We went to the Ballarat Lakeside Farmer's Market on Saturday and there was a palpable feeling of festivity in the air. Not only that but there were so many beautiful berries and summer fruits for sale. Who can resist two large containers of strawberries freshly picked by the berry farmer and then sold to you by the same person? Or locally made fetta cheese or huge bunches of mint and coriander that you can smell metres before you get to the stall? Farmer's markets are all over the place now. We lived in Middle Park in Melbourne in 2008-2009 and used to love the Gasworks Market in Port Melbourne. Now we're a bit closer to the land and the people selling the goods have often only driven a short distance from the farm. Inspired by the fresh produce and seasonal delights, we cooked a lovely meal for friends on Saturday night. It was meant to be a BBQ but the weather just wasn't reliable so instead we made lemon chicken and cous cous, kofta with a yoghurt and mint sauce, fetta, tomato and bean salad, potatos roasted in sundried tomato oil; and then we had oversized fresh strawberries and lemon delicious pudding for dessert. Yum Yum! Dinner was made all the more special because we were eating off plates that used to belong to my Nanna and other old English ones that I'd sourced from a local market.
The festive season is upon us! If you're local to Ballarat, the farmer's market is on again next Saturday morning. And elsewhere I'm sure there's a plethora of other markets showcasing Christmas and summer treats!