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July 27, 2017

Feast: An Edible Road Trip

If might surprise some people to find that I have blogging advice beyond “Blog like nobody’s reading (because often nobody is)” but if you’ve been reading carefully you will also know that I’m a firm believer that a blog needs room to grow and space to wander. And Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller must have known this too when they began their blogging endeavour a few years ago because they gave themselves an entire nation to wander through. Their blog was called An Edible Road Trip and chronicled their adventures (and misadventures) eating across Canada to discover a culinary culture “beyond Kraft Dinner, poutine, Nanaimo Bars, and butter tarts.”

One of the highlights of my spring and book promotion has been travelling to (and eating in!) different places I haven’t spent much time in before. My blueberry scone at the Hamilton Farmers’ Market was legendary, and then the mind-blowing dinner we had in Waterloo as part of the Appetite for Reading Book Club. And it was in Gananoque at the 1000 Islands Writers Festival where I met up with the women behind Feast, the book that grew out of the edible road trip. The book was already on my radar because of the story behind it and also its beautiful design (and you can read their very cool blog post, “Anatomy of a Cookbook Cover”, here). And then I got to listen to their amazing presentation about their journey across Canada and the people they met and the things they learned about—the farmer in the Yukon whose farm you need to travel to via two canoe rides was one anecdote that surprised me and stuck in my mind. Naturally, I bought the book—and their event was spectacularly catered with local farmers’ market fare and the whole thing was totally delicious. Feast, I figured, would be an excellent souvenir.

The whole idea behind it was a little bit abstract though, practically speaking. It was May by this point and therefore rhubarb season and I proceeded to bake the Lunar Rhubarb Cake (pictured above) at least three times before June. The recipe doesn’t skimp on sugar, and it won rave reviews at every table at which I served it… But still. A nice cookbook to have, but I wasn’t sure how often I was going to use it. And then we went away for a week in Nova Scotia…

And then suddenly a whole bunch of recipes that had merely existed on the page for me before meant something altogether different. Upon coming home, I reread the Nova Scotia page and recognized all kinds of references and was reminded of the very good places we ate on our trip.

The first thing I made upon homecoming wasn’t from Nova Scotia at all, however, but instead the Sour Cherry Pierogi recipe from the prairies. I found sour cherries at a local green grocer and it sounded so delicious, and so I made them (with help from Stuart who was in charge of construction) and they were SO SO good. And then we got to use the leftover compote for porridge.

And I’d wanted to make the s’mores scones all along for reasons that should be altogether self-explanatory, but the mission took on a sense of urgency when I reread the recipe and learned it was from the chef at Two If By Sea, whose croissants were so delectable on our trip that we went to Dartmouth twice. So baking these scones was a little bit like a homecoming, even if for a place that wasn’t our home at all—but the food made it all so familiar.

Which is why we made the seafood chowder the following Friday, even though chowder isn’t always the best thing you can be eating when it’s 36 degrees celsius, but we weren’t sorry. I’d got fresh fish at the grocery store that morning and even though it wasn’t the fresh fish we’d become accustomed to (Stuart ate scallops in Lunenberg that he might never get over—in a good way) it was incredibly delicious and made us miss Nova Scotia a little less. And we’ve still got the oatcakes to make, and a few other Atlantic items to try.

And then after that? Well, between the book and our trip, we’ve never been so inspired to and travel to another new part of the country. And in the meantime we’ll be cooking from Feast because Canada is delicious.

4 thoughts on “Feast: An Edible Road Trip

  1. This all sounds divine–enjoy! And please tell me if you like the oatcakes recipe–oatcakes are my favourite and I’ve not yet found a good recipe.

  2. Thank you so much for this wonderful post, Kerry! Honestly, the best part of the book now being out in the world is seeing people use it, and use it you have! Thanks for your kind words.

    ps—the oatcakes recipe is one of our all-time favourites:)

  3. K says:

    Sour cherry pierogies?… That’s a new one. My mother is the queen of strawberry pierogies that everyone always looks forward to. You haven’t lived till you’ve tried strawberry with cream ones.
    I followed the to that inspired the book just waiting for my turn for the library copy.

    1. Kerry says:

      Oh, those sound delicious!!

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