International Holiday Feast, November 25
Toward the end of November, The Food Connection got together for a Holiday Feast; the final gathering for the group in 2015. It was nice to see a good turnout of people at this busy time of the year. With twenty-three people in attendance, we had a smorgasbord of interesting dishes and stories to share.
As usual, we began by introducing ourselves and the meal we had brought, with some of us explaining how our dish fit into our own traditions for the holidays season. For some our dish followed in our families' festive traditions, while others were brand new 'traditions' created in recent years. Some brought dishes inspired by our home countries, and others used this chance to explore the culture of their parents & grandparents. Some people just made great tasting, healthy food to share - perhaps the most important 'tradition' of all.
Instead of the usual workshop, we spent 10 minutes working in small groups to prepare ingredients for a collaborative salad. We chopped and sliced, and grated and peeled while we chatted away, sharing our plans for the coming holidays and festive season. With 3 big tables pushed together and adorned with bunches of herbs, we were finally ready to feast!
Dishes included a new take on a traditional Mexican tuna dish, baked brie, cheese & chive biscuits, parsnip puree, pomegranate and barley salad, sweet red bean soup, mango pudding, Irish cream cheesecake (actually a quarter of the spread was drool-worthy desserts), and much more! We had dishes flying the flag for Ireland, Mexico, China, Eastern Europe, Australia, not to mention good ol' North America.
I made a pavlova because it reminded me of home, where my friends & family will soon be celebrating summer, a hot Christmas, and Australia Day, with this dessert. As a newcomer to Canada, who didn't know many people, it was really lovely to have such an inclusive, friendly and vibrant group to celebrate the holiday season with. And what better way to meet and connect with new people, and celebrate the close of a wonderful year than with food?
As people finished up their vegan hot cocoas and relished the last mouthfuls of their meal, we discussed our favourite workshops from the year and pondered workshop ideas for a new year of The Food Connection. The final part of the evening was coming together for this awesome group shot!
We wish you a wonderful holiday, and thanks for filling our 2015 cups with good food and company :) See you next year!
-from Joey, Jenny & Nicola of The Food Connection