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Sardis Park Wines celebrated their grand opening yesterday, and we celebrated with them with these sweet little meringues. Vanilla bean and honey was whipped into a homemade creme fraiche, rhubarb was pureed with strawberries, blueberries & raspberries were picked up from a local stand in the morning, and mint was pick from my parents garden. Sperling Vineyards from Kelowna paired this explosive bite with their Sparkling Brut Rose.

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We brought the garden inside to celebrate all that spring gives us. Rhubarb stalks grow into prehistoric giants among the seedlings, field strawberries ripen into rich, red bursts of sweet, elderflowers flourish with their heady aroma. Eager radishes push through the dirt, showing their bright pink skin and everywhere there are shoots of vibrant green.

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We set out the long table on this blustery autumn evening to celebrate. We celebrated the full moon, cresting over Vedder Mountain. We celebrated the season, with rich, fall comfort food grown and harvested form the surrounding gardens, fields, and rivers. We celebrated friendships new and old, as the sparks of conversation around the table kindled warmth and joy, like the campfires that surrounded as on either side.IMG_1696

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To celebrate the beginning of spring, I had the chance to partner with Little Mountain Greenhouse and teach a seminar on “Cooking with Herbs”

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You couldn’t ask for a more beautiful setting. The evening light flooded the greenhouse, and fresh smells of flowers, herbs, and greenery lingered in the air.

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I taught how to make a homemade creme fraiche, pairing it with basil, lemon balm, shallots, and crisp blanched asparagus spears. We went through the time honoured steps of cooking risotto, and served it with fine herbs and lemon. Finishing the night was a pie dough from scratch, filled with a delicious chocolate mint, rhubarb and white chocolate and formed into perfect individual hand pies.

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Nearly 70 people came to learn about cooking with fresh herbs, sample delicious local food, and take home an individual potted herb of their choice. Thank you so much to all who came out for such a fun evening celebrating local food and the freshness of spring!

-Bonnie

A question is often posed to chefs asking what their “last” meal would be. I know I stand in good company when I say mine would be the classic French dish, duck confit.

Duck confit is a preserved duck leg dish, where the legs are first cured, and then cooked by being submersed in duck fat at a low temperature until the meat is almost falling off the bone. Cooked this way, the duck legs can be stored in the fat for up to 6 months! What results is the most luxurious, tender, flavourful, and versatile piece of meat I dare say you will ever come across. I love shredding the confit into “rillettes”, a rustic pate, served with a fruity chutney on a toasted crostini (with a glass of Pinot Noir, of course). It is amazing when you crisp the skin and serve the whole leg over a frisee salad, or duck fat roasted potatoes. I have been known to serve duck confit in tacos, dumplings, crepes.. the list goes on. The best part?  Together with Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry, I’ve made a video showing you step by step how truly EASY it is to make at home! Don’t wait for your “last meal” to give this recipe a try – watch the video, and head to The Farm Store in Yarrow to pick up some duck legs!

 

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