Category » In The Community « @ kitchening with carly

By: Kitchening With Carly  09-12-2011
Keywords: Meals

Passionate vintage shoppers and appreciators of all things handmade & local came together at last Saturday’s outdoor European-style market. Together, the and put on this spectacular complete with picnic options, BBQ, petting zoo, amazing ice cream, live music and a line up of vendors not to be missed.

It was 6:30am when we began set-up, so as you can imagine it was a foggy start all around! I enjoyed wandering around doing my own window-less shopping, taking photos and socializing just as much as I loved sharing my macarons with anyone who stopped by surprised that there was an edible treat amongst the flowers, stationary and furniture. We heard “I thought these were soaps” several times before the sweet cookie and butter cream of our macarons changed any notions of finding cleaning products at our table! Another funny from that day was the few shoppers who tried to purchase my display of old books. Sorry to disappoint, but those are my personal collection. I’ll share the macarons but not the library.

The founder of Domaine de Chaberton, Claude Violet, “found that grape varietals similar to those grown in Northern France and Southern Germany were best suited to our climate and environment.” Many of theses wineries grow their white grape varieties locally, while red grapes are grown in the Okanagan. Vista D’Oro’s on premise Walnut Tree allows owners Lee & Patrick to produce their flagship fortified Walnut Wine. Liquid gold. Honestly!

I was delighted to be asked to sample macarons during Township 7′s Anniversary Celebration last weekend and relished in having free reign to pair three of our macarons with Township 7 wines. Who doesn’t love pairings?! Our table was popular and my helper (saviour!) Ruth-Ellen and I enjoyed every minute of it. Many vineyard guests that day found a dessert or hostess gift to accompany their newly purchased bottle of wine. Here is what we sampled, poured and paired:

Pistachio Macaron with Pistachio Butter Cream paired with Township 7′s 7Blancs

This off-dry, fruit driven wine contrasted nicely with the mellow and subtle flavours of the pistachio macaron.

Vanilla Bean Macaron with Lavender Butter Cream paired with Township 7′s Chardonnay (oaked).

The fresh apple, peach and citrus of the Chardonnay accentuated the lavender in our Vanilla Bean and Lavender macaron. Guests trying our recommended sip of wine, bite of macaron, sip of wine strategy loved how the lavender sprang to life!

Natural Almond Macaron with Rosemary Salted Caramel  & Vanilla Butter Cream also paired with Township 7′s Chardonnay (also paired well with their Reserve Chardonnay).

The beautiful earthiness of the rosemary and the rich vanilla buttery filling in our Rosemary Salted Caramel macaron joined wonderfully with the gentle nuances of vanilla, coconut and hazelnut in the Chardonnay.

In addition to their Langley vineyard, Township 7 also has a vineyard on the Naramata Bench. I had the pleasure of meeting the owner, Mike, last weekend, who was in town for this celebration to do special tastings from their wine library collection. 2005 Merlot, oh my goodness.

Don’t you love the sight of all these ladies in their crazy little aprons? I do. Some of us already knew each other, and some of us didn’t. The  important part is that we all know each other much better now! I love those moments in life that help you learn more about people. These are the moments where your friend is madly humming a tune for you to guess during Cranium and you can’t guess because you can’t stop laughing, or when hearts are shared over the kitchen table or maybe even on public transit with someone you just met, or when you have an impromptu photo shoot in the Granville Island hat store with a girlfriend, or perhaps a moment like last night when you all get together to cook for a cause you deeply believe in.

What a successful Big Cook! We learned new ways of chopping, sauteing, rolling, wrapping, pizza making, blending and more from one another last night. Who knew there wasn’t one right way?! Well, all of us knew that of course.

  1. I loved cooking so much, I wanted it to be part of my career
  2. Our food business had to have a community component because I love caring for others through food; if it’s not about people, I’m not interested. As much as I love cooking, I don’t want to pump product out all day if that’s the only end game, and 
  3. There must be a better way to organize giving meals to others in our community.

As part of Jericho Ridge Community Church in Langley, I’d received many calls to make meals for those within our church community during times of need. This was great, except often it was last minute and with tight schedules it was becoming hard to get the required meals made and delivered for those who needed them immediately. Realizing that we could organize cooking sessions that prepared a stockpile of meals so that they were ready and on-hand for just such times led to a meeting between several interested persons, which in turn led to our Big Cook events. Where did this Big Cook title come from? Well, one of us had heard about a cookbook where you do exactly this, prepare lots of meals in advance and freeze them. Here is an excerpt from their site:

It is 5:00pm ….
• You are not rushing around frantically trying to get supper made.
• You have a freezer full of delicious, nutritious homemade meals that are ready to be cooked and enjoyed.
• You prepared all these meals in one day while having fun with friends!
• We have proven that it only takes a little longer to make 8 meals of the same recipe as it does to make one.

Now, let me be clear. Though this began at the church community level, it is of utmost importance to me that this is not simply a church thing. I do believe that it’s essential to care for those within our church community, but how limiting! Look at the larger community we are part of: our neighbours, colleagues or even our neighbours’ brothers or grandparents or [insert pretty much anyone you want here]… It’s about the lives of the people around us. We need to get connected, and not with Facebook. I don’t think we’ve ever been in a time where we talk about how ‘connected’ people are through the use of technology, but relationally we couldn’t be more disconnected. We need more and less, if you catch my drift. I heard a great, quote by Beth Moore, at a retreat I was at a couple of weeks ago regarding our technology usage and connectedness. She said something along the lines of “we are about 100 000 miles wide and 1/16 of an inch deep”. From this quote, two things should be evident:

  1. Yes, she is an American with all that miles and inches talk, and
  2. We are more connected than ever and yet as lonely as we’ve ever been.

Food for thought, pun totally intended!

We’d love to hear your comments and questions. If you want to organize a Big Cook of your own, don’t hesitate to ask for more details. I’d love to help you plan it and I’m happy to share details and tips!

Keywords: Meals

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