On the hunt
I am a crow. I love shiny things. I love new things. I love weird things. My brain, my eyes, constantly crave new stimuli.
A change is as good as a rest, so the saying goes.
When I go vacation, I don’t rest and relax in the sun. I am on the prowl, on the hunt, looking for new things to see. Some people might consider me a shopaholic, and while I have been known to come home with a few purchases from time to time, it’s the hunt more than the find. Hmm, maybe I should take up bird watching…
There is no hunt when you see more of the same. I can go to a grocery store in Toronto and one in Calgary and by and large I am just looking for the location of items I know exist. Sure, there may be some rare seasonal produce, or a local fish I’ve never seen, but basically the items are the same.
Not so in a Farmers Market.
Between our matinee and evening show one day last week, a group of us decided to visit the Calgary’s Crossroads Market. This is a great market with something for everyone. There is a farmer’s market, a boutique market, and lots of great places to eat.
My hunting strategy is to survey the field and get a lay of the land.
I move quickly, my eyes darting from one stall to the next. With a limited time frame I need to use every minute wisely. Decisions must be thoughtful. While it’s exciting to be a little impulsive, being willful can yield unfortunate results.
As I scan, I am looking for out of the ordinary. In any farmers market you can expect to find produce, meats, local honey, and jars of preserves, but I am on the hunt for the artisans. The vendors who are passionate and make their products stand out from the rest.
The first vendor that caught my eye was Going Nuts. They make their own blends of sweet , spicy, and salty nuts for snacking. And they had samples! I went in for a taste and realized there was no turning back. I was leaving this market with nuts. Salted Caramel Almonds.
Holy crap they are yummy. And the awesome vendor gave me cash back (saving me ATM fees). Armed with my nuts, I pressed on.
Next I came across some beautiful hot house Roma tomatoes. $5 a bag. Who can say no to that?!
Hunting in a group can be very helpful. Maybe that’s why wild dogs hunt in packs. Both eyes and feet can cover more territory. My friend came over and pointed out the flavoured olive oil vendor. While the oils looked wonderful, it was the olives itself that won my heart. And once again, SAMPLES! I fell in love with the cheddar lover olives.
I saw homemade pies, deli meats, artisan breads, and jars and cans galore. I even found a few unexpected items.
I checked, no actual monkeys were harmed in the production of Monkey Butter.
One corridor was flanked by maple syrup on side and honey on the other. A sweet and sticky heaven.
While on the hunt it is important to keep your strength up. I had heard about Calgary’s famed Primal Soup Company . After tasting a few of their awesome soups, I settled on a Lemon Dill Turkey. While I am not a huge fan of turkey, the fragrance of this soup bowled me over. (get it?! Soup…bowl…?) Ok, I like bad puns.
There wasn’t time to explore every vendor, but I did drool over wonderful pastries and sifted through stacks of frying pans looking for vintage North American Cast Iron (sadly, no luck on that one). While it was a long work day, this hunting adventure rejuvenated my spirits and filled me with excitement for the rest of the day.
We’re all busy and we’re often tired. My recipe for that situation is to find a farmers market. Stimulate your eyes and your taste buds. And support local business!!