We sincerely hope you are having a wonderful Christmas Holiday. We are. The new snowfall in our yard is truly reminiscent of a winter wonderland.
Our extended family is scattered hither and yon celebrating the season with friends and other family in various locales.
This is our first Christmas on the farm. We selfishly decided to stay put this year and enjoy a little solitude. Consequently it has been very quiet. The down time affords an opportunity to visit with friends and neighbours after a busy harvest. We get together and discuss pertinent issues. We get together and share food items we are passionate about and specialize in.
That can mean anything from the sweetest root veggies to delicious preserves and fabulous dried produce, organic eggs and poultry. The list goes on. We of course delight in breaking our bread. And wine. One can not swing a cat in the Valley without upsetting a bottle or two of Pinot Gris.
So nice to have vintners as friends. Especially considering the Similkameen Valley was recently named by enRoute Magazine as “one of the world’s 5 best wine regions you’ve never heard of,” garnering a staggering 37 medals at the All Canadian Wine Championships.
This week provided a different bounty in a very special way. A fellow known for supplying seafood will occasionally pit-stop in the Valley while on business. Amazing Shellfish. Simply amazing. That coming from a one who spent 40 years on Vancouver Island. From this bounty farmersdotter prepared a simple and elegant shellfish brunch for two.
Fresh Oysters set out in their own liquor on a bed of the aforementioned fresh snow. Served simply with lemon and finely chopped local organic shallots this dish screamed Pacific Ocean. I like to add a drop or two of warmed local organic honey plus a drop or seven of hot sauce. Franks Red Hot if you please.
Quickly steamed in their own juice with local organic dried tomato, fresh local organic shallots, organic garlic and pinot gris from Orofino Wines, the mussels were plump and sweetly sublime.
At the last minute we decided upon surf and turf so out came a top sirloin from Tony’s Meats & Deli. If you are a carnivore and if you ever get to Penticton you must stop by Tony’s. Tony knows every one of his suppliers, every cut of meat, and every product he purveys intimately. The dude is old school and very proud of what he does. Tony’s staff are fabulous as well. If Tony isn’t in the store you never have to worry.
Lastly, farmersdotter grilled a selection of Olive & Rosemary, Roasted Garlic & Sun Dried Tomato, and Similkameen Sourdough breads to soak up the broth. Everything was served with an ample supply of lemon, fresh organic shallot and wine. That was Christmas Eve.
Imagine the creamy chowder that is going to come from the left over shellfish.
Cheers and Happy Holidays.