18th Annual Stone Soup Festival
Victory Gardens will be providing Garden Planning, Tips and Advice from 1pm-3pm
“Spring is just around the corner and planning is in full swing for another great Stone Soup Festival. This East Vancouver tradition marks the beginning of spring and gives opportunity for the local community to come together in celebration of spring, food, the environment and community itself. This year we will be highlighting Urban Agriculture including urban farmers and backyard food production with workshops, an author talk, demonstrations, a food market, free soup and more! More than ever people are aware of the issues of food security, the benefits of sharing resources and eating ‘local’. We look forward to another fabulous community food event featuring mini farmers market, local artists, workshops, community food information tables and entertainment with a focus on food sustainability, food justice, and the environment. We would love to see you there.”
WHEN: Saturday, May 11th 12pm - 5pm
WHERE: Britannia Community Centre 1661 Napier St, Vancouver, BC
Victory Gardens will chat about what medicinal plants are, which medicinal plants we can grow or are found here and how to grow them!
EYA will demo how to make salves from these plants. Each participant will leave with a hand-out and their own salve! Register HERE!
What makes fiddleheads such a delicacy is their ephemeral season. And, you guessed it – it’s almost over. So if you’re feeling adventurous, go on a fiddlehead foraging mission over the course of the week. Several restaurants are featuring these foraged goodies on their menus, The Acorn being one of them (sautéed fiddleheads with polenta and a brown butter puree – mmm). Chashma Heinze, the lovely woman who owns Pastiche (the vegetarian pates you see at the Vancouver Farmers Market) explains how to choose the right fiddlehead, and, has provided an insanely delicious recipe:
Choosing the right fiddleheads isn’t hard—and soon your eye will be well trained to spot the tightly furled, spiral heads. Make sure you choose heads that haven’t begun to open yet, as when they open they are no longer as edible.
The fiddleheads that are most commonly found here are the shoots from the Northern Lady Fern, and are slightly different than the Ostrich fern buds (which are more often found in the eastern parts of North America) which are cleaner and more classic looking – these will also be the ones that you will likely purchase if you buy them in the store.
Lady ferns require more cleaning to remove the dark brown papery coating. Make sure to rinse well and blanche in lightly salted boiling water for about 5 minutes – make sure they are well cooked as this actually improves the flavour – and shock in cold water to keep the beautiful verdant green intact.
A Velouté Sauce of Fiddleheads
Spectacular over fresh, pan seared halibut, this sauce has a flavor unlike any other. It’s a take on a classic beurre blanc, which has never been known for its lack of butter. If you want to reduce the fat, try experimenting by using a good chicken stock instead of cream or try finishing with natural, creamy Greek yogurt and cutting out the butter and cream altogether. Recipe after the jump…
3-4 medium shallots, roughly chopped (about 100g)
1 tsp olive oil
250ml white wine
150ml white wine vinegar
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp Black Peppercorns
350 g cold butter (cubed)
250ml cream 35%
1 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
¼ tsp salt
100g blanched Fiddleheads
- In a medium sized saucepot, sweat the shallots and deglaze the pot with white wine and vinegar. Add the peppercorns and bay leaf and reduce the liquid by 80% on a low simmer.
- Whisk in the butter, one cube at a time—once the butter has been fully incorporated, add the cream.
- Reheat gently, add lemon and Fiddlheads and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve and discard solids. Season to taste and add some finely minced fresh chives to finish.
- Since it’s a shame not to enjoy the full texture or be visually fascinated by the whole, coiled fiddlehead, I always serve this sauce with some simply sautéed fiddleheads.
- With perhaps the smallest amount of garlic (depending on your preference), toss blanched fiddleheads in some butter or olive oil and finish with a squeeze of lemon and good sea salt.