I get so mad at myself if I miss the farmers’ market. It usually means I haven’t got out of bed early enough - probably because Saturday night rolled over into the early hours of Sunday morning. Worst of all, I’ve missed the market and all those fresh goodies on offer. I love all those yummy little treats I can’t get anywhere else - that special cheese, those amazing sausages, those big bunches of blousy peonies, the first baby broad beans.
At the market you end up having a connection with your growers. They tell you what’s coming up and what there is to look forward to, so you just can’t wait to be there when it arrives. There’s this real sense of celebrating the seasons and being part of your community. It’s about a 40 minute drive from Wanaka to the farmers’ market in Old Cromwell Town. While I am mindful of my carbon footprint and that it may possibly have been cheaper to visit the supermarket, I’m buying local fresh food, grown here with no air miles or middle men, just paddock to plate. Besides, where else would I get my sticky buns? The ones at Provisions, a cute little shop right next to the market, are wickedly good and so much more decadent than mine. They’re made from a sort of rich, croissant dough with an amazing caramel topping. Dangerous really, as it’s hard to stop at one. (You can download a map to get to the market on Google.) I’ll often call ahead with a sticky bun order if I think we are going to be late, as they sell out fast!
After the market we come home and make a really yummy late lunch with all our fixings. Usually it’s a salad with a base of fresh greens tossed with whatever the market has provided - baby carrots or new season’s peas and asparagus in the spring, or tomatoes and cucumbers and red onions in the summer. I’ll pull apart a fresh roasted chicken to toss through and dress it all with a little pesto mixed with olive oil or a mustardy dressing. Such simple pleasures. The trick to it all is to have some good dressings at hand. Click here for a few of my favourites. I like to make them in bulk as they keep in the fridge for weeks.