Sunday, February 10, 2008

Halifax Market Bounty in the Winter

Halifax Farmers Market - Social Scene...troubadors and families

Long lines after 7:30 AM

My most favorite stall...fresh herbs from RiverView...even in the winter!

It's official....I'm an idiot. Okay, not a complete idiot, but...well, first...Gay, Scientist in the Kitchen has another food blogging event about local markets and I've been thinking about it alot.

This is our first winter in Nova Scotia and it's been cold and blustery, so I've been dying to see what sorts of local things one can buy in January at the Halifax Farmers Market. The last time I was there was before Christmas and the place was packed as always. My experience at this market has been that if you don't show up by 7 AM, the lines are long and the space crowded, which I personally don't find charming, although, for many, the attraction is first the social scene and second the food. So I steeled myself to be patient, since it was 8:30 when I arrived...and I was shocked! No crowds, no lines...lots of space...what gives?...quick take a picture because my Honey would never believe me... Which leads me back to why I'm an idiot...I left the camera at home! So here's a peak at the bounty once I plopped it all on our table... (The photos at the top of the post are from an earlier visit.)

Today's haul - not bad for January, I'd say.

But before putting the bounty away...I must have some fresh Just Us coffee (my Honey freshly brewed it when I called to say I was on my way home) with some Pain Chocolat from Julien's Bakery stall (even though they have a shop just down the street from our house - Saturday belongs to the market).

And look at these long and skinny sweet potatoes...or maybe they're yams...I never remember the difference, but cut across in coins, they're going to be beautifully roasted with some fresh thyme....yum.

Check out these adorable little brussels sprouts, the hearty kale that ends up tasting so sweet and, another fave stop at the market...fresh eggs from the quiet little lady in the main courtyard, who always has a smile for you.

But now it's time for lunch...

...a sandwich, easily made with fresh bread from Julien's slathered with Kozlik's mustard, slice of swiss cheese, stuffed roasted pork from the deli I never remember the name of but always buy something at, topped with some micro greens from RiverView Herbs and...voila!

Truth be told, I am in awe of Nova Scotian fishermen. This is a hard enough climate on land, so I can't even begin to imagine what it's like on the water.

And I can't imagine a trip to the market without stopping at one of the fish and seafood stalls. This time for salmon and fresh Digby scallops.

Supper last old favorite...all fresh from the market Seared Scallops on Baby Greens. (It brought some summer to the table). I've run out of balsamic apple cider vinegar and used some blueberry balsamic from Half Island Harvest (he has a stall at the market) instead. (The apple cider balsamic vinegar will have to wait for a trip to the Annapolis Valley!).

And my favorite evening snack...toast with fresh crumbly goat cheese (or cream cheese) and apple sage jelly from Tangled how lucky was I that Beverley McClare of Tangled Garden has decided to set up shop at the market. If you're in town on a Saturday morning, you have to check it out.

So that was yesterday and today started off with Mush made with fresh goat milk yogurt from Ran-cher Acres (a dollop of local Cosman & Whidden honey) and the last of my home-made brown bread with a thick layer of the last of my New Zealand honey from one of my other favorite markets...St Lawerence Market in Toronto.

Dinner will star the salmon with brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes...I'm not quite sure how yet, but I do know it will be delicious. And dessert will be something with those Russet apples. So who says you can't eat great locally in Halifax even in the winter!


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

We will have to wait for the Spring for our farmer's market to open...can't wait. I'll have to go with camera in hand. Love your haul :D

Anonymous said...

I love your bountiful harvest at the market. The scallops are huge! What I could find here are teeny-weeny ones only. Your market certainly looks different from ours but equally bountiful.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, you bought some wonderful products! I'd love to visit that market...

Unfortunately, I don't get to eat that much fish or seafood here as they cost a lot!



Ruth Daniels said...

Bellini Valli, hopefully I won't forget my camera next time.

Gay & Rosa, the scallops were huge and we were total piggies! I'm sure the pound (450g) would probably have served 4, but...we couldn't resist...cost $12. So I won't say it's cheap, but it is awesome. There is nothing like local stuff fresh from the ground/sea!

Anonymous said...

Is it wrong that I could eat my weight in that cheese topped toast?

Ruth Daniels said...

Dana probably is, but may I join you?

Laura Paterson said...

Ruth... that looks amazing. I'm starving just reading your post!
The scallops look beautiful - and $12 for a lb is definitely reasonable compared with what we're used to (about double that at this time of year!)!

So So Simple said...


Never thought of matching brussel sprouts with salmon. Sounds good. Both favourites of mine. Hope you have got over the "bug"'s hard to imagine the flu whilst we are sweltering.
Who would have believed 10 years ago we would all be flocking to Farmers markets. All over the world we treasure what we put in our mouths.


Anonymous said...

Gosh what a feast!


Anonymous said...

Great article - I can't wait for spring to get moving in Nova Scotia!

Ruth Daniels said...

Even in the dead of winter, there are always wonderful finds at the market.

And, Moving...I'm with you! Enough is enough! Spring where are you?????