(Please take note of the parking information at the end of the news)
The market continues to be a flurry of activity with returning vendors, new items, new recipes and a brand-new baby!
Sundance Harvest is back so please show Cheyenne (and her spectacular farm team) a warm welcome by picking up some Radish Microgreens, Sumac Herb Salt, or getting ready to start seeds with some Worm Compost.
Motherdough has also returned alternate weeks. If you are browsing Carole’s products I hope you take a moment to read the product details; she paints such beautiful pictures with her words! She writes of her Walnut and Buckwheat Sourdough:
“A sourdough exploration into the beautiful world of buckwheat flour, which is the finest of flours we mill. It also has fresh milled Red Fife, and toasted walnuts.”
And of her sandwich loaf:
“I just want to make an awesome sandwich bread and I hope this one is it. It is like the one I remember from the farmers’ market in Sackville, New Brunswick, where I sold crepes with my housemate during my last year of university. Ruth, my hero and the market manager, made the bread along with a selection of wonderful, uncomplicated preserves. It has oats and sweetness and a bit of olive oil in it.”
Nature’s Way has a Valentine’s Day Special on popcorn but I think the Ooooh La La hot sauce could also make a great gift for the right person!
This week we have multiple vendors bringing something for your stove tops. We have soups, stocks, and stews from Nith Valley, Tapioca Toronto, All Sorts Acres, and Magic Oven.
We also have Sarah Nemzer as Guest Writer and The Flour Palette with a Lunar New Year Recipe!
Sarah was one of the very first people to step up and offer help when we decided we had to keep the market going in spite of Covid-19.
I can still picture her on the first day we tried to coordinate deliveries: on her bicycle, in wild wind, surrounded by semi-baffled vendors trying to make sense out of the absolute chaos I had plunged us into….I will be forever grateful for her cheerful belief that we could pull it off!
Sarah has spent recent months keeping safe at home or out of doors because she is pregnant! She offered to share the tale of her food cravings with us, so here is her report of the experience, at almost 9 months:
In the movies, people are always craving pickles and ice cream when they are pregnant. I have yet to crave that iconic combination, but I have spent my pregnancy craving an ever evolving parade of goods from our market! Come journey through this pregnancy as seen by my food cravings – happily satisfied by our amazing farmers and vendors.
Early in my pregnancy I had very little appetite. Luckily I discovered that when I didn’t want to eat anything at all I would usually happily munch on a handful of Green Florin’s dried sour cherries! And once I had enjoyed those, I could usually segue into a full meal.
That gave way to a summer of eating strawberries directly off the Canadian Organic Seed Company plants on our deck, only to be replaced by an obsession with watermelon (even last week I woke up in the middle of the night craving it! I know our farmers are amazing, but I had to remind myself that no, watermelon doesn’t grow in Ontario in January!).
Oh, and how can I forget the summer cucumbers? I’ve had an aversion to leafy green vegetables during this pregnancy (I know! Can you believe it? No kale for months) but I would happily munch through the wide array of cucumber varieties that our farmers grew!
For the middle part of my pregnancy I simply should have moved closer to Reye’s Farm. I went from craving their juicy Nectarines to going through bags of their crisp Ambrosia Apples (and for a treat, their cider warmed with a cinnamon stick).
Luckily many of our farmers grow scrumptious potatoes – because the entire second half of pregnancy I’ve happily eaten those! I’ve been especially grateful for them on the days when I’ve needed to eat and eat (and eat and eat).
My most recent phase has featured Nature’s Way’s popcorn. Even when I’m being plagued by heartburn, I’m happy to pop and enjoy a fresh batch!
We are now in the final stretch and are preparing for birth and postpartum. My partner just stocked the freezer with homemade lactation cookies featuring hazelnuts from Green Florin and I bought Mango Ice Lollies from Fressy Bessie to have on hand for labour!
The question remains, will I crave the iconic combination before this journey is through? We’ll just have to see, but luckily so many of our vendors have homemade/locally sourced pickles and ice cream available that I know where to turn if I need them 😉
LATE-BREAKING NEWS: Just as we were finishing up this newsletter, a message arrived saying that Baby Nemzer has been born! We look forward to meeting one of the next generation of market-goers and finding out if the apple falls close to the tree in terms of food preferences! Wishing the whole family health and joy in the years ahead.
Tuesday is Lunar New Year, and here is a gift from The Flour Palette, they have included market items in their recipes before and have sent us a recipe for Nian Gao (年糕) or Chinese Sticky Rice Cake, one of the most common traditional foods eaten on Chinese New Year.
“It has many symbolic meanings. Starting from the pronunciation of the cake, its literal translation is “year cake”. However, 糕 (“gao”) also sounds like the word for height (高also “gao”) in Chinese. Therefore, the play on words suggests a good year, achieving greater heights compared to the previous. Additionally, the typical circular shape of the cake represents togetherness or wholesomeness. Nian Gao is traditionally made with rock sugar; however, this is not always readily available or easy to find. This recipe uses honey as a replacement, and it’s still that delicious sticky treat that I remember from childhood!”
Chinese Nian Gao (Chinese Sticky Rice Cake)
By: The Flour Palette
Makes three 4-inch cakes or one 6-inch cake
Adapted from Healthy Nibbles and Bits
150g glutinous rice flour
25g rice flour
65g coconut milk
Zest of one orange (optional)
Dried dates (for decoration)
- Combine the two types of flour in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix the coconut milk, water, honey, and orange zest.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Mix well so that there are no clumps of flour. The consistency of the batter should be similar to that of cupcake batter. Add more glutinous rice flour or water for desired consistency.
- Pour the batter in a heat-proof container, preferably one made of thin metal so that it cooks quicker. Fill the container only to a maximum of ¾ full because the cake will rise as it heats but then deflate as it cools.
- Cover the top of the container with aluminum foil to prevent condensation from contacting the cake. To be extra safe, wrap the lid of your steamer with a towel.
- Place cake in a steamer, and cook on medium-high heat for about 1 hour.
- Place a date in the middle of the cake.
- Let cool and enjoy!
Happy Lunar New Year to all!
Matt, Sarah, Anne and The Flour Palette (this week’s team of writers)
P.S. PARKING for PICKUPS
Let me attempt to do a better job explaining parking for pickups at the depot than I did last Thursday!
Our kind hosts at St. Anne’s have to find many ways to cover the cost of keeping the lights and heat on in their buildings. One is renting out their parking lot to the Cadbury’s plant across the street. Usually our Thursday pickups don’t cause a problem, but with snow reducing the usable spots, there is currently a shortage of space.
To help us avoid being rude guests, please don’t park in any of the spots on either side when you enter off Gladstone, or on the lower level in general, especially between 2 and 3 o’clock, when shifts change at Cadbury’s and more workers arrive.
If you plan to be quick, just pull into the central area of the lower lot, put your flashers on, and get your order, leaving the option for other cars to get past you to park.
If you need a bit more time, you can drive up the ramp and park in one of the upper level spaces– except for any marked St. Anne’s Place, as these are reserved 24/7 for nurses at the seniors’ apartment building.
Please use extreme caution when backing up or turning around because there are people and vehicles coming and going.
I know, it is a complex arrangement, so I hope this description doesn’t leave you more confused! Thank you for your assistance in making this work.