International Holiday Feast 2016
Last week was The Food Connection's last gathering of 2016. With the theme of an International Holiday Feast, it sure didn't disappoint the hungry guests - especially those with a sweet tooth!
I have attended Food Connection workshops in the past and always appreciated its cozy vibe. But this time it didn't just feel cozy, it felt fancy too! When I stepped into the familiar East Hall of Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, I was greeted by a giant dining table draped in festive red. Rosemary and thyme bouquets served as aromatic decor while candles warmed the room. It was quite romantic, so how fitting that I brought my boyfriend for the first time.
Jenny van Enckevort, Food Connection co-creator, pointed out that the mason jar lid candle holders make cleanup a breeze. After twisting off the ring, the dried wax pops right off the lid. Everyone oohed in unison from the simplicity and practicality of that tip. We always learn so much at The Food Connection.
Soon we gathered around the potluck table to introduce ourselves and the dish we brought: pickled veggies and meat dumplings, parmesan crackers with wine jelly, charcuterie plate, cornbread casserole, raspberry crumble, strawberry rhubarb pie, mooncakes and other delectables with special meaning for the participants in the room. The consensus was that even if we only tried a small portion of each, we'd already be stuffed full. (But isn't that what the holidays are about?)
After our first round of dining, we took turns sharing our favourite dish. The most popular dish was definitely the melt-in-your-mouth squash dish. There was something magical about a sweet winter squash that's whipped into a cloud-like texture with floating crunchy bits. Gloria, who created the dish, shared that the secret was mayonnaise. We couldn't wait to get the recipe.
For the second portion of the evening, we created a wishlist of workshops for 2017. The sky's the limit! Ideas included chocolate, one pot meals, tacos, knife skills and food-based skin care. It was wonderful to see community members share their curiosities, knowledge and skills. There was also a video station to share our favourite Food Connection workshop or our favourite thing that happened as a result of joining this open community. For me, I found my current housing through attending The Food Connection. I've also learned to make better use of my food by creatively re-purposing food scraps into homemade stock. I've saved money and made lovely friends along the way.
So thank you to The Food Connection community and cheers to another delicious year!