Eat Alberta: A Day of Local Foodie Awesomeness!Posted: May 1, 2011
Yesterday was the much anticipated Eat Alberta Local Food conference. It was wonderful! A full Day of local foodie awesomeness, where I got to nerd out over how much I love food, and local food at that, with other local food lovers! Before I begin to tell you the tales of the day, I wanted to send out a HUGE Thank you to Valerie and to Slow Food Edmonton for organizing such a wonderful day! I had so much fun!!
My mom and my sister Michelle took time out of their super busy lives (My sister is getting married next weekend!) to partake in the fun.
The morning Keynote was wonderful! Jennifer BerkenBosch and James Vriend recounted their tales of falling in love with food, and endeavoring to sustainably feed their family with the food that they’re grown with their own two hands. I loved the uniqueness of their story; how they gave up with urban lives to buy a farm and live sustainably on it. It was a great kick off to the day!
She also let us play with the apple peeler/core-er. It was so cool!! All you do is stick the apple onto the spikes in the machine.
Then you turn the handle
Also made for a pretty interestingly cut apple!
After we played with the apple peeler for a while, Christian explained the fine art making fresh pie filling. Always use a tart apple, she says, and then add brown sugar. You know that you’ve added enough brown sugar when the apple tastes at a perfect balance between sweet and tart. Next, don’t be afraid of cinnamon. Add a lot, because it tastes good!
The dough was a lot easier than I thought it would be! Apparently, Christian uses the recipe on the side of the Tenderflake box!
We each got to take home a mini pie. It was quite the fun experience to learn how to cook altogether!
Here’s my overstuffed pie! I was told to bake it with a cookie sheet underneath, as it is sure to explode in my oven!
Here’s me trimming the edge of my super huge pie.
Beautiful! I got tips on how to add finishing touches, like curling up the edges for that classic apple pie look, and adding different types of ventilation holes!
The next session of the day was fresh, homemade pasta making with Kathryn Joel of Get Cooking (she hosts local Edmonton food classes. Check her out!) I was so blown away to be learning how to cook fresh pasta from a Corbon Blue trained Chef. This was such an interesting session! It make me seriously consider investing in a pasta maker…
The recipe for making homemade pasta is actually way easier than I thought. All you need is 1 egg per 100 grams of flour. No seriously, that’s it. I’m not lying!!
Kathryn showed us a technique that you create a little well, and crack your egg in it.
Next, you beat the eggs until they are incorporated into the flour, and you are able to kneed it.
Also while we were waiting, Kathryn gave us a demonstration on how to make our own pesto. Its really simple. Use fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. That’s it! Stick it in a blender, and blend it up fine. Toss with freshly made pasta! Delish!
Chunky, delicious, fresh homemade pesto!
After lunch, it was time to make some sausage. Allan Suddaby from Button Soup passed along his knowledge on how to make the perfect Spicy Italian and Kubasa sausages.
Can you see the marbling of the ground meat as it comes out of the machine? That’s because sausage is half half meat and fat. That I did not know before taking this workshop. It was very interesting, but also kinda gross!
Once all the meat was ground, it was time to ferment it, using a little vinegar and salt. I didn’t know sausage was fermented!!
The next step in sausage making was probably the most gory (I’m warning the squeamish, you may want to skip ahead a few pictures if you don’t have a strong stomach. It was almost too much for me…) This is the sausage stuffer. Pretty innocent looking machine eh?
This however, is not to innocent. It’s a nicely washed and preserved small pig intestine. Yummy.
Then the meat was literally pressure pressed into the intestine tube. We didn’t section it off as we went, rather we kept one long tube until the end.
Kevin Kossowan delivered the afternoon keynote. It was so interesting and rounded off the full way so nicely!! He talked about the challenges to the growth of the local food system in Alberta (such as long waiting lists at farmer’s markets, and silly provincial laws preventing farmer’s from selling ducks as agricultural products), and the plethora of options that you have to chose from when it comes to local food! I found Kevin’s talk to be quite inspiring. He really solidified for me all the reasons why I decided to go down the local path in the first place.
Eat Alberta was a wonderful day filled with local foodie awesomeness. I really appreciated the huge amount of work slow food edmonton put into the day to make it a huge success! I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference!