Tag Archives: horseradish

Eat local

Visiting farmers’ markets are always on my list of things to do, especially over the summer. Toronto has several that are well known (and have even been rated the best) – St. Lawrence, Dufferin Grove, and Wychwood Barns, for example. There are several in the east end where I live: East Lynn, Withrow Park, Leslieville, Brickworks, Riverdale… there are even a few opening up this summer:  Regent Park, which opened June 5th, and Fairmount Park, which opens July 17th. Most are organic markets.

I frequent the Hamilton Farmers’ Market , which is very close to where I work.

The market has been around since

The market is inside Jackson Square next to the Hamilton Public Library. It can be accessed through the mall or from York blvd.

It has two levels, featuring vendors of fish, cheese, baked goods, international foods, flowers and plants, coffee, and farm fresh produce. There is also Historic Birks Clock which has jousting knights whirling around its base.  One of the knights knocks another one over. It’s very cool.

Downstairs

Lower level

I've bought a few plants

Flowers, baked goods, international vendors, fish, and farmers down this aisle

Fish market

Some vendors on the mall (top) level

For some reason there are a few vendors that sell the same kind of produce you would find at your local grocery store, sometimes but not always at a cheaper price. Maybe this is to make the market more accessible to people who can’t afford to buy from the farmers. The market is inside the mall, right in the heart of downtown. That’s the only reason I can speculate. There was a survey done in 2011 that showed some interesting feedback. Generally people enjoyed their market experience but there were several good recommendations for improvement. Great that they asked for feedback.

Horseradish and celeriac

Horseradish and celeriac

I bought some horseradish back in May from one of the farmers on the lower level. It was one of the things I wanted to try growing this year. I asked the lady at the cash if it would grow if I planted it. She didn’t seem to know and I couldn’t remember what the growing season was like for it. I figured if roots were being harvested now, I could plant it now and it would still grow. I chose one with a few nubs that looked like they might produce sprouts, broke off a piece to plant and ate the rest with my meals. So fiery and delicious.

Yum!

Apparently horseradish spreads like wildfire in the garden. I planted mine in a pot.

Farmers’ markets encourage me to cook more and to try new recipes. For the past few weeks I’ve been buying asparagus from a vendor from Waterdown (local!), 2 for $4. I’ve been making asparagus eggs every Sunday morning using herbs from the garden. Saute asparagus, add herbs, add eggs, and cook ’til done. Quick, easy and healthy. We’ve had it with home made salsa and avocado and wrapped in Ezekiel bread. De-lish!

Asparagus eggs with chives and garlic scapes

Asparagus eggs with chives and garlic scapes

I came across a rhubarb butter recipe from one of Facebook pages I follow. It was such an easy recipe that I decided I wanted to try it. That same Waterdown vendor was selling a bunch (about 8 stalks) for $4 so I bought some. The recipe doesn’t say what kind of apples to use so I just used the red delicious I had on hand. I estimated about half the amount of honey, because 1/2 cup seemed like too much, and used 1/2 tsp cinnamon. It turned out a bit too cinnamony but it had the perfect combination of sweet and tangy the consistency was good. My TO family loved it so much I decided to make it again. I got a good deal on Friday at a vendor on the top level as the Waterdown vendor wasn’t selling any. I doubled the recipe (and adjusted the seasoning to taste) so I could share some with my Hamilton family when I head back to work tomorrow. Hope they like it!

Preparing rhubarb

Preparing rhubarb

Simmer ingredients for 15 to 20 minutes

Rhubarb, apple, honey and cinnamon simmering on the stove (I ran out of vanilla)

Yummy butter.

Yummy butter cooling. Looks like I have some cleaning up to do.

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Where are you already?!

I’m just saying what every other Tdot-er (or anyone else is Southern Ontario) is thinking: spring, hurry up and get here already!

We’ve been tempted with warm weather only to have sub-zero temperatures return (well technically, it’s sub-zero windchills – it’s 2 degrees with a windchill of minus 5 right now). There is nothing more deceptive than a super sunny spring day… only to step outside and find it’s freezing cold, and even worse,  flurrying! I completely understand what my colleague has been saying about the wacky weather that March brings (I tend to forget what happens year after year). It’s time for April to bring us something better. I’m ready to retire my winter jacket.

Although winter has provided some beautiful snowy scenery, it's time to move on...

Although winter has provided some beautiful snowy scenery, it’s time to see what spring has to offer…

Now that I’ve had my mini-freakout, I can return to thinking about what lies ahead in my gardening future.

I’ve officially given up my plot for the season to my trusty neighbour-to-the-north, wishing him many thanks and much success with the space. He promises to keep me up to date on how things go with the plot (and our gardening community) and to  return it in good shape next season. Now I can turn my sights toward my aunt’s back yard in Hamilton. Although we haven’t worked out the details, my uncle promises me a space. There’s also been talk of a greenhouse going up. We shall see. In the meantime, I’m thinking about awesome things I can grow in pots back there (I hope they won’t mind):

Growing ginger: http://www.growingherbsforbeginners.com/growing-ginger/

Growing horseradish: http://www.gardeningblog.net/how-to-grow/horseradish/

Mini herb fairy gardens: http://www.growingherbsforbeginners.com/mini-herb-gardens/

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