05 March 2011

Island living, Market Days and Baskets

It is Saturday and living on the island means I will miss Market day again...sigh...
Of all things I truly miss, it is that! For somewhere today there is sure to be an open air market!
There are a few on the mainland of course but betwixt ferry schedules, travel time and the petrol price...

For anyone who grew up going to Market Days most every week with her Grand Mother as I did there is something missing in other stores. The convenience of shopping numerous aisles with countless competitive brands of boxed and packaged tasteless food is not something I have grasped yet and probably never will!

Growing up I remember shopping at the Bakery, the Deli, the Grocer, the Butcher and so on...
And the Pastry shoppe was one that if you can believe it, I could not stand the smell of. One whiff and I was sick!

Those were the days...

You know the song: "I remembered it well..." Perhaps it is so, for the years have gone by but I remember...

Market Day was held every Saturday in our borough and I can still see Granny's caddy being prepared for this express expedition.
Dressed for the outing, ours was a temperate but often wet climate then, and wearing a good pair of brogues, she would then briskly walk us to the Market.
In her caddy she would be sure to have a box for her eggs, a few shopping bags for her fresh (and I mean fresh!) vegetables and in her pocket, her money purse.

I remember distinctly the stop at the Irish farmer stand for butter as this was her favourite along with strong cheese, next came the Dutch peddler who had his best brown eggs ready to be packed in her box (Yes, recycling was already in "vogue" - It is still hilarious to see all these "new hints" popping up everywhere about being "green" - What do you think we did before this latest wave of awareness?).

Next came the fresh (and I repeat fresh!) vegetables in season and all local produce. The latter is worth mentioning I believe as I wonder why people expect strawberries in Wintertime or spinach in the Summer... Yes it is available but at such a dire price and hybrids loose so much to taste! I like my cauliflower to taste like one for one thing and I cannot but cringe each time I read a new report on chemicals!

I seem to recall a visit to the butcher's or the fishmonger once a week but as I was never fond of the displays, I would just stand outside guarding the caddy!
Ours was a taste for simple fare and home cooking was all we knew. With a wonderful bakery around the corner, Granny did not bake her bread and sweets were not a daily treat either.

The one thing I remember was our last stop before going home. We were not rich of course and perhaps it might seem extravagant to some but a simple bouquet of flowers (or during really hard times just a bloom or two) would always end in our market basket even if it meant cutting expenses at the butcher for i.e. Her favourite was the souci!

I miss those days...

And since I happen to love baskets, especially market ones, I thought I would share the following site with you:


Au revoir!

Note: As always, please keep in mind all opinions are personal and I receive no compensation for the afore mention. The site simply seems to have a good selection of market baskets!

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