Our truck is jam-packed with everything from clothes to games to four types of Polysporin for all of the mischief the kids can get into. My entire kitchen being packed up is for all of the creativity I may get into. Whatever this week may bring, the family and I are heading to the cottage for our first vacation in nearly 4 years.
The beautiful and talented Joy, of Meals in Joy’s Kitchen, has been kind enough to strap on the hot pink apron and write about her experiences as a vendor at our local North Oshawa Farmer’s Market, giving me the day off. Isn’t she sweet?! Be sure to leave plenty of kind comments and check her out on facebook and twitter (@joyskitchen). Enjoy! xo
Now, let’s get me to the cottage before I ditch the real world and just head south.
Hi Ho Hi Ho its off to the North Oshawa Farmer’s Market we go ….
Recently I met Dana at the North Oshawa Farmer’s Market and discovered that we had lots in common – not the least of which is the love of good ‘ol healthy food and recipe and idea sharing. When she approached me about writing a guest blog for My Hot Pink Apron – I jumped at the chance.
I own a small local business called Joy In Your Kitchen that makes meal times easy by supplying your family with homemade healthy meals, fully cooked and frozen – ready to thaw eat and serve. One of the main benefits of my menu selections are that they are made from whole foods, grown locally, so the decision to apply to vend at the Farmers Market that I pick up my veggies from wasn’t much of a leap.
The execution of getting ready to vend at a Farmer’s Market or other festival is not quite so straight forward and easy! There are the bylaws surrounding equipment and what you can or can not do (which not only varies from geographic location to location and contradicts itself, but sometimes from event to event as well. This is a HUGE time suckage factor – but then again – we are dealing with the government here – doesn’t red tape, confusion and the government go hand in hand (did I say that out loud? That was supposed to be just for me J ). Once you overcome the business of bylaws, have your business registered, and have passed any “Dine Safe” inspections (Health Board approved) and been granted a green “PASS” for any kitchen and storage areas used for the business, you need to verify that you have everything in order to ensure you can apply and get a Short Term Food Shop license. To do this, both fire and health will need to speak with you and will require that you outline your procedures. They also may need to inspect your site. Fire and Safety want to make sure you are on board with and have things like, inspected fire extinguishers, extra cooking fuel stored properly and away from the cooking source, and generally that you are not going to inadvertently allow the public to get hurt. Health comes into play, verifying that you have proper storage, temperature controls, handwashing, etc. Basically they don’t want the public getting sick.
Once all the governing agencies have plundered all your cash have granted all approvals and licencing has been issued the fun begins. My prep work for my Saturday farmer’s market appearances start early in the week with deciding what to demo or have for samples that week. Typically I let the veggies “talk” to me and wait for inspiration –failing that I may sip a glass of wine and let the wine help the inspiration along J – whatever I decide on – I quickly realized that I need to have a few small frozen selections of whatever is featured for sale and available at the market. The fun continues into the evening previous to the event or appearance – with the loading of my van – just a few things are needed, a hand wash station, soap, paper towels, a fire extinguisher, food warmer, chafing dish(s), serving and extra serving utensils, napkins, marketing material, signage, canopy, sandbags or weights to stop the canopy from blowing away, a table, a chair, matches/lighter, extra fuel etc etc etc…. (this is where I am thankful I have a helpful hubby to help load).
The morning of the market – starts bright and early by heating whatever I will be serving. Last week, the North Oshawa Farmers Market held their 2nd Annual corn roast so I decided to feature a BBQ rub. “OK, I hear you – “what are you talking about – you just said a corn roast how do they go together? “ If you have never used a BBQ rub for anything but your ribs, roasted chickens or steaks – you need to try them on your veggies!
My BBQ rub is made with cumin, smoked paprika, chilli, garlic and pepper. I roasted a patty pan squash – a who you say? A patty pan or sunburst squash is a mild summer squash that when roasted has a texture like a zucchini. It looks like this:
Never tried it? You should – better yet try it like this:
Core the top like you would a tomato where the stalk sticks out. Score the top of the squash brush with a mixture of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and a good balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle with the BBQ Rub and roast in the oven or on the grill for about 35 min at 400 degrees. You can eat the skin or cut it off.
Back to the corn! Previous to putting your squash on the grill or in the oven, remove the outer thicker layers of the corn husk, leaving just the last layer or so on. Soak in water for about 15 minutes. After the corn has soaked, remove from water, peel back the remaining husks (do not tear off), remove corn silk, brush with some EVOO and sprinkle the BBQ rub on the cob. Pull the husk back up over the corn, place on a sheet of tinfoil, and roll tightly, Roast on bottom rack of grill for 1-2 min per side then remove to top rack, close BBQ cover and cook for 15 mins. This will steam the corn with the spices inside the husk. Remove from BBQ, remove from tinfoil, disregard husk and serve – no butter needed –naturally delicious!Add to favorites