Tag Archives: market

Rain rain, go away!

Ugh, it’s an unpleasantly rainy day here in England today–cold and rainy, the kind that makes you want to stay inside all day.  We haven’t had good weather or a spot of sunshine in some two weeks here.  I’m dreaming of a Spanish villa somewhere in the sunshine….I’m tired of being cold.  I’m also starting to wonder how people do indeed put up with the weather on this island for so long!  I can see why sitting inside drinking tea and making up for the weather’s miserable existence by eating tons of cakes and cookies is the norm here.  

Although I must say, despite the gloomy weather today, three things excite me: one, it’s FRIDAY, always a good thing even when you’re not working, two, I FINALLY managed to find some polenta at the grocery store, something I’ve been trying to find for a while now (I’ve been wanting to make this: Sweet Breakfast Polenta), and thirdly, I just received a gift from Coldplay in my inbox: a free download of a live album they put together just for their fans!  Sweet!  

Oh and I went to the Dorchester Market during the week and scored some greatness as usual!  I came home with a weaving loom for only £1, a way cool ring made out of sea shell, and some dried fruit for a cake for really cheap.  I’d never taken a train by myself before even though I’ve been living here for over a year now, and it was my first adventure on the rails!  Thankfully it was uneventful and I made it home without any transportation mishaps.  Oh, and I also bought some rhubarb since it’s now in season, and made this for tea the other day:  Sour Cream Rhubarb Squares. They were indeed deliciously moist with a faint hint of rhubarb.  I made some in a muffin tin and the rest of it I made in a loaf tin and froze for later.  

Tomorrow night for dinner I’m trying my hand at Apricot Pork Chops with Jersey Royal potatoes and I’m making my first ever Shoo-fly Pie!  I bought a Pennsylvania Dutch cookbook ages ago at my local library and came across the recipe today, so I’m going to make it.  It will also be my first time making a pie or even working with molasses!  So here we go!  Wish me luck!  

Brrr!!! I’m really cold right now!  I think I’m going to make a tea loaf now…my new thing is to make baked goods and then freeze them for later use/enjoyment.  With only three of us in the house, it’s kind of hard to eat everything up within the week, even though believe me, I’m trying my best!  So by freezing it, it lasts longer and we can have things available for tea in only a couple of hour’s notice.

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The oven’s back in town!

Well I’m glad to report that the oven is back in action!  Yes!  So naturally, I’ve been hoarding a couple of recipes over the past week that involve the use of an oven.  So on Saturday, I was in the kitchen for a good part of the day.  I made a gluten free chocolate cake, some deliciously rich chocolate cookies, and even tried my hand at roasting chickpeas for a crunchy snack.  

It was indeed topped off as a food filled weekend when I went to the Christchurch Food and Wine Festival with my BF’s mom.  Oh it was a glorious couple of hours filled with tasting different kinds of olives, to munching on strawberries from France, and yes, even speaking French with the vendors!  I guess I still remember some French after all! Ha ha.  There was so much to take in and see and do and eat!  I bought some locally made biscotti from the New Forest, Italian corn and rice couscous, French forest honey, dried apples covered in cinnamon, Italian cookies, and a German sausage for my lunch!  My BF’s mom bought lots of goodies too for all of us to try–green olives stuffed with lemon, pâté, Italian cheese, and even a calzone.  It’s the season for asparagus and rhubarb right now, so we picked up a bunch of asparagus for some soup for tomorrow night’s dinner.  Tonight’s dinner will be some Sicilian stuffed rice balls and a ham and cheese calzone with a salad.  My BF’s mom grows various salad greens in her garden out back, so we’ll be picking our own salad for dinner.  You can’t get any fresher or more local than that!  Delicious!

There is something so inspiring and engaging about going to food festivals/markets like these.  I like seeing some fresh produce or fish and then thinking of a great meal to make with them.  I like meeting the people that are the faces behind the product and knowing that I’m supporting the local guys.   

Here’s some pictures I took at the market/festival with my mobile camera phone:

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Trop pensées, too many thoughts…

Today is one of those days in my life where I feel blessed to be doing what I’m doing right now.  How many people do you know get to divulge themselves on the things that they’re most passionate about?  Not only do I get to listen to classical/opera music, I get to bake homemade vanilla bean and almond biscotti at the same time!  And might I add, they were a total success in my opinion!  Deliciousness!

Yes, my passion for food is what’s making me turn into a mondo pot belly, but I’m learning and discovering more about life these past months than I have in a very long time.  I’m spending more time in the kitchen than ever, something I know that my grandma (you know who you are! 😉 ) would be glad to know.   🙂  

I’m also discovering time and time again those little things that make me glad I’m here and not just because it allows me to be with the man I love, which is a HUGE plus.  I get to discover those little stolen moments in the morning on my way to the weekly market–the cool calm and quiet of the neighborhood, the crispness in the air, the smell of the sweet morning dew, the sounds of the birds…  

I love getting lost at the market–it’s all about the people and the great finds.  When was the last time you actually met the person who’s mushrooms you’re buying at the store?  Who can you ask about how to store them or what’s a great recipe to make with them?  You can’t do that at the grocery store, you can only do that at the market.  

Here’s some random pics I’ve taken lately, some of which are items I’ve bought at the market: 

 

At the market I love the…

sights: tea towels, piles of hams, old wellies, flowers, pineapples, bags of oranges, unusual scarves, WW II memorabilia, breads, antiques, bric-a-brac

the smells: mushrooms from the mushroom guy, fresh bread, cheese, fish

the people: the jam guy, people who bring their dogs to wander through the stalls with them, the butcher trying to sell his best deals on pork cutlets, the lady you bought your jewelry from, the little old ladies who come to look at shoes or push their tartan shopping trollies around.  

I love that you can buy things that are locally made and produced at great prices.  I also love the fact that I can buy something like a piece of jewelry, that are very one of a kind and unique because they are often antiques, it makes me feel as if I can hold onto a piece of history and preserve it for future generations.  

I know that I’ll be gutted when it comes time to leave here and I won’t be able to visit my beloved market anymore, but I try to push that from my mind.  There are so many things about England that I will miss and have become accustomed to while living here, but again, I try to not think about how much I will eventually miss it all because my soul will ache. 

I feel like I’m at that point in my life where everything is a giant puzzle and I’m trying my best to shift everything into place so that I can eventually be or do or have all that I’ve wanted in life.  I think adding to my life’s confusion at the moment is my lack of a clear career path, because being an American, it’s all about the career path.  When I went to school, aka university, I studied what I am passionate about–French.  I didn’t choose to put myself through hours and years of language and literature because I thought it’d make me millions, but I did it because in the end, it made my soul happy.  Somehow this passion of mine is supposed to translate itself into a stable and viable career that makes me a small fortune.  

I don’t want to be one of those people who just works a string of jobs just because it’s all about staying afloat and making money.  I want to work at a job that means something, that is in line with my passions in life, and I’m starting to wonder if a such thing exists for me–for both passion and career to align themselves together.  Had I gone with a degree that was more clear  cut, like education or chemistry, than perhaps my career path wouldn’t present itself as such a mystery.  Who knows, maybe in 5 years time I’ll be having kids anyways and this whole career fulfillment issue won’t be such a problem or rather, a mystery.

I also feel like I’m one of those people who’s not very good at growing up…it’s awkward for me a lot of the time.  What does being an adult actually mean?  Yeah I can pay bills on time or set up a savings account, but does that actually make me an adult?  Is it my age?  Is it just some kind of feeling that you stumble upon as you go along?   Doesn’t life come with an instruction manual?  No?  Oh…. 

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