HomeEc #1 (Bring Your Own Bar Snacks) was an awesome night!
More than 30 people showed up (despite the first real snowstorm of the season) with food through the evening. There were some awesome tastes and everyone met new people. Sharing went beyond the plates and included some great conversation, recipe exchanges and just a great casual evening.
Here’s some shots and some of the ‘blow by blow’ of the evening.
I think some brought their own plates – this was a tremendous piece of strategy which I’ll need to incorporate in the future. Here’s a sample of Margaret’s awesome spread:
Here’s a list of some of the things people brought (we had recipe cards so these are all of the ones I was able to find at the end of the night to share with you here):
- Gayle’s Maple Tamari Almonds (almonds, maple syrup, tamarin, 5-spice powder)
- Kyle had some Salt and Pepper Kawartha Peanuts
- Kyle also brought his haggis Scotch Eggs (his haggis included pork, chicken and lamb)
- Kyle (an awesome overachiever) also had foie gras Kawartha popcorn.
- Our friendly bartender Emily even chipped in with her home-mixed Chex Mix
- Dawn (and husband Marc) drove an hour to get here and brought a three-onion dip (her food blog is being worked on – you’ll see it appear soon, called “Joyous Food).
- Mary Ann (and daughter Alena) showed up with a reuben braid – homemade bread that’s baked with pastrami, 1,000 island dressing, Swiss and Havarti cheeses and homemade sauerkraut stuffed inside! It was amazing. They shared that the recipe came from an awesome but now dormant blog named The Knead For Bread.
- Mary Ann (and daughter Alena) also brought my personal weakness, beer nuts. They assure me that they’re easy to make and I really must try soon.
- Margaret (our awesome photographer) brought “Not-Copy Pop” – a ‘bastardized recipe from her Mom’s 1980 microwave cookbook. Hers included homemade brown sugar, smoked paprika, salt, corn syrup and vanilla. Of course it also included popcorn.
- Deborah brought some awesome spiced roasted chickpeas. They were made with roasted garlic, coriander, fennel and Thai chilli.
- Kerry brought maple spice pecans (which may be my favourite nut of all-time)
- Mike (of Ed’s Real Scoop) brought a tray of ‘ice cream cupcakes. It’s essentially ice cream inside a chocolate cup. I had a maple-syrup bacon combination that was fantastic.
- Jessie and Patrick brought crispy farfalle with Parmesan and truffle. Deep-fried pasta goodness!
- Brandi had these most amazing homemade pretzels that everyone was lining up for (she had two types: plain and garlic).
- We brought my Smoky Spicy Salty Bitter Sweet Roasted Nuts (our ‘secret’ ingredient of coffee was a hit).
- Dawn brought Dawnabelle’s Spicy potato chips (these were off-the chart good). They were made with celery salt, smoked salt, sugar, paprika, habanero, onion and dry garlic. Dawn’s posted her recipe from the night on her great blog here.
I know there was more but these were the ones I was able to find at the end of the night!
Kyle (from Sausage Partners) brought these amazing haggis-wrapped Scotch Eggs (a hard-boiled egg, wrapped with Haggis and then deep-fried). They were amazing:
If you look carefully at the background of the photo above, you should see “WP” floating in the background. Margaret made this amazing bokeh (a cut-out for her lens) that had a “WP” cut out of it; somehow this turns the blurry lights in the background to little WellPreserved icons. Here’s how she made it. Take a look at the photo below if you can’t make them out and check it out again:
Kelly and Aaron made grab bags (featuring a “Jumpshot” Margaret had taken of them previously). In addition to sharing their recipe, they shared props to her. Even though Aaron and Kelly live an hour away they’re quickly becoming part of the community (we hope others will do the same).
Part of the crowd hovers like friendly vultures around the snacks:
This was the signature cocktail of night (since it was inspired by a cocktail named “The Journalist”, Emily donned it “The Blogger”). Each night will have its own signature drink that will be a collaborative effort between The Avro and WellPreserved and we’ll share the recipe whenever possible. The recipe follows the picture for this one.
WellPreserved’s Ginger-Lemon-Maple Cordial
This is an intense bittersweet cordial that is meant to be mixed with other things:
- 2-3 pounds of organic lemons, each quartered, then cut in half (8 pieces each). Skins and seeds are fine; this is where the bitter comes from.
- A whole bunch of ginger, roughly chopped (we used about 6 inches).
- Enough water to cover everything by an inch.
- Maple syrup to taste (we used 9 tablespoons)
- Toss everything BUT the maple syrup into a wide pan.
- Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
- Leave on a gentle simmer until your liquid (after pressing the lemons) is about 1.5 cups.
- Allow the cordial to come to room temperature and add maple syrup to taste. You still want it to be bitter so mix enough maple to make it just palatable by itself (remember that this is an INTENSE cordial).
Emily’s “The Blogger”
- 1.5 ounces of gin
- 0.5 ounces of dry vermouth
- 0.5 ounces of sweet vermouth
- 0.5 ounces lemon juice
- 0.75 ounces of cordial (above)
Shake and stir!
A big thumbs-up to Emily – these were fantastic and had many talking about them through the night.
It was a fantastic night – we hope you’ll join us Feb 20th for HomeEc 2: Preserve Swap. If you can’t make it then, know that they happen on the last Monday of the month!