03 December, 2011

(Almost) Winter Food Markets

The last outdoor market of the season

In what I like to think is at the heart of my new city, I found a community that focuses on things that I value.  Having to depart from my friends and family in Nova Scotia (who are pretty much all excellent cooks, and living in the province speaks for itself), I miss mingling with food and like-minded folk in a gorgeous landscape.  Oh wait! I think I might have found something...

Evergreen Brickworks is very cool, very Toronto, and very much a food and eco lover's destination.  The same city whose arteries throb with concrete contains real people whose hearts throb for local, organic, artisanal, crafted, homemade food. And repurposed buildings.  


I had my eye on the Toronto Underground Market before I even left Halifax.  I immediately knew this was a group for me.  It had the newness factor (which meant I could get in on the ground floor), the food factor (obvious appeal), and the special event factor (food event = great event).  So it was that I came to volunteer three months later to help set up the third iteration of TUM...

The event space before setup began 

The very popular Mushroom Risotto Arancini and craft beer
(Forgive me for not having more pictures of the food but I was too busy eating and socializing... the next event is in February and I will likely take more time to document.  Jump here for some tasty shots.)

This 'social food' community is exciting and intriguing and will grow exponentially.  Partly because of the quality of the food and the special-happy-feeling people experience at the event, but mostly because it's Toronto and that's how things go down here.

I made a friend too (Sonja, a fellow volunteer who deftly acted as executive-in-charge-of-distributing-plates-forks-and-cups-to-the-vendors).  She also loves food.  For two strangers in a cold room we got along famously and tapped along from food vendor to drink vendor to food vendor.  We consumed modestly (and selectively) and in the following order:

tacos from Las Carnitas (she: fish, me: chorizo)
craft beer (Hogtown Brewers)
smoked haddock chowder
arancini (truffle oil in the sauce!)
a dessert bite (on our hand!) courtesy of Geoff & Guy
  and Proof's hot apple cider (spiked of course) to finish

Oh, I forgot to mention:  after our volunteer shift but before the event officially started, a vendor running a bit behind in the kitchen needed some help.  Yes please!  Sonja and I were the lucky ones shuttled into the kitchen (wash your hands!) to cut samples for a dessert vendor.  I pretty much always get really excited when I see a commercial kitchen and now I know why...

Now picture this:  picnics at riverside with swimming, boating, and tubing...!?  My next volunteer goal:  bring back the Don. For it is a sad, sad thing to keep driving right by it.