This morning I voluntarily got up at 5am, threw on some clothes (blessedly not inside out seeing as I was doing it all in the dark), snuck out of the house and drove 45 minutes to Sydney Markets. My plan was to buy fruit and vegetables for us and get a stock of rhubarb and strawberries to make my remarkable strawberry and rhubarb jam.
Except in my infinite wisdom of getting there uber-early I was there when everything is sold by the box as opposed to individual lots. Yeah, I like cauliflower but six of us would really struggle to eat a box of them before they went off. Ditto for capsicums, eggplants, cucumbers and zucchinis. Oh, and while 10kgs of potatoes for $8 is a steal, where the hell would I store them. Ditto for pumpkins, onions and carrots.
I walked around feeling a sense of fun, exhileration, idiocy and nerves. You just know everyone else has been there for one hundred years and is baying for the blood of the virgin market goer. Well, not really, but you get my drift.
I secured some sensational rhubarb for $2.50 a bunch but the strawberries were rare and either below-average or gold-class and just not financially viable. Even by the case as opposed to the punnet. I got some other bits and pieces, some beetroot to make Fifi a beetroot cake today when she came over to play, some golden beetroot out of curiosity, an armful of coriander for the price I normally pay for four stalks at Woollies, a couple of cauliflowers (the Italian grandpa felt sorry for me I think) and a box of local broccolini for $7 (when a bunch of four stalks in Woollies will currently set you back around $2.95). I’ve already made a vat of broccoli soup which used about a fifth of the box and am now wondering what the fuck to do with the rest but there you go.
It was fun. Kinda.
I only publicly humiliated myself three times- once when I tipped my wallet out all over the floor and for some stupid reason thought it necessary to salvage 5 cent pieces which had fallen into smooshed goodness-knows-what. Then i dropped my box of locally-grown broccolini. Upside-down. Then when I was carrying about 10kgs of apples and pears back to the car my pants fell alarmingly low. Not quite down but down enough. Yep. I mooned at Sydney Markets. Awesome.
I did also spy a forklift taking boxes of passionfruit somewhere and did kind of follow him for some time before, in dodging eleventy-gagillion other forklifts, lost him. Shame.
I’ve decided it is an experience I don’t like having on my own. I wished Chef had been with me the entire time.
The other thing? Forklifts. Everywhere. Quite stressful. Which going from the amount of swearing and yelling at each other it is for the forklift drivers as well.
Chef tells me that from around 9am it turns into Paddy’s Markets as opposed to SydneyMarkets and that’s when you can buy things in smaller amounts. But 9am is pointless due to the peak hour traffic you’d have to contend with getting there and back.