Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day Dinner 2012

Do you ever go somewhere alone, wondering where you're going to sit, only to bump into some friends and end up having a wonderful evening?

For ten years, a duo called The Two Women from Burr have been hosting a local-flavours Earth Day dinner in the Burr community hall, near Humboldt, Saskatchewan. This year, on its tenth anniversary, my husband and I finally made it.

What a treasure! We feasted on dish after dish of wholesome home cooking made with the produce of this bountiful land. The two women, Marie Saretsky and Laurel Merkosky, create a new menu every year. They go to great lengths to make it fresh and enticing, given that spring produce is not yet available. For example, last fall, they blanched heaps and heaps of their favourite "weed" for a baked dish of Scalloped Lamb's Quarters. Now that's dedication! Check out the full menu below.

Our table mates were Michael and Sharon from Manitou Beach, Wanda and Mattias from Humboldt and Jim and Marie-Louise from Humboldt/St. Peter's Abbey. Jim is an amazing resource for anyone gardening on the prairies: he produces heritage seeds and sells them through a mail order company called Prairie Garden Seeds

Of course, we never drive to Humboldt without stopping at the Pulvermacher butcher shop in Bruno -- this time we picked up a big stick of salami. Should last us a month! 

Driving home, the earth was lovely in that last hour of daylight, a flaming sky reflecting off duck ponds and vast prairie fields ready for another abundant season.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Salami Love

Do not - I repeat Do Not - drive between Saskatoon and Humboldt without stopping in the town of Bruno to buy sausage at the Pulvermacher grocery store.

Jerome and Peter Pulvermacher make sausage the same way their grandfather did when he came to Canada 100+ years ago.

Today I'm loving their salami, which is made the old traditional way by naturally fermenting the meat. Their pepperoni is also worth the trip. It's as far from that fat greasy mass-produced pizza pepperoni as one can get. I think I'll head to the fridge right now for a little pepperoni love...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Turkey Stock

One of the most satisfying things to make from scratch is soup stock. Don't you agree?

This year, we had Easter dinner at my brother's house on the farm at Craik. I took home the turkey bones. To this I added: 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, handful of parsley, the discards of green onions, sprig of sage, 1/4 red onion, peppercorns and coriander seeds.

Cover with water and simmer all afternoon. The liquid reduces to a fragrant, jellied stock. Coming soon: turkey soup and turkey pie.

Note to self: NEVER let a good bone go to waste.