Tomorrow, Jamie and I head off for some Thanksgiving foraging. We’re doing a wide loop, swooping down to Kelowna and Vernon, then up to Armstrong, Salmon Arm, Sorrento, and back to Kamloops. Since we’re both vegetarian, this treasure hunt is all about the farmed and cultured (cheese, beer, and maybe even another trip to the distillery) that this area has to offer. Saturday will bring a trip to the farmer’s market for even more goodies, even, if we’re lucky, some kettle corn. But here’s where we’ll be headed tomorrow:
This pretty little bakery reminds me of the boulangeries in Paris with it’s delicious, inventive breads and friendly staff. Of course my favourite is the chocolate bread (chocolate dough with milk and dark chocolate, how can you go wrong?) but their more dinner-friendly breads are just as delicious. I’m particularly interested in trying the apple raisin sourdough, available only on Fridays. All of Okanagan Grocery’s breads are sourdough based, and their sourdough starters even have names – Arnold and Naomi. (Baker geek out time: why 2 names? because most bakers keep at least 2 strains of sourdough, one based on rye, one on wheat). Monika and her bake team source organically and locally as much as possible and aren’t stingy when it comes to ingredients like seeds and nuts, making for some awesome loaves!
Okanagan Grocery Artisan Breads
2355 Gordon Drive, Kelowna, BC
Ph: 862.2811 Fax: 717-6813
This family farm outside of Vernon grows pretty much everything you can in the area, but what we’re going for is the apples. They grow 20 varieties, harvesting from late July until late October. Right about now it’s Mutsu season, which is perfect as they’re great storage and baking apples. I’m hoping they might have some early Fujis, too, as I’m a huge fan of those crisp, sweet monsters. They don’t have any pippins listed, but we can always get those at the market. If you’ve never had one, Cox Orange Pippins are small, stripey, often a little rusty, amazing eating apples. Their flavour is almost musky the way blackberries can get, and so intense. I can’t wait until our little pippin tree starts producing!
DavisonOrchardsCountryVillage 3111 Davison Road
Vernon, BC V1H 1A2
photo from Peter Musterd on flickr
We had a couple of hives when I was growing up and ever so often I think it might be fun to try my hand at being the beekeeper. Then I think back to how many times a summer I got stung and all the fun my dad had recapturing swarmed hives and straining bee larvae out of the honey. So, we’ll be buying our honey for a while still. I’m not sure if the voyageurs or first Canadian settlers ate granola, but that’s what I’ve got planned for our honey!
I won’t be trying the salmon cheddar (man do I ever hope that’s a colour reference), but the rest of the selections sound good. Extra aged cheddar, gewurtztraminer cheese, parmesan, their range is quite wide. I haven’t tried any of their product yet, but I’m looking forward to it!
3475 Smith Dr. Armstrong, BC
Gort’s Gouda produces organic cheeses from grass fed cows in Salmon Arm. The Gort family came to Canada from Holland in 1981 and started producing cheese two years later. Since then they have produced some delicious, and award winning, goudas, fetas, quark, and even ventured into goat cheese. Their medium gouda is creamy and luscious, and I can’t wait to try the extra aged, which we’ve been warned can perfume a car pretty quickly!
Our last stop is Crannog Ales where Jamie will be picking up some beer. I don’t know much about beer, but they’re organic and they grow their own hops here, which is apparently a big deal. I do know they have some awfully cute dogs that like to have their ears scratched. The last time we were there was in very early spring so it will be interesting to see what a different season has brought to their farm. They’re pretty much self sufficient at Crannog, raising their own fruit, veg, and animals for the table. They’re also zero waste, composting or otherwise reusing all the waste from the brewing process. I’m not a beer drinker, but I definitely support their ecologically minded practices.
So that’s the plan for tomorrow! I can’t wait to visit all the new places and old favourites. Lets just hope it doesn’t snow!!!