Fall into Winter Gourmet at the Greenhouse

What a fantastic evening it was! For this second culinary event at Lower Shannon Farms, the tables were set up right in the greenhouse. Guests enjoyed the gourmet fare next to the growing plants. Some referred to it as the “Rainforest” effect.

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The majority of the food was produced right at Lower Shannon Farms or in close proximity. It was then prepared and served by Amanda and the crew from the root community emporium. As guests were enjoying the meal, they were entertained with jazz music by the talented musicians of the band Tangerine. The Gourmet at the Greenhouse is unique in so many ways and KT & Company is thrilled to bring something of this nature to the Lloydminster area.

-Kelly

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Gourmet In The Greenhouse ~November 14

‘Eating Local’ is becoming a very popular trend in many communities across Canada.  For some people, eating locally means buying food that was grown within 100 miles of home. For others, it is simply being conscious and aware of where your food has been grown, and buying that which was grown nearby, using ethical and sustainable farming methods as often as possible.

‘Gourmet at the Garden’ was a special event, created to celebrate and promote the ‘eat local’ movement. This past summer, 61 Lloydminster and area residents were treated to a four course gourmet meal prepared by local chefs from The Root Community Emporium, and presented on the farm where the food was grown, “Lower Shannon Farms”. Along with the fabulous produce grown at Lower Shannon Farms, the chefs included such things as cheese and honey produced on other farms in the Lloydminster area.

It was a full house for Gourmet At The Garden.

It was a full house for Gourmet At The Garden.

Amanda and the amazing staff of The Root Community Emporium.

Amanda and the amazing staff of The Root Community Emporium.

Tickets for ‘Gourmet at the Garden’ were sold out, with 61 people travelling to the farm to enjoy this locally grown food experience. Everyone was welcome to tour the greenhouse, and see where the food had been grown. John Acton of Lower Shannon Farms gave a brief presentation on his farming methods, and on his cutting edge ideas for creating healthy, sustainable food.

Gourmet at the Garden was so well received; the decision was made to recreate a similar event for fall. KT and Company, The Root Community Emporium and Lower Shannon Farms are very excited to present….
Fall Into Winter – Gourmet in the Greenhouse
This four course meal will feature three unique starters made with sausage, tomato, and other ingredients grown on the farm. Your meal will also include tomato basil soup, with an entree of homegrown turkey served with beet chutney, whipped potato, honey dill carrots and saskatoon squash stuffing.  The meal will be followed by a spiced strawberry tart with vanilla custard.  Hungry yet?  We should also mention a warm and inviting welcome cocktail and wine included with dinner.

Parting gifts of home made salsa for our guests to take home.

Parting gifts of home made salsa for our guests to take home.

If you want to experience Fall Into Winter – Gourmet in the Greenhouse, act now.  Save the date ~ November 14. Tickets for our summer event sold out quickly, and we are certain to sell out again. Call Kelly at 780-872-2585 or Terra at 780-808-1397.

You can also stop by The Root in Lloydminster for your ticket, or visit Lower Shannon Farm to make sure you have a spot reserved at the table for this exciting local food event.

See you at the farm!

<Terra>

And what a Feast it was

IMG_3333Harvest Feastival that is. At the 4th Annual local food event hosted by the Lloydminster Agricultural Exhibition Association, 400 people tasted the culinary delights prepared by Chef Rob, Bernice, Bev and the crew from the catering division at the Ex. As before there were 10 stations to choose from: Baked Bianca from the Cheesiry; Borscht, vegetable barley soup, quinoa salad and roasted pumpkin salad with veggies from both the Actons of Lower Shannon Farms and Jason and Julie Anderson of Kathy’s Greenhouse. Roast turkey from the Wasyliws, with seven grain and Saskatoon berry stuffing; Coq au Vin with chickens from Lower Shannon Farms; pork, sauerkraut and egg noodles supplied by Manley Land and Cattle, Emjays Greenhouse and Delloy Pasta; Bison stew  from the Russels and bannock made by Gertrude from Onion Lake; beef tacos with beef coming from Vee Tee Feeders; Lamb shepherds pie coming from the Hoopers; three different kinds of berry cobbler with Emjays berries and the beverage station featuring spirits from the Lucky Bastard Distillery and wines from the Living Sky Winery and Cypress Hills Winery. Other ingredients were supplied by Three Farmers Camelina Oil, New Life Organics and Progressive Foods Barley.

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It is a food lover and locavore’s delight. There is much to be accessed in our community of high quality, healthy and truly tasty food. An event such as this could not happen without the sponsors, Lower Shannon Farms, The County of Vermilion River, ALUS project, and the Canola Council or the celebrity chefs and volunteers. Most certainly a great deal of credit goes to Chef Rob, Bernice and Bev, along with the rest of the kitchen crew for creating not just one meal for 400 but actually 8 different ones. The night centers around eating and exploring the different dishes.

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– Kelly

My Iphone

I am admittedly not techie. I got my smart phone long after everyone else. But in recent weeks, I have discovered that one of my very favorite things about it is the camera. Don’t get me wrong, I love my big Canon, but it is a bit of a production to take it with me. Particularly if I am in the middle of other things. But having my phone in my back pocket to snap a pix when I come across it, has been so very cool. And many of the pictures have been enhanced with the Instagram settings. I hope I am not becoming one of those constant posters, but I am loving some of the shots I have got and now I will share on the blog.

– Kelly

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Love Anthony

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It has been a summer of good reads, but the latest book by Lisa Genova, Love Anthony, topped it for me. I literally slowed down reading near the end because I did not want it to be over. Love  Anthony is the story of two women and their connection through an autistic boy. Author, Genova, does a great job of exploring the mysteries of autism, as well as a number of relationships, as the two women struggle through challenges they have been faced with. I had previously enjoyed Genova’s other works, Still Alice and Left Neglected, but have to say Love, Anthony tops the trio for me. I highly recommend it.

– Kelly

“Take what you’ve learned and love someone again.

Find someone to love and love without condition.

This is why we’re all here.”
― Lisa GenovaLove Anthony

Spruce Meadows

photo (4)It has been many years since I was there, too many to actually count, and Spruce Meadows has only gotten better. Spruce Meadows was founded in 1976 by the Southern Family. Their dream was to create a unique environment of “good friendship, good commerce and good sport,” which they have more than achieved. It is a truly wonderful place, think Disneyland for horse lovers. Cobblestone pathways, manicured lawns, lovely flower gardens, horse statues adorn the grounds which are immaculately kept.

photo (2)It is an Alberta venue hosting international equestrian events. But more than that the facility is open year round with a myriad of events and rentals. There is also an in-house horse breeding and training program. Spruce Meadows encompasses 552 acres , has 90 full-time employees, has a stable capacity of 1,000 horses and hosted close to 500,000 visitors last year. So it was a real treat to be hosted by ATCO Electric in the new Canada Place. Watching the jumping competition in the international ring was spectacular.

IMG_3266But what even topped that for me was leaning on the rail of the warm-up ring while elite of the jumping horse world practiced. There, you are close enough to touch the horses, and they are magnificent.

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-Kelly

ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen

As part of a recent trip to Spruce Meadows ( separate blog) a group of us got to visit the ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen in Calgary and attend cooking classes.

The Blue Flame Kitchen has been around since 1930 when part of the ATCO program included home economists on staff to advise cooks on using gas. The motto at the time was “You can do it better with gas.” This expanded into recipe books, and more recently has been updated to include a website and the fabulous kitchen and chefs. At the Blue Flame Kitchen they host cooking classes, school tours and film tv segments.

We were divided into three groups and worked at stations, just like the school kids. The first station was making dips. A roasted red pepper and feta, then a yogurt vanilla fruit dip.

Our second stop was at the knife station. Cutting skills are not one of my strengths, according to the Big Guy so it was just what I needed. We learned how to julienne, chifonade, cutting herbs and cutting on the bias. The basic cutting procedure involves rolling the knife front to back. Also, holding the food to be cut with bent knuckles to keep your finger tips away from the knife blade.  I have seen chefs on tv do this but it feels awkward and will definitely take some practice. When cutting hard items like cheese the chef recommended using a folded dish towel to push down on the blade.

The final station was making spring rolls with rice paper wraps, using the vegetables we had cut. A tip was to soak the rice paper until it could be bent and then use a dishcloth on the cutting board. Make the filling pile in the shape of a rectangle and start slightly south of center. We started with rice noodles then added veggies on top.  Fold the sides in first then tuck up the bottom and roll tightly. The wraps behave like saran wrap and sticks to itself so you need to be a little careful. But over all it was quite simple and the rolls were great.

The staff and chefs at the Blue Flame Kitchen were super nice to work with. I definitely think more cooking classes are in order. Check out the website, atcoblueflamekitchen.com for these recipes and much more.

 

– Kelly

Gourmet at the Garden

Mark your calendar for August 7 at 6:30. You don’t want to miss this…..

There’s going to be a garden party!  We are excitedly planning and coordinating a brand new event for Lloydminster, “Gourmet at the Garden”. This will be a four course meal featuring food grown locally at Lower Shannon Farms, 10 minutes north of Lloydminster.

Three enterprises; Lower Shannon Farms, The Root Community Emporium, and KT and Company have collaborated to create this very unique dining experience. Gourmet at the Garden will celebrate local food in an outdoor restaurant setting on the farm where the food was grown.  The meal will be enhanced by a presentation from the farmer on how their food is sustainably grown and from the chef on how it was prepared.  Locally grown entertainment will highlight this fun evening.

Outdoor events similar to Gourmet at the Garden have been held in other areas known for their support of local agriculture.  We have done a bit of research, and are finding that these local food events are gaining in popularity in Canada.  British Columbia, Ontario and the Maritime Provinces are leaders in creating ‘pop up dinners’ and other local food events that encourage people to come out and try the food that is growing in their province.  Slow food events, Fork Fests, and Farmers Markets are beginning to trend in Alberta and Saskatchewan, showing that consumers are becoming increasingly interested in where and how their food is grown.

We are planning to have a sold out crowd at Gourmet at the Garden on August 7th.  It will be our first outdoor gourmet dinner, and we are very excited to host what we know will be a unique and fun event that people will be talking about long after it is over. 

If you live here or if you plan to be in the Lloydminster area on August 7 let us know and we will save your spot at the table!

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“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a home grown tomato”  -Lewis Grizzard

 

 

 

Perfect Timing

Our daughter is preparing to compete in a few horse shows again this summer. She is involved in a lot of activities …. not to mention her social calendar…. and as a result we find that sometimes her ‘training for a show’ looks a little more like ‘cramming for a show’ with a bit of riding through the fields and playing around with her horse thrown in between going to the movies, hanging out with friends, school and sports.   
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Today, as we were getting ready to go for a ride together, many things got in the way. Distracted texting with her friends to arrange their next get together, lost boots that our puppy had relocated to another spot in the yard, a garden that I couldn’t pass without pulling a few weeds, all put us a little behind schedule. 
 
The ‘icing on the cake’ happened when we were saddling our horses and an enormous, man eating wasp flew into my eye and stung me!  Our darling girl tells me it was a teeny little mosquito but she is so very very wrong. 
 
Stumbling away from my horse – unable to see because of the tears, the swelling and the excruciating pain, I managed to get my husbands attention and he came running to my side to help me in my time of need….
 
Well, actually he stared at me from the tractor with a look on his face that said …’could you get out of the way, I’m trying to do something here…’ until he saw me trying to dig the huge man eating wasp out of my eye. Or maybe it was our daughter collapsing with fits of laughter that got his attention. 
 
Anyways, my dramatics over nearly losing an eye to a wasp sting set us even further behind schedule.  I settled down, and as soon as I could convince myself that I would probably live, we girls headed out for our ride. It was lovely to hear my daughter giggling and telling me how weird I looked with my puffy eye. It’s always nice to hear her laugh, even when it’s at my expense. 
 
We rode past our little herd of cattle. The one cow who hadn’t yet had her calf stared at us as we approached. We have been watching her for over a week, thinking that she will calve any minute. Her belly and udder are both enormous, and she stares at us every day panting and looking so uncomfortable. I remember that feeling. 
 
As we rode past her, I said “just let it out 49J, you will feel so much better”. 
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This is when we noticed that she was holding her tail a little funny…a very good indication that today will be the big day and our last calf will be born sometime in the next few hours. 
 
We rode to the open field, and our daughter practiced for the upcoming show. Well, not really….she raced up and down hills, trying to see how fast she could make her horse run and turn….none of which have much to do with proper collection, correct leads or ‘slowing her lope’ which are the things her riding instructors have been working on with her. However she had a great time, and posted a picture of herself on Instagram which got a lot of likes…..which is equally  important when you are a teenaged girl. 
 
As we approached 49J on our ride home, we were so lucky to be there to witness the birth of our last calf of 2013. This will also be old 49J’s last calf. While we quietly watched, she gave birth to a very large, very beautiful red bull calf. We watched as she cleaned him up, quietly speaking to him and encouraging him to pick up his head and breathe. We watched while she kept licking and nudging him until he tried to stand and took his first wobbly steps. She’s a great momma. 
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Our kids are fortunate to be able to witness many life events from birth to death and the stuff in between through life on the farm. I really appreciate moments like this when I am alone with one child, and can take the opportunity to teach (they say lecture) about the facts of life. I’m sure my daughter really appreciated my impromptu, unsolicited, free of charge conversation about the birds and bees while we sat on our horses and watched this little baby come into the world. Well, maybe she doesn’t appreciate it now, but when she replays the scenario in her mind years from now I think she will. Or at least she will have fun texting friends about how her day went, held captive on her horse while her puffy eyed mom told her all about the birds and bees (again).  
 
It’s all about timing. I looked at my young girl and commented on how things work out some times. We were so lucky to have had the delays we had while trying to go for our ride. If she hadn’t have been texting, if her boots hadn’t been lost, and if I hadn’t have been stung in the eye by a man eating wasp….mosquito….we would have missed being here for this blessed event today. And she would have missed out on yet another riveting ‘facts of life’ presentation from her mother. 
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She will be as ready as she needs to be for her horse shows, and she will find the time for all of her school, sports and social activities. We need to remember to enjoy every fleeting moment of this crazy fabulous life. 
 
Things work out the way they should, and the timing is always perfect. 
 
“The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.”  Willie Nelson. Image

Summer Veggies

Our good friends at Lower Shannon Farms are growing a bounty. As such we have been inspired to explore some new recipes. Here are two that we have tried.

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Melon Cucumber Salad

melon
cucumber
red onion
feta cheese
Dressing of oil, lemon juice, honey, dill, salt and pepper

This salad has an unusual combination of ingredients and is a contrast of sweet and sour. It is delicious.

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Tomato Pie

Pre-baked pie or tart shells
Layer with sliced fresh tomatoes
mayonnaise
fresh basil
grated cheese
Bake for 20 – 30 minutes in a 325 degree oven. Add other ingredients if you would like. We tried some with bacon and they were great too.

– Kelly