You know how you’re not supposed to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, because then you’re more likely to succumb to buying junk food? The same should be said for going to the farmer’s market, but at least you come out with healthy food instead of chips!
Last Saturday I woke up fairly early, so I decided to hit up the St. Lawrence Farmer’s Market before eating breakfast, and tried to avoid the crowd. Well, I came out with a lot of stuff before rushing home for breakfast.
In terms of the more normal fruit & veg, I got some crispy tart/sweet Golden Delicious apples and some firm, sweet Bosc pears. I picked up a cute acorn squash, because this fall, I planned on conquering my fear on cooking squash. I also bought a couple of huge bunches of kale.
And in terms of some more interesting finds, I got some apple cider, which was preservative-free and unsweetened. In the past, I often avoided apple cider since it was always sweet (though delicious), but I was very excited to find some that had no added sugar.
And what was that giant acid green mass in the front? It was Romanesco cauliflower. I had never even seen this before! I asked the vendor how to cook it and he told me to cook it like regular cauliflower. So I mustered some courage (yep, I am somewhat an apprehensive cook), and bought this huge bunch. I read up more on Romanesco cauliflowers when I got back. One cool fact I learned was that Romanesco cauliflowers was a natural approximation of a fractal. Nature can be so cool! I roasted the cauliflower with a splash of olive oil and red pepper flakes. Yum. It tasted like a mix of broccoli and cauliflower.
The moment I saw rhubarb at the St. Lawrence Market, I knew I had to buy some. It was the sign of the beginning of summer, after all. But I picked up a stalk apprehensively and asked the vendor, “The leaves are poisonous, right?”. He responded, “You haven’t made rhubarb before?”. He then went on to explain how to prepare the rhubarb and a couple other older men listened in and gave their opinions.
We finally reached a consensus on making rhubarb compote: Bring 3/4 to 1 lb chopped rhubarb, 1/2 cup of water and 4 tbsp of sugar to a boil then down to a simmer before the rhubarb breaks apart too much, and stir in some orange peel near the end.
Enjoy it on crepes!
With granola and yogurt in a Mason jar (jar optional)!
Since then I’ve made a few different kinds of dishes with rhubarb.
Rhubarb Crumb Cake
Rhubarb Spice Cake
and la pièce de résistance: Rhubarb Strawberry Crumb Pie by Joy the Baker
Pie crust used to stress me out, but I decided that I would no longer let it intimidate me. So what if it tears a bit or shrinks or if it’s not perfectly flaky? It’ll still taste good. Honestly, the thought of making apple pie for the first time is the only thing that is making autumn appealing to me right now. I’ll take summer forever, please, thanks.
Rhubarb is no longer in season, but I still have a few stalks in the freezer. Hmm, I wonder what I should make with it now.
Bonus: Out of focus strawberry rhubarb ice cream from Ed’s Real Scoop. Mmm.
This weekend is Buskerfest in Toronto. Front Street is closed off from Yonge Street to Jarvis. Performers from all around the world come to Toronto to display their talents on stages along Front. There is a fair selection of food and great musical performers as well. Donations go towards supporting Epilepsy Toronto.
Buskerfest is one of my favourite festivals in Toronto. Firstly, all the acts feature amazing and sometimes dangerous stunts or some good old-fashioned entertainment. I love just slowly walking along Front Street and seeing all the different performers and the spontaneity of the performances. It is not an odd sight to see someone on stilts sauntering on the street. And yet, there is a very down-to-earth environment. You can tell the performers just love what they do.
Next, it’s awesome that the festival closes off Front Street from cars for a good stretch of road. Front Street is wide enough so you don’t feel claustrophobic even though there are a lot of people. Last year 1M people came during the four days!
While I will always be fond of the Silver Elvis, the Copper Cowgirl, new this year, was very endearing.
Dream State Circus from Australia. Fire!
I also enjoyed seeing Scott Jackson, a Canadian beatboxer.
My friend and I split this funnel cake. Mmm, deep-fried batter, strawberries and ice cream.
The crowd around St. Lawrence Market during the day.
Buskerfest finishes up tomorrow for another year. There is a Grand Finale is at 6:30 pm.
Betty’s is a chill local bar that is particularly popular with George Brown students. Somehow I have never been there at night, but I hope to get there before summer ends so I can enjoy the patio. Then again, if I go at night I won’t get to see the patio in all its glory in the sunlight.
Love the King Street East sign on the wall.
My sister, a couple of her friends and I went to Betty’s over the weekend for brunch/breakfast. What an awesome breakfast menu. I wanted to try everything: hello, breakfast poutine?
I decided to go for the hash with a generous helping of greens. The hash was on the salty side, but the combination of potatoes, onion and corned beef was scrumptious!
Over the weekend I made lentils for the first time with some carrots and peppers from the St. Lawerence Market and some parsley from the balcony garden. Not bad, but I needed to work on the flavouring.
I also did some baking. I know it’s hot out so turning on the oven is usually a no-go, but these blueberries were screaming to be baked into some whole wheat banana berry muffins. I tried out a Moosewood Restaurant recipe and I was totally impressed. The recipe called for four bananas, two tablespoons of honey and no other additional sugar! The muffins used all whole wheat flour, but they weren’t tough at all. I think the natural yogurt lightened them up. Definitely need to make these again.
Betty’s is located at 240 King Street East, Toronto.
Even though I was in Toronto for over a week, it didn’t feel that I actually lived here since I was commuting to Markham for work. I decided to change that this weekend.
Friday night I met with a friend from high school. We were going to see a Fringe Festival play, but we didn’t line up early enough for at-the-door tickets. WHOOPS. Unfortunately the Fringe Festival wrapped up this weekend, but there is always next year.
It worked out nicely though because we walked around the Annex neighbourhood and our old high school haunts. We caught up over frozen yogurt at Yogurty’s, one of the many froyo places in the Annex. I had actually never tried frozen yogurt with toppings before. I am now a fan!
I got the Greek-style froyo which was tangy. At first I tried to be strategic with toppings that should go together, but I just started to put whatever I fancied on: Almond Roca crumbles, granola, sour gummy worms, nerds, cookies’n’cream crumbles and lychee boba. This “combination” was yummy! I was worried about getting too many toppings and having to pay a lot, but it was fine.
On Saturday morning I went to the St. Lawrence Market for the first time this summer. I liked going here during the school year when I could afford the time “off.” I love the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. Mmm, so many veggies.
I got back home and fixed myself brunch: spinach and tomato from the market and egg and toast from before.
Sunday night my sister and I had the beets I bought with the green still on!
I roasted the beets in olive oil and pepper. They were so sweet. This was my most successful roast beets so far. I always read that roasting beets were “foolproof” and that the skins would rub right off afterward, but that never happened to me – I did feel like quite the fool. Maybe it was because I was roasting old beets or maybe I was just inept. This bunch was just lovely.
I sautéed the beet greens and they were on the bitter side. My sister suggested adding lemon and garlic.
+ ham that was kicking around in our freezer and some pineapple.