! – bonus free pizza base!
The lovely thing about living in Victoria, of course, is that we have freezing cold areas (looking at you, Goldfields region) and then we have places like Mildura and Swan Hill, which are deeply inland and are hot and dry and basically deserts in training. Which is why we can get fresh raspberries in May…
Another stall, clearly from a similar region, had tomatoes of all kinds, as well as the most fabulous collection of herbs. We bought parsley and broccolini and lovely, citrussy sorrell.
One stall specialised in all things allium – I dithered around trying to decide what I wanted, and then noticed that they had big three kilo bags of assorted alliums – sweet white and red onions, cooking onions, shallots and garlic. Smelling onion soup on my personal horizon, I greedily grabbed a bag.
Andrew went in search of pies for his breakfast (I do not understand how he can do this), and, trailing in his wake, I discovered that this particular pie lady was from Austria and had made all sorts of fruit pies – apple, apple and rhubarb, and apple and quince. Glorious. We bought a slightly smashed up quince one for later (she did have whole ones, but we were running low on money by this point…)
Near the pies was someone even more exciting – a first timer at this or any market, we had a man selling handmade crumpets. Crumpets are something I’ve been meaning to try my hand at, but one does need a burger ring or something to contain them. And I haven’t been quite game. These looked utterly beautiful, and I can hardly wait for breakfast tomorrow when I get to try them out.
The cheese stall had brought in a sandwich press, and were selling toasties as well as artisanal cheese and bread. This sounded a lot like breakfast to me, and indeed it was. Though I wasn’t expecting the ham inside…
At this point, we really did need to go home (also, we were out of money, even with me raiding Andrew’s stash for my toastie and the crumpets), so we left, and I came back to photograph my ill-gotten gains (I nearly wrote that I had photographed my booty, but then I realised what I had just said. Especially when you add the whole ‘and posted it on the internet’ aspect in…), and make broccoli and pomegranate salad with raisins and sunflower seeds for lunch.
Lunch, of course, was the combined birthday and mothers’ day lunch with Andrew’s family, up in porcupine ridge. My sister-in-law had made vegetarian lasagne and garlic bread and green salad, and it was all gorgeous. We also got pavlova and banana cake, courtesy of my mother in law, but I forgot to photograph that part…
The plan was to bring leftover goodies home for dinner, but I got a message when we were nearly home saying that I had left my container of lasagne on top of the fridge. Oh well. Fortunately for me, we had bolognese sauce in the freezer – and lovely fresh pasta to eat it with!
(And so much for my vegetarian intentions for today – but I really couldn’t face any more cooking that involved thinking)
And that’s about it for today. I still have a cake to salvage and a blog post to write, and I really want to finish Anna’s book before bedtime, so it’s probably time to upload some photos, consider whether I really need quince pie for dessert (considered, and yes, I really do), and get ready for bed.
God, I love this new market, though.