Farmer’s Market

A block’s walk from my apartment is the venue of our local Farmer’s Market. It houses an odd mixture of vendors’ stalls – vegetable growers, artisanal sausage makers, pie makers, garlic growers, purveyors of hand-made soaps, macaroons, jams, sauces and condiments, crafters of dubious quality hand-strung jewelry, bannock frying natives, hand crocheters and knitters who use really nasty acrylic yarns of ghastly colour combinations, the occasional potter and local amateur painters of  picturesque dabblings. The prices are exorbitant. Anyhow much of what is on offer is a bit too pricey for my wallet, or would be, were it not for the coupon program for low income seniors and families, of which I count as one. So, I do not flinch too much when asked to hand over $4 for a knob of Russian.  garlic or $3 for a couple of medium sized tomatoes. There is a $6 allotment for meat weekly included in the coupons, but a package of four artisanal sausages comes priced at $9, so every other week a purchase of one package is manageable. Otherwise, one might purchase a precooked sausage on a stick for $5. A 3 oz. piece of Sockeye salmon is priced at @ $17, so that is a market I find myself reluctant to frequent.

I do find the vegetables of such excellent quality that the act of eating freshly picked and fully at optimum ripeness produce is a tremendous pleasure. The weekly coupons are a welcome gift!

Last Saturday, my favourite vegetable vendor had two generous sized Vegetable Marrows left over at the end of market. Every August I am always on the hunt for these. They are not commonly grown  or seldom available in our little city as most people don’t know how to cook them. The vendeuse, Flor, asked me what they were, as this was the first year she tried growing them. Casting my eye around her booth, I collected an onion and a clump of fresh dill. As I handed over $6 worth of coupons to purchase the marrows, onion and dill, I explaine how I was going to prepare them fro my special feast for that evening’s meal. “Heavenly it will be!” I told her. She replied that she was wanting to ty that dish, as it sounded so simple to prepare.

Here is my grandmother’s recipe for Hungarian Tokfozelek (missing the umlaut and accent ague)

1 Medium Vegetable marrow – halved lengthwise, seeded and peeled. Cut each half into thin slices across the width, set in a colander, sprinkle with salt to release excess water in the flesh. Set aside for 20 minutes.

1 Peel and finely slice one medium onion.  Saute in butter over medium heat. While onion is softening, squeeze excess water from the sliced marrows, and add them to the transparent softened onions.  Stir, cover pan and lower temperature slightly. Stir several times over 10 minutes.

3 Meanwhile chop about a handful of dill fronds, toss into onion and marrow, stir and keep cooking.

4  measure out 3/4 cups of sour cream , add to the vegetables, stir in, grind on salt and pepper, let heat to steaming.

5 Sprinkle with Sweet or Hot Hungarian Paprika.  Serve with bread, chicken, sausage ,or pork steaks.  A green salad on the side completes this feast.

I often just eat this vegetable side dish by itself, if I have eaten my daily meat alottment already.

5 Responses to “Farmer’s Market”

  1. Mr. Beer N. Hockey Says:

    On a recent visit to a farmer market I purchased wine for my sweeter half (she liked it), three dry pre-mixes for vegetarian meals (the first one was yummy) and a hand made dress for my new niece when she gets to be about one. I do not visit such markets often but I am nearly always rewarded in one way or another when I do so. Hopefully I will one day be able to buy some marijuana to put in my spaghetti sauce at a farmer’s market.

  2. Chris Miller Says:

    So glad to find you resumed blogging this year. It’s always refreshing to hear from your corner of the world.

  3. clinock Says:

    Lots of farmer’s markets here in Vancouver. I love the ambience, the smells and music and chin-wagging and would love to support local and organic but really, I can’t pay those prices. Glad you have help. I’m going to try your gran’s recipe, but without the meat. I love marrow but haven’t eaten meat in 40 years.

    • suburbanlife Says:

      Thanks for the response on this. I live in the Lower Mainland of BC. The coupons I receive from our farmer’s market in Maple Ridge can be used in any of the regional market can be traded in any of the participating regional ones. Go to the information booth of your nearby one and ask if they participate in this program. If you are a low-income senior you may be eligible. During the growing season here, I pretty well acquire wonderful fresh produce for free. It sure helps my budget. G

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