The joys of the Capital Region Farmers’ Market

Pretty much every Saturday between 8:00 and 11:00 am, the Rotary Club of Hall organise the Capital Region Farmers’ Market at the Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC). I go every Saturday I’m in town. Having spent 18 days in hospital in the past month, I was overjoyed to be home and super glad to get back downstairs and out to the farmers market this morning. Getting into my own kitchen and out to the farmers market were great inspirations for my recovery. Wow, was I glad to be out and about! We were much later than usual and I was worried everyone would be pretty much gone by the time we got in at 10:50. But they weren’t. Some people were sold out, but I got most of what I wanted.

I was sad that my mushroom man from Li Sun had sold the mushrooms I’d wanted, but I got my Swiss Browns from his competition (if you can call them that). We bought some free range bacon from Bundawarrah (that crisped up nicely for a late brunch). I had a chat with the lovely ladies of Thirlmere Poultry. I was very tempted by the last Guinea Fowl they had left, but decided I really should use up the poultry at home. It was lovely for them to notice my absence though and my deteriorated condition this week. I’m looking forward to my continual progression, and to cooking up one of those Guinea Fowl. Let me know if you have any suggestions, I’ve never eaten Guinea Fowl.

I wanted to collect a few pressies of thanks for some of the hospital staff who’d looked after me. While there are a few more that I’d love to be able to do something for, I can’t track everyone down. I bought a lovely bunch of flowers with beautiful chillies and amaranth adding texture, colour and personality to a bunch of flowers that seemed appropriate coming from me. Most importantly, I wanted to collect some macarons from the most incredible baker. Dream Cuisine makes the best macarons I’ve ever tasted. I have a few favourites. The salted butter caramel is one of the best things I’ve eaten in my entire life, and the maple pecan is comparable, but the passionfruit is great, as is the lavender and honey. He bakes all sorts of other incredible things too (including an incredible chocolate brownie). I picked up an assorted box of mini macarons for my favourite nurse, three different macarons for my physio, and one lavender and honey macaron for myself. You know, life’s simple pleasures are incredible. Now, I’m not saying there’s anything simple about a macaron, but the experience of biting into a truly great macaron is quite incomparable. The most important thing is the texture, a light crispness to bite through, into a light soft centre of moist biscuit and filling. The flavour is also important of course, and is often overdone. I would recommend simple, classic combinations that pay tribute to the contributing ingredients.

Dream Cuisine macarons – lavender and honey macaron

Dream Cuisine macarons – mmm, it’s all about that first bite of a great macaron

Because of the neurological nature of my health problems, I’ve been thinking about ‘brain food’ I can cook and have been plotting a Nicoise salad with crispy skin salmon. I needed to pick up some lovely spuds for that, so I called into the fabulous Ingelara stall for those. We scored an end of day sale there on a quarter of a pumpkin. It looked lovely; juices still beading from being freshly cut. ‘Brain food’ suggestions would be welcome.

My last ham hock went bad in the fridge while I was in hospital, so we collected another fabulous specimen from Balzanelli Smallgoods at the end of the first row. We picked up a bunch of kale from my favourite broccoli providers and dropped in to say hi to Windellama Organics. I’d been hoping to get some fresh herbs from them, and sample some of the Jerusalem Artichokes they’ve been selling recently. With a few suggestions, I can’t wait to try them out! Besides, it’s always nice to see her smiling face. From there, I got a small bottle of the best orange juice in the world from Glendino’s and headed home, a happy gal indeed!

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