google-site-verification: google7f25d73a7b1216ab.html Country Encounters

Recent Comments

    Wow ! Things are coming together

    After many months the new website is finally coming together. We got a new format, lots of new pictures and even got the blog moved over.

    I even added a plug in that should post a blog post to Facebook.  Now we see if it works.

     

    Technology isn’t it grand.

    Some New Pictures

    Mark and I have been involved in building a new website. Well Mark builds and I just help.  It is a long process and at times creatively draining. I have no idea how people do it full time. Anyways part of the process is acquiring new pictures and we have been running around brushing up on skills and taking pictures. It’s amazing after lighting and propping the place then editing to the photos, how I barely recognize my own house.
    Here are some of the results.

    Country Encounters and Slow Food Southern Alberta: Slow Food- Mountain Freedom

    We have recently teamed up with Slow Food Southern Alberta to help promote the whole slow food/buy local movement.  Among other things we will be hosting a gala dinner March 10 2012 in conjunction with our new partners.
    A fabulous menu:

    Big Rock Cider and Apple braised Pork Belly
    ~
    Roasted NewOxley Garlic, Naturally!’  Garlic Chowder
    ~
    Beet Root and Soft Goat Cheese Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
    ~
    Chicken “Hunter Style”
    Inspired by the Classic – tender “Country Lane”chicken breast stuffed with mushroom duxcelle , wrapped in maple cured bacon
    Served on a hot veggie slaw
    ~
    “Rose Creek Ranch” beef tenderloin tips with sweet potato latka, red wine au jus and horseradish cream.
    Served on ribbon pasta
    ~
    Aebleskiver with Saskatoon Coulis
    Cuppers coffee and teas
    with Music by Gus Kollee and introduction to the slow food movement as well as a chance to meet regional suppliers and just enjoy Mountain Freedom the way it was meant to be: with good food, good wine and good friends
     6 Course gourmet dinner  with  3 wines  ( morewines available for purchase)
    43.50 members
    47.50 non members 
    Dine and stay package for 2
    Dinner tickets for 2
    1 nights accommodation 
    Breakfast for 2
    And tickets to Frank Slide Interpretive Center
    $160.00 per couple – Standard room
    $185.00 per couple – deluxe room  

    Tickets available  from Dawn  dirigby@shaw.ca or by phone 403-563-5299

    Nice article on bread

    Here’ s a re-posted article from Slowfood USA – Nicely thought out and I love the name.

    Breaducation

    Posted on Thu, January 08, 2009 by Jerusha Klemperer
    7 Comments | Categories: Bread,
    Our newest team member at Slow Food USA is Nathan Leamy.  Nathan came to us from San Francisco where he was working to help organize for, and subsequently, clean up from Slow Food Nation.  Prior to his adventures there, Nathan wandered the globe with a Watson Fellowship studying the impact of the Green Revolution on grain consumption in Mexico, India, France, and Egypt.  A graduate of Oberlin College and Deep Springs College, Nathan grew up in Portland, Oregon.  Here he starts what we hope to have as a series on his passion, hobby, and means of sustenance – bread.
    by Slow Food USA staffer Nathan Leamy
    Though I have been a voracious eater all my life, my breaducation (‘cause that’s what the cool kids are calling it these days) started while I was living on a ranch in Eastern California.  Since then, the works of Nancy Silverton, Julia Child, and Steven Kaplan have inspired me to find, produce, and eat better baked goods.  Work in various quasi-professional kitchens, an apprenticeship at a bakery in Paris last spring, and the dedicated consumption of carbohydrates have rounded out my working knowledge of bread.
    While I respect all breads, my passion goes out to traditional French loaves made with sourdough. Sourdough is a wild yeast which has been caught and tamed to produce slow developing, flavorful bread. Contrary to the term, sourdough breads need not be sour. Many breads labeled as sourdough in the US are still made with commercial yeast and actually just have extra acids added to them to make them taste sour, but traditional bakeries nationwide are seeing a resurgence of sourdough use.  Sourdough breads can be made in any shape or size, but the traditional shapes are the boulebaguette, and epi.
    Even where crusty, artisanal breads can be found, many fall flat in flavor.  How can you tell if a loaf of artisan sourdough is good?  For your reading pleasure – and perhaps even the first part of your breaducation – here’s an attempt to summarize the five easy indicators of good bread.
    Judge a book by its cover. Ugly bread is rarely good.  Pallid, dimpled, and dull bread should turn you away. Good sourdough should have a dark, caramel crust with weight to it. The bread should be aesthetically pleasing – well formed, balanced, even. It is saggy or looks over stuffed, no good. The crust shouldn’t shine like it’s been lacquered – but it should have a healthy amount of texture to it. If you’ve got a real winner it will have a pinhead sized, light bubbles evenly spread about it. Slashes across the top should be pronounced and should have prevented the bread from ripping at the seams during baking.
    Listen to your bread. When picking up a loaf of good bread, it should have an even feel – it should not be lopsided or off-kilter. Knock lightly on the bottom with your finger tips and you should hear a hollow thump like you are striking a drum. Squeezing lightly, the bread should have some give and make a crackling noise.
    What’s on the inside counts too. The inside of the bread (called the crumb) should have air holes in it. Unevenly spaced, unevenly sized, with stretches of gluten on the edges. How dense or light you like your crumb is all a matter of personal preference, but you need to see some holes to show that there was some action inside the loaf.
    Dive in, nose first. Good bread shouldn’t be just a neutral medium to pile other things atop. It should have a flavor and smell that complement what you are eating. Breaking open a loaf and pushing your nose in it should give you the best idea of what’s going on in there. Depending on the sourdough used, flavors can run the gamut – but most importantly there should be some sort of fragrance and not the dull, sweet, hollow smell of industrial yeast.
    Eat it. Since the point of bread is eating, a bread should be, well, good to have in your mouth. Biting into bread you should have a bit of pull on the crust, but not have to fight with it. The crumb shouldn’t just dissolve, be so dry as to make you feel parched, yet not so soggy to make you feel icky.  It should feel good to loll around in your mouth for a little bit before you finally get to eat your good bread.
    That’s how you identify good bread.  The most important matter is to stop and think about it.  Though eaten nearly everyday, people often settle for something mediocre without giving it a second thought.  These indicators aren’t prerequisite for good tasting bread – but every little bit helps.  Whether buying from a bakery – or making your own sourdough treats at home – it takes all of your senses to find that which is good.

     http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/slow_food/blog_post/breaducation/

    A Blog I Found

    I came across Danial Craig’s Blog the other day http://www.danieledwardcraig.com/ and have spent a number of hours reading all the good stuff he has written about. Definitely worth a peek.

    This time of year

    Well the Christmas season is over and I’ve taken my holidays( to Mexico but that is another whole post) and it’s time to get back at it. Like many hospitality operators I spend the months of January and February getting ready for the Summer season. Spend days getting my accounting all caught up and filing taxes, making marketing plans and updating websites, flyers and menus. Then there is the multitude of calls from prospective clients looking for information for there weddings and other parties. Not to be forgotten, development, rewrites and new budgets for programs and tours. I haven’t even mentioned the upkeep, renovations and maintenance on the buildings. Jeez I thought this was suppose to be our quite time.

    A number of months ago we got involved with Chinook Country Tourism Association and their Tourism Cluster Project. Yesterday we went for our final training on the new online booking engine and how to put the final touches on our micro site. Things look good but I have several hours of editing and uploading ahead of me before the site goes live on February 13. Aaugg I better get at it.  

    Green Tomato Chutney

    So I made all those green tomatoes into Chutney. It took about 15 min to chop up things. I did some in the food processor and then sum by hand just to mix up the texture a bit. I based the whole thing on that recipe from Instructables but changed it a bit to account for what I had on hand.

    I used:

    about 5 kgs of tomatoes
    1 quart of red wine vinegar
    1 pint of balsamic vinegar
    2 lbs of brown sugar
    3 big onions
    sea salt
    dried cranberries

    It turned out really well and now my favorite thing to do with it – small patty shell filled with goat cheese and topped with the chutney… instant appy.

    The Green House and Garden: Final Chapter 2011

    Its always kinda a sad day when you realize it’s time to clean up the yard cause all the plants have died off for the winter. The green house seems to be the same way.  I consider the whole experiment a success even if it could have used more care than it got. All summer I served lettuces and spinach from the green house and yesterday I harvested what was left ( and it was alot) of the tomatoes and stuff. Those tomatoes where mostly green so now I’m going to make green tomato chutney. Should be good.

    I think the recipe I’ll use is this one from Instructible. http://www.instructables.com/id/Grans-Green-Tomato-Chutney/?ALLSTEPS

    The Wedding Season 2011 Addition

    Well it’s been a long time and a very busy summer. We did 27 weddings this year ending with my daughter Erika’s. What a run and what fun. I did my limit of 4 wedding cakes plus Erika and Kevin’s  and increased our linen stock Now it’s back to the winter stuff – retreats, giving classes, and Christmas parties. But before I close the book on this years wedding season, thought I’d show you some pictures of all the fun.

    A special thanks to all my staff that worked so hard over the summer. Well Done everyone.

    The Sinister 7

    You may or may not know that this week end was Sinister 7 week end here in the Pass. As in the past, the B&B was full to capacity with those crazy folks out here to run. After talking with them over the week end about the race and how it was run etc. the consensus is that it was great.  The fellows in charge ( our own Brain and Andrew) put on a wonderful event with a challenging course and everyone was happy they came.
    From the point of view of a tourism operator here in the pass it’s more than a great event. It attracts a lot, and I mean a lot of folks here to the valley, guests that spend their money, cause no problems with over indulging ( unless you count all those sore muscles ) and are genuinely nice people that really want to be here. It’s one of those gems that we all look for and wish could happen every week.

    So hats off to Full Moon Adventures for doing what they do soooo well. Thanks Guys.