Soaking In the CSI Markets – Biscotti, Apple Cinnamon Walnuts Buns, and Fresh Bread by Nice Buns

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I can’t believe it’s already been three weeks since my last CSI farmers’ market post!  I don’t know if it’s just the hustle and bustle surrounding Christmas and the upcoming holidays or if I’m losing track of my days (probably a little bit of both), but the days are whipping by and there’s so much to do and see I’m driving myself mad trying to do everything I want to do without making myself sick!  If you can believe it, there are still markets I haven’t been to yet and I am making it my mission to get to them during the winter months. 

I have yet to visit the indoor market at Eglinton Park, the market at Wychwood Barns (I KNOW, it’s one of the biggest, most popular markets in the city!  I did try to get to it once but I showed up late because I got confused with the time and missed the whole thing.  Sigh.), and a few of the markets that have moved indoors are still waiting for me.  Farmers’ marketing during the winter definitely isn’t as easy as it is during the summer, but I enjoy maintaining this part of the blog, even if it means going out of my way to visit a market on a specific day and time.  

It’s been a few weeks since my last CSI market trip and I miss it.  I’m so sad that the market will be coming to an end by mid-December and you can bet your bottom cupcake I’ll be trying my darn hardest to make it out to one of the last lunchtime markets of the year.  At this point, I’m not certain if the CSI lunchtime markets will still be around come the new year, but either way, it’s been one heck of a wonderful ride watching this market grow and I’ve enjoyed growing with it so much.  I love seeing what healthy and delicious food Cassandra and Lisa of Earth & City dish up for every market, and the sight of chubby, pillow-soft bread and baked goods by Sara of Nice Buns makes my mouth water and makes me wish the table was an edible ball pit I could flounce around in while nibbling on said bread buns.  I can dream.

Sara brought in her famous cocoa sourdough and fougasse breads, biscotti, and zucchini loaf and along with those, she had a platter of apple walnut cinnamon buns of monumental proportions and an overflowing basket of fluffy white bread buns!  I tried some of Sara’s white bread and I couldn’t believe how amazingly delicous it was!  I mean, all the baked goods are yummy, but this bread just brought a whole new level of foodgasmness to the ball game (and yes, I said foodgasmness.  If people can make up the word foodgasm, I can make up suffixes to go with it!).  It was so incredibly soft it melted in my mouth.  I enjoy bread the most when I can eat it by itself.  Bread is versatile, but the true test of tastiness is when you can eat it without any meat, any vegetables, or any condiments slathered on it.  And these white bread buns were so good they would entice anyone to grab five and inhale them all in one sitting.

In addition to the apple cinnamon walnut buns and white bread, this particular visit to the CSI market was a new and exciting treat because the market had some new faces and yummies!  Fresh City Farms and Boardwalk Chocolates were right there alongside Earth & City, Nice, Buns, and Chocosol with their fruits, vegetables, and vegan chocolates and it was so great seeing new faces and others joining in on the market action.  There’s so much I want to write, so I’m going to continue my big write-up tomorrow and leave you with a whopping batch of Nice Buns market photos from my last visit.  The market won’t be around for long so enjoy a lunch and grab all the great food while you still can at this wonderful little market.

*****

Nice Buns is located at 402 Queen Street East, Unit 2, just east of Parliament Street.  Sara’s fresh baked goods can also be enjoyed at the 99MRKT, Red Line Coffee and Espresso Bar, and Depanneur on College Street.  The Lunctime Markets at the Centre for Social Innovation in the Annex and on Spadina take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays respectively from 11:30am-1pm.  The Centre for Social Innovation (Annex) is located at 720 Bathurst Street, just south of Bloor Street West and Lennox.  They also have a location on Spadina at 215 Spadina Ave., 4th floor.

The Closest I’ll Ever Get to the Moo-Moos and Oink-Oinks – The Fabulous Riverdale Park Farmers’ Market, Part I!

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Good morning everyone!  The skies are bit overcast and cloudy right now (and as I am writing this, the rain has just started coming down), but I’m hoping that this fabulous selection of farmers’ market photos will lift your spirits.  After how the beginning of the week started off, I think we could all use a bit of good cheer.  I’m actually splitting up this week’s market post into two parts because it’s THAT big!  I’m going to save the sweet stuff for tomorrow’s post and just focus on the fruits, vegetables, and other goods today.  And there is plenty to show you all. 

I went camera snap-happy yesterday and for good reason: the Riverdale Park and Farm farmers’ market in Cabbagetown is absolutely incredible.  Week after week, my socks (or rather, my flats.  I haven’t worn socks in weeks!) have been knocked off by the sheer calibur of these markets.  I thought the market outside the East York Civic Centre on Coxwell was amazing.  Then I thought it couldn’t get any better after I went to the one in Mel Lastman Square.  And we all know what happened after that.  I couldn’t stop raving about the market at David Pecaut Square by Roy Thomson Hall.  My lovelies, my shoes have been knocked off once more.

The park itself is a wonderful green space, the type of space perfect for picnicking, sitting out on a bench with a book, walking and playing with your dog, and splashing around in the wading pool with your little ones.  The farmers’ market at Riverdale Park in Cabbagetown is remarkable.  It is HUGE, stretching from one side of the park to the other with white tent after white tent offering pints and baskets bursting with fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, baked goods, jars upon jars of jellies and preserves, ice cream (yes, ice cream!), and vegan chocolate sweets among other things.  The market is located at the north end of the park, where the park meets the street all the way to the entrance of the animal farm. 

Speaking of which, I’m really sorry for not being able to show you any photos of farm animals.  Just as the post title says, the market is the closest I’ll ever get to an actual farm because I am, unfortunately, allergic.  To hay, specifically.  And how did I come to find out about this allergy you ask?  The hard way.  Long story short, on a school field trip to the farm at the age of 6 in 1st grade, I began to choke and weeze so severely the teachers and chaperones had to remove me from the premises and from the other kids, and stick me in a porta-potty so my reaction would calm down.  I was taken to the doctor shortly after where I was told, “hey, you’re allergic to hay!  Oh, and you have asthma”.  Not in those exact words, but you get my drift.  Needless to say, farms and I don’t mix.  I may have outgrown my asthma, but sadly not the allergies.

Anyway, the market was chock full of sights, smells, and sounds yesterday.  The smell of fresh pizza, the sight of juicy, fuzzy peaches (which I am also allergic to, but that’s beside the point), tiny colourful bell peppers, the tiniest and purplest of eggplants (and I thought the ones I bought at East York were cute and small!), and the sounds of kids laughing and asking their parents were ice cream.  After purusing the market and jogging back and forth between vendors, I walked away with some amazing goodies: a large pint of baby orange cherry tomatoes and a hulking huge loaf of poppyseed egg bread! 

Oh my goodness, you have no idea how excited I was to get my hands on these two things.  For one, the orange cherry tomatoes were a steal.  While a number of other markets were selling them for $4 or $5, I got mine for $3 yesterday!  I was doing a happy dance.  Or as my boyfriend likes to call them, happy fists.  I tried one of the little orange tomatoes last week and I have never in my entire life tasted a tomato so sweet.  It tasted like a peach!  Everyone, you must get your hands on these.  They will make you wiggle with happiness.  Oh, and the bread.  Jeebus, I could not stop smelling my loaf of bread on the way home.  And I cannot wait to sink my teeth into it.  I am a big fan of poppyseed bread.  Really, I must have looked like a pothead on the bus, sticking my nose into a paper bag every so often.  It’s bread, y’all.  Very good bread.  And one very amazing farmers’ market.

*****

The Riverdale Farm farmers’ market is located at 201 Winchester St. in Riverdale Park.  My way of getting here is to either walk along Carlton St. eastbound from Yonge St., or take the College St. streetcar eastbound to Parliament St. and Carlton.  From there, keep walking eastbound on Carlton until you get to Sumach St. and you’re there!  This year, the market is held every Tuesday from 3pm-7pm from May 17th to October 25th.

This Little Piggy Went to the (St.Lawrence) Market – Part I

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I love food and I’m always hungry – so yes, I guess that makes me a little piggy, ha 😀  There is something so invigorating and inspiring about being at a market.  The hustle and bustle of people as they make their way from stall to stall, the freshness of fruits and vegetables, the achingly delicious smells of fresh bread and cookies, the beautiful unique knick knacks and jewelry…I can’t say enough about how much I love going to the market. 

Here in Toronto, the St. Lawrence Market is one of my favourites.  Located at the intersection of Front St.E and Lower Jarvis in one of the most historic neighbourhoods in Toronto (just west of The Distillery District, which is one of my favourite neighbourhoods EVER!), the market is a huge emporium of fresh meat and seafood, cheese, antipasto, baked goods, fruits and veggies, wine, chocolate, coffee and tea, and so much more.  The picture up top is from this past summer, but the ones posted below are from my most recent trip this past week!  This post is Part I of II, so enjoy the pictures and sit tight for tomorrow’s account of my adventures at the market!