As we celebrate the cultural diversity of this wonderful land that we live this long weekend, I thought it only fitting to head off to my local Farmers Market here in Newcastle. As an old friend once said, it was a “glad to be alive day” this morning with the sun shining and the sky replicating the blue of our local beaches.
The market was once again bustling with buyers, and being my first for the year it was great to be reconnected to this community again. Though a little low on the usual market stalls (being a long weekend and people still in holiday mode), my regular stops were all available.
My bounty included the following:
I was able to pick up my “verjuice” from Helen Gillard at Mill Creek Vineyard, an essential ingredient to add to risotto, pasta sauces and really anything that requires a hit of wine flavour without the alcohol. Helen claims to have been making verjuice long before Maggie and believes her product is superior. I think she is well justified in this statement. She is great for a chat and is an inspiration to all women as a successful business owner. My Swiss Browns came from Rainbow Mushrooms and eggs and ripe tomatoes from Ricardoes. To my delight I found the bananas I have been buying for years come from Morning Mist Macksville and according to Mr Manfredi are better than our Queensland equivalents. I tend to agree. Stone fruit was in abundance today; cheap and flavoursome. Bunches of ruby beetroot ready for roasting, bags of true sebago tatties and some baby carrots were purchased in excess to my usual order. I plan to try and replicate one of the most delicious dishes I have ever eaten with the latter. Carrot/parmesan/sesame is the simple name given to this dish served at the hip and happening, now impossible to get a table restaurant called ester in Chippendale Sydney. The baby carrots were roasted in stone ovens (no I don’t have one of those so perhaps doomed already?) but served with an incredible parmesan butter that was silky and utterly delicious. Its worth a try right? My partner in crime for these carrots is my “finger on the pulse”, Sydney friend Fi, who is desperate for the food techy and I to unlock the secrets of this ridiculously simple dish so that she can eat it at will without having to line up with the Sydney elites!
Lastly some indulgent pastries from Fosterton Bakery for morning tea and a bunch of yellow roses (my favourite) just for home.
So first market visit done and dusted for 2015, with the hope of visiting more regularly this year. Newcastle Farmers Market is open on Sunday from 8am and Wednesday afternoons. Please support one of the best markets in NSW!
And as I say on this weekend every year….Happy Australia and Survival day! Hope everyone has a great day and remembers how very fortunate we are to live in such a culturally diverse and wonderful country. Thank you to the Awabakal and Worimi people for sharing this fabulous place with my family and friends on this weekend. It truly is a great place to live and eat! TBHxx