Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Veritable Feast

Today is a day full of food, overflowing with it really. I volunteered this morning at the 1st Annual Stone Soup Film Festival at Britannia Secondary. The films being shown are all on urban agriculture, food security, food integrity, and related topics, and the benefits go to local community gardens. I watched a quirky movie called Mad City Chickens, and it was really interesting. I will never EVER buy eggs that aren't organic and most especially free-range. The very brief footage they showed of factory farm hens really upset me. De-beaked, sad, depressed, immobile, bones for wings, just horrific. How anyone can validate such actions really blows me away. Did you know that often factory farm hens are gassed, yes GASSED, after they are passed reproductive age? I mean, jesus fucking christ. If there is a hell, I'd like to think that the people who do that are headed there to be pecked to death over and over again. It just makes me so angry. If any of you are looking to be more ethical in your egg, meat, and cheese purchases, I would check out the BCSPCA ethical certification page: I have purchased the SPCA certified Rabbit River eggs multiple times, and they are excellent, local, and kind. They are sold in Choices, Drive Organics, and Famous Foods, and I'm sure other locations in the Lower Mainland.
I did some dinner grocery shopping at Santa Barbara Market, my home away from home. Got a cheap bottle of white wine from the BCLS for my signature mushroom risotto I am making for a guest and I tonight. It's nice to have a signature dish already. Only seriously cooking for a few months, and I've got one entree so damn good, it's my signature piece and obviously chef-recommended;)
When I got home, I whipped up a recipe culled from the vast resources called "Grape and Avocado Salsa". In the effort to waste not, want not in my life, before Thanksgiving, I looked for some recipes in which I could use red seedless grapes, many of which I had left over from my Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce. I found the above and made it in 10 minutes today, and it was great. Such surprising flavours. The sweetness of the grapes was such an interesting dance of flavours on my tastebuds. Healthy too! I'll post the recipe for you, but I do have some personal recommendations: only 1 cup of grapes, maybe a little more onions, and maybe (maybe) 1 1/2 avocadoes rather than just 1. I didn't have any cilantro, so I'm basing my enjoyment on a cilantro-less salsa. All the reviews are hugely positive. Try something new tonight. Perfect appetizer for a Mexican night. I had it with local Que Pasa organic, non-GM black corn tortilla chips and it was pitch-perfect.
Oh wait! I almost forgot. So I experienced another culinary epiphany last night: Anthony, myself, and a friend of ours went for Pho at midnight. I and Anthony have never had Pho, which based on our friend's description was like Chinese ambrosia, and it was soooooooo good. Oh so beefy and hot, and delicious, and filling, and delicious, and beefy and hot, and filling, and...alright that's enough. Oh I could go on and on. Add some hot sauce, a bit of lime, and some bean sprouts. Wonderful. And the best thing: 10 minute walk from our house! Maybe all the non-descript Asian restaurants on Kingsway will finally benefit me. I love Pho. Pho. Mmm. Pho.

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