Dinner was a barbecue at Cheryl‘s tonight, where we both met Aimée of Under the High Chair, who was coming through town from BC en route home to Montréal, for the first time in actual 3D.
That’s us: Cheryl, Aimée, Me. They’re holding Mila and Matteo; the two three-year-old boys are trying to figure out how to blow up the house from the empty planter behind us.
Curiously we didn’t spend a whole lot of time alienating our husbands by huddling in the kitchen or chatting about food blogs and camera lenses and Twitter. It could be that we were too busy monitoring our collective toddlers, attempting to keep them from steamrolling each other (no need to mention which one might have been steamrolling the others) – in fact, an unassuming passerby might have fancied us a regular group of friends getting together on a Friday night until dinner came out, and we all pounced for our cameras, maneuvering around the picnic table like a bunch of girly Jedis, poking at food, turning it this way and that in the light. And the boys just stood back, silent, all accustomed to the pre-meal ritual. Mike even dutifully dressed his burger and asked if I needed a photo before he bit. I’m so proud. Snif.
Before dinner, there were sticks of watermelon and jicama to nibble on with dishes of chile-spiked salt to dip them in. Then Cheryl’s husband made the burgers (recipe: ground Hoven farms beef – that’s it. No egg. No breadcrumbs. No ketchup. No S&P.), which we topped with Elna Edgar’s asparagus relish (confession: I ate a serving of it straight up with a fork. I don’t think anyone noticed) and Cheryl’s homemade ketchup. Beside it, a romaine, grilled avocado and corn salad with chipotle Caesar dressing. The kids got bison hot dogs. (Aimée opted for a kid-sized burger, which looked like a slider.
I, of course, un-daintily opted for the fist-sized burger.)
For dessert she scouted out some actual sour cherries to make hand pies – another on my to-bake list. Her pastry was wonderful – I should have known someone so adept at making peroghies could handle pastry no problemo – and the filling was just right; not overly sweet, with a zero sog factor. You’ll have to wait until next week for her to retrieve the recipe from her brain and record it on her blog.
With it – ready for this? – oh wait, you already read it at the top – Sour Cream Ice Cream. It’s delicious. We guessed at first that it was buttermilk, on account of the tang – and yet it was pure white. Sour cream. Genius!
Before I go I have a few suggestions if you’re looking for ways to spend your long weekend. I’m sorry for the last-minute notice, but tomorrow is Food Day. I know! It’s like I’ve gone my entire lifetime without knowing Christmas existed. Food Day. How could there be such a thing and I don’t know about it? There are events going on all over Canada (but mostly out east – we need to rally the troops out here!) to celebrate local food, and Anita Stewart is extending an invite to the World’s Longest Barbecue. The idea is that you gather a few friends or family members (or strangers – what the hell) and sit down to a feast of the best local food you can find. Then share it on their website. I’m thinking lamb chops and chard.
Second – this weekend is the Summer Country Drive – a do-it-yourself tour of a couple dozen farms, U-Picks and other interesting rural locales. I’ll be making the rounds – The Blooming Fields has limited strawberries (expect this everywhere), but tons of saskatoons, peas, onions, Swiss chard, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, and probably mini tomatoes and beans. They also have Sunday brunch at 12:30, English high-society style, with a costume contest if you’re up for dressing circa 1920s. Edgar Farms is in the midst of super-sweet fresh pea season, and will have a petting zoo and bale fort, and are stocking the farm store with fresh Swiss chard, beets, spinach, lettuce, peas, and produce (like the asparagus relish I like to eat with a fork). A message from The Jungle Farm read: We will have lots of pickling cukes, lettuce, spinach, zucchini and summer squashes available this weekend as well as a great crop of lilies and u-cut flowers. We are also serving beef on a bun at our farm store, as well as home baked apple pies, Jungle farm chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and a large selection of jams, jellies, salad dressings, pickles and our home made naturally fermented sauerkraut. We will also have Innisfail growers vegetables including new potatoes and a selection of BC fruit at our farm store. Unfortunately it is too late for U-pick strawberries at our farm. We will be offering a hay ride tour of the farm and have a large playground for the children.
So there you go – as good a reason as any to hop in the car on a beautiful day and spend a few hours poking around some good local farms. And coming home with dinner. And letting us know about it! Happy Food Day!