Sunday, March 25, 2012

Farm to Table Feasting

Perhaps it's more appropriate to all this post... Farmers Market & Early Spicy Birthday Present to Table Feasting, but it doesn't have quite the same ring to it.  Since it's been so fantastic so far, I thought I'd  share my weekend in food excellence...   Saturday morning, up at 6:30am to beat the crowds at the Seaport Farmers Market.  We've been experiencing summer weather for the last few days.  I mean shorts and t-shirts and flip flop weather 28°C/82°F, so it was quite the jolt back to reality and 2°C/35°F and the need for my winter coat.
I wasn't sure exactly what I'd find... although I was thinking greens and a steak to hopefully grill on the BBQ.  Not to mention fresh farm eggs and some Brioche from Julien's for our Sunday morning ritual- heady discussions over coffee in bed, followed by... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

My usual process is to do a "once around" to see what each of the farmers, artisan cheese, jam or sausage makers have on hand and see which of those grab my foodie attention and an idea for some great cooking.  Selwood Green is an organic grower and their stall usually has a lineup (which is why I like to show up early and beat the crowd).  This time I found some Asian Greens.  I'm still thinking steak will be the star of tonight's dinner.  So a stir fry of Asian greens with a little fresh garlic, ginger, thinly sliced shallots and a dash or two of Ketjap Manis would be perfect.  

Next stop, the folks at Meat Mongers - the butcher shop arm of Getaway Farm.  that's actually open six days a week.  I've already introduced you to Ben the Butcher (my grandson insists that I don't just call him Ben or even Ben Andrews).  Lucky me,  pork belly bacon (for a scramble), flank steak and... two strip loins for dinner!  More wandering and some farm fresh eggs and local mushrooms from Elmridge Farms.  Riverview Herbs provided some arugula, rosemary, spinach and a hot house cucumber.  

Next stop, a long overdue trip to the Historic Farmers market to get some lamb from my buddy Bill of Wood 'n Hart Farm. They'll be marinated with rosemary, garlic, lemon juice and good olive oil for a heavenly dinner this week - the lamb chops, not Bill!
Home, in time for freshly brewed coffee and a chocolate croissant from Julien's while I take a photo of my score (see top) and whip up an awesome scramble - chopped bacon, sliced mushrooms, and a handful of arugula. I'm not sure which of the bakers sold me this heavenly mulit-grain bread for toast.

And you may be wondering about that box of spices in the top photo.  It's an early birthday present from my daughter in Montreal.... I wasn't mature enough to wait until Wednesday to open it.  It was a fantastic box set of Spice Hunter Spices from Epices de Cru that I was introduced to by Costas Halavrezos back in 2010.  He and his friends are still at the Historic Market.  And found their real emporium in the Jean Talon Market when I was on a visit to my daughter last winter.  Needless to say, this is a perfect birthday present and a great contribution to tonight's steak dinner.
Dinner was, as dreamt....Grilled Strip Loin with Spice Hunter Rub, Asian Greens Stir Fry and Rosemary & Garlic Roasted New Potatoes - okay, the new potatoes were from a grocery store, but they are Canadian, at least.
And this morning.... the ritual of my Honey's French Toast made with Julien's brioche and served with local Nova Scotian Maple Syrup.

I love being able to support local farmers and I always hope that my market adventures inspire you to do the same.  Once you've visited a local market and talked to a few of the producers, you'll be hooked... hooked on their passion and the sheer deliciousness of their wares.


Joanne said...

I really need to get my butt back to the farmer's market! This post makes me miss it so much.

Ruth Daniels said...

Nothing puts a smile on my face first thing in the morning than a trip to the market.