Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment. Cheers! - Bethany

Monday, August 01, 2011

These are the foodies in my neighbourhood

This long-weekend Saturday was Food Day Canada 2011. Launched in 2003 as The World's Longest Barbeque—to rally support for Canadian beef farmers in the midst of the mad cow scare—it became Food Day in the hands of Anita Stewart and has now evolved to embrace the entire locavore phenomenon.

I learned all this on Twitter ... in 140 characters or less.

Food Day has also become a huge social networking event, with "tweeps" and Facebookers (have I got that right?) buzzing about where they are going, or what they're making at home, to celebrate. There are online discussions, awards for creative menus voted on by the foodie masses and bios on folks from field to table and all points in between.

Plenty of Ottawa restos were on board, but I thought it might be a fun challenge for the blog: hosting a dinner party with only local ingredients (or from Canada, at the very least. Closer to home, the better.)

I began the day with a trip to the Main Street Market, and started foraging at The Elk Ranch booth. Picking out steaks was fun: I hung over the side of a chest freezer and chatted with the vendor about what was the best for grilling. I ended up with over $50 worth of elk striploins in my bag. 

On to the next stop. And another. And the next. (Walking and sunshine = hungry, so we had to stop for samosas, spring rolls, cupcakes and mango juice along the way, of course.) Fresh purple and yellow beets; black bean hummus from The Bread Lady; chick pea nacho chips from My Real Food Life; peaches-n-cream corn on the cob from Avonmore. Bags loaded (and wallets emptied) we tossed the kids and cargo into the Kia and headed home.

Things got a little hectic as dinner time crept up on me (like an episode of Hell's Kitchen: "With only 30 minutes to go before guests arrive, Team B has yet to do any prep!") I whipped up an extra appetizer of Caprese salad "dip", to go with the hummus and chips, and poured a glass of Lacey Estates Pinot Gris, its orange-y-pink hue fooling everyone into thinking it was rosé. Then the feast came, hot off the grill, with which we enjoyed the Chateau des Charmes Equuleus I picked up a few weeks ago.

To top it off, our dear friends brought an apple-and-strawberry crumble that got thoroughly picked over every time one of us ferried a plate or glass into the kitchen. (Finally, we just brought the whole thing out and snarfed back what remained. Oh. So. Good.)

Overall, a pretty awesome Food Day.

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