17 April 2011

social commentary Sunday 'produce markets - what do you take home??'

Greetings all,
Rather enjoying my Social Commentary Sunday series - last week certainly ruffled some feathers about school homework & assignments, i loved the many comments from teachers, thank you!! 
This week is just a simple observation & thought on your local produce/ farmer/ handmade/ homegrown markets.  How do you approach them??  With a shopping list; a dream menu; a learning experience; or whatever the season has to offer you??
We have been trying to buy as much as we can from local produce markets for almost 15 years/ since we married, figuring organic, local & fresh is best for our bodies & eveyone's wallet. 
 I give special kudos to any producer who takes the time to engage with our children & tell them how things are grown, harvested & presented to them.
 I love discovering new & exciting produce, like these dragon fruits to show the children!!
 I get a bit Homer-Simpson-dribble-like when i see bread, oh, hello Sour Dough my old friend.
 We're a bit mushroom mad in our family, i can't wait to grow our own - although my husband is not so keen . . . his father grew them so successfully when handsome soldier was a child, EVERY meal came with mushrooms.  What a great source of iron.
 Our children are also big meat eaters, so put them in front of any European meat producer, they will try all the samples & say things like "i promise i'll tidy my room all week if you buy me some salami".  Who can resist such a deal??  "Make it a tidy room for a month" - i drive a hard bargain!! 
 Love a bit of presentation effort, especially when my high schooler is learning some fancy fruit chopping techniques.  So very 1970s housewife, but endearing.
 What a gorgeous setting for a produce market.
 Coffee who those who drink it, as you might know, i don't drink tea or coffee, certain it saves me a fortune.  Ditto for alcohol.
 Beware the mandarin monster lurking under the trees.  If only you could get a 7 year old boy to dispose of his mandarin seeds in a pleasant manner, as if they need any excuse to spit - something i find completely revolting, actually makes me feel sick - hearing someone spit!!
So what did we take home from the market today?? 
A good 90 minutes of watching our wide eyed & hungry children taste test truffles, olive oils, salmon, cheeses, meats, breads, olives, lasagne, peanut brittle, fruits & more. 
We physically brought home this bounty + a tonne of fruit & the simple stall holder suggestions of . . . pan frying the duck in simple spices . . . having the Morton Bay bug for afternoon tea (yes please) . . . the truffle duck pate can be used over & over - just lay the clarified butter over the top again . . . the smoked dill salmon can be broken up in a simple creamy pasta (delicious, having that tonight) . . . salmon dip on sour dough (secret addiction of mine) . . . how Kalamata olives are grown from the actual Kalamata olive tree cutting, not seeds, they love a cold snap & will grow well in Canberra. 

What an education, positive experience & fantastic way to spend a Sunday morning as a family!!  If you picked up on the 'we' & 'our children' - you guessed it, my husband is with us, yahoo.  Thank goodness as i went through my $50 in a flash at the market, he's my back up piggie bank/ enabler of my duck/ salmon addiction.  Love Posie


m.e (Cathie) said...

what a great stash you brought home with you.
glad the handsome soldier is back..not just for the economic side of things ;)
love markets like that, such a good atmosphere & our kids love it aswell. I can't go past a yummy bakery stand..mmmm, now I NEED some sourdough!!
hope you have a wonderful week Miss Posie ♥

Anonymous said...

Farmers Markets hold a certain thrill for me having never really experienced them in NZ...we frequented them all the time in Brisbane but are yet to find one that appeals here in WA.
Such a rich atmosphere teaming with learning experiences...love it!!

Taylor Made said...

What a fun way to spend the morning ...markets are definitely the way to go ..we just never have enough around closer enough.

TammyJ said...

Hi Jennie I believe we have a Kalamata olive tree as well as two other olive trees here if you would like a cutting you are most welcome to cone and take one. I'm also wondering what markets you were at.

Naturally Carol said...

Being from Tuggeranong when I lived in Canberra I frequented the Fyshwick Markets weekly and loved them. There was nothing like an Italian Hot Chocolate when I'd finished my fruit & veges shop on a cold frosty morning..or anytime really!

Kerry said...

It was the Woden markets for me this morning. Mushrooms, baby spinach, rocket, venison pate, a $4 cyclamen and pots of coriander and more baby spinach. It's fabulous to just go and see what's there. I was obviously too late for figs :(

Nic said...

I love farmers' markets. We go to one in sydney most Saturdays but I have to really restrain myself as it gets pricy. I love your goodies that you bought, making my mouth water!

Brenda @ Mira Narnie said...

oh that all just looks amazing!! I wish i were more organised and headed off to farmers markets more often than i do! Enjoy time with your hubby and eating all that gorgeous food xx

Sarah B said...

I love the idea of farmers/makers markets. We have a small but very bustling farmers market in town and you can get great vege, seedlings and there's a dab stall that sells all sorts of bean shoots and sprouts. Yum!!

Sarah said...

Sounds like a wonderful morning out with the family (all members being there would make it so much extra special).
I love farmers markets but only get them once a month out here.

yardage girl said...

It all looks yum, and so nice that you could "forage" together. Enjoy!

Shelley said...

I love the markets. Growing up in the country I spent my teenager years working at a fruit and vegetable stall every Saturday. It was the best first job you could have, dealing with all the customers and fresh food. Also, this was a good 20 years ago now, so all very old fashioned - customers would give me their orders 'a kilo of apples, a kilo of potatoes, a bunch of bananas' etc, and I would pick it all for them and add it up in my head. So yes, still a very big fan of the markerts. Now I live in the city I tend to go to the larger markets, and I can happily wander every produce shop for a good few hours. xx

Brenda said...

Oh Yummo I love farmers markets! Aside from the obvious....organic freshly gorwn produce, I'm loving the fact that the middle man is cut out of the equation! At these markets the hard working famer/grower gets all the recognition and there are no supermarket giants trying to screw them out of what they deserve!

brismod said...

What a delicious experience for your children. Love that you had Moreton Bay bugs for afternoon tea!! xx

Maxabella said...

Sadly... I don't! I wish I did, but an amble around the farmers market was one thing that had to get off my weekly 'to do' list for me to cope with the rest. One day, that will be me!!! x

Sharyn said...

Living in a small country town our Farmers Market is quite small and you never know what is available so I plan my menus around what I am growing in my own garden and what is available at the market and in season. I am a great believer in eating what is locally produced and what is in season. (My family will say it is my pet hobby horse). A great book to read is "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral :Our year of Seasonal Eating" by Barbara Kingsolver. Although it's American it's theme is applicable to anywhere. Sharyn

Seaweed and Raine said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend! :)
There is a local produce market here once a month, so we have to use other means during the rest of the time. I have to say, I do like the whole fresh local thing (hello Farm Fresh Strawberries!!!), and right now there is a Lebanese zucchini growing in my garden (hopefully a whole lot more in the next couple of weeks!) The taste alone is worth the effort to shop somewhere other than mainstream.