Restocking the pantry with a trip to the Farmers Market

Saturday Farmers Market

Saturdays are home days – days I try not to leave the house, days where my hair can frizz up and not bother anyone, least of all me.  But then Miss M, who had a lunch date with the three J’s (a lot of her school mates seem to have names beginning with J (or G which is almost the same)), asked for a lift into town (it was raining).  If I had to go out I may as make the most of it and go to the Gisborne Farmers Market and buy some supplies.
Apples from Gisborne Farmers Market
The market was still humming, despite the puddles on the ground and the slight mist of rain that blew over now and then.  The market is exciting at this time of the year as the stalls are loaded up with apples.  Our first trip around the stalls was to see who had what and where my fistful of cash was going to end up.
Gisborne Farmers Market Earlybird Organics stall
As usual, the organic people (well, the people with the stall of organic produce) from Wairoa (Earlybird Organics) have heaps of cool vegetables and some organic strawberries.  Strawberries….in April?  I wasn’t even tempted (well maybe a little bit) but I was in full Apple mode.   Having been purchasing Royal Gala’s for Miss M from the supermarket, I was happy to pick up a bag of organic Royal Gala’s along with our regular bag of crisp, tart organic Braeburns. 

One bug bear I do have with our market is that most of the produce is packaged in plastic bags – I’d much rather buy it loose (weigh it into my own cloth bags) though I can imagine that might cause a bit of chaos for the stall holders.  Some stalls manage their produce in that manner, particularly the stone fruit in summer.  I did admire the paper-bagged Feijoas on another stall.
Gisborne Farmers Market Teesdale Orchard stall
Next up is the our local Teesdale orchard stall filled to the brim with apples.  They might have had other produce but I was pretty much blinkered as I spied Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Ballarat among other varieties.  The Red Delicious were large, red and stripey – so a bag of those (yes, plastic again) was added to our haul.  I wanted to buy more apples but I thought 3 bags full would probably fill up the crisper in the fridge and last us at least the week.
Gisborne Farmers Market Oliebollen
Moving on around we are drawn back to the Oliebollen stand – last week it was Cronuts (croissant/donut hybrid) from Havelock North, this week it is a Dutch donut treat of apple chunks deep-fried in a dough with raisins and dusted with icing sugar.  I’m not sure if I liked it – just as I wasn’t so sold on the Cronut.  I’d like to try another one – perhaps from a different café/vendor…… it seemed to me that the dough had a very faint fishy taste as if the oil had been used previously to make some fish and chips.  My daughter thought she detected the flavour too, but she really liked it, complete with fishy taste.  Then Anster (we saved a couple to bring home) wondered if the fishy taste was intended as the Dutch do have some interesting food combinations (before you get too up in arms, he is half Dutch……).  I could make my own Oliebollen but as we don’t have a deep fryer, I might leave that one untried for now.
Gisborne Farmers Market Oliebollen
The last vendor is one of the busiest – the Waimata cheese trailer.  Miss M was after some Camembert but they only had Brie & Blue Brie left.  Despite trying to advise her that Camembert and Brie are the same cheese but labelled differently (according to my brother who worked for one of the larger cheese company’s in the North Island)….but she says no, they taste different.  OK….. but no Camembert for you today, Missy.  I’d have liked to try some of their Mozzarella – but dollars where running dry as I’d been coerced (gently by a lovely lady) into buying a Rubber Duck Race raffle ticket.

We traipsed back to the car laden down with heavy bags of goodies – never mind that I didn’t buy any vegetables…… we’ll be eating apples this week.  Luckily there is a recipe for Spiced Apple & Yoghurt Soup from Julie Biuso in the lasted copy of Taste NZ issue 100.  That will do for one meal – I have celery & mint in the garden.   The people of Normandy, France like apples with chicken, that’s another meal sorted.  Only meals five to go…

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