Archive for September 2012

Chickpeas And Me

It’s not that I totally hate them!

I absolutely love hummus and the fried chick peas at Campagnola restaurant. Other than that, well they have that same mealy texture that I hate in lima beans. It’s simply a texture thingy. Oh, I like most other dried beans, just to set the record straight!

Chickpeas ShelledSo…a few days ago, when my very talented neighbour/chef, whom I have come to trust, regarding foods I have not developed an appreciation for ( fava beans, for instance), presented me with some fresh chickpeas, I thought OK, why not give it a try.  She got me with the fava’s too!  I can guarantee, though, she won’t ever get me to like oysters or salmon!

I decided to make them into a salad. So, I blanched them in salted water for a minute or so, drained them and cooled them under running cold water. Then I made a lemon-oregano dressing. To the bowl of chickpea’s I threw in some halved cherry tomatoes from the garden, very thinly sliced red onion I got at Trout Lake Farmer’s Market from “Stein Mountain guy”, added a handful of a wild variety of arugula from our garden and voila, ecco la insalata (here’s the salad).

I have to say here and now, I thought the fresh chickpeas were delicious, not mealy, a beautiful light green, tender and sweet.

I still don’t like the other ones!

**The Stein Mountain stall can be found at Trout Lake Farmer’s Market & for a few weeks of the Winter Market at Nat Bailey Stadium.  They have great garlic too!

Feast of Fields 2012

Well, here we are, once again, at the Feast of Fields, hereafter referred to as “FOS”, nibbling & sipping our way through a Sunday afternoon! Farm Folk/City Folk organizes this fundraising event every summer. FOS  really does celebrate “Summer’s Bounty”!

FOS takes place at a different venue every year. This time in Maple Ridge hosted by “Golden Ears Cheesecrafters.” We always go with two of our closest friends. It’s always fun to see the vendors, restaurants, breweries & wineries each year and we are always exhausted when we leave. Tired, but happy.

Like last year, Krause Bros. was barbecuing yellow corn. Oh joy… I have to report the good news. yellow corn is making a comeback! If you have read my “Where Has All The Good Corn Gone?” blog, you will know my feelings about “that other corn”.

Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse was pouring two different ciders, both really good! The four of us thought the Cocolico fig & honeycomb ice cream sandwich (a toasted hazelnut sable), was damned good. Terra Breads made an excellent pizza with squash, onions & sage in their portable wood burning pizza oven. Loved the crab “slaw” from the Vancouver Club, crab was so sweet. Prestons Restaurant did an outstanding job on their braised pork belly with star anise sweet soy glaze on a sweet rice cake. My husband and our friend adore fresh oysters, so they were thrilled to see fresh shucked ones at the Whet Kitchen location. Rocky Mountain Flatbread baked up pizzas topped with 4 season veggies, herb nut- free pesto topped with goat’s cheese. We all agreed that the fennel & basil coleslaw from Aphrodite’s Organic Café was excellent. A sip or three of Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s Cipes always goes down a treat as did the pinot noir rose from Synchromesh. Fishworks presented the salmon lover in our family with an outstanding (according to him) salmon crudo with fennel & olives. The bison sliders from Big Feast Bistro & Catering were right on the money too.

What a wonderful way to wrap up the summer, enjoying all the abundance available right here! And to see what our talented Vancouver chefs have come up with for our noshing pleasure.

Where Has All The Great Corn Gone?

Every summer I get into a snit. The summer should be a season of many things. Especially the things that remind us of our childhood. At our house this means all the local gorgeous, yummy veggies & fruits that are available. And especially in our house, eating corn on the cob holds special childhood memories.

Once upon a time in Vancouver, before the peaches & cream and bi-coloured gremlins got themselves all over us, we used to be able to readily find the corn that we called “Chilliwack” corn. As it turns out, that name is kind of like “Kleenex”. The corn I am talking about is known as Jubilee not Super Sweet Jubilee, just Jubilee and it becomes available in late summer.

Nowadays, all we seem able to find is bi-colour corn. For our taste, these varieties are all too sweet, missing that hit of  real corn taste. There used to be people selling Jubilee corn off backs of trucks parked on the side of the road all over the city. Where did they go??? Please come back, we need you!

Last summer we spent some time in Harrison Hot Springs. Agassiz calls themselves the corn capital of B.C. They had our beloved Jubilee. If you go, try Sparks Corn Barn, Hwy. #9 turn off to Agassiz, open from June to September from 10:00 to 6:00pm.

Corn guy at the farmer’s market surprised us last summer by growing some Jubilee. It was pretty good! He has given us other varieties to try over the years but we long for the taste of Jubilee corn.

Jubilee offers superb texture and taste. The kernels sometimes have a bit of a sunset glow to them and if cooked just right, they pop in your mouth, yum, yum. We made a lime butter** for our “corn feast”.

Last September the Feast of Fields was held at Krause Bros. Farm. As you arrived and entered the field where it was being held, they had a stand set up and were giving out roasted yellow corn. There was a big slab of butter that you rolled your corn over. It was mouthwatering!. For me it was the best booth at the FOF and I went back later for another cob. Heaven…

This summer, joy, there are a few stalls selling yellow corn.  Yahoo!!

**If you would like to make some lime butter, please go tp Lime-Chive Butter.  If you haven’t barbecued corn but would like to, please go to Corn On The Barbecue.