Toronto Underground Market November 2013

I had the opportunity to visit, for the first time, The Toronto Underground Market (http://www.yumtum.ca) in November. What a great event! Foodies galore, new tastes, and like-minded people who truly believe in alternative foods, preparations, and good times. It’s a movement that likes to experiment, taste, and celebrate foods in a nontraditional setting and atmosphere.

I’m looking to participate in the next one and to launch The Artisanal Grill to the world. I have some idea that I think will rock the palate and show some smoking and grilling skills.

The greatest tastes to my mouth were the Molasses Braised Pork Belly from Little Tomato and the Pulled Jerk Duck from King Catering! Others were good but my taste buds did back-flips when I had their offering!

Craft brews were abundant and the music rocked the Evergreen Brickworks!

What a night!

I whole-heartedly recommend this event the next time around. Who know’s, you might see me!

Be well and eat well!

Scott

Sometimes when someone offers to take your picture, they don't run away with your camera! Thanks to the stranger that thought the shot was spectacular!

Sometimes when someone offers to take your picture, they don’t run away with your camera! Thanks to the stranger that thought the shot was spectacular!

Guy satisfaction!

Guy satisfaction!

Fidel GastroKing CateringCrossroads DinerBoots and Bourbon

Pork belly to die for!

Pork belly to die for!

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“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” Jane Howard

Turkey Shoot 2013A Canadian Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in Canada comes a month early compared to our friends in the US. Origins can be dated back to 1578 and the voyage of Martin Frobisher searching for the Northwest Passage.  Samuel de Champlain held many festival of celebration of thanks and established the Order of Good Cheer  in sharing their food with the First Nation.

At one point Upper and Lower Canada celebrated Thanksgiving at different times. After the American Revolution, refugees that remained loyal to Britain brought customs and traditions north to Canada. Its date fluctuated until 1957 when the second Monday in October became a national statutory holiday.  The theme became a celebration of the abundant harvest and thankfulness of all we are blessed with.

Our family gathering’s origin comes from an event long before my participation. During the 1960’s, my in-laws would have a fall party they entitled The Turkey Shoot. The day long party centered around the men target shooting for bragging rights and the prize of a turkey for

Thanksgiving. Its day had long passed and would have probably remained a memory if not for the creativity of my brother-in-law. We decided in 1989 to make Thanksgiving our event and resurrected The Turkey Shoot. Christmas would be for our immediate nest, but Thanksgiving would be the whole family, extended, girlfriends and boyfriends, friends, dogs, basically everybody that makes us who we are. There would be no presents and no expectations other than being together to be together. We would eat, and eat well, have drinks, tell stories and rehash laughs and tears, sit up too late around the fire and just be us. I have to say in 24 years I have no memory of disagreements, attitudes or fights. I am very proud of us all. Understand that some years have been good with new arrivals and life events; others have not been so good.  People, important people, loved ones that have been with us and should still be with us are gone in body but still sitting around the fire with us. Our Thanksgiving is about family.

We have our target competition, horseshoe pitch, archery, and have even taken to setting Chinese lanterns into the sky late at night with messages to those that we wish were there.

I can talk about the food but we’ll let the pictures do that. There’s not a lot of late evening photos because no one really wants to see us dancing to Journey or rolling downhill off an unbalanced chair. Actually you probably do but what happens at the farm stays at the farm.

To all my friends, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. To all south of the border and anticipating yours, I wish you happiness and the warm embrace of your family and friends.Fall in Northern Ontario

The Farm
Juuust a bit outside!TailgateFire Good!Turkey Spit

Beautiful

“A satisfied customer-we should have him stuffed!” Basil Fawlty

Did some interesting things this past weekend, so it’s time to share! Steak yes but grilled oysters too!

Saturday night the trolls were out. My lady and I decided to spurge. I have long wanted to grill oysters on my #biggreenegg and this was the night. Not having time to take advantage of #StLawrencemarket, we took advantage of the seafood bar at Loblaws. Not the greatest selection in the world I must say. I don’t think shellfish is their highest priority but since we were grilling them we took the plunge on 6 after pointing out the cracked and opened ones to the fish lady. I made a #Guinnessrarebit sauce to meld with the fishy wonders.  Guinness, cheddar, Dijon, and a little Worcestershire’s combined with a roux to thicken. Vicky shucked and I coated and then introduced them to the #BGE. A little Irish on the tongue!

We accompanied the #Hors D’Oeuvre, well actually we served it with the main of grilled steak, mushrooms and a warm beet salad. The salad included the beet tops and stems, pecans, and #chèvre dressed in tarragon Dijon vinaigrette. Check the shot! There was a food coma shortly after the meal. No trolls means happy chefs!

I definitely will be introducing Guinness into more meals but it’s hard sharing the bottle. It’s so nice straight out of the glass!

Be well and eat well!

Scott

Guinness Good!

Guinness Good!

“Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself.” Paul Bryant

So thinking outside the kitchen, and in turn sacrificing one of my indoor cast iron pots I decided to make #beefstew on my #BGE #BigGreenEgg.   Incorporating smoke with the flavor of the beef and sauce was one of the best things I’ve ever attempted.

I marinated the beef in beer with fresh rosemary overnight. Patted dry, floured, seasoned, and seared in my cast iron over the fire with hickory smoking away below. Since I was using the Egg, I left the lid off the pot because closing the lid on the Egg had the same effect and allowed the smoke to permeate the flavor. I removed the beef and sautéed the onions in the juices from the beef and then reunited them with more beer and some beef stock. At the halfway mark I joined the union of flavours with peas, potatoes, and carrots. When we were about 15 minutes away from completion, I add my dumplings to cook in the broth.

The comments from the trolls that live with me? This is the best stew we’ve ever had. I have to say I’m really proud of this one. The hickory smoke add to the overall experience of the stew and mixed with the rosemary background in the meat gave it another dimension.

My pot will survive and is now destined for use on the #BGE all the time.

Be well and eat well!

Scott

Beer marinated beef and rosemary

Beer marinated beef and rosemary

Everyone into the pool! You too dumplings!

Everyone into the pool! You too dumplings!

Pretty tasty stew!

Pretty tasty stew!

“There’s no straight lines make up my life; And all my roads have bends” Harry Chapin

“There’s no straight lines make up my life; And all my roads have bends;

There’s no clear-cut beginnings;  And so far no dead-ends.”   Circle (Harry Chapin)

This lyric has permeated my mind for the past year. The way people and things from my past keep reoccurring in my life. Since I have had the last 12 months to analyze myself and the world, I have come to the conclusion that I’m happy. Things haven’t gone as planned. But whose do. You’re dealt cards that you have to try and make sense of. You plan your hand, and then someone pulls from the bottom of the deck. It’s not your fault how your hand plays out. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But the point is to stay at the table and handle your cards as best you can.

I started #TheArtisanalGrill as an outlet for my cooking and my thoughts.  Its growth has been organic. Simple quotes, alternative methods of cooking conventional meals, and twists on life and the world.

So now comes the next step; Last night I met with one of my high school English teachers. Neil is the Editor of The Bluffs Advocate, a local community newspaper in south east Toronto. We’ve had discussions over the past month regarding me contributing a BBQ piece for the summer edition.  Exciting, yes, scary, yes, fun, absolutely!

The images below are from the Official Launch Party they held @DoraKeogh last night.  Music, beer, and laughs filled the popular Irish pub.

Back to talking about food!

Tonight; Meatloaf on the BGE

Be well and eat well

Scott

Dora Keogh

Bluffs Advocate Launch Party

Bluffs Advocate Launch Party

Bluffs Advocate Launch Party

Neil Walker and Jim McQueen

Medicine Line

Medicine Line

Medicine LineParty people

The Griller and his lady

The Griller and his lady

 

 

#Beach BBQ and Brew Fest 2013

This past weekend the Beach BBQ and Brew Fest http://beachbbqandbrews.com/ took over Woodbine Park for 3 days. Other than a short interlude of rain Saturday night and first thing Sunday morning, the event was ablast!

Beaches BBQ and Brew Fest

Beaches BBQ and Brew Fest

US and Canadian Teams served the usual fare that was happily washed down with the assistance of local craft beer artisans. I have attended others throughout the province and have to say that “The Beach”, (formerly The Beaches, but that’s another story) embraced the event and instilled its sense of calm and relax amongst the revelers. It was a blast!

Pork bliss in the Beach

Pork bliss in the Beach

All the participant’s smoked treats were good but my particular tastes ran to the ribs and Alabama Pulled Pork that Camp 31 was offering.  The diehards and smoke heads knew the biggest lines offered the best fare.

BBQ demands beer and the craft artisans didn’t disappoint. I did get introduced to #Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer, a refreshing different taste with a bite. Quite nice!

Presentations led by Ted Reader marked the big tent. Ted’s take on Warm Bourbon brownies with bacon and blue cheese made my heart stutter for a second. But as everyone knows, bacon makes everything better!

Ted and me!

Ted and me!

I finished Sunday as a judge for the Amateur Rib contest. Everyone that entered deserves kudos for having the guts to put their money where their mouth is.  Good ribs all around and well done.

So I have a back log of food photos to catch up on. Watch over the next few days.

Because of the meat overload, tonight is #BGE tomato roasted soup, grilled corn with oregano/ chévre butter and homemade bread.  Dessert is rotisserie pineapple with grilled pound cake and rum whipped cream.  OK, so we’re good with the veggies and not so good with the dessert.

Be well and eat well

Scott

Food linesbeer guyCamp 31 sauceFeeding time