I adore going to the market. Setting off first thing in the morning and filling my bags with fresh local produce and bountiful blooms to brighten my apartment, tasting local delicacies and strolling the stalls blissfully unbound by any time restraints. Visiting the market is one of my favourite weekend activities. It all feels so European and old-world.
On the first Saturday of every month between September and May, thousands of market-goers flock to my little hill of red soil to browse and buy, munch and mingle, and taste and try. I have been looking forward to this day for a long time. It has been many months since my last proper market visit, as Ben and I were away for 7 months during 2009. Then, since the beginning of this year, every first Saturday has rolled around and I have found myself otherwise engaged. I have been positively itching to re-visit the market, a place I have frequented so much in my life, and which holds such a sense of home.
After a lovely and refreshing early morning walk, Ben and I eagerly set off for the Red Hill Showgrounds. We were keen to visit our favourite stalls for our regular purchases, and we were also excited to see what was new. I embrace the new vendors who pop up, however I feel rather abandoned and unsettled when old favourites disappear. The zealous sun seems to have finally embraced the new season, and was shining proudly down upon us as we strolled the grounds.
Dietitian tick 🙂
We started with poffertjes. $6 for a plate, they are topped with butter and dusted with sugar (plus a cheeky drizzle of maple syrup). These little Dutch pancake pockets are uber fluffy and just delightful.
The famous Red Hill Cheese.
The fire was burning for the Billy Tea and Scones.
Birds for sale – I always feel sorry for the little budgies.
Animal farm – this is new, or perhaps I have always walked past without noticing.
These darling little cupcakes always sell out quickly.
Cookie cutter galore! Lots of creative shapes, such as this cute cupcake one below. We bought an easter egg shaped one, which I cannot wait to use come Easter time, and an airplane one just for fun. Link.
Corn on the cob, and Calamari.
This is one of the newer stalls, and looked to be fairly popular – Japanese Cakes!
Our favourite stall would have to be that of Paul and his incredible Pesto. Paul and his wife, Alva, are so lovely and friendly, and their pesto is out of this world. We bought the traditional basil and pinenut pesto, which I love with pasta. This time were were also tempted by their coriander and macadamia pesto, which Ben bought to have with fish.
Ginger Beer and Lemonade from the Barrel.
Ben loves these beautiful satay skewers, extra hot 🙂
Fresh orange juice.
My love… Italian doughnuts. The friendly men who make these intoxicatingly delicious, light balls of cinnamon sugar coated heaven informed us of the origin of the Zippoli doughnuts. They are from Calabria, in the south of Italy. Apparently they also serve them as a savoury beer snack, with anchovies and a touch of salt replacing the cinnamon sugar. Also available with jam in the centre, but that is not traditional according to these gentlemen. I would have to agree – the original way is the best.
And of course, there were little old ladies selling homemade goodies. I limited myself to two mini jars – a banana jam and a green pickle chutney. Their hats were included in the tidy $2 price 😉
I love the vibrant colour of lemon butter, but I always seem to favour other goodies. Perhaps next time I shall buy some, or better yet make some of my own. Mission lemon butter?…
Lastly we bought some apples and juice from the Delgrosso’s – a lovely local family. They make the best apple juice.
Then it was time to head home, we were spent – both physically and literally, our pockets were considerably lighter upon leaving the sunny grounds. Every penny was deliciously spent. I can’t wait for next month…