Queen's Park Farmers' Market

baskets of vegetables, Queen's Park Farmers' Market

We finally made it to the end of the Queen's Park Farmers' Market on Sunday afternoon, buying heirloom cherry tomatoes, greenhouse-grown sweet peppers, red lettuce, rainbow Swiss chard, "salad onions" (better known to Americans as scallions or green onions), organic free-range eggs, courgettes (zucchini), a leek-and-cheese quiche, and an apple cake billed wrongly as a tart.

table of baked goods: tarts, quiches, etc.

baskets of tomatoes

tomato table, Queen's Park Farmers' Market

I chopped and steam-sautéed the Swiss chard that same night, adding a dash of red-wine vinegar, plus salt and pepper, to accompany the reheated quiche, and then we had some of the apple cake with a little ice cream. The British eat their "pudding" (dessert) maybe even more regularly than Coke-and-candy-fed Americans, with all their many baked accompaniments to tea, from jam cakes to scones with jam and clotted cream. I had drastically reduced my sugar intake just prior to coming to London, but it's been hard to stay on track with so many temptations. Good thing I've been walking a lot to help compensate!

herb rack, Queen's Park Farmers' Market

My friend also bought a small pot of chives and a golden sage plant to add to her window-ledge garden for £1.50 each. The herb guy had lemon thyme but was sold out of regular English thyme, so we'll just have to return to the market in a couple weeks.* Like my great-aunt Mary (who also, oddly enough, was the only other member of my family who has ever had breast cancer), farmers markets make me ridiculously happy.

*Plants that smell like lemons, like lemon verbena or lemon thyme, always remind me of lemon-scented household cleaners. Instead, I want any lemon flavor in food to come from the essential oils of lemons themselves. But this is a personal preference.

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