Markets Cambridge 10th & Hamilton 11th August

Woohoo! Go the Chiefs and what a hot place Hamilton was to be in on Sunday 4th August. We were all basking in the reflected glory (luck) of the winners and as a result the market was hoppin’ with good humoured customers many still proudly wearing their war paint and red, yellow and black paraphernalia. We find that the market does well the morning after we have a rugby win but is really slow after a devastating loss. Just as well we have the All Blacks …

Towards the end of the Hamilton Market last Sunday, having sold out completely to all the Chiefs’ fans, I got the chance to have a look around at the other stalls in the never-ending search for interesting stories for this blog and within 10 minutes I had gathered just what I needed.

After a break of over 14 months we welcome back Basecamp Venison Salamis to the Hamilton Market. Basecamp is famous for their low fat Venison Salamis. They have a range of sizes now and their flavours include Pepperoni, Garlic, Hot Chilli, Wild Game and Red Wine with Cracked Pepper. My other half is a vegetarian but he has often said that if anything would entice him over to the dark side again, it would be Basecamp Salamis – now that is really saying something!
Our very own Reiner Eschenbruck featured in the local paper yet again last June. He was crowing about his local organically produced wines and how this year’s harvest, 2013, is going to be an absolute cracker. A bit like the olive crop which really boomed this year in the drought-followed-by-rain conditions, the varieties of grapes on the Lanesend Estate off Newals Road thoroughly enjoyed the hot dry conditions. We are talking about Viogner, Pinot Noir and Malbec. However the wine has only just be made and will take at least a year for the whites and roses to be ready to drink and 2 years for the reds but remember that 2013 wines will be worth laying down when they eventually come out! In the meantime you can get 2011 and 2012 wines all for only $20 per bottle. Reiner refuses to put up his prices and I remember paying $20 a bottle when he first started selling his wines at Tamahere market 7 years ago so they really are a bargain given the indubitable quality as well as being local and entirely organically grown. Reiner has a gift box of 3 different wines for $50. If there is anyone out there who would like to buy me a gift, please get me one of these- thanks in advance.
Wayne from Living Gold Olive Oil was very eager to tell me about his new chilli oil so of course in the interests of good copy, I just had to try it out. All I can say is MMMMM. The chilli flavour enhances rather than hides the lovely cold pressed oil and a little tiny bit goes a long way. The heat lingers towards the end of the tasting, warming the back of the tongue and throat but not over doing it. Like the other infused oils, Lime, Lemon and Garlic, the cost is $10 for a small 100ml bottle and $35 for the larger 500ml bottle. I use the oil for medicinal purposes to keep my joints moving and my skin young (!) but this chilli oil is definitely for ingesting preferably in conjunction with a hot salsa or spicy chicken kebabs. And don’t overlook the Pet Oil which is cheap at $5.50 a bottle and is great for ensuring your darling four legged friend has a shiny coat, well lubricated joints and a regular bowel habit! (Charming).
Talking about four legged friends, the lovely Meagan at the Doggone Doggy Delights stall is now proud to offer treats for those of the Feline persuasion. Yes for only $2.00 you can get dried salmon skin crunchies especially for cats. I reckon your cat would probably learn to fetch and sit up and beg if rewarded with these nutritious little sprinkles and not only that but Meagan and her Mum in Law have created ‘Beefy Bits’ and ‘Lamb’s Fry Strips’ which suit both dogs and cats.
Check out the impressive array of imaginatively named Doggy and Catty biscuits which are made with the very highest quality ingredients including Free Range Eggs and fresh salmon. They even have wheat free treats for dogs who are allergic to gluten. Spoil your fave friend today. He/she/it will be your slave forever if you do so.
Lania and Adrian Pohio were at the 4 day Auckland Foodshow this weekend but their stall was manfully manned by the beautiful Anka who is, in fact, becoming a well known face at the market as she has run the Country Gold Honey Stall recently for the 7 weeks duration of the Pohios’ latest Bucket List overseas trip. (Cruise around Scandinavia and part of Russia. Ask Lania about it next week). I as always, was taken with their beautiful Manuka Honey. It says it is SMF 12+. In fact it is 13.4 but they couldn’t change the lables. Now 13.4 is a very high level of Special Manuka Factor which means it has a high antibacterial and antiviral activity capability. The new manuka honey is tested at Ruakura each year to determine the SMF. It makes perfect sense to have such magical honey in a sore throat suckie and sure enough, Country Gold can now offer this powerful and natural sore throat relief in their packs of Honey Lozenges. These taste divine. Almost worth getting a sore throat for.
And here is a shameless plug for my own Celtic Cuisine stall. Next time you have a cup of coffee, try one of the freshly made date scones from Celtic Cuisine for only $2! Aucklanders can’t believe the price – $2 scones are yet another reason to be glad to be living south of the Bombays. You even get free butter to go along with it although recently I must admit it has been Olivani on offer as the cooler weather makes the butter rock hard and impossible to spread easily.
And finally here is a timely warning of what you might be faced with if you sleep in too late on a Sunday morning.This is a photo of The Lettuce Man’s van taken on Sunday 4th around 10.30am when completely sold out of all his lettuce, kale, parsley, watercress or bok choy. Good lettuce in winter is a scarce commodity and the restaurants are chasing Ian looking for quality lettuce as there is very little available in the supermarkets. But Ian remains committed to his loyal customers at the Farmers’ Markets both in Cambridge and in Hamilton so if you are able to get in before 10.00am you have a good chance of getting some top quality greens.

Come and socialize outside in the middle of winter at the Farmer’s Market – Ya gotta love the New Zealand winter. Check out the flowering magnolia in the background. Yes indeedy, Spring is in the air.
See you next week.
Meg Daly
Celtic Cuisine