I took the ferry into Victoria this past dreary Saturday to take the “Odd Bits” class at The London Chef with Jennifer McLagan, chef and and award-winning author from Toronto whose past books include Bones and Fat, winner of the 2009 James Beard Cookbook of the Year.
After you’ve covered fat and bones, what’s left? The offal, of course. But as Chef McLagan explained at the beginning of our class, The Offal Cookbook is bound to become victim to an almost endless number of awful puns (sorry), so instead, we have Odd Bits.
For a rainy day spent inside talking about how to cook and eat the feet, blood, organs and glands of various animals, it was enjoyable indeed. Chef McLagan is an engaging, passionate speaker and The London Chef’s bright, well-appointed demonstration kitchen is as welcoming as any I’ve been in. The glass of red to loosen us all up at the start didn’t hurt either.
I know I’m taking a chance with an organic bag of lemons on sale for $2.99 — at anytime of year. It would be different if I lived further south, amongst citrus trees of plenty, but I don’t. I live on a 13 sq. mile island floating in the northern Pacific.
That’s a bit dramatic. Actually, Pender is located in the Strait of Georgia, between Vancouver Island and Vancouver, on the mainland. So we’ve got a little more shelter than, say, Samoa. Some even boast of our Mediterranean climate — a claim put to the test in the last couple of years — but I’m unaware of any local lemon trees, unless someone has one hidden in a warm and glowing greenhouse. (Although I was impressed to hear that a friend and her family successfully grew and harvested a Calamondin Orange tree here on Pender). Shelley, do you still have any of that chutney left?
My sketchy bag of lemons came from a grocery store in Victoria, and, like I said, I knew the odds of getting juicy fruit were against me. But I had just seen a new recipe for Glazed Citron from David Lebowitz, and I was actually on the lookout for some gnarly looking specimens.
I know. — before we go any further, we have to acknowledge what I’m trying to do here: I’m attempting to force 7 links into a Top 5 Friday post. It’s kind of like trying to fit the batter for a 13″ x 9″ cake into an 8″ round pan. Fortunately, my little squeeze play won’t result in burnt batter all over the bottom of my non-self-cleaning oven.
Tasty Trix tagged me on this 7 Links Meme on September 6 — when she gave it the name I prefer, Seven Superlative Links — now that’s what I call lighting fast response time, don’t you? On top of that, Howard reminded me that I haven’t written a Top 5 post since the start of summer. And so, in a fit of desperation, the 2 blog-related guilts weighing on my mind have collided into a single post that sort of fits together.
The challenge? Participants are tasked with choosing one post each of the most beautiful, overlooked, helpful, successful, popular, controversial, and the one of which they are most proud.
Given that November 30 marks the 2 year anniversary of Island Vittles, I think this is the perfect opportunity to take a look back over 2 years worth of posts, don’t you? I’m glad we agree.
Back for another installment of The Secret Recipe Club, the brainchild of Amanda Formaro of AmandasCookin.com and caring den mother to those of us lucky enough to be a part of this fantastic recipe-sharing blog hop. Approximately 200 of us post over 4 different reveal Mondays every month, making for a lot of action!
This month, I was matched to A Little Nosh. Amy writes about her life as a wife, mom and a lover of tasty, wholesome food that is easy to fix for her busy family. One of her most popular recipes is also the one that got my attention right away…I love breakfast, don’t you?
I’ve never had a Dutch Baby, aka Oven Pancake. My family’s weekend breakfasts were either eggs or potato pancakes. Waffles were an option in my early life, but once my mother’s pre-war waffle iron packed it in, we never had another one. So I am very happy to report that I’ve replaced the third option (a mere 34 years later) with Amy’s Mother-in-Law’s recipe. It’s so easy to put together, you don’t even have to wait for the weekend — get it mixed and in the oven, and you’ve got 20 minutes for a shower before it’s time to eat!
Head on over to OutlanderKitchen.com to find my latest food from fiction recipe for Fergus’s Chestnut Tarts from Dragonfly in Amber. They’re seasonal, fictional, historical and delicious– all at the same time…