There are a few key ingredients that go into hosting the perfect get together—from the table setting to the wine pairings to the music you select to set the tone for the evening. But the main ingredient, of course, is the food. So how do you go about picking the perfect menu?
Just head to your local farmers’ market!
Today, most cities feature at least one bustling farmers’ market, which sells fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, bread, and much more from producers in and around the city. Along with ensuring you have the freshest possible produce for your menu, your farmers’ market comes with plenty of delicious benefits:
- Speak directly to the famer or a member of their team. Ask questions about how the produce is grown, raised or produced. Learn about their farming practices. You can often taste the wares before you buy!
- Buy the full vegetable. Think carrots, radishes and beets come only as a root? Think again! Farmers’ markets will sell these veggies with the stems still on, which helps the vegetable last longer and taste better. Plus stems can be washed and chopped for a delicious salad, pesto or side dish.
- Indulge in seasonal foods. No more bland tomatoes or mushy apples. Pick items that are in season so you and your guests can experience the full flavours of freshly picked produce.
- Try something new. Use tigerella or brandywine tomatoes in a salad. Top dessert with ground cherries in their papery husk. Serve up wild boar, deer or ostrich instead of chicken or beef. Pick condiments that reflect local flavours, like jams made from seasonal berries or mustard blended with local beer.
Once you’ve made your menu and selected your ingredients, be sure to extend your farmers’ market theme to your dinner party. There are so many simple ways to let your guests in on the fun!
- Decorate your table with a fun farm theme. Think straw baskets for bread, a checkered tablecloth, striped dishtowels for napkins, condiments in their original jars, wood planks under hot dishes, drinks in Mason jars, and more. Let your imagination run wild!
- Keep labels and farmers’ cards handy to pass on to guests and encourage local producers.
- Ensure your guests have somewhere comfy to sit and enjoy the evening, like the padded Brisbane dining chair. Or use throw cushions in fun colours for an extra soft touch!
- Turn the evening into a tasting game to help guests discover your farmers’ market picks. Name that green radish. What kind of meat is used in the stew? Can you guess what local berry is in the dessert? Your guests will learn all about local flavours while having fun, too!
The next time you plan a meal for friends and family, remember to take advantage of all the delicious produce and incredible knowledge that can be found at your local farmers’ market. Your meal is sure to be a hit—and you’ll be crowned the family foodie!