Fall Adventures, Food Adventures!


Hi folks, and what a season it’s been so far! Well guess what? This week “someone else” can tell you all about that! That’s right – the newsletter for this week, largely comes to you, written by Ken Whiteley.

Ken Whiteley with Tomatillos

Some of you may know Ken, as he is a long time musician of the Dufferin Grove Market – and of course, a dear friend of the community. Well when Ken offered to write this week’s newsletter, my response was “YAHOO!” haha

Ok Ken, “take it away”!

From Ken:

“This coming market marks the Autumnal equinox, the first official day of fall.  We are lucky in Southern Ontario that September is a month that straddles the seasons allowing us to savour the last of the summer harvest while enjoying the bounty of autumn. Winter squashes, root vegetables, apples and pears have joined the tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and greens. Plus there is an often unsung hero available from Plan Btomatillos!

Farmer with Tomatillos

I’m a big fan of tomatillos. When they are abundant, I freeze as many as I can for winter and spring use. Take the husks off, wash them well, and place them individually in the freezer. Once they are fully frozen, bag them up in freezer bags. 

Of course they are the main ingredient in salsa verde, that delicious side dish from Mexico. Like so many foods, this is extremely flexible and forgiving.  If you like it hot, then add jalapenos, red embers (from Sosnicki Organics), or even habaneros.

If your taste runs milder, use just sweet peppers. Wash your tomatillos and assemble your favourite assortment of peppers. You can add some onion or garlic if you wish, lots of cilantro – (both Kooner and Aldergrove farms still have cilantro.) But don’t forget the salt and lime juice! Put it all in a food processor, and voila – salsa verde. Perfect for snacking with corn chips from La Mexicana, putting on tacos, guacamole, or if you are like me, most savoury dishes.

However their (relatively undiscovered) versatility goes well beyond salsa verde. I always use them when I’m making refried beans or other Mexican style “fillings”.  

Start with avocado or olive oil, mix in (to taste) onion, garlic, dried Mexican peppers (such as ancho, chipotle or Pasilla peppers which are one of my favourites – a little heat but not overpowering), and sweet peppers. Once the onions, etc. have softened on a low heat add to the pepper mixture cumin, other dried spices like smoked paprika, ancho powder, a little coriander, salt, etc.

Have your tomatillos cut up and ready and once the dried spices are covered in oil and heated add the tomatillos. Cook that down until the tomatillos have lost their “individuality” and merged with the whole. Now you add your (already-cooked), pinto or black beans. If you are making a filling with animal protein, add raw chicken, ground turkey or fish instead of beans, have the meat chopped in chunks and add at the same time as the tomatillos.

It doesn’t end there though!

Tomatillos are actually great in lots of South Asian dishes. For example, in making a curried dal of some kind, you traditionally cook the dal in water until the pulses are soft. When they are almost done, ginger and curry spices are cooked at a low temperature in ghee or oil. Then add your chopped up tomatillos, cook it down a bit and add to the dal. I add tomatillos to vegetable soup, to chickpea loaf – basically anywhere you want the juice and bit of acidity that tomato would add, but with what I’d describe as a fresher taste. There is a subtle, almost citrus quality that complements lots of things.

Let’s cherish this special moment, knowing that daylight will be shrinking quickly now, but we still can share in so many wonderful, nourishing foods brought fresh to our Dufferin Grove park by farmers and food preparers.” 

Thanks Ken! xxo

Wow! Is your mouth watering as much as mine? Or perhaps you’re hoping for a dinner invite to Ken’s place sometime soon? Well hey, never hurts to ask! Haha

Ok, now let’s talk about what else is going on at market this coming week!

This Thursday we welcome back Knuckledown Farms. The amazing Jenny Cook will be coming with a fabulous assortment of “garlic, tomatoes, peppers, and maybe some pie pumpkins too!”

surely have a lovely selection of early fall splendour for us to feast on!

Also in vendor news, this week we will only have one baker, Robinson Bakery.  Sadly, Lev Bakery will be away this week – so if you’re looking for delicious breads and other sweet treats, I suggest you get to Patti and crew, sooner, rather than later!

Nice Looking Organic Bread

And in non-vendor news, this week (as a reminder), we are also hosting our first-ever baby & children’s clothing swap. Here is the info, once again.

Baby and Children’s Clothing Swap

Thursday, September 22nd, 3-7pm
at the Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers Market
(South end of Dufferin Grove Park)

Bring what your family no longer needs and take what you will use!
Don’t have things to swap? You are still invited!
Bring your clothing and shoes in good condition (and clean) anytime after 2pm.
Don’t forget to bring bags to take things home in.
Lots of wonderful fresh food (including dinner) available for purchase at the market.
Please invite your friends and neighbours!

Kid and Parent Eating Corn on the Cob 1

That’s your organizer, Sarah Brodbar, featured with her little one – a good eater, huh?!. xx

And lastly, a “winter market update”, (sort of. 🙂

So last week dear friends, I had promised to have some info for you, on this possibility. Because surely our Thursday afternoon oasis, of fine food and fine folks, should definitely continue! At last – saying a lot of “f words” doesn’t get me into trouble! Haha

Ok, so to let you know, I have been in conversations with St Anne’s church, where we had our online market, during the height of the pandemic – they’ve told me that (returning there), is a possibility during the (early) winter.

So this would likely be just until the end of the year, (December 31, 2022) – which would mean December 29th for us.

However, (as of Friday afternoon), I was also told that this still needed to be confirmed by the “higher ups” – but that  a final answer should be just days away. Let’s hope!

So again, I thank you for your patience, and of course, I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks everyone, and happy fall!