I have been following the progress of The Creswick market for some time. I am told the market has been in existence for eleven or so years and as of late it has truly blossomed into a great way to start your weekend.
Creswick in autumn and winter is a visual delight, surrounded by pine forests, Spring Mount and the Melbourne University’s School of Forestry. The spectrum of leaves from pale yellow through to deep crimson is a sight to behold. If you go the market to fill your pantry for the week ahead, don’t forget to try the local fair while in town. I would happily recommend popping by Le Peche Gourmand, Bean and Barrow and the Red Fox Deli. Weather permitting, walk to Victoria Street under the deep rooted oaks and cross the road to the old hall and community garden. Trevor Miller the market's very switched on and passionate organiser is hoping to expand the market this summer. The Market will then merge with the giant oaks, including Cambridge Street and the use of the information centre, picnic grounds and extra parking.
In my humble opinion, it a good thing Trevor is thinking big. Upon arrival at the markets May celebrations I grabbed a raffle ticket for a chance to win dinner at the amazing Tuki Trout Farm, Its great to see the support base from local farms and restaurants.
I managed to navigate the kids past the jumping castle by bribing them with the promise of Zed and Co Sausages. I went the whole hog and tried the ”Porky Pig Out“. Marnie and her husband Nick, owners of Zed and Co Sausages, farm rare breed Wessex saddleback pigs. These beautiful black and white pigs are famous for their bacon and succulent lean cuts.
At the April and May Markets we have enjoyed fresh roasted chestnuts from Katkin Grove Chestnut Farm in Glenlyon. The sweet smokey meat is a sinch to peel and it’s just a little too tempting not to eat a large bag. As the chestnut season comes to a halt, I look forward to whatever Trevor has in store for us next, perhaps some local mushrooms as Creswick is a fossickers delight with saffron milk caps, slippery jacks and pine mushroom lurking not far into the forests or perhaps we may find some hand crafted ale. This market is definately not short on talent. Trevor tells me he has turned away forty potential stall holders this month. He plans to keep the market-goers happy by mixing it up a little.
As you stroll around you can’t help but gladly trade your money for quality goods, nearly everything is local, organic and handmade. I was delighted to try a little Kiwi jam. A luminous green blend packed with vitamin C made by Lisa's Country Kitchen and I couldn’t miss the sun shining through some rather spectacular looking quince jelly by Dale's Delights an amazing assortment of jams, curds, pickles and preserves and if the choice wasn’t hard enough already I then came across Fat Fox Fine Foods and The lovely Renata, who produces restaurant quality treats under the name the Cook's Treats.
With all the condiments I purchased I really needed some quality bread. Tick, by the lovely Mrs Prickleberry. I also came across the CWA girls making fresh scones, cooked at the market all warm with melty butter screaming out for a little rhubarb compote and Inglenook dairy cream. I usually walk into town and grab Basillio sourdough from the Goldfield Cheese store another feather in Creswick’s culinary cap.
I actually wish I had brought more money as everything I needed for the week ahead was there. Muesli and great bikkies from Andrew of Drewslie Muesli. Des O'Toole's Honey Organic pulses and legumes from Home Whole Foods. Malmsbury’s Kitchen Garden, Mt Prospect Potatoes, the waxiest kiphlers I’ve had in years and the carrotiest carrots. At Mt Edgerton produce I picked up huge Jerusalem artichokes and lovely bay leaves that flavoured my first corn beef for the winter, the Jerusalem artichoke a perfect puree underneath.
I will say it again this market has mojo, Carey's Ham Caravan, Slatey Creek organic garlic, the last of this year’s crop. I know I should have purchased more. When I was sure I had seen and tried all, I popped into the Old Hall to view the crafty things. Not at all the usual dodgy nana numbers and hideous jewels I have come to expect at many small town fairs. I came across the amazing Fiona Louise Darby with her biscuit art. Hand crafted cameo biscuits, edible buttons and Matrioshka doll cookies. By now the kids were actually starting to get a little embarrassing with loud moaning, "Mum, mum come on mum! We want to eat all this stuff." Luckily I had a little Spotted Dog Fudge to keep them quiet. Silky Smooth Homestyle fudge By Rosemary Cimino, I think Rosemary's fudge might just be the best I've ever eaten.
This weekend the Creswick Market is on again, 21st June 2014. You can always check out when the next Creswick market is on by visiting their website. I'll see you there.