Our family began 2013 with what is now becoming a family tradition of a feast on the first day of the year using as many local ingredients as possible. The idea behind the First Day Feast is to celebrate the land where our food is sourced, the livelihoods of the people who harvest our food, and the ecological value of the land around us. By ‘local’ I mean within an ecological area such as a watershed, or a valley – we chose the watershed surrounding the Salish Sea. We had a lot of fun sourcing the food, checking the labels, interacting with shop keepers, and preparing a meal. And this is what we have in store for the feast in 2014:
For an appetizer we chose salmon pate from the Fishery, Salt Spring Island on home made crackers. We might add a dash of honey cranberry from Honeyview Farm in Rosedale. The drinks will include a Garry Oak Pinot Noir from Gulf Islands and apple or pear juice from the Fruit Guys in Naramata.
For the main meal we will have roast turkey from JB Farms in Langley, Pemberton Valley Potatoes from Across the Creek Farm mashed with Avalon Dairy milk, carrots from Lillooet with honey and butter glaze, brussels sprouts from Delta, BC with butter and roast hazelnuts, and a blueberry garnish of frozen blueberries from Delta, BC, with honey and minced onion. The main meal will be accompanied by a salad using greens from Local Garden Vancouver Special, tomatoes if we can find them, sprinkled with roasted hazelnuts with honey glaze. We will use hazelnut oil and raspberry vinegar with minced herbs for a dressing (ingredients below). Our dessert will be an apple pie using apples from Natures First Fruit in Cawston. Other ingredients include flour from Anita’s Organic Mill in Chilliwack, honey from Honeyview Farms in Rosedale, hazelnuts and hazelnut oil from Canadian Hazelnut, Inc. in Agassiz, garlic from Forest Grove in the Cariboo, salt from Vancouver Island Salt Works in Cobble Hill, Fraser Valley butter, herbs from International Herbs Ltd, Surrey, raspberry vinegar from Sacred Mountain on Salt Spring Island, and from our garden, sage, rosemary, and onions.
Not all items are local and with careful searching, we might have found a local source, but the idea is to have fun rather than fret over semantics. So here is a toast to all the local producers, the shopkeepers who provide these foods, and to the land that produces it. See you next year.