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An Old Friend and a New Addiction

October 20, 2010 · 91 comments

In the words of many a good wedding MC, before we get stuck into the food there is a bit of housekeeping to attend to..

Firstly, I have recently been interviewed by the lovely Annette of Wellness WA, a great resource for all things health, beauty and wellbeing in Western Australia. If you want to read my highly articulate and witty responses (ahem) then follow this link, my pretties!

Secondly, there is just over a week left of voting in the King of Fruit recipe competition. If  you haven’t voted for my ice cream I would be ever so happy if you did! (the confirmation email the website sends generally ends up in your spam folder, and the website doesn’t seem to like gmail accounts very much, for what it’s worth)

Finally, the toilets are up the back next to the cake table and watch out for Uncle Tony, he can get a bit fresh when he’s had a skinful.

When my friend V asked me the other day if I knew about the farmers markets on in Subiaco, I realised just how long it has been since I last visited them. V and I talk a lot about food, and if I hadn’t mentioned the markets during our many recent chats then I clearly had let too much time pass between visits. We rectified this last Saturday.

Upon our arrival there was no time for reminiscing about how much it has grown since my previous reviews last October and November. Both of us had saved our breakfast bellies for the visit and we quickly assessed our options. I had talked up the Diablo’s Oven calzones to V, but of course this meant that they weren’t here on this particular day. Both wanting something savoury to appease our calzone-hungry senses, we both settled on a Sunny Side Up Breakfast Burger and  coffee.

Sunnyside Up Breakfast Burgers, now with free chance to win $2!

When our burgers were ready, we sauced them up using the large jar of relish which we were told may possibly contain an errant $2 coin that was lost earlier in the morning. We told ourselves that the coin was a nice fresh one straight from the Reserve Bank and not an old manky one from Timezone and dove bravely in, but neither of us hit the jackpot with our generous scoops.

I was disappointed with the burger bun as I really would have preferred a wholemeal or grain option, and I found mine to be a little dry though this was helped with the addition of the delicious relish. Despite the bread issue our burgers were a great start to the day, with yolks still runny enough to add a nice burst of gold to the burger innards, and after finishing our coffees in the warm morning sunshine we felt energised to explore the rest of the market (which still has as good a vibe as I remember from previous visits ).

Luke & Pat’s coffee; nuts at Tembo Fine Foods; Sunnydale Dairy; Bouverie Trout & Marron Farm smoked delights

We both fell madly in love with the Rosemary & Cointreau Macadamia Nuts at Tembo Fine Foods. A fabulous flavour combination, and V remarked how well they would go with pork. I had to buy a bag of them with the intention of putting them in a certain family member’s Christmas stocking, but it’s entirely possible that by “a certain family member’s” I mean “my”, and by “Christmas stocking” I mean “belly”.

Tom the Greek (top) and Artisan Organic Food croissants (bottom)

Although market manager Sally had told us we should try some of the delights at Tom the Greek and Artisan Organic Foods, and they did indeed look worthy of her praise, we were still digesting our burgers and thought we’d save these for the next visit. It’s always the problem with such places – so much good food competing for limited stomach space.

The Mushroom Man

I often think back to a sign that could be found in my Dad’s work office when I was little, that said “I’m a mushroom – kept in the dark and fed nothing but bullshit” and although I didn’t really understand it back then, I loved it because it had a naughty word in it.

It was a rare treat to hang out at Dad’s work after being picked from primary school when Mum was too busy – there was an element of danger that he would forget about me and I’d have to walk all the way up to the office and get them to ring him; we would usually call past the deli on the way back to his work and pick up some sort of delicious treat; and then I’d get to read naughty signs and play with the guard dogs or on his big calculator THAT PRINTED THE NUMBERS ON PAPER!!

Sadly there was none of this excitement when we came across the mushroom stall at the market. They only had button, field and portabello varieties. They did look very nice but I was hoping for some more exotic options.

Vegies galore!

We then found ourselves in the land of fruits and vegetables and started filling our bags with little regard for how heavy they would be. There was a lot of gorgeous spring produce, including the weird spherical avocados in the photo above – I’ve never seen avocado spheres before, am I just ignorant in the ways of the avocado? Is this normal?

As we made our way towards the end of the vegetable section, we saw it. Fresh organic kale from Hamel Homegrown Organics. Everyone is talking kale right now, particularly oven baked kale chips. It’s the crack of the vegetable world.

Just one bunch couldn’t hurt, could it? Yes, I’d just try it once and that would be the end of it. A quiet word and exchanging of cash later and a bunch had made its way into my bag. We scurried off as casually as we could, but our attempts to try and lose ourselves in the crowd of non-crack-vegetable laden shoppers was soon thwarted by the sight of Le Crêpe House. Throwing caution to the wind we decided to delay our getaway and have second breakfasts. We both ordered mushroom crêpes ($10) but I changed mine to berry & apple with crème anglaise ($10) after seeing one.

Mushroom Crêpe and Berry, apple & crème anglaise crêpe (both $10) from Le Crêpe House

We ate our second breakfasts in the dappled sunlight under a big tree, and although they may not look it in my photos the crêpes were fantastic. Thin crêpes with just the right amount of chewiness, and I was almost regretful at changing my mind after tasting V’s mushroom filling. After getting stuck into mine though, I knew I had indeed made the right choice.

Our relaxing was soon cut short at the sight of a beagle. They were onto us! Luckily he got distracted by the Barkers Dog Treats stall and we made good our getaway, the contraband burning holes in our bags and Beverly Hills Cop theme playing in our heads as we hightailed it.

Just one won’t hurt…

Being sure to lock the front door tightly when I got home, and lighting some incense to disguise any incriminating smells, I soon got busy preparing the mild mannered vegetable for it’s transformation into CracKale..

CracKale

Ingredients

  • Bunch of kale
  • Oil of choice (I use coconut oil in an aerosol spray)
  • Tasty vinegar such as apple cider
  • Coarsely ground salt (kosher salt, sea salt)
  • Other seasonings of choice – try garlic flakes, chilli flakes, spices, herbs, or even parmesan cheese

Method

1. Preheat oven to 140-150 degrees C (300 F).

2. Strip all kale leaves from the stalks and cut the larger ones into chip-size pieces.

3. Clean and dry leaves thoroughly. A salad spinner is ideal for this.

4. Toss the leaves with a decent splash of vinegar, then spread them in a single layer on enough oven trays (I put baking paper on my trays first). I then spray the leaves with the coconut oil, then sprinkle over the salt and any other seasoning. If you’re not using an aerosol can of oil, just toss the oil through with the vinegar.

5. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes until crisp. Keep an eye on it, you don’t want really want it to brown or it will start to turn bitter.

6. Best eaten while standing at the oven, shovelling them in until they’re all gone. If for some reason you don’t eat every last scrap in one sitting, you can store them in an airtight container – if you didn’t quite cook them long enough and they soften, you can just re-crisp them in a warm oven.

CracKale

If you don’t hear from me for a while, it’s because I’ve hocked my computer to buy more kale. I should have listened when they said silverbeet was a gateway vegetable.

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