and finally, FINALLY...all those glorious tomatoes are finally making their way to local farmers markets. I found these at the Wolfville Farmers Market yesterday...our first stop en route to apple picking with the family. Brief aside, apparently next week at the Wolfville Farmers Market you can do some tomato and salsa tasting, in case you're in the neighborhood. This week, was the Valley Vineyard tastings with lots of local wineries offering tastings. One word...delicious!
Here's Boaz at the Elmridge Farm stand, checking out some of the beautiful leeks on his way to listening to the local talent. One of the special things about Nova Scotian markets is the social atmosphere...musicians, tasty ready-to-eat treats, local artisan purchases from knitted goods, hand-crafted jewellery, glassware, and lots more.
But the real purpose of the outing was our annual apple picking trip with family to Elderkin Farms. While we've been doing this for years...and there is nothing on earth as delicious as your favorite type of apple right off the tree. In fact, in my world...by October, most apples are really only tasty baked... in a cake, a pie, roasted with root vegetables, but I digress...it is particularly special doing it with little ones.
This year Dov, at nine months, joins in the fun and as you can see, is already an apple fan.
His big brother, Boaz, at two and three quarters, is already a pro apple picker. The funniest part of this year's trip was when Bo, after seeing us taste an apple (there are at least 10 varieties at Elderkin's and the Gravenstein and Macs (my favorite) are not quite ripe. So as we went from type to type, we tasted and either finished a juicy apple of choice and added more to our bags, or threw it on the ground to become part of the compost cycle. Bo, mimicking us, took a bite of each apple and handed it to Mummy to put in the bag. It took quite a while to convince him it wasn't necessary to taste EVERY SINGLE apple!
It's just a week before Jewish High Holidays, Rosh Hashonah in particular, when apples dipped in honey (symbolic of a sweet year ahead) and other apple dishes star in the menu. I can't imagine not serving this Normandy Apple Tart for dessert.
Funny how my brain works. I really started this post to talk about these local organic, heritage tomato beauties that made it home with us. They are from Stewart Organic Farm, I can't even begin to tell you how sweet they are. Even the Thesaurus couldn't do them justice...sugary, honeyed, luscious, ambrosial. It was the perfect side to our Sunday morning Scramble. This time around...leftovers from a wonderful dinner of grilled steak, garlic & rosemary roasted new potatoes and mushrooms sauteed with garlic. Thickly sliced heirloom tomatoes (I forget the name, sorry) with some freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkling of sea salt....so good.
It's so easy and so fantastic to eat local, that I hope you do the same. Not only does the food taste a thousand times better, you're supporting your local farmers. I can't imagine a world without the freshest of ingredients that really do make your dishes sing. No matter how wonderful a piece of fruit tastes where it's grown, it definitely loses something in travelling to your table.
Case in point....I've been fortunate to live within an hour's drive from the Niagara Fruit Belt when we lived in Toronto where peach, cherry, plum, pear and...more orchards abound. So I can honestly say...Ontario peaches are awesome fresh from the tree or local market stand...incredibly sweet, and so juicy. But by the time they travel to Nova Scotia, they sort of lose something...still tasty, but not quite the same. So why do local grocery stores here choose to import peaches from Ontario and beyond when we produce such delicious ones right here at home...just hours from your grocer?
But enough of me on a soapbox...