Early July Farmers Market

Everyone was loving Oscar at the farmers market this week. He howled along with some passing sirens and everyone around us applauded. The cheese people offered him a cheese rind, but I declined on his behalf due to the probability of it causing stinky farts. A new vendor selling gourmet popsicles gave Oscar a dog pop made with carrots and vegetable stock. Oscar had never had a popsicle before, it wasn’t his fault he didn’t know the proper etiquette. He ate half of the wooden stick.

Amber Raspberries

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Don’t shy away from these raspberries because they look like albino versions of the standard red ones, they’re actually sweeter. I love their golden colour tinged with the lightest dusting of blush. Raspberries of all colours are best eaten straight away, they mold very easily. I’ve had many a newly bought packet mold overnight in the fridge.

Pretty and Crazy Mushrooms

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I love interesting mushrooms. The white button variety are boring and not particularly flavorful. The selection and freshness at farmers markets is unparalleled. I think a good fresh mushroom should feel like a rose petal—alive and somewhere between barely moist and dry. Pictured above are lion’s mane and pink oyster mushrooms. When I get a top notch assortment my mind instantly goes to risotto. Another approach with pretty mushrooms is to simply saute them and serve on the side so they don’t get lost in the mix. 

Monforte Dairy

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Monforte Dairy is an artisanal diary located in Stratford, Ontario using milk from humanely treated animals. They are best known for their sheep, goat and water buffalo cheeses. The cheeses have beautiful names like Waltzing Matilda, Blossom and Paradiso. The woman at the stand told me that Black Sheep was named for the owner Ruth’s oldest son, and Little Prince after her youngest. Pictured above is an aged sheep’s milk cheese called Toscano (top), and a water buffalo cheese with fenugreek (bottom).

Read Monforte Dairy owner Ruth Klahsen’s beautiful blog post about her horses (and gratitude) here.

Sweet Peas

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Sweet pea is what I call Oscar sometimes. These flowers smell like Kool-Aid to me. We grew some last year and they climbed all over our neighbor’s fence. I love surprising J with a bouquet on his desk.

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Life tastes good.