What a privileged world we live in when I can sit in the middle of Brisbane’s largest farmers market on a sunny Saturday morning, drinking Black Sheep Coffee and listening to pipe music from Walisuma, a group of musicians who hail from South America, while my kids chew on buttery croissants from the French baker! All this while I whip out my phone and start writing as I feel the inspiration come to me …
I’m looking around me and the first thing I notice is that people are literally stopping to smell the flowers. They’re stopping to talk to friends, stopping to enjoy the music, the coffee, their kids, the fact that they have some time on their hands.
Markets are truly a melting pot of cultures where we are offered such an extensive array of goods. From where I’m sitting I can see a local coffee roaster, a German smallgoods stall, a French baker, a Greek olive providore, a Maleny cheese maker, a Chinese fishmonger, and I’ve only just finished having an animated conversation with a Russian girl in the queue next to me about her year in Italy! Such a small world we live in.
I’ve kept it simple today … I came home with these gorgeous late-season figs (best season in Australia is February-April). They are so divine on their own, that they need very little fussing over. My favourite way to serve these is with a soft goats cheese and a drizzle of honey. Perfect for brunches, lunch or dessert.
So being here got me thinking … in a future post, I will run my own little experiment. Have you ever wondered if shopping at the markets is really cheaper? There’s no doubt the quality is better and produce is cheaper (I bought four figs for five dollars – you’d pay more like seven dollars retail), but can you avoid the supermarkets and still serve up creative meals on a budget? I will do the hard work for you. I’ll plan a menu for a week that includes 7 dinners, weekend lunches, kids school lunch boxes for during the week and I’ll compare the costs – markets vs supermarkets. I hope you’re as curious as I am!
With grace and gusto,