Side Dish - Fall into harvest season.

If you canned, fermented or otherwise preserved the summer bounty, I admire your ambition.

Last month, during a visit to my sister-in-law’s in Winnipeg, I watched as she started fermenting tomatoes before breakfast, and had large crocks of soon-to-be sauerkraut and jars of pickles scattered around the kitchen by lunch. She made it look easy, but I’m still buying my pickles.

The Great Canadian Beer Festival wrapped up summer with a huge selection of craft beers from 65 Canadian brewers. This is a great annual event. It’s outdoors, there’s food trucks, and the vibe is friendly. I enjoyed the Dageraad Blonde, Hunt & Gather Kettle Sour from Tofino Brewing Co., and a Sour Cherry Saison from Cumberland Brewing. For lunch I tried the Hungry Rooster’s Mexicanka perogies topped with salsa, cilantro and cabbage slaw. Check their website and social media for locations around town.

While I’ll admit to daydreaming about making gingerbread, I’ve managed to hold off in favour of apple galette and roasted root vegetables.

 

The grapes came in early in BC wine country, the pumpkin beers are in full swing, and the brilliant colours of summer tomatoes have faded.

 

Replaced by dark oranges, greens, and the deep red of crisp apples. While your favourite restaurants are changing their menus and introducing new wines, you have your pick of harvest festivals. Welcome to Fall.

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, order a free-range or hormone-free turkey from The Village ButcherThe Root CellarSlaters MeatsMcLennan’s Island Meat & Seafood, or SPUD.ca. For dessert think chocolate stout cake, pumpkin pie, and apple galette. For party goers, head to Cook St. LiquorHillside Liquor Store, or Liquor Plus stores for a great selection of craft beer to bring your host, or Spinnakers Spirit Merchants and Cascadia Liquor Stores for a great selection of BC wine.

After hosting a fabulous dinner for a crowd, check out some new spots opening later this fall. Pizzeria Prima Strada is opening a third location at 1990 Fort Street, Fol Epi has a new location coming to 732 Yates, with expanded hours and food offerings. If you didn’t get there this summer, the Food Truck Festival behind the Royal BC Museum is staying put through winter.

For warm cozy spots to curl up with a scotch or red wine and a date, head to Little JumboBrasserie L’ecole, or Bubby’s Kitchen. Try the burgers at all three of these places.

Try it you’ll like it:

Semi-Dry cider from new cider maker Salt Spring Wild, $16.10 including tax at Cascadia Liquor Stores.
Pumpkin Maple Cookie at Pure Vanilla Bakery and Cascadia Bakery.
Hazelnut Salt Spring Gelato, $6.99 at The Market on Yates.

Originally written for and published in Monday Magazine, October 2015.