Well, the long wait for spring has arrived and it’s finally arrived….how do I know??? Well, perhaps it is the explosion of colour on the trees and in the gardens through out our area but that’s too obvious….for me it is the opening of the Farmers’ Markets.
In addition to the Hamilton Downtown Market which is open all year the Ottawa Street Market is once again every Wednesday and Saturdays from 7 a.m to 3 p.m. serving that terrific shoppers’ haven and last week the Mountain Farmers’ Market (located Viewpoint Ave. and Mountain Park Ave) of Mountain Park Ave. began on the Mother’s Day Weekend and will be open every Saturday until the Fall. The opening of the other markets is June 15th on the varying days.
With food prices soaring it is comforting to know that at least purchases at the market will support the local economy.
This year I have decided to get on the band wagon and start to do my own preserving and canning. An old tradition that allowed our Mother’s & Grandmothers to preserve fresh produce from the garden and offset the food costs in the winter. Environment Hamilton posted a blog on canning…check it out at http://hamiltoneatlocal.blogspot.ca/2008/07/canning.html.
Bernardi’s (the folks who manufacture the canning jar systems) website offers some insight as well www.bernardin.ca/ – there you will find how to’s and recipes that will open your mind to many possibilities.
Why not lighten the load a bit and share the tasks with a family member, friend, neighbour or community group. Get together and buy a bushel(s) of some seasonal vegetables or fruit and get together for a canning party. Add some local wine & snacks and you’ve got an event with a purpose!!! The old adage “Many Hands Make Light Work” applies whole-hardheartedly here. The aromatic packet of spices & herbs as they bubble in the tomato sauces the smell of the fruit as it simmers on the stove throughout your house. One of the most vivid memories I have of my childhood is the distinctive aroma of that flavour pack for my mother’s chili sauce which we used like ketchup on “EVERYTHING”. With aromas like cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, bay leaves and more (can’t remember her recipe entirely) who needs artificial air fresheners!!!
I have a date with the markets on Saturday. I am going to check out the Mountain one first and maybe make my way to Ottawa Street finishing up with the Downtown Hamilton Market. I’ll have to see what goodies I find. I hope to see you there on Saturday!! Enjoy!!!!