Food at Your Fingertips All Month Long! Cultural Food Festivals, Soups, Baking, Calendar Updates & More in September!

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The Vegetarian Food Festival is just around the corner!

The 2nd day of September is almost drawing to a close and it doesn’t look as though the party-harty days of summer are ending any time soon!  Sure, there’s back-to-school, back-to-work, and back-to-routine, but you’d never know it if you went over the September Food Calendar with all the food events that are happening over the course of the month!  There’s a plethora of cultural festivals, seasonal food events, and food news to report, so let’s get started with an update on how the Food Calendar is going to change from here on out and all the fantastic food adventures we can expect to play a part in this month!

Things have been incredibly busy for me (quite honestly, busy is an understatement) with work, freelance, and personal plans on top of all the blogging  and I feel awful for not posting the calendar up sooner, so I’m going to start making some changes to the way I do things because it’s really starting to get out of hand and much too overwehelming to do it all at the end of each month.  I’m not going to lie, I spend hours upon hours putting things together and cross-checking information and I always feel like I’m behind.  I love this part of the blog so much, so to keep it running more efficiently I’m going to start compiling events, festivals, and classes for the following month as I go along throughout the current month so that everyone will be able to follow along with my progress and actually find out about things well in advance!

Catch some of the farmers’ markets this month before they pack up for the year!

For example, we’re into September now and while everything that is happening in September will be posted on the Food Calendar and its friends, I will also be putting together the October one right before everyone’s eyes in a separate Food Calendar tab so that you can all check back periodically (follow me in on Ate by Ate’s Facebook page for daily updates and photo gallery fun!)  and find out about more things earlier.  It’s going to be SO much better this way, for me and for all of you!

Now that we have the administrative matters settled, let’s get right down to food business!  We have one of the city’s BIGGEST and most amazing food events coming back for another highly anticipated year: the 28th annual Vegetarian Food Festival at Harbourfront Centre from September 7th to the 9th!  I haven’t been to every single food festival there is in the city (maybe I’ll achieve that goal when I’m 60!), but I will say that the Vegetarian Food Festival is second to none.  This is the one festival that I feel truly lives up to the excitement and anticipation behind it and leading up to it.

I had so much fun during my first ever visit to the fest last year and to this day, I still remember all the amazing snacks, samples, and food I tried and falling over heels for this foodgasic soy nuggets from King’s Cafe, all of Jen’s homemade, vegan Apiecalypse Now baked goods and desserts (orange vegan peppermint patty cream thingy!), the Mexican tostadas from El Cilantro, and the adorable jar of peanut butter from Peanut Butter & Co.!  I love it because when you’re at the festival roming the aisles ad different areas, you get to know so many brands you’d never heard of prior to the festival, and you get to meet so many independent business owners, and course, fellow foodies that you may have only knownn online!  I know it’s going to be fabulous, so I can’t wait for it to finally get here!

September also marks the return of food event favourites and new players to the game: Vietnamese Lantern Festival, Korean Harvest Festival, Taste of the Kingsway, Fortune Cooking Festival, Romanian Festival, Ukrainian Festival, Polish Festival, and so much more!  Roncesvalles and Bloor West Village are going to be piping hot jumping beans this month, that’s for sure!  As it is, both districts are so foodie-friendly with bakeries, cafes, and eateries coming out of the wazoo.  Add a festival into the mix?  You may not have to eat again for an entire week!  And on top of all that, a number of corn harvest festivals and corn roasts will be happening across the city throughout the month to celebrate the end of summer of the beginnings of fall, so get your munchers ready because there is going to be a LOT of food left, right, and centre!  

Everyone is going to need a lot of room in their bellies this month: Taste of the Kingsway, Ukrainian Festival Polish Festival, Korean Harvest, and so much more!

On top of all that, The Stop Community Food Centre’s monthly Food for Change event is going thematic (Childhood Meals!) with an amazing menu to boot (blue cheese chicken wing tacos?!  Pork grilled cheese sandwich?!  Milk and cookies a la gourmet?!), Canada’s Baking & Sweets Show is back for its sophomore year at the end of the month in Missausauga, and the culinary slurping event of the YEAR, Soupalicious, will be tantalizing hungry appetites and tastebuds with delicious soups concocted by chefs from restaurants all over the city.  Aside from the Vegetarian Food Festival, I am in conniptions over Soupalicious!  I am totally buying my tickets tomorrow and I’m crossing my fingers that they haven’t already sold out for the event!

BIG news affecting The Depanner and all us Dep lovers!

In addition to events and festivals, The Depanneur made a huge announcement recently about their cafe operations and what The Depanneuer truly wanted to focus on heading into the new month, season, and eventually, year.  The drop-in dinners, classes, workshops, weekend brunch, and famous supper clubs are completely staying intact and not going anywhere, but the day-to-day cafe will be shutting its doors during the day indefinitely starting this month.  It’s completely understandable how priorities shift and while I’m incredibly excited about being up-to-speed on all the fabulous additional supper clubs and activities that will be introduced, you all know how much I loved the cafe aspect of the business with its soups and frittata sandwiches among other yummies and I’m going to miss it dearly!  I wish The Depanneur the best of luck with their plan and I hope that everyone (and all of you!) will get the chance to take advantage of all the wonderful events and experiences they have to offer; weekend brunch has my name on it so I know that I will, at the very least, get around to that!

There’s a Chill in the Air – The First September Farmers’ Market Visit and a Return to Trinity Bellwoods Park

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I woke up this morning to a chill in the air, put on a zippy sweater and hankerchief scarf, and prepared myself for a glorious day out in the city.  I was really excited for my first farmers’ market of September today and I’m looking forward to so many more this fall, especially since this is my first year visiting the markets on such a regular basis.  I can’t wait to see pumpkins, squash, gourds, cranberries, more apples, and everything else the fall harvest has to offer.  It was overcast for most of the day today but I welcomed the lack of summer heat and relished in the fresh coolness instead.  It felt so good today.  Crisp, clean, cool, breezy, and perfect for walking around town and strolling through a market in the park.  The last time I went to the market at Trinity Bellwoods was back in May, so I thought, “what better time to make a return visit than the first week of September?  A visit at the cusp of summer and fall means a lot of new things to see!”    

My feet were a little sore from my long walk akong Dundas West, but my spirits were high and I smiled when I saw the big, bustling crowd hovering in and around the market at Trinity Bellwoods.  Babies were playing on playmats on the grass, people were lugging around bulging bags of fresh vegetables, and everyone was in happy, carefree spirits.  It’s the best possible energy to be around and it’s engaging and infectious.  Things looked vastly different from my first visit back in the spring.  At the time, there was an abundance of asparagus, spinach, rhubarb, fruit and oatmeal cookies, and lots of bread and baked desserts.

The bread and baked desserts have stayed, but everything else has changed and it was so awesome seeing the vibrant fall colous at the market.  They were absolutely beautiful and so perfect for the start of fall with burnt oranges, bright reds, and golden yellows at every other table of goodies.  There were wooden baskets and barrels spilling out with tons of radishes, beets, parsnips, carrots, apples, corn, mini squashes, and pears and even though I knew summer wasn’t officially over, I could already hear the leaves and grass crunching under my feet and I could already feel the excitment and anticipation of carrying home bushels and baskets of fall goodies.  All of this would drive any foodie’s mind in circles with all the possible fall dishes these fruits and vegetables could be a part of including fall stews, soups, risottos, baked desserts, and many more. 

You all know I have a hard time leaving the market empty-handed so for the first time ever, I picked up a HUGE, leafy fresh bunch of kale and this baby is going in the pot for dinner sometime this week!  I’m so happy I was introduced to this vegetable last year.  I could munch on a whole plate of the stuff all by its lonesome with nothing on it and be a happy camper.  I may have walked away from the adorable teeny yellow tomatoes and homemade blueberry scones I saw today, but I walked away with a very beautiful vegetable and as an added bonus, it made it all the way home with me sans the squish.  I’d say the fall farmers’ market score card is off to a fantabulous start so far 😀

 

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 The farmers’ market at Trinity Bellwoods Park is located at Dundas St. West and Shaw St. every Tuesday from 3pm-7pm until October 25th.  The next time you’re there, be sure to also sign the petition to prevent the increase in farmers’ market user fees.  You can also access and sign the petition, and learn more, online here.