Let's get to what I DID buy at the market. This was only my second time going; I went with Snickers and her owners two weeks prior. I fell in love immediately. It's not the biggest outdoor market I've seen, but what it lacks in quantity it more than makes up for in quality. It's all here: raw veggies, meats and fish, prepared snacks and baked goods, freshly-squeezed lemonade, fresh-cut and potted flowers, and arts and crafts: all local, and all tried, tested and true.
It may not look like much (blame the weather), but from what I've learned this market is serious business. New vendors have to successfully debut at the Wednesday market to be considered for a coveted Saturday booth. Nice to know that you're getting the best of the best when you go!
This is Charles, owner of Scott's Hill Apiary. We met him during our last visit, when we stopped to listen to the protein-packed benefits of adding bee pollen to yogurt or oatmeal for a boost after a long workout. Charles is full of great info (a quick Google search tells me he's a retired teacher; makes sense!), and I love that he has a flipbook of pictures to help explain the honey- and pollen-making processes to anyone who asks. Flipbook users unite!! He also has this spiffy little honey tasting bar, where he'll let you sample the different honey flavours (made by bees who pollinate different flowers/plants, not by adding artificial flavours afterwards) and compare them. I bought the nice, dark-coloured buckwheat honey last time. It was fantastic; not too sweet, sort of a cross between honey and molasses. I used to make peanut butter and molasses sandwiches as a kid, so this definitely appealed. This time around, I went for the basswood... though admittedly, I have the same issues as with wine when it comes to describing the flavour of that honey. Charles kindly suggested that the difference I might be tasting could be due to lemon-lime notes; I had to agree. Sold!
On to meats. I was on the hunt for bison, which, I've been told, is the proper term for buffalo. I'm not to say buffalo. Ever. This is a pretty big deal in Manitoba, it would seem... heck, the provincial symbol features one of these furry ruminants. That fact, though, makes it seem a bit weird to be eating them... I mean, I never chowed down on any trilliums while back home. My illustrious little brother, who is off to culinary school in a couple of weeks (I'm not jealous, really...), informed me that bison has much less fat than beef, and is considered superior in several ways. I have to admit, it's pretty darn tasty. While I wasn't up for the prehistoric, Fred Flintstone-esque roast that the kind shopkeeper displayed, I did manage to bargain my way into buying six bison burgers. Maybe I'll grill one up tonight... mmm.
I think the sign says it all. Beautiful vegetables, naturally grown, local, and fresh. Done and done. I've never seen such gorgeous onions in all my born days. I actually caught myself daydreaming about them after the first visit to the market... definitely a sign that I needed to invest in some. I'm so used to those plastic mesh bags at the grocery store, holding dry, dull-looking bulbs with crackling papery skins... this is so much better.
|Stand in awe.|
|My invite, courtesy of Terrilynn, to this awesome-sounding garden community tour. I wish I could go... a combination of packing for the weekend and lacking a bike/bus pass prevents me. Maybe next time; I love the idea of urban gardens.|
|The cottage cheese perogies didn't disappoint. And just look at how they're swimming in the "creamy crack" gravy... I'm going to have to find out what that's made of. I've never had any sort of gravy on perogies before, but this opened my eyes.|
|To the victor go the spoils. A successful day at the market!!|
|Those garlic bulbs are fantastic. Look at 'em. I used a clove the other day... I've seen smaller shallots, let me tell you. And so fresh and fragrant... perfection.|
Off to ogle my onions and research perogie gravy,