Celebrating the Bounty of Northern Alberta
Merry! Merry! The Annual Slow Food Brunch was held at Mary’s home Sunday, and each member of the organization that attended brought a dish that celebrates our fresh local prairie food. This was my first “annual brunch”, as a new member of the Convivium. The talk was about the food, and the sourcing, and the bounty of this season. Above, left, are Peter, Sara, and Mary toasting the season. Jerry Kitt and his daughter, enjoy the feast while Brad Smoliak gently cuts into Mary’s Beet and Leek Tart Tatin.
Jerry Kitt, the owner of FIrst Nature Farms, and the member representing our EdmontonÂ Convivium who attended the biannual Terra Madre Conference in Italy this year, shared his experience and the nine Principles for Security in Times of Climate Change which is part of the organization’s World Wide Campaign for Signatures. It was an emotional sharing and one that I plan to work at to participate actively in this critical movement toward change. Jennifer CK writes about Jerry’s farming historyÂ here. Please take the time to consider the nine principles for security and at least think or comment about this campaign. Both Mary and Jerry brought back some Presidia labeled items for us to taste and to learn about.
The fresh and crispy greens are from Greens, Eggs, and Ham. The greens were unbelievably fresh and I found it amazing that they are still harvesting these from their outdoor garden at this time of year!Â Andreas and Mary EllenÂ also brought two plates laden with their turkey and duckÂ charcuteries. Kirstin Kotelko from Spring Creek Ranch brought her Basil Tomato Sausages.Â These are my personal favourite ofÂ Spring Creek’sÂ specialty sausages, and I have tried them all! I am a fan.
Barb brought the most tender MoroccanÂ Â lamb from a neighbouring farmer friend as well as her homemade choke cherry syrup. Talk about memories of my Grandma and childhood! Hello! I need some more of that syrup, Barb. Yum! Brad brought the egg dish which I just wanted to look at; it was so pillowy and caramelly and crunchy and perfect. I didn’t see any oneÂ sharing recipes, but even if I had this one, I know I could not get mine to look like this!
Peter brought the Canadian Style Tartiflette. It was definitely calling my name and was absolutely as luscious as it looks. Rich and creamy and full of the robust flavour of the Reblochon cheese. Michael brought the Osso Buco made from Irvings Farm’s Berkshire Pork that he was tending forÂ almostÂ two full days and fed aboutÂ six bottles of Advocat to. It was a masterpiece. A drunken masterpiece! I can’t even digest meat, but found myself hardly even chewing this pork. My gosh!Â Yummers. Look at it!
I tried to get photos of everything, but it wasn’t easy because as soon as the food came out, so did the crowd, so I missed so much, like Darlene and Vince’s scalloped potatoes and Thea and Chad’s special dish playfully titled:Â “Brawn“Â with Saskatoon and Juniper gelatinÂ accompanied by Treestone Bakery Bread. Thea explained that “Brawn is a combination of turkey, pork, venison, bison, duck, and rabbitÂ – all roasted, then slow-cooked in a turkey-duck-rabbit stock. It was developed from Chad’s memory of what his dad would cook back in Newfoundland.” I am glad I asked. IÂ had no idea whatÂ love was worked into that dish, but I did appreciate it!
Below, Tara’s delectable tarts. I tucked this one away and enjoyed it in the evening, as I savoured the memories of this busy day… mmm!
I brought my favourite recipe of oven roasted root vegetables, and even forgot to photograph them here. I will enter the entire recipe on a blog to follow. I also brought two Angel Food CakesÂ that I made the day before. One was made with organic chicken eggs from Sunworks Farms, and the other was made with duck eggs from Greens, Eggs, and Ham. The chicken egg cake was much more moist. A lesson learned. But, there are so many variables, and not so manypeople I knowÂ using duck eggs toÂ learn how to maximize them in this recipe. I will say that this was my third attempt at this cake, and that I really spent some time trying to learn how to succeed with them in this recipe. However,Â I also made zabaglione in my Thermomix with the duck eggs and didn’t even bring chicken eggs to compare them with. In this dish, the duck eggs out-perform the chicken eggs in all areas. The zabaglione didn’t break down. It sat for over an hour (well, the scrapings of the bottom of the pitcher did), and was still not breaking down. I always try to have duck eggs when making this dish. I find itÂ is outstanding when made with them. (You can buy them at Sobey’s on 4th Street or make arrangements directly from GE&H.)
Though I took many photos, I also missed many happy faces, but caught some, too!
I can think of no better way to have spent this beautiful fall morning. Mary’s home was warm with friendship, full of very interesting people, and I learned a great deal. Yeah!