Archive for May 2017

2 “R’s” of Spring

Ramps and Rhubarb!

Yes, we are up to our knees in both! We fired up the stove at #5 this week stocking up our larder and freezer using these delectable spring delicacies.

You can’t go wrong with rhubarb muffins or rhubarb coffee cake.  A must in our house is making the annual batch of rhubarb ketchup.

Ramps aka wild leeks are hard to get in some areas but if you do have a “connection”…by all means try out a few of our favourites!  For my money they have more of a garlicky flavour rather than the taste of leeks.

 

Ramp buttermilk biscuits are another springtime must around here. And then there is an amazing “pesto” that we toss with spaghetti and sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs. Not to mention a ramp Italian sausage risotto.  Or, you might consider chicken braised with ramps…sort of “white coq au vin.” Certainly went down a treat here!

If you would like to learn more about ramps, check out my blog post.  Click here for the link.

 

 

 

 

While Visiting Victoria

Last weekend we made a quick trip over to Vancouver Island.  It’s been about three years…far too long!

Back in the day, before we really got the travel bug and when we still had a mortgage to pay off, we used to go over quite often.  Vancouver Island is very beautiful and if you get the chance, do try and go…the ferry ride from Vancouver alone is spectacular and worth the journey!

One of the things we used to do for fun was travel around the Island searching for new and exciting food stuff…duh, what else would we be doing!  So, in our travels we found new cheesemakers, bakers, wine makers, artisanal butchers and interesting restaurants.  Chefs were sourcing locally made and grown products.  Cooking this way seemed to be happening more in Victoria than here in Vancouver back in the mid-eighties.  We would pick up the Vancouver Island Eat Magazine each time an issue was published, pour over it with anticipation hoping to discover new places to visit on our next trip over.

And so it was with great pleasure that we “discovered” a new-to-us funky little place on Quadra Street called Part and Parcel.  First thing is to find a place to sit down then sidle up to the counter and choose from the days’ offerings on the chalkboard,  grab some water, order wine or a craft beer if you like, sit yourself down and wait!  We decided to share a kamut fried chicken sandwich stuffed with house-smoked bacon, coleslaw and pickles, confit pork cheek topped with shaved fennel and a dollop of rhubarb “jam” and Moroccan fries.   We weren’t sure what to expect but when our choices arrived and we tucked in, we were pretty impressed!  The chicken in the sandwich has a kamut coating;  the other components are house made and it was wonderful.   When we read that the fries were scratch made, dusted with that delicious Moroccan spice mix, ras-el-hanout and came with harissa mayo dip, we had to have some!  But oooh, that confit of pork cheek paired with the rhubarb…outstanding!   I need to make confit of pork cheek!  Turns out Part and Parcel won the Vancouver Magazine Victoria Restaurants “Silver” award!  Who knew!

The staff is a friendly, easy-going bunch;  know their stuff and we had a lot of fun chatting with them.  We walked out two very happy kids and you’ve gotta love that!