to market, to market…

Very few things are enticing enough to get me to wake up before 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday.

A flight to a sunny destination would be one of them. The other, our annual trip to St. Lawrence Market on the Saturday before Christmas. We visit St. Lawrence Market many times throughout the year, but only on the final Saturday before Christmas do we meet up with my in-laws for a stand-up breakfast of peameal bacon sandwiches from Carousel Bakery.

Two years ago, St. Lawrence Market was named the top food market in the world by National Geographic. It’s best to wear your stretchy pants when you come to visit.

After breaking bread (and back bacon) with my in-laws, we parted ways. They headed home (having been at the market for ninety minutes prior to our arrival, and having long finished their shopping), and we began perusing the various vendors, planning out dinners for the next few nights as we bought all the fresh meat, seafood, cheese and produce our hearts desired.

1513288_10152195578658474_1734294859_n When I die, bury me in cheese.


And also bread.


Scrumptious temptations all around, but it was one specific vendor that called out to me. Its wares singing like the sirens of Greek mythology. Damn you, Boulangerie Parisienne, with your flaky, fresh-from-the-oven, pastries. You are my achilles heel.


Croissants aux Amandes? Mais, oui!


Pain au Chocolat avec Amandes? Mais bien sûr!!!


Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first. ~Ernestine Ulmer

The added bonus of indulging in these decadent delectables? Motivation to get my ass moving all weekend long.

So, merci, you lovely pastries. You were both delicious and highly effective. Who needs a personal trainer when you’ve got a box of pastries on your kitchen counter?

Not only did these bad boys get (and keep) me moving all weekend, the extra sugar gave me energy to spare. I managed to get some good exercise in while also:

  • Crossing a number of items off my Christmas shopping list, including gifts for two very hard-to-buy-for recipients. What a relief.
  • Concocted a plan to add some pizzazz to the blah (and not so thoughtful) gift of a gift card by making some homemade sugar body scrubs. Bought jars, ribbon and craft paper to pretty them up. Watch out Martha Stewart, there’s a new sheriff in town.
  • Unable to find an Ugly-Christmas-Sweater for my 6.5 year old nephew, I decided to embrace my new-found inner crafty chick and made him one. Huzzah!


With all those accomplishments, it’s needless to say I’m feeling pretty damned smug this morning.

My only regret today is that I didn’t buy the absolute best welcome mat in the history of welcome mats.


I may need to go back.

Keep moving,

xoxo nancy

70 thoughts on “to market, to market…

  1. There’s nothing quite like a French pastry. I love the almond flavored ones. I’ve never been able to match what I had in France in the almond pastry department. I’m with you–life is too short to deprive ourselves of occasional treats. We just make some cuts elsewhere and lace up our sneakers to compensate. Merry Christmas, Nancy!

    • You better believe there’s been an extra skip in my step the past few days, trying to work off those amazing treats. 🙂

      Merry Christmas to you and your boys (incl hubby), Carrie.

  2. That market looks like a place I would LOVE to frequent! We used to have something similar in Stockholm, Sweden, we loved to browse everything there on Saturdays. And you’ve been busy! Even making a holiday sweater, Martha there! Great that you bought a trainer for the holidays too 😀

    • Well, technically I didn’t *make* the sweater. I glued all the ugly onto it. But it did involve cutting felt patterns, deciding on the layout, getting creative with glitter glue and fabric paint. 🙂

  3. I’ve walked past it numerous times on my trips to TO – I’ll have to make a point of going in there one of these days.
    Happy Holidays to you and yours and all the best for 2015 🙂

    • There is an abundance of “ugly Christmas sweaters” for adults thanks to a trend of Ugly Christmas Sweater theme parties that are the current rage, but try as I might, I couldn’t find a child’s version. This kit solved that problem. 🙂

      • A foodie’s dream. The exotic meat available there is amazing, the seafood choices are endless, plus specialty food items like caviar, one vendor carries just spices, another just honey (but 50+ varieties of honey), and the list goes on.

    • The wonderful thing about this market us that the indulgences are farm-fresh and artisanal in nature, so even the decadent stuff comes from pretty wholesome ingredients. Eases the guilt a tad knowing there are no preservatives and nasties like high fructose corn syrup in there. 🙂

  4. Love the look of that place and the results of your Holiday Creativity. That’s a gorgeous “ugly” sweater ~ hope your nephews appreciates your festive cheer.

    And that mat . . . YES!!! I want one.

  5. Peameal bacon sandwich at the Market …YES!! After years of going to the Market, I was introduced to The Sandwich just last year. I can’t believe it took me so long!!

    … and the cheese {happy sigh} …. love, love, love cheese. All cheese, any cheese. I’ve spent obscene amounts on cheese on the Market.
    It had to have been a special kind of crazy down there on the Saturday before Christmas! … or worse, Christmas Eve!

    • It actually wasn’t as packed as previous years, Joanne. But even when you have to jostle for position, it’s still so worth it. Can’t believe you just discovered peameal from Carousel last year. You have to nake up for list time! 🙂

      • I’m down with that. Especially if the in-with-the-new is almond croissants from Boulangerie Parisienne, and the out-with-the-old is cauliflower. 🙂

      • I actually like vegetables so I’d be inclined to keep them all … I’m pretty sure I could change your mind with cauliflower fritters 😉
        … having said that, I’m still puzzling over what I’d give up. I have an addiction to diet ginger ale that I would seriously like to lose. Yup – that should be at the top of my list!

      • It’s raw caulifllower that I have no time for. The cooked stuff is …meh. Edible, but, just meh. I like my veggies dark and green. If I’m going to fill my belly with veg, it better be delivering the maximum nutrients. Otherwise it’s just taking up valuable almond croissant space. 🙂

        Thank God I don’t have the pop vice. I see how addictive others seem to find coke/diet coke/etc. I’m very glad I don’t have that craving to deal with. The only bubbles I drink, on occasion, are sparkling water and chamapagne. 🙂

  6. So jealous right now! I love markets like that, and it’s been a loooong time since I’ve been to one. I would love to eat my way through there. Good cheese makes me swoon. So glad you’re having such a nice holiday experience! Merry Christmas if I don’t talk to you before then, Nancy 🙂
    PS – my mom used to dress me in sweaters like that back in the day and we didn’t think they were ugly at the time 🙂 oh to be a 5 year old in the 80s.

    • Two years ago my sister-in-law bought Mr. Enthusiasm, me and my two kids vintage ugly christmas sweaters as punishment for having been away in sunnier parts for the holidays several years priors. Last year, I repaid the favour by buying vintage ugly christmas sweaters for her, her husband, my MIL and FIL. Unfortunately I couldn’t find one for Ethan (nephew). This year I’ve remedied that. 🙂

  7. Oh, Nancy. I may have to make that pic of the pastries avec chocolat, my new screen saver! And the cheeses….and the bread. You can bury me in brie avec cranberries, please. What a place! Sounds like you have had quite the productive days. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas, mi amiga! Feliz Navidad! 🙂

  8. Ernestine advises well! I was at the Great Harvest Bread shop at 7:00am yesterday. Had a fresh brewed coffee and two! Chocolate croissants while waiting for the Sourdough and Rosemary Olive Oil loaves to emerge from their ovens. I know and salivate over your experience. Joyous Christmas greetings!

  9. A literal “laugh out loud” at the welcome mat. Why the hell didn’t you buy it? Glad to hear that you’ve got yourself moving. I can feel myself nearing motion again. BTW, Micah and the whole family loved the “cock soup” Christmas present. Photograph forthcoming! Joy to you and yours, Nancy. Peace out, John

    • Oh i have to go back for that welcome mat, John. Absolutely.

      I’m so glad the cock soup was a hit!!

      Merry Christmas to you and the family, and extra squishy hugs to Cole!

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