Saturday, August 24, 2013

To market, to market

One of the things I love about big cities in Australia is the way in which they try to mimic that village feel. Sydney is so big it can feel isolating - and the shopping centres, big-box department stores (whether budget or high-end) and generic supermarkets are much the same in Sydney, Brisbane, or Melbourne. It all feels very metropolitan. On weekends, the local market is the place to be.

 What if you forgot to bring cash? No worries, mate - just use the mobile ATM!

Some markets sell mainly consumables: fresh produce, eggs, meat, fish, jams and sauces, coffee, cheese, ready-made pies, bread and pastries. Flowers, herbs, spices, organic and gluten-free food stalls are commonly found in markets, too. Other markets focus on used books, locally made and/or used clothing, bric-a-brac, dog toys, crafts, sunglasses, socks and hats. We've gotten tremendous deals on steak, sausages and in-season fruit and veggies.  From memory, the market Mr J and I used to frequent in Brisbane's West End is less expensive than the two within walking distance in Sydney. This may vary according to the neighbourhood.

The jazz musicians were playing My Funny Valentine - one of my favourites. I put some money in their donation box and got a smile. Mr J and I danced for a little while.

The sounds of the market are far from the clinical announcements and radio that pervade the grocery stores. You'll hear musicians busking and stall owners hawking their wares. The various pop-up eateries will tempt you as soon as you're within sniffing distance. Turkish gozleme, egg & bacon rolls, falafel, paella, coffee, tea, pastries, yogurt, dumplings, or something from the BBQ.

This morning Mr J and I opted for bacon & egg rolls! They're not a health food but once in a while - yum! There's quite an assembly line that gets these together. Then you add your choice of sauce (I picked barbecue.) The roll part is quite forgettable, the bacon crispy and still sizzling in its own fat, the fresh egg fried just right.

Chowing down on a nearby park bench

We bought veggies: zucchini, butternut squash, leek, a bag of mixed salad leaves. Little bundles of mint, rosemary, and coriander/cilantro. A loaf of sourdough. And a little something for later...

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