The perfect way to spend a Saturday: a date with myself and dinner with the family!
Back again this week to buy groceries and snaffle up some of Edgar Farms famous asparagus. Next week they will have their famous pea tendrils. Sundog Farms had some this week. YUM! I headed to the very South end of the market to pick up my duck breasts from Greens Eggs & Ham, and some duck fat, baby almond potatoes, their new duck patéand of course, their famous mixed greens: the best in the city.
On my way back, I spotted a booth of olives and olive tepanades from Peru. The large purple gem was my favourite. Very similar to a Kalamata, yet more mellow: very meaty and full of deep flavour. Definitely stop by there for a taste if you enjoy olives.
I was in line for my asparagus when they rang the opening bell, and the market was not very busy. It is picking up. I am not the only diehard out in the cold fresh air!
Here are the beautiful hydrangeas that Sharon featured last week. They are still here, still beautiful and still waiting for a good home. I may just get back and pick up a couple this week!
Kudos to the gals at the Axis coffee booth. They saw me heading down the market and called out, “How about a great coffiee to warm you up?” How about it? Perfect. I am not a Starbucks triple roasted bean gal. I love a really rich coffee, but certainly not over roasted. So, they chose the bean and poured me a cup. “Two dollars please.” And it was the best coffee I have had in ages. I will definitely be back. The compition is right beside them, too, as they are situated in front of Credo.
Teh one I had was on the far right on the photo below.
Next up: Confetti Sweets.
So pretty in pink. I was attracted by her booth immideately. I bougth a chocolate chip cookie. That usually tells all about a cookie baker’s prowess in the kitchen: the signature chocolate chip cookie. It was good.
I took a sample of the coconut square and the almond rocha square: both deadly delicious and dense.
Hello, Mary! I missed her last week as she was away in Parma at an Italian Food Show. She certainly does live the life!Â Mary has a booth called Citrus where she sells her famous layered dip. It freezes beautifully and is a great homemade treat to pull out of the freezer for impromptu visitors.
Above, Mary uis visiting with Shirley, The Queen of Tarts. I was so happy to meet her. I have coveted every single item she bakes and sells many times. There is always a line up in front of her booth andn today was the first time I was able to get close enough to take a few photos or most of her delectable items. Her desserts are also on the menu at the Culina Restaurants in the city, and if you want a top notch treat for home or for a gift, this is the place to buy from.
From homemade lemon curd to bars to biscuits to pies and cakes, she has it all.
Her tarts are my favourite. I can make myÂ own. I just love the way they look, and I have sampled. Incredible.
It is her savoury tarts and pies that really inspire me. I rarely make these kinds of things, and need to. They are so delicious and really easy to make. But, what a wonderful option for a snack while shopping at the market. YUMMERS!
Hello, Marie! Marie is managing the market this year. Does she look familiar? She and I baked Red Fife wheat bread together recently.
Sylvan Star Cheese is new to the market this year and a must stop shop! The famous Grizzly Gouda was there and I bought it and some of the award winning Grueyer fo rthe asparagus tart I was planning of making for dinner.
Double click on any image to see the kinds and prices of the cheese available at the market.
The fresh cheese curds are good. They are chewy and salty and nice on a charcuterie platter. They are not a fresh curd, but it is a young cheese.
On my way out, all shopping done, I notice the market and weather picking up. Truffle-licious. What is this?
These fellows specialize in all kinds of food products that they make themselves flavoured with truffle oil. Again, I cook and use truffle oil already, but this is a great place for those that want to try something different.
You’ve got to buy some Berkshire boar from Irving’s farm. I just stopped by to say “Hi!”, but I have to have my supply on hand. Love the cured bacon, pork belly, and all cuts he has. I have ordered extra fatty ground pork for making Sarma and it is deadly delicious.
Doesn’t Lindsey, above, look like the quintessential Farmer’s Market shopper with her cute little rubbers and basket? She worked for Sundog’s Farm last year, and I was glad she greeted me!
It’s 9:45. Time to scoot over to Duchess Bakeshop for a coffee and a treat and I want to buy a little gift for a friend before we meet at 1pm today for another coffee! Duchess is the perfect place to buy a special treat for a special person and the perfect place for a little decadent pleasure on your own, too.
The Duke and Duchess (cakes: large and mini) were there.
Though I arrived at two minutes after 10, the place was already full. A gal helped me bring in a table from outside to sit on at so I could enjoy my coffee and play with my cookies. But, first, I just had to look. I haven’t been her since late last fall.
Giselle had told me when I interviewed her near their opening that her Lemon Meringue Cake is very special. I still have not tried this as Vanja does not like lemon desserts. She now has varied madeleines similar to her shortbread flavours. I have tried these and they are perfect little teacakes.
The Paris-Brest in the middle above was new to me. Hazelnut cream and pastry: a perfect treat for Vanja. I never got a bite, but he said it was really yummy.
The sliced Brioche Pepin were calling my name. Seriously. Look at the soft dough with the glistening sheen filled with creamy goodness. These are similar to what I have seen at the Flour Bakery in Boston, but much better. I believe this is a very rare brioche and one definitely worth indulging in. My sister would agree. I gifted the brioche and croissants to her.
I also make my own pies so no desire to buy any of these, but look at how fat and tempting Giselle makes them! Absolutely gorgeous. Now that is prairie food.
The Brioche Pepin is doing a little table modelling, above.
I was oblivious to my surroundings once I was seated. Out onto the table one by one marched my purchases: cleaned hands, of course. I didn’t taste them any of these below, but I will be back. And look at the photos. Need I say more?
Crystal clear cold water filled with lemon and orange slices seems to be the new big refresher this Spring and Summer. Just looking at it is refreshing. Now, for my nemisis: the French Macaron! Giselle is truly a master at these. There are so many more flavours. FUN! In order, left to right, top to bottom: matcha tea, strawberry, pistachio, rose, orange blossom, and maple. Yes. I got one of each of all she had, so there are even more to come! I also bought an assortment for Teresa to enjoy.
I wanted to eat them all, but didn’t, and couldn’t. You will see there is also coconut, salted caramel, lemon, lavender and chocolate (filled).
The latte is lovely and warm. The macarons sweet and chewy. First, the coconut (with eyeballs rolling back in my head), next the match green tea (too subtle to identify), and then the strawberry (a little artificial compared to most, but good). Now, some coffee and a peek around.
Back to my little box of delicately filled shells: the pistachio has a green filling now and is a very subtle pistachio flavour. I ate the entire macaron just trying to taste it! 🙂 The maple shocked me as the shell was crisp and broke into the tender chewy mellowy goodness with a stong, but not overpowering hit of maple flavour. I was hooked and I am not a huge maple fan. The orange blossom won my heart: fresh and bright. I packed back some of the halves. Left the ones I had tried before to take home, and…
…gifts and treats in hand, propelled out of Duchess on a happy sugar high, I am off to a little lÃ¨che-vitrine (window licking) at Chintz. It is the perfect indoor compliment to my stop at Wellington’s yesterday.
At Chintz, Judy (my sister) called, and I stopped by for a short visit where I shared my splendour from Duchess with her much to her dismay (and hopefully later, satisfaction).
The off to the Italian Centre Shop to meet Teresa for yet another coffee to catch up on her trip from the Parma food show. I was all coffeed out, but had a great visit and then was off to do my final shopping. After the Farmer’s Markets, the Italian Centre Shop is where I buy the bulk of our family groceries. What is not carried here, I buy at Superstore. I do try to keep it local and then Canadian. I really believe that is important. I say this seriously while I buy a lot of Italian and ethnic foods from all over the world here. However, if I can find similar items produced locally, that will be what we eat.
A couple of exciting finds on Saturday here were the fresh morels! I have never had a fresh morel mushroom before, so they went into my bag. I had purchased some hen in the woods from Mona’s earlier at the outdoor market, and these would be great with them. There are always a lot of lovely peppers, and they have had Black Garlic for quite some time now. I have it, but have not used it yet, and am looking forward to tasting it and discovering how to use it. Ideas are always welcome!
There are always specials here and the produce is lovely and reasonably priced. The service is second to none and I love the intimate and neighbourhood feeling I have while shopping here. Today one of the specials was truffled rice.
The cheeses are always changing in the young cheese cabinet and constantly worth keeping an eye one. Vince and Colleen introduced Vanja and I to these lovely olives from Nice: Picholini Green Olives. They are addictive.
I bought the last loaf of their famous loaf with a hole and took it home to make a farm fresh dinner for Vanja and mom and dad this evening.
And that is just what I did. The end of the perfect day out was:
- making the asparagus tart with Edgar’s Farm Fresh asparagus and Sylvan Star’s award winning gouda (recipe to follow, soon)
- creating a wonderful mixed salad from Greens Eggs & Hams Greens
- oven roasting their baby almond potatoes in a little olive oil and duck fat (will be included with the asparagus tart recipe)
- frying the fresh morels with the hen in the woods mushrooms in butter
- and barbecuing some ribs that I had marinating at home
- all juices soaked up with the wonderful crusty bread
A perfect day.