The best part of this whole post is the video of our Fall Fair Parade. Really, you should take a few minutes to sit back, relax and enjoy this bird`s eye view into rural community life. Our award-winning Highland Pipe Band is first up a– and they`re worth a your time. The fire department and classic cars are also an important parade standard, but it`s at minute 1:45 that the real gem of this year`s parade appears: The Power Sail and Squadron float, complete with Poseidon and her crab shell earrings, imploring you to take a safety course and always wear a PFD.
Doesn`t sound funny? Just wait until the whole mostly middle-aged group of them start dancing to “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats. It’s small town celebration at it’s finest.
I never smiled this much when we lived in the city.
The Fall Fair is the biggest event on Pender, and every year on the last Saturday in August just about everyone on our little island comes out to volunteer, participate, watch, eat and drink. It takes everyone doing a little bit of everything to put the whole show on. Led by a fearless team of women from the Farmer’s Institute, we all show up when we’re told to and do what we’re supposed to do. And when we’re done? Most of us head to the beer garden to kill some time before the pig roast.
We never ate that well when we lived in the city. (Well, actually we did, but it sure cost a whole lot more!)
This year, for the first time, Island Vittles was a part of the food fair at Fall Fair. I’ve been making Falafel on Pita with Tzatziki for lunches at the Farmers’ Market all summer, so I stuck with what I know. I just made a whole lot more.
One-hundred and sixty-eight (exactly) pita bread, 7 kg of tzatziki, and 6kg of dried chickpeas, 4 bunches of cilantro, multiple cups of sesame seeds and a few other things to make 350 (approximately) falafel balls.
I never made that much falafel when we lived in the city. Or anywhere else for that matter.
That kind of volume requires organization (especially when since there’s no deep fryer on site). And by organization, I mean making batches and batches (and batches) of pita the week before and freezing it. Making the falafel 2 days before, then wrapping them tightly to wait it out in the fridge.
On the day, I woke at 5am, fired up our propane camping stove on our deck in the dark, and then fried 350 falafel balls (approximately) in 2 woks, precariously full of safflower oil and just balanced on said stove. Two hours later I was done.
I rarely got up this early when we lived in the city. Here, I jump out of bed by 7 almost every morning — it’s the best time of day and too peaceful to miss.
It takes a lot of lemons to make 7kg of tzatziki. This falafel thing is a lot of work, but there’s always time to take a pretty picture!
I never took the time to take a pretty picture when I was in the city. I was too busy being busy.
While I was in the community kitchen frantically assembling falafel — and falafel with bacon (the sleeper hit of this year’s food fair), Howard was handling the front of house and selling falafels as fast as I could make them. We sold out at about 1:30. We figure we could have sold another 100, easy. Onwards and upwards next year!
As for the falafel with bacon, so many commented that it seemed wrong, but then without hesitation, they laid down an extra $2 because EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH BACON. I think Howard had something to do with it too. He’s a salesman extraordinaire, and a lifelong lover of all things pig. He also took all of the photos and video in this post.
We rarely worked together when we lived in the city — our careers were too far apart. Nothing is too far apart on Pender. Here, collaboration is a way of life.
I love Pender – living here for 8 years has cast a spell on our lives and changed them for the better – it’s pure magic.