Saturday, January 21, 2012
I try to go to the Farmer's Market every week. I can't always make it, but even if I miss a week or two here and there, I always go back.
First of all, I go with my mom, and its 'our time' together, to talk and shop and hang out. I get along well with my mom, and its doing things together like this that help keep us getting along well. :)
Secondly, we often end up meeting my brother, his wife, and my niece there. I really enjoy seeing them, if only for a few minutes. A quick catch-up on the week, a chance to 'spoil' Ofelia by sharing a bit of banana or orange or crepe from the crepe place...she changes so quickly that its good to see her on a regular basis.
Thirdly, there's a chance to look at the jewellery and crafts for sale, to dream about when I'm rich and can afford Sobhana's beautiful jewelled pendants (there's one, a striped green stone, set in a lovely silver setting, that I just adore - but its $70 just for the pendant!), and to stop and admire all the beautiful yarns and knitting patterns and hand-made gorgeous shawls and baby bonnets and other things at the yarn shop. And then there's the flower merchants, giving colour and scent during even the bleakest days.
Fourthly, the music, people set up in various corners and aisles playing banjos and violins and guitars, sometimes singing, sometimes just playing, filling the air with music. It always puts a smile on my face and I try to drop a toonie or two into the open cases.
But lastly, and most importantly, is all the food. Wonderful produce, shining and fresh; inviting racks of meats and poultry at the butchers, able to be packaged exactly as you ask; lovely little cheese places will all kinds of cow's, goat's, and sheep's cheeses for sale, some raw milk ones even, and they're more than happy to let you taste a little before you buy; the bakeries with their oh-so-tempting treats and fresh baked breads; farm fresh eggs and honey; the Olive Guy with his fourteen kinds of olives and pickled vegetables; the fishmonger that every once and a while has smoked eels for sale, and lovely fresh perch and salmon and trout every weekend; the Egyptian and Moroccan and German booths with delicious prepared dishes ready to go: tabouleh and tli tli salads and cabbage rolls better and tastier than anything you could get at the grocery store.
Its a very inspiring place, to find things to cook and taste and try. The stuff at the grocery store is much faster and easier to prepare and eat. But it takes no thought at all. The Farmer's Market is maybe a bit more expensive, and it takes effort and time to find the right stuff and to prepare it and cook it. But in the end, its so worth it. And probably healthier for me too - if I can stay away from the bakeries!!