Farmers market

by Alison, 18/08/2013

We had decided to go camping this weekend. Our last outing had given us the bug. Though this time we wanted to be a bit more adventurous and had been hoping to hike a little way into the Connemara mountains. We had the tent, back-packs, sleeping bags and our new sleeping mats, the only thing that was letting us down was the weather. Having been promised another heat wave by the New Zealand weather Nostradamus, we had high hopes for a dry weekend. However Met Eireann and Magicseaweed continued to undermine these hopes throughout the week, with forecasts deteriorating as the weekend drew closer.

With good winds and heavy showers forecast for the weekend and the ground already wet from a week of misty rain we decided it was better to stay warm and dry.Turns out they weren't wrong. This is what one of the ''showers'' looked like.

Yet what to do with our free weekend- a wet and windy free weekend at that.

A visit to the farmers market in Ennistymon seemed in order. The market only runs in the summer so it is lovely to take advantage of it while we can, but like most people we are generally in a rush when it comes to shopping. We tend to go to the local supermarket and get everything we need for a few days altogether. Sometimes it takes a tourist to remind you of the nice things to be found right on your doorstep. This time the tourists were my parents who had borrowed our house while we were competing in Strandhill.

I had forgotten how nice it is to stop and talk to people who actually grew / made the produce and to hear about their chickens with names, or the fact that they are having a glut of aubergines. It stands to reason that like us they are proud of their produce and want to share their stories. Also sometimes it introduces you to things you have never seen before.

See that green stringy mass. Looks like samphire, but is in fact seablite. I had never heard of it before but after a quick chat it was in the bag. It is surprisingly tasty, crunchy and salty, lovely with fish. We sauteed it in butter, salt and pepper and ate it with baked hake, mashed potatoes and the lovely green beans we bought from the same lady, nom!

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