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no matter what the road block in life, a great recipe can get you back to the bright side

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Fresh and Local

I think I'm becoming increasingly interested in choosing where I live based on the availability of local markets. Since doing my undergraduate in Ottawa I became intrigued by the whole concept of local markets, but never truly appreciated them.

Now that I'm across the pond, older and wiser, I've really begun to appreciate markets for what they are worth. They are utterly priceless! The food is fresh, it's local, it's seasonal, it's easy to access and cheaper then the average supermarket! I'm spoiled with the availability of markets in Newcastle Upon Tyne. I can safely say that there are a number of places where you can access fresh local food in this city. I'm spoiled.

First batch of the season fresh strawberries, £1.50 for two punnets!  Unbelievable!
When I was eating these strawberries for breakfast they were so small and sweet that it reminded me of when I was working for the City of Timmins back in the summers  of 2002 & 2003. I wasn't expecting to get the job that I got. I was thinking I would be one of the Flower Planter Girls, who essentially just drove around town all day in a pick-up planting, weeding and watering flowers. Let's just say, the day my dad got the letter offering me the job, he called me up and told me I would be employed that summer. I was super excited! Great pay to bum around all summer! Nope he said, but it's a good job, everyone's dying to get in.....What? Yeah, he said, you'll be working in the cemetery ...... silence ..........

So yes, I spent two gruelling summers working in the cemetery. And yes, everything you're thinking one does in a cemetery I did. Yup, that too. I had a gruelling outdoorsy job which gave me a great farmers tan and an amazing workout and sense of achievement to go along with it, and some great stories to tell! Because we were located just outside of the city we were surrounded by forest. On my lunch breaks I sometimes took walks around the area and because we had black bears roaming about I knew there had to be some berries. One small road just beside the cemetery was a gold mine of wild strawberries! These were probably the best strawberries I had EVER tasted, and might ever taste. They were juicy little gems of flavour and I ended up bringing my mum back that night to pick some more. Mmmmmm strawberry pie!!!

Anyway, back to local food stalls! I can't wait for this weekend! It's the start of the EAT! NewcastleGateshead Festival and there's to be food stalls all down the main shopping strip! mmmmm hoping for many many free samples!



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