3 Years in the Making – A Return Visit to the East York Farmers’ Market! The Ate by Ate Daily, Vol. 007

2 Comments

DSCN2298

Time passes by so fast that sometimes, you don’t even notice how long it’s been since you last did something because each and every day comes and goes in a blurry flurry of activity.  You think, “oh, it must have only been a year or so” until you think back real hard or look at photos and realize, “holy jeebus, make that three!”  That was me today after my visit to the East York farmer’s market just outside the East York Civic Centre at the corner of Mortimer and Coxwell.  I haven’t been back to this market in three years.  THREE.  And oddly enough, almost right down to the day: June 14, 2011 when I took those first photos and wrote my post on the market and its baby eggplants.

It’s the strangest feeling in the world when the realization sinks in that while three years have gone by, some things just don’t change.  In some ways I feel like I’ve come full circle to where my life was at three years ago and feeling somewhat…stuck.  And in other ways, everything has changed.  In June 2011, I had just graduated from grad school, I hadn’t yet started my baking adventures with Lisa and Miya at Le Dolci, and Ate by Ate was only 6 and a half months old.  I don’t even think I had a Twitter account for Ate by Ate at that point yet.  The one constant though?  How my routine jaunts to the markets have grounded my blogging, made photography so much fun, and in general, made me happy.  They’ve pushed me to keep positive.  You get out for fresh air.  You walk.  You meet nice people.  You visit neighbourhoods you wouldn’t otherwise visit.  And you get those creative juices going like you wouldn’t believe.  And as a bonus, you get to eat and buy some awesome local food.  Who knew fruits and veggies were good for your health in more ways than one?!

DSCN2272

DSCN2274

DSCN2275

Today’s morning visit to the East York farmers’ market was so lovely.  The weather was beautiful and it was so nice to get out and clear my head for a bit.  That and I just love taking photos of fruits and vegetables!  I definitely got a lot of amused smiles and stares from vendors and fellow market-goers as I clicked away at tomatoes, asparagus and baby zucchinis.  It happens every time; I’m used to it!  The market is set up in a really great green space outside the civic centre near plenty of benches to sit on, trees and shade to keep cool under, and even some pretty gardens to enjoy.  Despite the generous crowd of people who filter in soon after the market is up and running at 8am, there’s still this beautiful sense of peaceful to it and I love it.

DSCN2313

At the market today: heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, jams, jellies and honey, bread and pastries, sausages and cured meats, baby eggplant, baby zucchini, wild mushrooms, bell peppers, fresh herbs and herb plants, lettuces and kale, strawberries, rhubarb, and asparagus – lots and lots of asparagus!  I know this sounds weird, but asparagus has truly proven to be one of the most photogenic vegetables.  I’ve photographed asparagus many times over the years and it still amazes me how you can get such cool shots of it time and time again.  Hello total foodie geek moment.

DSCN2288

DSCN2306

DSCN2308

DSCN2278

DSCN2291

So, what did I pick up from the market this morning?  Two big bunches of gorgeous green leaf lettuce, $2 a pop.  YES, lettuce.  I know it’s nothing glamourous but I love me my greens and lettuces!  I’ve been going nuts over the arugula at Wychwood Barns as of late so why not throw some more greens into the mix?  The stuff is less expensive AND nicer at the farmers’ market than it is at the supermarket so there’s really no reason to pass on such nice food.  I can’t wait to use it in sandwiches and as the base for lettuce wraps.  I can see it now: green leaf lettuce wrapped around shredded chicken, sprinkled with sesame seeds and drizzled with peanut sauce.  Or wrapped around shredded chicken with black beans, avocado, and shredded cheese.  Or with fish.  Or shrimp.  YUM.

DSCN2311

*****

East York Civic Centre is located at 850 Coxwell Ave. at Mortimer Ave.  The East York farmers’ market takes places on the front terrace of the civic centre every Tuesday from 8am-2pm, May to November

Advertisements

Mid-May & May Long Weekend Munchies – Ate by Ate’s Food Event Spotlight

Leave a comment

East York Civic Centre farmers' market

East York Farmers’ Market, May 14 – November 5.  Tuesdays, 8am-2pm.  East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Avenue at the corner of Coxwell and Mortimer Avenue.   The east end market returns for its spring, summer, and fall season this week! 

DSCN0284

Hands-On Sushi at the LCBO Bayview Village, May 15.  6pm-8pm.  2901 Bayview Ave. at the LCBO Bayview Village.  $75 +HST/person; to register and book tickets, please visit the participating location.  Be a sushi chef for the night at this fun, hands-on class where participants will make their own maki, nigiri, sushi rice and more!  http://www.lcbo.com/learn/cookingclasses_bayview.shtml

Brewers Backyard

Brewers Backyard – Queen Victoria’s Secret at Evergreen Brick Works, May 20.  12pm-4pm.  550 Bayview Ave. at Koerner Gardens and Holcim Gallery.  Cost of food: $6 for food, $6 for beer.  Event is open to all ages, but folks must be 19+ to purchase and drink beer.  Kick start the summer season and celebrate the long weekend at Evergreen Brick Works with the return of Brewers Backyard!   Brewers Backyard is your chance to learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Ontario beer with tastings, pairings, and plenty of fun events and promotions.  Everything is hush-hush for this kick-off but organizers can tell us that there will be beer from Great Lakes, Oast House, the Granite Brewery and more, as well as yummy eats from FeasTO!  http://ebw.evergreen.ca/cal/event/brewers-backyard-beers-from-Torontos-Backyard

Montgomery Inn tea

Victoria Day Tea at Montgomery’s Inn, May 20.  1pm-4pm.  4709 Dundas St. West, Etobicoke.  $10/person which also includes a tour of the historic inn (no registration required; the tea is first come, first served).  Enjoy fresh baked bread, tea, and English-style treats at this sweet tea!  http://www.toronto.ca/culture/museums/featured-events.htm#montgomery

the depanneur vintage vegan victoriana supper club

Source: The Depanneur Facebook event page

supper club. vintage vegan victoriana

Vintage Vegan Victoriana: A Rusholme Park Supper Club at The Depanneur, May 20.  7:30pm.  1033 College Street.  $40+HST/person.  The fab Emily Zimmerman is back at The Dep for a vintage vegan Victorian dinner party feast!  Travel back in time during the holiday weekend and dine in vintage style with a 5-course vegan meal with plenty of vintage recipes and menu items reminiscent of a Victorian household that you’ll enjoy with fellow food-lovers and great company.  Emily brings the style of a Victorian dinner party to the Dep without the fuss and muss: julienne soup, baked mushrooms with smoked black pepper and lemon, seitan roast with garlic, cumin, fenugreek and parsley, spring tart, Sussex Pond pudding with gunpowder green tea cream.  http://thedepanneur.ca/event/supper-club-vintage-vegan-victoriana-by-emily-zimmerman/

A Big Welcome Back Hug to the Spring & Summer Farmers’ Market Season – First Up, May 2013 Line-Up!

Leave a comment

asparagus at Trinity Bellwoods farmers market

Aside from December (hello Christmas cookies and baking and dinners!), May is my favourite food month of the entire year because for one, the patio perfect weather is luscious and balmy and for another, I get to give a big welcome back bear hug to so many of my beloved farmers’ markets!  While I won’t be able to visit as many as I used to (working Monday to Friday will do that!), I’m really looking forward to hitting up the markets I didn’t get to visit last year (if you can believe it, there are still a handful that I still haven’t been to!).  My heart is feeling so full and excited just from the anticipation of everything coming back within the next 3 months.  Farmers’ markets, market events, outdoor food stands – it’s going to be SO MUCH FUN.  Get those tote bags ready: here is the returning May market line-up in the order they’re coming back!  Don’t forget to visit the Farmer’s Market page for the entire market listing and Ate by Ate’s snazzy Facebook “Springtime Asparagus & Rhubarb” gallery!

rhubarb at East York farmers market

Farmers’ Markets and Market Events in Toronto – Returning in May 2013

Sherway Farmers’ Market, May 3 – October 25.  Fridays, 8am-2pm.  Sherway Gardens Shopping Centre, 25 The West Mall off Hwy 427 and the Queensway in Etobicoke.  The farmers’ market is located at the far northeast parking lot between the North Queen St. and Sherway Rd. entrances.  http://www.sherwaymarket.com/

Trinity Bellwoods Farmers’ Market, May 7 – October 29.  Tuesdays, 3pm-7pm.  Northwest corner of Trinity Bellwoods Park at Dundas Street West and Shaw Street.  http://www.tbfm.ca/

Trinity Bellwoods Park farmers market

Weston Farmers’ Market, May 11 – October 26.  Saturdays, 7am-2pm.  14 John Street at Weston Rd. and Lawrence Ave. West.  http://westonvillagebia.com

Appletree Market in the Village, May 14 – October 8.  Tuesdays, 3pm-7pm.  June Rowlands Park, corner of Mount Pleasant Rd. and Davisville Ave. in Mount Pleasant Village.  http://www.appletreemarkets.ca/

East York Farmers’ Market, May 14 – November 5.  Tuesdays, 8am-2pm.  East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Avenue at the corner of Coxwell and Mortimer Avenue.

Toronto Botanical Gardens Organic Farmers’ Market, May 16 – October 10.  Thursdays, 3pm-7pm.  777 Lawrence Ave. East at Leslie Ave.  This brand new market for 2012 is taking place at Toronto’s famed Edwards Gardens!  http://torontobotanicalgarden.ca/enjoy/special-events/market/

Withrow Farmers’ Market, May 18 – October 26.  Saturdays, 9am-1pm.  725 Logan Ave. at the north end of Withrow Park, between Carlaw and Logan.  http://www.withrowpark.ca/wiki/wiki.php

Montgomery’s Inn Farmers’ Market, May 22 – December 24.  Wednesdays, 2pm-6pm.  4709 Dundas St. West, Etobicoke.  Enjoy fresh baked bread from the inn’s wood-fired oven, fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, honey and more!  http://www.toronto.ca/culture/museums/featured-events.htm#montgomery

Junction Farmers’ Market, May 25 – November 9.  Saturdays, 8:30am-12:30pm.  Green P parking lot located at 385 Pacific Ave. by Dundas Street West.  This farmers’ market is The Junction neighbourhood’s first and they’re back for their sophomore year!  http://www.junctionmarket.ca/

The Junction, Toronto

summer strawberries at Junction farmers market

Leslieville Farmers’ Market, May 26 – October 27.  Sundays, 9am-2pm.  Jonathan Ashbridge Park on Queen Street East and Woodward Ave., between Greenwood and Coxwell Ave.  The market is back for their 3rd summer and fall season!  http://leslievillemarket.com/

Pedestrian Sundays at Kensington Market, May 26.  12pm-7pm.  Kensington Market (west of Spadina Ave., eats of Bellevue Ave., south of College Street, north of Dundas Street West).  Pedestrian Sundays are back for their 10th year!  Come out and enjoy the street festivals, market vendors, street food, and more on the last Sunday of the month – car and traffic free!  Streets are closed off to car traffic during Pedestrian Sunday hours.  http://www.pskensington.ca/

Metro Hall Farmers’ Market, May 27 – October 27.  Thursdays, 8am-2pm.  55 John Street at David Pecaut Square at King Street West.

Riverdale Farm Farmers’ Market, May 28 – October 15.  Tuesdays, 3pm-7pm.  Riverdale Farm located at Riverdale Park West at 201 Winchester Street by Sumach St.  http://www.riverdalefarm.ca/about-the-farm/farmers-market/

North York Civic Centre Farmers’ Market, May 30 – October 31.  Thursdays, 8am-2:30pm.  5100 Yonge Street, just north of Elmwood Avenue.  The farmers’ market, with its vast array of baked goods, fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and more, takes place outdoors at Mel Lastman Square.

heirloom tomatoes at North York and Mel Lastman Square farmers market

Farmers’ Markets and Market Events in Markham and Surrounding

Hillcrest Mall Farmers’ Market, May 2 – October 28.  Wednesdays, 10am-6pm and Sundays, 9am-5pm.  West parking lot outside of The Bay (facing Carrville Rd) at Hillcrest Mall, located at 9350 Yonge Street and 16th Ave/Carrville Rd (16th Ave. becomes Carrville west of Yonge Street).  http://onrichmondhill.com/events.php?id=13831

Aurora Farmers’ Market & Artisan Fair, May 4 – October 26.  Saturdays, 8am-1pm.  Town Park at Wells St. and Mosley St. southeast of Yonge Street and Wellington St. East.  Indoor markets during the winter move into the Aurora Cultural Centre.  http://www.town.aurora.on.ca/aurora/farmersmarket

Downtown Stouffville Farmers’ Market, May 9 – October 10.  Thursdays, 2pm-7pm.  Located at Park Drive and Main Street (for geographic reference, between Ninth Line and Tenth Line). http://www.townofws.com/farmersmarket.asp

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

Home Grown: Baby Heirloom Tomatoes and Baby Eggplants! The Farmers’ Market at East York Civic Centre

12 Comments

Thus far in my farmers’ market series, all the markets that I’ve visited have been pretty central in the downtown Toronto area: Nathan Phillips Square on Queen St. West, SickKids Hospital on University Ave., and Trinity Bellwoods on Dundas and Shaw.  Nothing that’s considered particularly eastern, western, or northern.  You all know how much I enjoy visiting these markets, but you might be wondering how and why I chose to go to the east end today.  I don’t know if you can guess from the title of the post, but there are some keywords in there that will tip you off as to why East York holds such significance for me.  Home grown…baby…East York.  That’s right, baby Deb was born across the street at East York General over two decades ago and the east end of Toronto was my first home for the first year and a half of my life before my family and I moved to Scarborough.  A true blue Torontonian, through and through.  Even though I obviously have no recollection of my early baby years, it felt oddly comforting taking the bus northbound on Coxwell Ave. knowing this was where my roots were first planted.

The farmers’ market at the East York Civic Centre, located at 850 Coxwell Ave., was absolutely amazing!  It was a gorgeous morning out today, sunny with a comfortable cool breeze, and I had such a great time walking from vendor to vendor taking in the large market and all it had to offer.  There was so much to see and I had to do 2 and half rounds around the market before I could fully make up my mind!  This is definitely one of the larger markets I’ve visited and the area is just beautiful and peaceful with lots of lush green grass, trees, and benches. 

The market was set up in the shape of a square and there was a tiki straw umbrella booth selling smoothies, a hot grill getting fired up in the center of the market with hot dogs and sandwiches, vendors sellings homemade cookies, tarts, and bags of granola, oodles of cured meats and fresh loaves of bread and pastries, and table after table of fantastic fruits and vegetables!  I was so excited to see stuff I hadn’t yet come across on my farmers’ market tour and everything was bursting with freshness and colour. 

There were pints of adorable itty bitty baby potatoes, colourful baby heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, little zucchinis, and quite literally, a mountain (or wall!) of fresh strawberries.  I loved seeing the heirloom tomatoes and baby potatoes, but what got me in a tizzy was the BABY EGGPLANTS!  OH.MY.GOD.  Given how much my mum adores eggplant, there was no way I could pass these up.  They were adorable and gorgeous, with the darkest shade of plum.  I bought one container (3 baby eggplants), looked in my bag, paused, and turned back around to buy one more set.  I squealed and walked away with 6 beautiful baby eggplants and skipped away a very happy girl.  I had such a wonderful, refreshing morning at the market here and I’m really happy I made the trek out.  It was well worth the trip to see the beautiful fruits and veggies, and to revisit the place I once called home.

*****

East York Civic Centre is located at 850 Coxwell Ave. at Mortimer Ave.  The East York farmers’ market takes places on the front terrace of the civic centre every Tuesday from 8am-2pm, May 17th to November 1st (excluding statutory holidays).