The Perfect Saturday Morning: and Beavie and I met Brûlée and Bebe!
Take a closer look at the sign above. See anything unusual? The BrÃ»lÃ©e Blog and I met on Saturday morning to enjoy the opening of the downtown city market for the 2010 season. We had never met before, so I brought Beavie, and she brought a little friend to meet him called Bebe. Can you see them in the sign above? If not, I have taken closeups for you below. Beavie was so excited to meet another furry friend that the was all over Bebe. And, I was so thrilled to finally meet Miss BrÃ»lÃ©e Blog that I was wagging my tail almost as rapidly as Beavie was flapping his!
Did you get the picture? I’m dying here, Valerie! rants Beavie. “Hey, little buddy! I’m coming to the rescue,” reassures Bebe.
We propped them on a City Market post for their first photo, and in an attempt to give a warm “hello” hug, Beavie knocked over Bebe and gave him a warm wet nose rub. Miss BrÃ»lÃ©e Blog has had Bebe since she was a young girl, and it was so sweet of her to bring him along! Aren’t they so cute?
We were to meet at the North end of the market at 9, and I found myself standing there, smiling and greeting everyone, not having a clue what Miss BrÃ»lÃ©e Blog looked like. (I had tucked Beavie into my jacket for identification.) I am sure that everyone coming that morning thought this was the friendliest market they had ever visited! But, I could not keep my eyes off of the young green plants from Inspired Market Gardens. If I had known they would be at the North end entrance this year, I would have arrived 30 minutes earlier. Gwen is a wealth of information. She got my tomato plants all picked by providing me with detailed information about each plant. I am so excited. All of the tomato plants are heirloom varieties. I will identify which when I plant my garden and publish that post. Suffice it to say that I had seen most of these varieties for the first time last year at San Francisco’s Ferry Building Market.
In the middle of my purchase, Miss BrÃ»lÃ©e Blog tapped my shoulder, and there she was! Big hug. Food does bring people together. I was so pleased to be spending this morning with her. She helped me cart my plants back to my car, and then we started our City Market experience. (After introducing Beavie and Bebe, of course.)
Sylvan Star Cheese! They are here this year! Fantastic. Planet Organic has been out of the Sylvan Star Grizzly for so long that I made a bee line to the booth to buy some. The lovely young lad smiled bashfully and told me that he forgot the cooler with the grizzly in it. He did have a large piece, but it was much too big for our needs, so I bought some of the Smoked Medium Gouda. I must say that the smoke on it is very delicate and the cheese is divine.
BrÃ»lÃ©e then pointed out her favourite honey supplier. I usually buy from Lola Canola, but didn’t see her at the market on this day. I bought a small container of this honey. BrÃ»lÃ©e’s suggestions and referrals have done well for me so far! I spotted a table I haven’t seen before, but she was here last year. Bamboche World Cuisine had a perky gal, Brygette McNamara, selling her wares of dips and spreads. So nice to get a taste before purchasing. This is necessary at a market. I bought a small package of her tomato, artichoke and olive spread. It is really delicious. I make everything like this myself, and tend to get great ideas from the market. But, so many do not make their own food, so this is definitely a stop for you. YUM!
Oh! Fiddles heads! we both chimed in unison! We do have things in common! Each of us reached for a bag. Then…
Ramps! Oh, my gosh! I was doing the ramp dance! I know they are from the East coast, and everyone has been writing about finding them at their local markets, or wild in the forest from the East. I have been very curious and put them on my list of “to taste one day”. Who would have thought that Mona’s would have them? They are at the end of the season, so starting to brown a bit, but who cares? They looked in fine shape to me! I bought two bundles and the fiddleheads. They looked really fresh and lovely. YUM. (Mona’s is where I get all kinds of berries. They even have some frozen truffles!)
I wasn’t the only one excited about the ramps! They are a wild leek-onion vegetable. BrÃ»lÃ©e was eyeing The Jam Lady: Donna Borody, and her husband’s, booth. Honestly, I have never stopped by this booth as I make my own jam, and we eat very little, anyway. But, it was clear that I have been missing something as BrÃ»lÃ©e’s eyes were sparkling with delight as she was telling me of her favourites. There is nothing more gorgeous in the fall than a bottle of clear crab apple jelly (above). I have made this many years, and every time get the same thrill of satisfaction from doing this myself. It sparkles like stained glass in the window.
I don’t make hot pepper jelly, though, and do love it. The Jam Lady as several varieties of this. I bought the Scarlet O’Hara (bottom, left photo, far right on the top row). And a couple of others: Gotta Have Grapefruit (because it was stunning and I love all things grapefruit), and Pee Wee (pear and kiwi) as highly recommended by BrÃ»lÃ©e.
I don’t know how Donna keep track of them all. BrÃ»lÃ©e’s favourite is Oh! Chocolate: big chunks of dark chocolate with berries. I did not buy it because I knew I would find myself at home eating it out of the jar with a spoon!
The grand opening was happening at 10:45, and there was going to be a Chinese Dragon parade and many festivities that are new this year. They were just getting ready as we passed by.
A mom and dad with the most darling little gal passed by us. She was in a little pink sun dress with pink sandals and the most darling pink crocheted hat with a big daisy on it. I just wanted to take her home with me. Not five meters later, we came upon the Little Blossoms booth. There is her hat! Oh, my! There were such gorgeous little feminine touches here. Both BrÃ»lÃ©e and I had noticed when we were in London, earlier this year (each on our own trips) that these huge flowers, and similar kinds of headwear made from feathers, were very popular there. I wanted to wear one. Really! But, I knew it wasn’t appropriate. I still wanted one.
Ragan is having gerber daisies at her wedding next summer. These might be adorable clipped in the back of an up-due, or on a purse.
They were promoting a Swap Boutique on May 29th at the Winspear Centre and passing out cards for $2.00 off of the entrance fee. It did look like a great event.
I was pleased that Ocean Odysey had some fresh sea bass. We were having V. over for dinner, and I wanted to grill some fish. Not cheap, but fresh and will be perfect for dinner on our first hot sunny Saturday.
It was really nice to see Smokey Valley have a table. I have only see Fairwinds Farms Goat cheese in this area. I was thrilled to find another artisan cheese maker. YUM! And then there was a lively coloured table sporting nutritious drinks : almond milk, mango lassie (soooo good), and an entire line of great drinks. The Mango Lassie I had was really delicious and I truly felt nourished when I sipped it. The shelf life on these drinks are just a couple of days, so keep that in mind. And I will definitely be back here (until I learn to make my own)!
Mary Ellen and Andreas from Greens Eggs & Ham were already sold out of their lovely greens. I picked up my pre-ordered duck legs and duck fat. I missed the breasts. I hope to get some of those next week. Their duck is delicious and so are their wonderful salad greens!
Free tarts! Look at how beautiful they are. BrÃ»lÃ©e and I were in there at lightening speed! There is a new little wine bar opening up beside Credo and today they were having a soft opening. Nice idea. They gave out cards for a free glass of wine or 20% off of a bottle in June. The tarts were not good. They were gorgeous, but the crust was really tough and the filling was indiscernible. We agreed that they were “OK”, and neither of us finished ours. Hopefully, they will have their recipe fine tuned by their opening.
And we met up with Sharon and Mack and Marie and Jeff in time for the grand opening. It was late and hot and unpretentious, so perfect. Another year of shopping downtown and outdoors in Edmonton! Keep track of the suppliers who will be at the market and when on the website. Some will only be there four times throughout the summer, others will be there every week.
And, yes. That is Mack taking the best photo of the ceremony. You can find many more gorgeous photos of the market by Mack here.
BrÃ»lÃ©e and I left the market for a lovely lunch at The Dish. She had a salad and I had the tomato and basil soup. We had a really wonderful visit. There are no photos, because, unbeknownst to me, I was coming down with a horrendous flu. By the time I arrived home, I was deathly ill. I hope I didn’t pass it on to anyone. It is late Sunday afternoon and I am just getting this posted, with head pounding and eyes half open. My daughter and my husband are buying my groceries for my classes tomorrow, and I am so thankful for them at times like this.