A Rainbow Sea of Fruit & Vegetables – Asparagus, Cherries, Berries & More at The Farmers’ Market on Main Street Markham!

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It’s finally here: a farmers’ market post from Markham!  It’s almost embarrassing how I’ve made nearly 15 posts on Wychwood Barns but never made a post on any of the markets in Markham or surrounding York Region area.  To quote Eddie from Family Matters after Myrtle Urkel told him he should have knocked before barging in on her primping session: I LIVE HERE!  I guess that’s the thing.  When you live close to something, you end up having the mentality that you can go to that something anytime you want so you focus more of your attention on things that feel further out of reach or beyond your immediate grasp.

I made a conscious decision this month though to really make a better effort at visiting those markets that I haven’t yet been to and this is my start.  The timing was perfect: the market on Main Street Markham at Robinson started bright and early in the morning at 8am, I was meeting up with my best friend in the area, and the weather, while a bit chilly, was beautiful and my camera was raring to go.

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I actually wasn’t anticipating the market to be as big as it is and was when I went.  I mean, I wasn’t expecting a dinky hut but I also wasn’t expecting it to be like Trinity Bellwoods or Liberty Village, but there was plenty of gorgeous fruit and vegetables to shop for on one side and prepared foods such as baked goods, meats and sausages, honey and savoury pastries on the other.  It was like browsing through a rainbow sea of juicy red strawberries, raspberries and cherries, cheery orange apricots, yellow and purple eggplant (yes, yellow!), lush green asparagus, celery, cucumbers and fiddleheads, and of course, blue blueberries.

Since this was my very first visit, I wasn’t sure what to expect so I went into it thinking I’d probably just get some nice shots and go on my merry way.  Um, not the case.  I didn’t buy out the market, but I did leave with a giant spinach phyllo pastry wheel ($4) and a whole freakin’ pint of baby cucumbers ($3.5o).  THEY WERE SO CUTE!  And I’ve never had baby cucumbers before.  Let me tell you, those baby cucumbers sliced like a dream and as a bonus, they were seedless and DELICIOUS!  My recommendation?  Ranch and dill cucumber salad!  Now THAT screams summer dining.

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Even though there’s a bit of construction going on in the neighbourhood, there’s plenty of foodie things I’d love to do here such as paying a visit to the Greek bakery, doing afternoon tea at the Old Curiosity Tea Shop, shop for cute home and kitchen decor at Cornercopia and Season to Taste Kitchenware, and enjoy some yummy dining at Lemon Bistro!  Now that I have the market Main Street Markham under my belt, let’s see if I can swing on over to Main Street Unionville one of these Sundays for theirs!

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Main Street Markham Farmers’ Market, May 11 – September 28.  Saturdays, 8am-1pm.  Located on the outdoor terrace at 132 Robinson Street and Markham Road (Main Street Markham North), just north of Highway 7 in Old Markham Village.  There are free parking lots in the area behind many of the retail storefronts, the closest being the parking lot behind Scotiabank.  http://www.mainstreetmarkham.com/page.asp?pageid=5

The Keys to My Heart: My Favourite Crunchy, Gooey Grilled Cheese Sandwich at T&T Bakery and Café!

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The day was sunny, the air was crisp, and I was happily skipping over to one of my favourite bakeries and cafés in town for lunch: T&T Bakery and Café on Main Street Markham.  I hadn’t been back since the holidays when I tried their adorable little turkey pies and I was dying to go back to enjoy a simple, breezy lunch with my boyfriend.  That and also because I desparately wanted a gingerbread cookie.  They have the best gingerbread cookies (not to mention the softest, yummiest shortbread cookies with sprinkles!) in the cutest seasonal shapes and frosted decorations, and I reeeally wanted to see what adorable spring and Easter themed goodies they had in the cookie baskets.  Nothing gets in the way of me and my cookies! 😀

T&T Bakery and Café is like a comforting hometown country kitchen with menu items written on boards, and bustling customers enjoying big plates of French toast and waffles for breakfast, picking up fresh-baked pies, tea biscuits, and scones, and sitting down for a relaxing lunchtime or midday meal.  The prices are fabulous (a great meal for $4-$8?  Count me in, babe!) and it’s a family business with a big heart and great people and I just LOVE coming here.  Like I mentioned in my very first post about T&T over the holidays, I’ve had amazing breakfasts here and I’m still able to vividly recall how yummy the scalloped potato homefries are and how thick and delicious the chocolate milkshakes are.  And on this day, I had the most delicious grilled cheese sandwich EVER, loaded and stuffed with veggies with plenty of hot kicks from the hot peppers!

Oh was this sandwich all sorts of awesome.  My grilled cheese sandwich was delightfully crunchy, cheesy, gooey, and flavourful and it was amazing in so many ways.  I knew I wanted veggies on my sandwich and when the nice girl asked me what I wanted on it (after I told her it was more than fine that it would cost an extra dollar from the regular grilled cheese), I simply replied, “everything!”  You have it, I’ll eat it!  My grilled cheese ended up with a mountain of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, pickles,and hot peppers and OH.MY.GOD. the sandwich kick-boxed my taste buds and I had a field day fitting this thing into my mouth with every bite.  Oh, and using up my entire pile of napkins. The sandwich was so crunchy and perfectly grilled I crunched bread crumbs onto myself after every bite.  My hands and mouth were a mess and I couldn’t have been happier!

Not only did I love the hot spicy kick from the hot peppers, but I loved how this sandwich was constructed.  The cheddar cheese was melted on both the top AND bottom so you had mouthfuls of melty, gooey cheese enveloping the vegetables and bread and hello, best moisture barrier ever!  Without the cheese on both sides, the veggies risk making the bread soggy, but no such situation here.  They are smart thinkers!  And a bad or less than stellar grilled cheese doesn’t retain its shape and ends up floppy.  Not sexy.  This sandwich stuck its tongue out to the not-so-great grilled cheeses around the world and held up to the very last bite.  YUM YUM YUM!

To celebrate this fab meal, I got myself that gingerbread cookie I wanted so badly.  I got the cute yellow tulip flower one 😀  And yes, part of me wants to run back and snatch up that bunny one too.

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The T&T Bakery and Café is located at 35 Main Street Markham at the intersection of Hwy 7 and Markham Rd., just north of Hwy.7.     

A Little Turkey Pot Pie and Shortbread Cookies – Christmas at T&T Bakery and Café

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Thanks to my honey Richard, I have oodles of candids like these to remember for many Christmases to come *chuckles*.  This is me this past Tuesday thoroughly enjoying my sweet delicious red and green Christmas sprinkled shortbread cookie.  Oh how I loved this cookie.  I love shortbread cookies and the sprinkles made these so cute and colourful and they were impossible to resist.  Christmas is not Christmas without cookies and this giant morsel of loveliness was so soft with just the right amount of sweetness to it.  It took all the willpower in the world not to snatch the entire basket of them before I left! 

T&T Bakery and Café (located at 35 Main Street Markham, at the intersection of Hwy 7 and Markham Rd., just north of Hwy.7) holds a lot of Christmas memories for me.  I went for the first time 3 years ago, back in 2007, for a get- together with 3 close friends for a holiday breakfast and this sweet bakery and café has been close to my heart ever since.  Located in the heart of the quaint, historic village of Main St. Markham, it has such a homey, community feel to it and they have fantastic food to boot!  They have breakfast dishes to die for (think homefries that look and taste like scalloped potatoes and waffles piled with fruit and whipped cream) and lots of bakery goods to nosh on like tarts, cakes, bagels, and pies along with sandwiches and lots of comfort food.

This past Tuesday I enjoyed a comforting lunch of savoury turkey pot pie and a fresh mixed green salad – and my cookie! 😀  I don’t know about you, but I loooove places that incorporate turkey into their menu and T&T’s little pot pie was so good.  It was packed with rich turkey meat seasoned with just the right amount of salt and pepper and surrounded by warm pie crust in the shape of a pineapple ring.  How cute!  It was warm, flaky, and packed with flavour and what I really loved about it was how much turkey meat was in it (they are beyond generous) and how the pie crust wasn’t bitter in the least as I find that some pie crusts tend to taste that way.  Not this one.  This one high-fived my taste buds, and my salad was fresh and crunchy alongside my favourite French dressing on the side to make me wiggle with glee. 

Sweet people and good food.  That’s what an eatery should be all about.  Being here evokes feelings of warmth, community, and comfort and it reminds you that food doesn’t need to be “fancy” to be enjoyable.  It’s the love that goes into it and the love that comes out of it when someone eats it that matters.  Sometimes it’s the simplest pleasures that create the best memories and experiences and I’m really happy that I got to tuck away another T&T Bakery and Café meal in my memory (and soon to be scrapbook!) this Christmas. 

I’ve enjoyed two breakfasts and one lunch here thus far and trust me, there will be many more to come!  Sandwiches range anywhere from $3-$5 and full breakfast and lunch meals come in at around $5-7.  There are many items that you can order a la carte (the turkey pot pie, for example, can be ordered on its own) and off to the side are baskets of baked goods, like cookies, that are packaged and ready to go.  2 days later I am still thinking about my cookie.  I desperately want to run back and buy a pack of cookies.  I think I will.

 

Thank you to Lindsay, Laura, and Lisa (Team Commitment!) for introducing me to this lovely place 3 years ago.  I love you ladies!