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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Market Day with Matt

My eldest son has graduated, which means I see him even less than I did before. I'm not sad about it ... I understand that it's a part of life and he's starting his own life. But I do miss spending time with him.

So I was pretty happy when he and I made plans to go to the Wednesday Farmer's Market. "Let's go get inspired and cook," he said to me. And so we did.

I really like the Farmer's Market. Local people, local food, and it's a fun place to hang out. It's no Portland Market, but it's the best we've got. The new location for the Wednesday Market (it was a Nat Bailey Stadium until construction for the Olympic Curling Rink pushed it out) is at Thornton Park, across the street from the bus depot and right under the Main Street Skytrain station. Yes, it's a bit of dodgy area, but the skuzzy factor is no big deal during the day.

Fresh at the market this week, strawberries, raspberries, cherries. Inspiration for dessert was simple. Dinner ... well we found a baker that had some fresh pasta, a pork producer for some farmer's sausage, some tomatoes (HUGE!), cheese and a terrific chocolate pecan loaf.

The cherries with the chocolate were a shoe-in for dessert. So the strawberries found their way into a salad, along with the cheese, baby greens, fennel and red onion.

My son took the tomatoes and told me he was going to make a sauce. "Concass√©," he said, and in a few minutes he had the tomatoes peeled, shallots and garlic brunoise-d and he began assembling a delicious smelling sauce. 2 parts tomatoes, 1 part chicken stock and 1 part wine. I was so proud!  The pasta was completed with the farmer's sausage, some fresh basil and some parmigiana cheese.

Dessert was simple. The cherries were pitted and put into a pan with some sugar and water. Once soft I pureéd them, strained out the skin and added some ginger liqueur. The sauce was put down on the plate first, a slice of chocolate loaf next, and then topped with some fresh cherries.

Dinner was wonderful. The food was great, I was sharing it with my wife and both my sons, I'd spent some great time with son #1, and son #2 did the dishes.  However shopping local comes with a hefty price-tag. The little pile of groceries we gathered set us back $50. But do yourself a favour and splurge on a market meal with your family. The meal will be worth it, and you'll pass on some worthwhile values. Change comes a generation at a time.

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