The incoming spring brought a certain transition to the Capital Region Farmers Market this weekend. With the first blood oranges of the season, as discussed in an earlier post, it would seem Dream Cuisine were inspired to make a series of wonderful winter citrus macarons. Having already been carried to cloud nine with their mandarin macaron, I couldn’t decide which flavour to buy, and ended up with one each of the lemon, mandarin and blood orange. They were all works of culinary art, working magic on my palate. The Canberra and Capital Region Truffle Festival is running in overtime, but sadly, it seems I am too late to try one of Dream Cuisine’s incredible looking Local Truffle and Chocolate Tarts. I was however, glad to see Terra Preta Truffles with the last of their stock. It seems domestic truffle production has increased by 30% this year, and exports have passed the standards expected in Europe. I am glad to be able to get my truffles with low mileage though. The ABC in particular, has been running some very interesting news stories about the local industry.
The girls are back on the lay, so I picked up some lovely free-range eggs from Grandma’s that will supplement my little stash of duck eggs. Grandma’s chooks range free with two Mareema dogs to protect them and their portable houses. I bought a chicken and a duck from my friends at Thirlmere poultry. Because we went away to the coast last weekend, my fridge and freezer emptied over the fortnight, with no poultry or stock left. I boiled up a lovely pot of duck stock when we came home from market, and pulled the meat from the bone to make fantastic duck soba finished with an incredible soft boiled duck egg. Devine. I also turned my wallet to the beautiful bunches of English spinach that are around, and have been finding myself wanting to put it in everything. I sautéed most of my supply as a bed for my duck soba; it worked excellently.
It was the last week for the beautiful Featherdale chestnuts, who will return again next year I’m sure. Despite my nostalgia for the winter treats, I look forward to what their departure means. The last time I bought them, I cooked them up in a frying pan to make delicious caramelised chestnuts that I served with vanilla ice cream. It was a great treat. But as spring draws nearer, and the market promises to open for longer, I find myself dreaming of broad beans and great swathes of fresh herbs. I can’t wait till the warmer weather, longer days, and fresh flavours of springtime at the Capital Region Farmers Market.