Browsing: Food Celebrations

100 Mile Dinner

September15

 I enjoyed sitting with other food appreciators who had attended this fund-raiser not even so much to support the charity but because of their love of local food and the brilliant chefs that make up the culinary landscape in Winnipeg.  To know that proceeds were going to the good work of the Boys and Girls Club of Winnipeg was a wonderful bonus. 

The company made the arduous time spent waiting to line up to fill your entree plate a bit more pleasant.  The wait times being one aspect that this new event may have to tweak before next year.  I left before dessert to sneak in a visit with my hard-working husband who had just gotten home from work.  Ironically he was watching “Chopped” when I walked in the door.

I was content too because of the appetizers that I got an opportunity to sample, which kept the hunger pangs at bay.  The beet root, apple creme fraiche & golden caviar was high on my list but was surpassed by the Pickerel ceviche. 

 The barley risotto and Trappist cheese croquettes were also delicious.

Other items were served from the main course section, namely the Broccoli salad, green and yellow bean salad, chicken-stuffed crepes, chickpea, shortrib fritters and Moroccan spice lentil patties with squash chutney. 

Had they set these up as another food station, the items could have been appreciated in their uniqueness and it would have broken up the congestion at the Main Course table.

Please don’t misread this as disappointment, the food was nothing short of exquisite but the feeling of standing in line with your empty plate in your hand was a bit like the anxiety that you feel at a church basement pot luck.  But perhaps that is what they were going for.

The roast pickerel and bison tortiere were well contrasted and the latter oh, so savoury but the star of the evening was the Applewood smoked pork tenderloin with maple-glazed onions. 

Luc Jean of Red River College put together an amazing team and it was lovely to say hey to Scott Bagshaw, Ben Kramer, Alex Svenne and Rob Thomas. 

The team was enhanced by Adam Donnelly, Makoto Ono, Norman Pastorin and Ariel Schor.  Thank you Chefs for your tireless work and devotion to this community.  

Kath’s quote: “Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”-Francois Minot
 

 

 

Donwood Community Kitchen-Guest Blogger: Anna Marie

September14

Donwood Community Kitchen is a joint partnership with Donwood School and Jubilee Mennonite Church.  The purpose of the kitchen is to build strong community through cooking together.

The kitchen is staffed with the Donwood Community Connector and the Jubilee Community Director, as well as many volunteers that come to help out. Friday afternoons 3 to 8 women gather to cook nutritious meals for their families. Child minding is also provided by volunteers with a nutritious snack. Through cooking together, the women begin to feel at home and comfortable enough to share concerns, challenges and joys. Conflicts between women emerge at times but are respectfully listened to so the women feel heard. Most of the food we receive is donated by F.O.O.D. (Fresh Option Organic Delivery). In order to continue to run the kitchen, Donwood and Jubilee provide in kind donations.

The Winnipeg Foundation and Thomas Sill grants have been awarded to the kitchen. Jubilee feels that this is a way we can put our faith in action. We have an opportunity to show hospitality through the use of space, staff and volunteers. The community kitchen helps to build relationships in an open and loving way, just as Jesus did. Those who come to the kitchen to volunteer are blessed by their experience.

Donwood school works hard at building relationships with the parents of the children who attend their school.

Kath’s quote: “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”-James Beard  

Pumchini-Guest Blogger Margaret (Nova Scotia)

September6

Today we grilled our very first pumchini on the BBQ. There were a couple of things that made this a very special part of our last meal of the summer. The pumchini is a vegetable that is a crossing of the pumpkin and zucchini. Two of my favorite vegetables. The treasured vegetable was cultivated, harvested, and gifted to us by our dear friends Cliff and Daphne Seruntine. They have an enchanted homestead- the Hollow- 45 min away from us. Cliff and Daphne are true Eco-Organic Farmers. In fact Cliff and Daphne have become such experts at raising organic livestock, and cultivating organic produce, that they are regarded by many in these parts as ‘the go to people’ for inquiries and advice in this field.

As we sat at the table for our last summer meal, we gave thanks for our present of the pumchini. I found a fantastic, very simple recipe for bbq zucchini and gave it a try. The large wedges, accompanied by tomatoes, were grilled to perfection. But this was not the foundation for my gratitude.

As I looked around the table and observed the family enjoying the pumchini, I thought about our dear friends Cliff & Daphne, who had spent the better part of spring and summer cultivating, and encouraging this amazing vegetable. I thought about how incredibly exhausted Cliff looked after spending the day harvesting, and tending to the farm. I thought about the unabashed love and respect that Daphne and Cliff have for the land, and Mother Nature in all her glory. Then I thought how they Blessed us by sharing their Spirit and Friendship with us, by giving us the prized harvest of the day.

Kath’s quote: “The first zucchini I ever saw I killed it with a hoe.”-John Gould 

100 Mile Dinner (160 KMs) -Winnipeg, September 13th, 2011

August31

We have adult children and I am happy to say that when the kids were younger they rarely got into trouble (or mischief that was reported to us, at any rate).  One of the reasons for our good fortune may have been that they were always involved in a sport or artistic endeavour.  Swimming lessons were mandatory and they could pick one other activity each, that we would pay and drive them to.  Now I know that this is because we live a privileged life in a safe community and that is not a luxury for all my fellow Winnipeggers.

The Boys and Girls Club of Winnipeg tries their darndest to equalize the playing field.  Their programs allow boys and girls the opportunity to relate to caring and positive role models who are interested in helping increase their skill levels to make good decisions for themselves.  This is a wonderful organization who deserves our support.

A delicious way to do so is by purchasing a ticket to their upcoming 100 Mile Dinner which takes place on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at the gussied up Crescentwood Community Club at 1170 Corydon Ave.

Volunteer Chefs will be Luc Jean, Scott Bagshaw, Adam Donnelly, Makoto Ono, Norman Pastorin, Ariel Shor, Alexander Svenne, Ben Kramer and Chef Rob.  They will be serving up pickerel, bison, elk, cheese made by Trappist monks and John Russell honey. 

Tickets are $125.  Call 982-4941 or email kozak@wbc.mb.ca for tickets and/or more info. 

I’ve got my ticket and I’ll see you there.

Kath’s quote:  “Often, admiring a chef and getting to know him is like loving goose liver and then meeting the goose.”-George Lang 

 

Cafe Carlo

July14

When Daughter #1 was just weeks old, we took her out for her first dining experience.  We plunked her car seat in the middle of of a table at the St. James Keg (when it was located further west on Portage Ave.) and we told our server to bring out all of our food, all at once and we would determine as we went along, how long we could linger over individual courses.  Well it turned out to be a leaisurely evening for two reasons: D was the General Manager of that Keg location at that time and all the staff were so accommodating and would have walked the floor with Daughter #1 had she needed attention.  But the fact of the matter was that she did not make a peep and slept the evening away.  Everybody was kind of disappointed because they did not get to see her open her beautiful big blue eyes.

And so it was, that our Cafe Carlo celebration was the long-awaited birth of the son of dear friends of ours.  The evening was made that much better by the inclusion of Grandma and Grandpa from Pennsylvania, whom we have waited a very long time to meet.  But the guest of honour was the newborn baby himself, who also slept blissfully throughout the entire evening.

This particular couple live in the Corydon area and often visit Cafe Carlo, ordering and sharing their favourite dishes.  They let us have tastes.  We were duly impressed with the chunks of chicken in the from-scratch gravy and authentic cheese curds in their version of Poutine, served as a “Small Plate.”  The cheese-makers at Bothwell call their curds “squeakers” because a well-formed curd, squeaks when you bite into them.

We also got to sample another “Small Plate” the portobello mushrooms sauteed with beef tenderloin tips. 

Then the new parents split a dish of ravioli and appreciated that the kitchen split the order for them to enjoy.

You will all be shocked to learn that I did not order the Spag Boo containing my fav artichokes and spicy eggplant (only because that is the dish that I always have when I go).  I opted instead for the Fett Chile.  Silky fettuccine topped with chicken, chorizo for heat, cashews for crunch and a chili cream sauce for slurp.  I dove right in to mine so that I could have my turn holding the baby.

D had the same dish as one of four courses entitled the Fantasy, including spring rolls, a salad and creme brulee. 

The Cafe was packed with neighbourhood folk out for a stroll on a glorious summer evening in Winnipeg.  We celebrated old friends, new friends and the miracle of creation.  Life is good. 

Cafe Carlo on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “So where did these cravings come from? I concluded it’s the baby ordering in. Prenatal takeout. Even without ever being in a restaurant, fetuses develop remarkably discerning palates, and they are not shy about demanding what they want. If they get a hankering, they just pick up the umbilical cord and call. ‘You know what would taste good right now? A cheeseburger, large fries, and a vanilla shake. And if you could, hurry it up, because I’m supposed to grow a lung in a half hour.’” –Paul Reiser

T,C & L-love you guys!

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