A farmers’ market cornucopia: January 2011

It’s an absolutely lovely time of year at the market.  Mostly warm sunny mornings (despite our reletively nonexistent summer this year) and a banquet of all sorts of fresh fruit and veg.

Cindy, I’m hoping you can help me with the little squashes that are centre bottom on the photo.  The farmer/stall holder told me that they are from South Africa.  I think he called them ‘gem squash’ and said South African’s often have them as a carbohydrate replacement.  I’d never seen them before but trying new things is half the fun of the farmers’ markets.  The farmer told me he cuts them in half, scoops out the seeds, stuffs them and bakes them or microwaves them.  Cindy, is that how they’re cooked in South Africa? We baked them and they were lovely, I’ll do a follow up post just on the squash.

Oh and look at all that meat.  It was buy 4 bags of mincemeat (about 500 g each) and get the fifth free.  I couldn’t resist!  I’m such a sucker for a deal when it comes to good food.

And starting to supplement with lots of veg from our garden.  Carrots, lettuce, lots of herbs, spring onions, our garlic, amaranth and radishes.  Hmm maybe I should do a post on our amaranth too?  I tried it last year at the Farmers’ market and loved it, so was determined to grow it this year.  It’s fantastic stuff and is loving our weird summer.  Do you guys know about amaranth?  Would you like me to do a little post on it?

And I finally had the courage to take a few photos of the market itself.  From a distance, but it will still hopefully give you a bit of an idea of what one of my two farmers’ markets are like.  It just shows a small section of the market, you wind in and out of the trees and there are stalls everywhere.  It’s a really pleasant place to spend an early Saturday morning.


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14 Responses to A farmers’ market cornucopia: January 2011

  1. bagnidilucca says:

    What a lovely peaceful market. The Powerhouse markets where I go in Brisbane are very good, but if you don’t get there very early, they are impossibly crowded.

    • Bee says:

      Oh I used to love the Powerhouse markets when I lived in Brissie. They were just getting started then, were a tad expensive and I was a poor student! I’d go rarely, buy some precious things and enjoy every last morsel.

  2. Cindy says:

    Yes, they’re called gem squash and are a staple of most South African panties. Unfortunately, as far as I know, they have no nutritional value (except as roughage/fibre). We half them and boil them (and eat the tender skin as well!). I often boil them until almost done, then stuff them with sweetcorn and top with cheddar and put them under the grill until the cheese has melted.
    My granny loved them boiled and served with butter and sugar!

    Would love to read about amaranth.

    • Bee says:

      Thanks Cindy. How cool that I’m getting to try a South African staple all the way over here. Our skins were quite tough but then we baked them in the oven. I’ll have to try boiling them. I like the sweetcorn and cheddar idea and I hadn’t thought of grilling them.

  3. Cindy says:

    LOL, I meant ‘pantries’ !!!

  4. Zahara says:

    Wonderful, makes me long for summer around here (Northern California), and the resumption of farmer’s markets. Green eggs! Got ham? And is “mincemeat” Aussie for “ground beef”?
    Around here mincemeat is sweet pie filling.

    • Bee says:

      Hi Zahara. Yes, it’s cute that they’re called green eggs. Hey, i did have ham, well bacon, I forgot to include the packet in the picture! 🙂

      Yeah, sorry mince meat=ground beef (although it could also equal ground pork, lamb or veal). We also use mince meat to mean the sweet fruit mince that is used in pies etc especially around Christmas.

  5. kiwiyarns says:

    What a great market! That’s one thing I miss. We have a market here, but it’s nowhere near the great stuff that you can get.

  6. Hi Bee 🙂 Always fun to see some of the unusual vegetables & bargains others find at the markets, I love our Farmers Markets here in Canberra, but it can get a bit crowded, yours looks fun 🙂 Really interested to hear about the Sth African Gem Squash & I’d love to read a post on what you did with amaranth. Great to connect with you Bee 🙂

  7. Pingback: Gem squashing it | Tales from a Well-Stocked Larder

  8. Pingback: A farmers’ market cornucopia: February 2012 | Tales from a Well-Stocked Larder

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