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?!
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.
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.
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.
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