Sunday, December 23, 2012

Axon Slow Food Tapas Party

“Slow food is real food,” says Mike McKeown of Prairie Harvest Café. Rather than mass-produced food that has been transported thousands of miles and contains unpronounceable chemicals and preservatives, I eat Wally’s carrots, Michelle’s macarons and Trent’s bread.

My brother, Andrew, and his wife, Shelley, share my appreciation for high-quality, local, organic food, so we decided to host a Slow Food Tapas Party for the staff of Andrew’s company, Axon Development Corporation. We had so much fun, and the food and drink were both beautiful and tasty. Here are some of the highlights.

Many hands made quick work of the set up and preparation. Shelley did an amazing job of cooking and organizing, and we’d never have been ready on time without help from Jennie.

Saskatchewan grains and pulses: Shelley made Wild Rice Balls and Hemp, Lentil and Flax Cookies. We served bite-sized portions of Wheat Berry Salad, and there were four varieties of bread from Earth Bound Bakery: Red Fife Sourdough, Hemp and Sesame, Date and Fennel, and French Baguettes. We also served three kinds of hummus.

Saskatchewan fruit and berries: Tiny Flax Pancakes were topped with Sour Cherry and Raspberry sauces. The chocolate bars and Wheat Berry Salad contained Seabuckthorn Berries. We also had various fruit vinegars and chutneys.

I’m a cheese fanatic so I’m thrilled to now be able to purchase locally-made cheese. We served four kinds of cheese from Herschel Hills Artisan Cheese House: Feta, Halloumi, Goat and Camembert.

Floating Gardens’ year-round greenhouse has expanded the season for fresh vegetables. I love their cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh greens and herbs, and the edible flowers add a touch of class.

Many people aren’t aware that carrots come in a variety of colours and shapes, each with their own particular flavour and texture. One woman was sure that we had dyed them. But no, they are all grown locally by Wally Satzewich.

Michelle Zimmer of Wild Serendipity Foods went to France to learn how to make macarons. We haven’t found anyone else who makes them as well as she does.

A party wouldn’t be complete without beverages and ours were as local as possible with fruit wines from Living Sky Winery, liqueurs from Lucky Bastard Distillery, and four kinds of beer from Paddock Wood Brewery. We served wines from British Columbia, Oregon and California, plus an organic wine from Argentina. We also had non-alcoholic fruit ciders.

We purchased nearly all the food at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market, SaskMade Marketplace, Earth Bound Bakery and Dad’s Organic Market. It would be unmanageable to include a list of all the products and their sources, but I’ll be happy to answer requests for additional information.

Photo Credits: Andrew McKinlay


Shelley said...

Two of the recipes made for the party (flax, lentil & hemp heart spice cookies and the beluga lentil hummus) came from Hestia Organics website. The flax, lentil and hemp hearts were also purchased from Hestia at the Saskatoon Farmer's Market. I cooked more red lentils than I needed for the cookies so used the rest to make the lentil soup recipe that's also on their website. Awesome!!!

Anonymous said...

are those the siljan cups you used for the bites of wheatberry salad????BRILLIANT - never thought of that!

and i LOVE the carrots cut up and displayed like art work! i bring my erdmanns carrots for lunch often and always have people asking, 'how i got them that color!'

love your posts
love your blog
thanks for all your beautiful food
cheers and holiday hugs

su :)

Penny McKinlay said...

Shelley, thanks for sharing the information about Hestia Organics. The cookies were delicious!

Penny McKinlay said...

Thank you so much for your kind comments, su. It's very, very much appreciated. Shelley, my sister in law, had the bright idea to use siljan cups - they worked beautifully. Have a wonderful holiday. Penny