Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Swap Market

Well! What a day I had yesterday!  I am part of a group of people who take part in a swap market.  It is very informal, moves from house to house and is a great way to connect with other people.  We have been involved for two or three years and yesterday was the first day that we hosted a market.

I can't believe the high I am on!!!  I have loved every market I have ever been to and always feel invigorated after visiting one, but actually hosting one was FANTASTIC!  It was so good to welcome these wonderful people to my home, show them around and chat with them.  There were many children at yesterday's market and they played madly while the adults chatted and swapped gardening experience (them, not me.... I'm still a learner.  My experience is not worth mentioning!)

The connections you make are lovely.  One of the ladies who came yesterday happened to be talking with another Mum at the bus stop during the week.  When she mentioned she was going to the Swap Market, it transpired that she was chatting with one of my very close friends!  What a small world!  This lady raises organic pigs and is hosting the next market.  I put in an order for some pork and will be buying some lard to try in my soap.

It is so nice to know the history of your food and the places that it came from.  I shared around some kale chips for people to try.  The kale was from my garden and the olive oil coating it came from a lady who was here.  We have been to her place for a market before, so I can picture the trees the olive oil came from.  I'll share the recipe with you at the end of this post because kale chips are to die for!  Even if the idea doesn't appeal, cook them once just to try them.  I am amazed at how nice they are.

I discovered loquats for the first time.  I am in love!  Silly me.  I once had a young loquat tree, but thought it was ugly so I didn't look after it very well in the hopes it might die and go away, and it did.  Well!  Yesterday I tried the fruit and it was amazing!  The kids thought so too.  So now I will either plant some of the seeds from yesterday's fruit or I will be impatient and rush out and buy a loquat tree.
If you ever have a chance to be involved in a swap market (or any other kind of informal sharing market) I would really encourage you to throw yourself in feet first!  It feels right because it's the way life ought to be.  Full of friendship, family atmosphere, food, fun and learning!

To round off a fantastic day we travelled to a farm to pick up some meat.  Remember Hubby's shearing day?  Well, we weren't sure if he was doing it for love or money but it was neither.  It turned out to be for meat!  The owners of the sheep, slaughtered a few animals and asked us to come up with a couple of eskis.
We gladly obliged and now have a freezer two thirds full of beef!!!  This will last us ages - what a wonderful way to get paid!
Now.... the kale chips I was telling you about.


Wash the kale and dry well.  Cut out the central stalk and cut into bite size pieces.  I use scissors because it's quick and easy.

Put the kale into a bowl, add a tablespoon of good olive oil and grind some salt into the bowl.  Rub the leaves to coat in the oil. 

Lay in a single layer on an oven tray and bake in a moderate oven for ten to fifteen minutes until super crunchy.

It is so easy and really yummy but you'll probably find you've eaten the first tray before you finish baking the second one.  They are so more-ish!

I'll add a photo or two when I make them next.

Now, we mentioned to friends, who own sheep, about our shearing day and sure enough we have been roped in to shear theirs.  So must be off now.

Have a great day!  I hope your weekend is going as well as ours!


Evi said...

Glad to know the kale is being put to good use!!! I've been meaning to try these and will have to, now that you have told us how yummy they are!!
Love the swap meet idea too but I'd need someone else to start one here so I could just join in...perhaps I'll mention it to some locals.....!

Busy mum of 3 said...

It must be a weekend for highs, I attended a Love Food Hate Waste workshop yesterday, and I was moved to tears while driving home thinking about my day, I was/am on such a high, I've NEVER felt so alive, so energised and so happy. I will write a post very soon about my day.

Linn said...

Sounds like you have a great community to live in Linda. Even though I live in a large city with lot's of people 'community' is not there. It's not uncommon to not even know your neighbours!

Linda said...

Oh yes! The kale is being put to good use Evi! I've been meaning to put up a photo of the kale because one plant came out different. I'm not sure if it's a different variety of kale or something else altogether. Thank you so much for the seeds!

Busy Mum, you sound like me. I get so enthusiastic about connecting with people who are into sustainability! I'm glad you got to do that.

Hi Linn, I think it's more about finding the like minded people near you. I used to think no one around here was very concious about the environment at all, but the more you get involved in workshops, markets etc., the more people you meet. And you start seeing the same faces at different events and the connections become stronger.

Caro said...

I really enjoyed it too Linda and so did our kids- so much grumbling when we had to leave! Thanks for hosting and those kale chips were amazing. I'm going to try them very soon- and maybe even try the same method with other vegies.

Linda said...

Hi Caro, It was fun, wasn't it? And yes, I've wondered if you could do it with silverbeet? Let me know if you try any other vegies. Btw your eldest left her hat here. I'm making lemon meringue atm which has reminded me, do you still have my dish? If you do, I could hold the hat hostage!

Caro said...

Sorry Linda! I had your pie dish and a bucket you left at our place ready on the table and forgot it in the rush to get out the door. I'll call you when we can make a swap!
I'm going to try broccoli leaves first- similar texture and thickness. But I reckon silverbeet and even lettuce (thick leaves like cos) would be worth trying but you'd have to keep an eye on them to ensure they don't burn.