On Saturday mornings, I often walk to the Queen Victoria market, an easy half hour downhill stroll. If bright sunlight is peeking through the curtains I can convince myself that it is a good idea – both on the merits of the exercise but also because there are bargains to be had. And there is always the temptation of doughnuts…
My best recent buy resulted in strawberry sauce to add to my yogurt and muesli for a week. It was so simple – find cheap strawberries, cut up and put into a pot, add a spoon or two of sugar, a stick of cinnamon and a dash of water. Note to self, do not put a lid on because last time I did this I ended up with red splodge all over the stove-top. Leave to cool and then blitz and decant into old jam jars.
Sometimes I meet an old friend and we walk around together. Then the shopping is not so important as the hanging out and catching up. Occasionally I go during the week, changing my walk to work to enable me to swing past. My goal then is to procure healthy snacks in the form of fresh seasonal fruit and roasted nuts.
My favourite part of the market is the dairy hall, where the choice of cheese is amazing. There is a great selection from Australia and Europe and it includes cows, sheep and goat’s milk cheese. For a significant birthday I organised a cheese cake. Not the sweet kind with pastry base, but rounds of cheese which I made into a tower and decorated with herbs. A wheel of hard cheddar on the bottom, then a round of brie, some blue and the top was a goat’s cheese. The best kind of cake!
The selection of fresh herbs is fabulous. From familiar basil and rosemary through to more exotic ones like turmeric and galangal. There are also a couple of spice stalls and these sell individual spices as well as mixes, so I shall be exploring these soon.