Tag Archives: photographic posts

Travel Post! Germany, with a Medieval Music Festival

Saturday was another slow start for us, followed by a long drive north and east to Freyburg for a festival.  We provisioned ourselves for the road with bread, fruit, tomatoes and some glorious capsicums that reminded me of tulips from Dutch paintings.


And then my friend’s mother, M, who was sharing the driving, and who would get along very well with the Italian side of my family, brought even more provisions, apparently feeling that we might starve without her intervention.

My friend A has been wanting to get me to the Montalbane Festival for Medieval Music for years, and I’ve never been in Germany at the right time.  This time I was – but we had that book launch to attend on the Friday, and Freyburg is a long way from Dedesheim.

So rather than going with our original, more sensible plan, of driving up on the Friday and attending a modest selection of offerings on each day of the Festival, we had elected to drive up on the Saturday afternoon, and then attend EVERYTHING on the Sunday.


So we drove, and drove, and drove, north and east, past lots of castles, including the Eisenach, which is where Martin Luther threw an inkpot at the Devil, and you can still see the stain on the wall (we did not stop to look at the stain).

And finally we reached Naumburg, where we would be staying.  We did this with a surprising lack of wrong turns – my friend A has been to Montalbane many times, but apparently never without getting lost or delayed on the road.


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Return to Bundoora Farmers’ Market!

It’s been a couple of months since we visited a weekend farmers market (we’ve been quite diligent about going to the ones at Melbourne Uni, since they are so convenient to where we work, but the range of produce is much narrower there, and one doesn’t really want to be carrying bags and bags of veggies home on the tram), and in that time, the season has changed from summer to winter.


Though, this being Melbourne, the red cabbage and Brussels sprouts at one stall were being blatantly upstaged by the eggplants, sweet corn and strawberries available at the stall across the way.  Apparently, these were grown in Wandin.  I was wondering if Wandin has a wormhole to the Northern hemisphere, but it’s probably just really good hydroponics and glasshouses…


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Return to the Farmers’ Markets (and, hopefully, to blogging)

Well, that was a longer break than I expected it to be.  I’d like to thank the NHMRC’s insane grants schedule, Easter, and the cyst on my wrist for providing the synergy of silly working hours, non-existent weekends, pain, and general exhaustion that led to the blogging hiatus… hopefully, things will start to calm down soon, and you will see more of me here.


To be honest, I haven’t even been doing much new cooking – these busy months are when I revisit old favourites and am quietly thankful for a fairly good repertoire of simple recipes in my head, and a large array of take-away options in my suburb.


To read my blog this year, you might think that I’ve abandoned the Farmers’ Markets.  This is truer than I might wish (those aforementioned missing weekends have rather curbed my enthusiasm for marketing early on Saturday mornings), but fortunately not entirely true.  The good news in my marketing life has been that the Victorian Farmers Market Association recently began running a lunchtime market at Melbourne University on a Wednesday.  This is conveniently close to where I work, and also conveniently not early in the morning, and Andrew (who is also currently working in the vicinity) and I have become regulars at its stalls.  While the variety of fresh produce is not as impressive as at the weekend markets (they are still building their stable of stallholders), it has been a fine way to get *some* proper, farmer-friendly vegetables into our weekly shop, and it’s also a highly enjoyable way to spend a lunchbreak… and it’s always fun playing ‘spot the WEHI person’ as I wander around the market…


Still, between my Wednesday indulgences and my weekend madness, it has been over a month since I last visited one of the weekend markets.  I was therefore pretty determined to get to the Flemington Farmers’ Market today, even though choir meant that my visit would be relatively brief… Continue reading

Flemington Farmers’ Market – Berries, vegetable mandalas, and a little present for you!

Hooray!  The new year has started and it’s back to the farmers’ markets for us, just in time for all those lovely tomatoes and long peppers and the last of the season’s apricots (already?  How did this happen?).


Saturday was too hot for anything, and I wasn’t able to figure out whether any farmers’ markets were even on (not all of them start directly after New Years), but Flemington sent me an email promising berries and stone fruit, and that was good enough for me.

A symbolic representation of Saturday's weather.

A symbolic representation of Saturday’s weather.

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Coburg Farmers’ Market – Last Asparagus for 2014, and bonus Christmas Vegetables

(I have spent *way* too much of this afternoon arranging my vegetables into Christmas card configurations and then shooting them with my newly-discovered soft focus camera setting. Hallmark would be appalled. Or possibly proud. I am just giggling like a crazy woman…)

Advent candle wreath, in asparagus, radishes, assorted berries, and spherical zucchini

Advent candle wreath, in asparagus, radishes, assorted berries, and spherical zucchini

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Bundoora Farmers’ Market – Return to the Farmers’ Markets, hooray!

Hooray!  Saturday was the Bundoora Farmers’ Market, and I got to go to it!  Better still, I got to go with a license to buy lots of goodies, since the fridge and freezer were significantly emptier than when I was last there.  And best of all… after several years of having to make do with slightly less celestial farmers’ market pies, we finally managed to reconnect with Gum Tree Pies, who now come down to Bundoora (from their home base, somewhere near Canberra, if I recall correctly) once a month.


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Coburg Farmers’ Market with Summer Fruit in late Autumn

Seriously, we are a week out from the official start of winter, and I can buy raspberries at the market?  And zucchini flowers?  Melbourne, don’t get me wrong, I’m loving this last hurrah of warm weather, but you’re making me a little nervous here.  I just know you will find a way to make up for it sooner or later.  Something tells me that you are plotting snow for this winter…


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The Statutory Eurovision and Blog Birthday Post

Tonight, my friends, is a very special night!  Not only is it the Eurovision Grand Final (at least as far as Australian Broadcasting is concerned), it is also my third Blogiversary!  Happy blog birthday to me!

If I were a truly industrious blogger, I’d be writing Wise Reflections on the past year, garnished with tasteful photos of Memorable Meals.

But I’ve just spent a week blogging twice a day with all my thinky thoughts about food poverty, and in all honesty, I’m about out of words.

And, having spent the last three and a half days either baking like a maniac or hosting Eurovision parties, I’m also about out of time.

So instead, you get pictures.

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Farmers’ Market Post: Return to Coburg Farmers’ Market

I am back, having survived the St Matthew’s Passion with my vocal chords intact!  It was a glorious, glorious thing, and I am itching to sing it again and also to learn all the soprano and alto arias and maybe sing them one day, and *also* I have the biggest music crush ever on Andrew Goodwin, the brilliant tenor who played our Evangelist.  He has absolutely the most superb tenor voice I’ve ever heard – he just floats over those top notes so easily and gently, but he can also be wonderfully dramatic in the sections where this is called for.  Swoon.  Being in Choir Two, I was able to appreciate this from pleasingly close quarters.  Though not as close as the altos.  Another reason I should have sung alto.  Yes, I am a very sad case.  But a voice like that doesn’t come along every day, and he seemed like a thoroughly lovely human being, too.


(And that was the sound of me losing several minutes to looking up said tenor on YouTube and listening to the sadly small number of his recordings I was able to find. No CDs yet, alas…)


(Also, the Palm Sunday service I was at read the entire text of Matthew 26 to 27, which is basically the text of the St Matthew Passion, with different readers being different characters and the congregation doing all the crowd responses.  It was all I could do not to burst into song.  In German.  Because it turns out that somewhere along the way I memorised all the German crowd bits.  Oh dear…)


I have even more singing ahead of me, with Easter coming up next weekend, but this is probably not why you are here, so maybe I should consider getting to the point of this post, which is that Andrew and I actually managed to get back to the Coburg Farmers’ Market this weekend, for the first time in over a month.  We did manage a flying visit to Flemington last week, but there was no time to write about it afterwards, what with choir followed by Bach.  Due to singing, work, and the resulting extreme levels of exhaustion, I’ve been having to resort to the local greengrocer, and sometimes even the supermarket, for my fruit and veg for about the last six weeks, and it’s really not the same.  In the meantime, Melbourne has moved from high summer into quite definite autumn, with more varieties of apple than I can poke a stick at, and nuts of all kinds, as well as the last of the corn, eggplants, beans, capsicums, and even a tomato or two.


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Coburg Farmers’ Market – first of the year!

Hooray, our local farmers’ market is back!  It was quite a small market this weekend, but that was probably actually a good thing, given how crazy I went on vegetables last week.  The really important thing to note was that I finally – finally! – managed to get my hands on some raspberries!


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