The Farmers’ Market:
One sunny January morning we set out to pick raspberries and blueberries at a berry farm. It was shut. www.rubyglen.co.nz As it turned out this was fortuitous as we headed off to the local Farmers’ Market instead. www.marketground.co.nz/fmnzhb
An impromptu visit can sometimes be the most rewarding as there are fewer expectations built up. We had a lovely time. The market is held every sunday morning. The specifications are that all items sold must be locally produced. It is held outdoors, and in the summer with the warm sun shining down, is a most wonderful place to be. A foodie heaven.
We made several purchases – a bottle of Damson Plum Coulis ; then a chocolate which had a divine filling of damson plum that Mum insisted I try (and wouldn’t take no for an answer) www.thedamsoncollection.co.nz ; a bag of six big red peppers ; “Aunty Celia’s” pear, ginger and almond muesli www.originalmuesli.co.nz/, a box of apricots ; and a bag of Bay Espresso coffee which I took back to Mum’s and experimented with making cold-pressed coffee. www.bayespresso.co.nz Bay Espresso is my all time favourite coffee.
Ironically, after all that we forgot to get the blueberries and raspberries we had gone out for, and which had been our original mission. They were plentiful at the market, and we had intended to return to a stall and purchase some just before we left the market, but we were distracted by the array of foods on offer. We were so overwhelmed and spoilt for choice.
BRUNCH: We took our bounty back to Mum’s house. There we prepared Brunch. We had the damson plum coulis on French toast, with whipped cream, bananas, and sprinkled with walnuts. This was so good we licked our plates. Yes, we did! Hope the neighbours didn’t see. Is it really bad manners to lick the plate, or is it a show of appreciation for a wonderful tasting coulis?
BREAKFAST: The following day we breakfasted on ingredients all bought from the Market. We had the pear, ginger and almond muesli, sprinkled with chopped apricots and topped with damson plum coulis.
This was followed by the cold pressed coffee made yesterday as it needed to steep for 24 hours.
LUNCH: For lunch we prepared the red peppers from the market. They were placed in the oven to grill at 160 to 200 degrees Celcius on an oven tray with oil. The pepper pieces were placed skin side up to brown under the grill, then turned so the inside of the pepper roasted, and turned again to darken the skin. When cool, the skin was peeled off.
Arranged on a plate were : lettuce, chopped spring onion, the roasted skinned red peppers, black olives, with fried haloumi cheese on top. A dressing made of balsamic vinegar and olive oil (basically equal quantities) was sparingly dripped over. Add salt and pepper. On the side of the plate we had a toasted bread roll, and a wedge of lemon.
This was another “lick the plate” dish. The lemon squeezed onto the haloumi cheese was lovely and the biting taste of the balsamic vinegar added to the flavour (as long as it is added very carefully so the balance is right and not too overpowering).
While we were eating, Mum came out with an interesting little bit of information that she had picked the olives herself during a work lunch-break. They came from a nearby property and a work colleague had bottled them. They were the best I have tasted – extremely good.
We are making plans to go again to the Farmers’ Market and this time we will be prepared. The most important part of the plan is to take cash, next to buy a cup of coffee and head over to the Damson Plum stall to buy a damson plum filled chocolate. Mmmmmm chocolate and coffee combined. Perhaps follow this up with a gelato for afterwards. Superb!
That’s a real “super market”.
[The visit to the Farmers’ Market referred to here was in January 2012, and since then the www address for the muesli company is no longer available.]