Sunday, October 01, 2006

Dance of the Naked Kiwi

And you thought those Scot's going commando under those kilts was scandalous! More about the naked kiwis later. First a quick recap of another wild and brilliant weekend on my 100 Mile Diet journey.

I rambled over to Vancouver for the Madeleine Peyroux concert on Thursday. So lovely, so divine. She’s a bayou marriage between Billy Holiday and Edith Piaf.

So on Friday I…errr.

Shit! I lost another Friday. That’s the second week in a row.

LOST: Friday. Medium build, sandy brown hair with a peg leg. Please contact me. Do not approach on your own. Friday may be armed, have rabies or at least, a hangover.

Saturday was a week stuffed into a day. I woke up from one of those sleeps that felt like a 14 year coma. You know. Where you wake up and you’re not quite sure who or where you really are. Where you’re wondering if there is supposed to be another body in the bed or not. Perhaps the reason for my deep slumber is the reason I lost my Friday…

I went over to the Community Gardens/Foodshare on Pine Street for their Harvest Festival. I didn’t make it in time for the pancake breakfast but I made it time to watch a round of Chicken Bingo. For those that don’t know, Chicken Bingo is a spectator sport build around the bowel movements of a chicken. And like any spectator sport, it’s only made sporting by spectators betting on where in the bingo grid that lines the chicken pen that the chicken will take a crap. Much more humane than cockfighting. Mind you, there have been cases of overfeeding of chicken in order to ensure quick and timely expulsion of shat in some underground Chicken Bingo arenas in Texas. I was assured by one of the handlers, that the chicken was not on the Foie Gras diet.

There was also a silent auction, including a 100 Mile Diet goodie basket filled with fresh, dried and canned local foods. I put in a bid but couldn’t stick around to see if I won it. I’m waiting for my phone call.

Then I was back on the road. My goal was to end up in Cowichan Bay for the Cowichan Valley Wine & Culinary Festival Gala night to represent Nanaimo’s 100 Mile Diet Challenge. However. I was bent on exploiting this journey down island as much as I could.

My first detour was to Kiwi Cove Lodge . No New Zealanders hanging off the vine, just 7 different varieties of kiwi fruit. I stopped by mainly to nose around. My lovely friend, Willow, told me I had to check it out. I’m just thrilled to be able to add another fruit to my 100 Mile Diet!

Upon my impromptu and highly unannounced arrival, Peggy Kolosoff greeted me and showed me around the warm and rustic property. Along with the over 130 kiwi vines, they also have a huge food garden which they have donated to the Ladysmith as community garden space. They’ve also offered some of their fruit to the Nanaimo’s Foodshare Fruit Gleaning program. I had my first taste of what could easily be a new favorite fruit, the Arguta kiwi fruit. Imagine a kiwi fruit taste packed into a grape-size fruit and given a Brazilian. Not a single hair. It had an intense kiwi fruity taste with overtones of pineapple and with less acid and did I mention, not a single bit of fuzz. She also has the fuzzy variety that we’re all familiar with. The best thing is that she has one variety or another ready for eating from now until Easter.

Peggy sells her fruit to County Grocer in Duncan and at 49th Parallel in Ladysmith. If you’re interested in finding out more, the Kiwi Cove Lodge is holding an open house next weekend on the 8th.

Peggy gifted me with a huge basket of Arguta’s to give out at the Cowichan festival that night. Most of the fruits actually managed to make it to the festival ;)

It was the funniest thing to watch folks as I offered them this green, alien fruit. They’d scrunch up their faces in scepticism. When they asked what sort of kiwis they were, I made some lame joke about the name and promised that it wouldn’t cause convulsions. I eventually gave up offering and simply started daring folks to try it. But all that scepticism melted as the fruit bursted sunshine into their doubting mouths. It’s like watching children who have been raised on big-box strawberries and handing them a small, wild freshly picked berry.

People are funny. You offer them something real to eat, something grown on a real plant, in real earth by real people and they look at you like you're trying to poison them. But stick a bunch of chlorine onto sugar and slap on a splendid little marketing campaign and people will run over their mother to get to it. As I said, people are funny.

I spied the Footes Hazelnut farm outside of Chemainus on my way to Cowichan Bay. With the clock ticking, I drove passed. I’ll get to that hazelnut farm yet. It’s hazelnut season right about now. It would be grand to get a stash.

Onward down the highway, I popped into Quist Meat Market to grab some frozen sausages and a 6-pack of beef jerky sticks for the DH. I was tempted to pick up some frozen lamb sausage meat to make kefta but then again, if I do that then I’ll spoil DH for anyone else’s kefta after that. I certainly, would not want to bestow such a horror on the one I love the mostest. I’m such a good wife :)

I got off the highway and headed down to Cowichan Bay. I made it just in time to pop in the True Grain Bakery and Hilary’s Cheese shop to grab some goodies. With my tummy whining, I grabbed a small sandwich made with True Grain bun and Hilary’s blue cheese and a piece of apple strudel. Life is grand.

Along with my lunch, I picked up a bag of freshly milled rye flour and one of kamut flour for moi and a couple baguettes for the 100 Mile diet booth. For $2 a pop, they are definitely the cheapest and quickest trip to France. From the Hilary cheese side, I picked up a wedge of Belle Anne, a goat tomme washed in Cherry Point’s blackberry port, and a wedge of Red Dawn, a big island tomme washed in salt brine. In the self-serve cooler, I saw something that made my heart skip a beat: Water Buffalo Yoghurt.

Fairburn Farm’s have put out their first batch of yoghurt from their herd of authentic water buffalo. I had some this morning with my fruit salad, along with the few last arguta kiwis. It’s a mild and rich yoghurt. It has only a slight sour tang that is associated with cow yogurt. It’s not quite as smooth as cow yoghurt but it certainly as yummy, if not yummier. Don’t ask me how much milk fat is in it. Such things are not important here.

Finally, got to the Oceanside Grand for the Cowichan Wine and Culinary festival’s gala. Hello to everyone at the gala night! It was great chatting with you all!

The Canada Post table (they were selling a wine themed stamp set) and I were sent to the kiddies table, so to speak. We were delegated to the tables outside of the room where all the big folks were showing off their stuff. Regardless, I managed to talk to folks as they wandered out looking for the washroom or a missing date. Ok. I got a bit more attention than that. Along with the arguta kiwi fruits, I handed out samples of the cranberry preserve on baguette from True Grains. That's the key to getting folks to your table: Free stuff! Once folks got a sample in their mouth, I went on my spiel about the 100 Mile Diet and the Thanksgiving challenge. I met some lovely folks, some wonderfully lovely folks and some folks…well, some folks that probably think that Thanksgiving is but a starting bell for Christmas shopping.

I even got interviewed by Don Genova from Pacific Palate and got chatting with a lively and lovely writer from Eat magazine who doesn't look anything like Mara Jernigan from Fairburn farms but who's name I can't remember because my brain has remembered her as the woman who doens't look like Mara.

I got home after 11pm. Poor DH was limp on the sofa, dizzy from starvation. I was pretty much running on fumes myself. Luckily I had some leftover soup in the fridge. Leftover soup is such a blessing. It doesn’t give you a guilt trip if you don’t want it today. It’ll patiently wait until you don’t have time for anything else. When you need it, it’ll be there. Ready with just a quick ride on the stove or a nuke job. Leftover soup is the ultimate food martyr.

Today was spent at Pacific Gardens Co-housing’s Applefest. Hello to everyone there! So lovely to meet you all! It’s a great property with a number of heirloom apple trees and even river running through it. The day was mellow and warm, just like an autumn Sunday ought to be. I ate my fill of apple goodies and chatted about and shared spaced with those who also embrace the sunshine that falls upon them. I also met the male, white inner-child past life version of me. Kinda unnerving but delightful. (BTW, thanks for all the gorgeous veggies. They're very happily tucked into my belly now).

Note to self: Keep little black book for use in my next life.

I’m tired now. Bye.


Nanaimo’s 100 Mile Diet Challenge.


Gary Hammond said...

So fun & fresh! Love your 'splendid' comments.

It was nice to meet you at the wine festival. I was the guy with all the squash questions.

Keep up the good work!

Cin said...

Sounds like you had a blissful time. Love the photos!

I've just recently discovered Madeleine Peyroux, and would love to see her in concert. Is she as scintillating as I suspect?

abby said...


i was at madeleine peyroux, i so enjoyed it. i wish you had called.

have you heard her new cd "half the perfect world"? wonderful.

did you like vienna teng, i enjoyed her as well.

hope to speak to you soon

xo a