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< February 21-2013 | Notes Library | March 7-2013 >

Weekly Market Notes for February 28, 2013

Hello Market Friends:

Whew, we've made it to the end of February. Looks like we might have more of a 'lion' than 'lamb' start to March, but signs of coming spring are appearing just the same. Ionel/John of Bees Universe told me he had to leave a bit early last time because 13 goat kids were being born on his farm that day! Here's a bit of other vendor news:

Sosnickis' contribution: "Wow, this lack of sunshine and cold weather is disappointing in the greenhouse because of the expense of oil and wood. Thank goodness that we only heat one quarter of the the big greenhouse and grow crops such as onions, herbs etc. for other farmers! Hopefully next week we'll get some needed sunshine. We've got salad mixes, chard, spinach growing away, tomatoes have been transplanted, all the sweet onions are just beginning to sprout, kale and early head lettuce are seeded as well. Full speed ahead as March begins! Ben will be coming to Dufferin with Cabbage, Potatoes, Beans and Sauerkraut while I stay home and keep digging in the snow and keep the greenhouse warm!!" Jessie & Ben

Shared Harvest (Kevin Hamilton) will be joining us one last time before taking a break from market until early June, so stock up on his ferments and dried herbs.

Andrew Akiwenzie will be down with another delicious load of fish.

This week I went undercover to research what cool urbanites are snacking on and provide you with market recipes for your next poker night, movies-at-home evening or literary salon. (It's tough work being a snack tester, but somebody's got to do it. )

Down at The Saint Tavern on Ossington, where there's beer with notes of fig and chocolate (who knew?) they offer an excellent 'Potted Cheese'. Try this version (and multiply it if you have a gang coming over):


  • about 100 grams of feta cheese from Best Baa or Country Meadows
  • zest of half an organic lemon
  • 3 Tablespoons of Country Meadows olive oil
  • one finely chopped green onion (or an equivalent amount of chives)
  • several branches of parsley, finely chopped (other fresh herbs could be substituted)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • a pinch of Shared Harvest's dried cayenne or a finely minced hot pepper (optional)

Crumble or chop the feta and combine with all other ingredients and mix well. Ideally, let it stand in the fridge for a while so the flavours can blend. Slice some Park Bread very thinly, cut into smallish pieces and toast on a cookie sheet in the oven, turning once, so you have nice crisp supports to scoop the cheese onto.

Want a little bit rowdier pub fare? The crowds are going wild for these 'Smashed Potatoes':


  • Ben and Jessie's Fingerling Potatoes (Get lots, they'll be gone soon, and my daughter says the only thing wrong with this recipe is that I didn't make more.)
  • grapeseed or other oil
  • salt and freshly ground back pepper, to taste

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush a cookie sheet with oil. Boil the potatoes in salted water until they are barely fork-tender, drain, and 'smash' on the cookie sheet with a fork so they're still in one piece but fairly flat. Drizzle more oil over top and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven, turning once or twice, until deep golden brown. Serve with a bowl of Growing Spaces' chutney for dipping.

Over in clubland, it's all about fusion, meaning some kind of multi-continental melding of flavours.... Put your own spin on it with 'Happy Hour Crunch':


  • one large can (28 ounce) of chick peas
  • one package of Ying Ying Soy Food's Smoky Deli Strips
  • sesame oil
  • 3 bay leaves from Urban Harvest
  • spices to taste

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Drain, rinse, and pat dry the chick peas. Peel the tofu strips apart, then slice into small pieces (about 1x1cm). Toss the chick peas, tofu pieces and bay leaves with 2 Tablespoons sesame oil. Spread the mixture out on a cookie sheet and roast until the chick peas are crisp, at least one hour, turning occasionally. While they're roasting, look around your cupboard for spice mixtures. My favourite for this recipe is Za'atar (a Palestinian blend of sesame seeds, sumac and herbs), but you could use BBQ or seafood spice blends, garam masala, or anything else that strikes your fancy. Drizzle a little more sesame oil over the roasted mixture when done, sprinkle with spices, toss to blend well, and allow to cool.

No time to cook? Put a piece of the Akiwenzies' amazing smoked fish and some crackers on a plate, warm a bowlful of Angelos' olives, and relax in style. When you're all rested up, you can google the recipe for beet martinis. (Just kidding, but they're out there....)

See you at the market!

Anne Freeman

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