Jennet Brown is nothing less than Durban’s Doyenne of markets. I am sure that the Durban Municipality consults with Jennet on all matters “marketeering”. Every Saturday for the last 17 years – Durbanites have thronged to the legendary Essenwood Craft Market. I, myself have had the pleasure of running two stalls (one food and the other a range of home ware) at her land mark, internationally renowned market during this time.
My girlfriend Carol and I – would churn out 75L of Thai curries every Friday to sell at the Essenwood market on a Saturday morning. We had so much fun there and only stopped selling our Thai food because her trusty “Ketunda-Wa” (Toyota hilux) was nicked by someone who, after Carol and I performed many many a heinous ritual – must surely be walking around without his manhood.
We had braces of batchelors arrive each Saturday morning to pick up their meals for the week. “Batchelor Bags” contained – two Red Thai Chicken curries – Two Green Vegetarian Curries and two Mussaman beef curries – each one with the pre-requisite fluffy sticky basmati rice portions and a bottle of sweet chili sauce. I must say though –that the public were not too sure about Thai curry back in those days – it was 2002 and Thai food was not as well known as it is today. Oi – the silly questions! OI – we had so much fun!!!
We were very proud and protective of our stall – and one day this man stood staring at our Woks – you would have thought that he was looking at woks bubbling away with green mambas and sheep’s eyes in them ….. “What the hell is this?” he asked with his face all contorted and screwed up. “How the hell do you eat this?” ….. He enquired! BIG MISTAKE – Carol smiled ever so sweetly at the gentleman and offered this explanation. “You see sir this, is Thai Curry – chicken, vegetable and beef Thai curries! And how do you eat it you ask? – well, for R12.50 you get one minute – and during that one minute you may put your face in any one of these three woks – and each as much curry as you can in one minute, sir!.” Hehehe …..
Essenwood Craft market – is branching into the food world. Of course, they have a wonderful selection of readymade foods on offer – I cannot resist the Avocado on Homemade bread dripping with peppers and feta and pickles – It’s just wonderful. Personally, I am delighted that Essenwood Craft market now has fresh produce on offer! You all know how passionate I am about – Local is lekker. I shopped up a storm and bought magnificent fresh Organic Veggies, Flowers, crusty homemade breads, De-vine …. Olives, Cheese, Dips, and… and… and.
What could be better than buying fresh produce directly from the producer? The large chain stores can’t possibly stock these gems – available only in small quantities and filled with the love and pride of a small farmer, cook or baker. I really do hope that more and more of these markets pop up all over our wonderful country.
Essenwood Craft market could easily cope with many more of these stalls –
more meats, more cheeses and more good food products please Jennet. Thank you for having the “cahonies” to move with the times and introduce these special folk to the market – cos, at the end of the day – it’s us, the public that benefit tremendously from being able to buy really fresh wholesome goodies direct from the farm.
Here are my picks of the day – Sunday morning I was up bright and early – sooo excited to be making breakfast with my beautiful organic eggs laid in Underberg. Thank you John Hoskings for getting up in the middle of the night – driving all the way to Durban to bring me my eggs! It just doesn’t get better than this. You simply must get down to the market this Saturday morning – you will not be disappointed.
Here is Sunday mornings breakfast prepared with John Hosking’s Amazing
Gumbo (a cross between Giant – and Jumbo!) Eggs!
Poached Gumbo’s with Potato & Lentil Croquettes
and Parmesan Wafers!
The Potato & Lentil Croquettes
I had some leftover – lentil mash (click the link for the recipe) which was begging to be turned
You can use any left over mash for potato croquettes – do make sure that you season the mash well and perhaps chop in some fresh herbs to add a little lift!
6Tbs cold mashed potato
2Tbs flour – to bind the mash
2Tbs grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper
a small bunch of finely chopped parsley
5Tbs flour – to coat the croquettes
5Tbs bread crumbs
You will see that i have some grissini in the picture above – unfortunately i had
NO BREADCRUMBS in my pantry – so had to grind these grissini down
in the food processor – thus turning them into breadcrumbs!!
Not only boers – but any Mamma worth her salt – can make a plan too!
Into the cold mash add the 2Tbs flour – grated parmesan cheese – salt and pepper and chopped parsley.
Combine well and divide into 4 equal sized balls.
Coat each croquette in flour
Then dip each one into the beaten egg
Then roll each one in the breadcrumbs
When you have coated all of the croquettes pop them on a plate – and into the fridge for 20minutes.
Fry them in about 1/2 inch of moderately hot oil until nice and golden brown.
Look at the size of these Gumbo’s – the brown egg in these pics
are store bought free range jumbo eggs!!!
Every egg has a double yolk!!!
Poor little chicken!!
Serve with Parma Ham wafers !
To make these – spray a baking tray with spray and cook – and lay
4 pieces of parma ham on the tray – put them into your oven at about 180d
for 5 minutes – remove and leave to cool on the tray.
They are UBER delicate – so handle carefully!