No matter how hard I try most Friday evenings always involve a few beers and wines and I'm usually a little bit dusty on Saturday morning. Recently, I learned of the SMH Growers Market in Pyrmont and we dropped in at 11am. Bad move. Everything was shutting up and we were left with the dregs.
This past Saturday we were very keen to drop by my brother and sister-in-law's place and hang out with our niece and nephew. The pool was warm and I was happy to get the BBQ up and going. What better way to get some great produce and meat than to return to the SMH Growers Market and do it just a little bit earlier? And yes, there was massive backburning in Sydney and you could barely see in front of you, it was so smokey!
There is such a great variety of ingredients. One of may favourites recently is Mandagery Creek venison. We picked up some venison chorizo in the hope that it would be amazing. It was - and my picky niece and nephew loved it as well... until I told them that it was venison!
The produce may be expensive but it is simply fantastic. And I'm a big fan of local growers and their wares. Nothing is fresher than veggies picked that morning from the ground. When I was chatting with my sister-in-law about the veggies available at most markets she commented on how Woolies always has everything in stock - no better example of true seasonality and the chemical-produced crap that our supermarkets deliver.
One of my recent favourites is organic lemon or lime cordial. It's not cheap but the stuff from Carlon's is simply fantastic. The kids love it and it's pretty much free of any inorganic ingredients and low in sugar.
Up until recently I thought I had an allergic reaction to mushrooms. I'm not sure if it was something I had as a kid or something my parents made me believe but I have certainly turned things around - I BBQ'd some beautiful shiitake mushrooms with olive oil and a splash of soy sauce. Awesome!
And my favourite butter, Pepe Saya, always makes an appearance. I'm dropping in soon to take a tour and see how they make their magnificent butter. Can't wait!
I was lucky enough to meet the Porteno boys and got a signed copy of their new book, "Recipes For A Good Time". They were friendly and down to earth and they said they'd have a peek at GourmetMale sometime soon.
In any case, find your local market and drop by! You'll be amazed at what you can find - cheese, pastries, beef, pork, produce, nuts, etc. You'll walk away with amazing products and you'll help support our local growers and producers. A win, win for everyone!