Monday Morning Cooking Club celebrates Mother’s Day at The SMH Pyrmont Growers’ Market
I love to cook, I love to food shop for new and exciting ingredients, and I love to teach simple, achievable and delicious recipes. So for me, appearing at the the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) Growers’ Market was a match made in heaven.
And so it was, just after the crack of dawn on the first truly cold day of the year, the MMCC mobile pulled up (thanks for the lift Lisa) and we headed off to the Growers Market. Our start time was a civilised 7.00am, unlike all the wonderful farmers who arrive at the market to set up their stalls at 4.30am. And they managed to stay cheerful until the last customer left the grounds!
Now we MMCC girls love a good road trip together, even if it’s only a 15 minute drive. As we pulled into the car park the security guard said to us, “oh – you are the celebrity chefs” – well we had to pinch ourselves – we certainly don’t feel like celebrity chefs!
The SMH Growers Market, held on the first Saturday of each month, is the oldest farmers market in Sydney, with over 80 stalls. The lovely Venessa, who started work at 4.00am and looked as fresh as a daisy, met us pronto, then the helpful and efficient Georgie whipped us around the stalls to do our food shopping. What magnificent produce there was!
There were friendly and familiar faces around the market; stall holders who serenaded us in Italian and stall holders who could argue the toss of which variety of potato would work in a latke (even if he’d never heard of a latke).
We loved seeing our old friends Pepe Saya, of the sublime Pepe Saya butter, and Paul Allam (Bourke Street Bakery) who had come to whip up a bread and butter pud and tell market goers all about the Bread & Butter project, a social enterprise artisan bakery. 100% of their profits are reinvested into baker training and employment pathways for communities in need.
By this stage we had about 15 minutes to prep our two segments, but the MMCC girls work well under pressure, as long as we’ve had our picollo lattes! Apart from fresh produce the SMH Growers Market does a brisk trade in excellent coffees and breakfast fare. Guess who couldn’t wait to start drinking her coffee….just saying.
We were so thrilled that despite the cold, rain and icy wind a wonderful crowd turned up for our sessions.
We love cramming in as much as we can, so in two sessions we taught shakshouka, mushroom and zucchini roll, beetroot and herb salad, potato latkes topped with Brilliant Foods smoked ocean trout and wasabi cream, and kranskuchen, with the freshest and most delicious produce possible from Leppington figs, Marginis mushrooms, Thirlmere eggs and Jelbonleigh Estate macadamias, Whisk and Pin dried berries and jam, among others.
Ardyn Bernoth, national editor of Good Food, kept the banter flowing with questions and quick passes of the microphone, while alongside us, Jacqui was single-handedly selling our books – the perfect Mother’s day present – in the Sydney Morning Herald stall.
By 11.00 am the market is done and dusted, so next month, set the alarm early and head over to Pyrmont for a truly delightful outdoor farmers market.