Month: September 2012

MUSTARD!

This weekend we are heading to a Mustard Festival.

Yep. A Mustard Festival. Organised by the official Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission.

Here’s some details:

August 25, 2012Mustard-inspired recipes whet appetites

Sask. chefs think outside the jar with delicious creations

By Irene Seiberling, Leader-Post

Mustard is much more than a yellow condiment for hot dogs.

You’d be amazed what you can do with it!

Some of Saskatchewan’s top chefs are demonstrating the versatility of the pungent powder or paste by creating a medley of mustard-inspired recipes for the Great Saskatchewan Mustard Festival, which will be held in Regina at The Willow on Wascana from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 16.

The festival is “a unique opportunity to enjoy a Saskatchewan-grown product, which pleases palates around the world,” says Chef Malcolm Craig, a member of the event organizing team.

“I like anything with mustard, really,” Craig says enthusiastically. “I’ve always had an affinity for mustard.”

The Regina chef says he enjoys it on everything from hotdogs to trout, salads to pasta. As a flavour enhancer, the possibilities are endless, Craig says.

Saskatchewan is the world’s largest mustard exporter, producing about 75 per cent of Canada’s mustard crop.

The family-friendly mustard festival – which will be held rain or shine – is being organized by Beer Bros. Bakery and Cuisine, Crave Kitchen + Wine Bar, Great Western Brewing Company and the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission, with assistance from festival creator Chef Moe Mathieu.

Partaking in the all-you-can-eat array of mustard-inspired dishes costs $10. But listening to music by the Pile O’ Bones Brass Band and painting with mustard in the children’s area is free.

“You can look forward to a very large variety of food choices that day,” says Adele Buettner, general manager of the Saskatoon-based SMDC, which works to increase the public’s awareness of different ways to use mustard.

“It’s all finger food. And there’ll be everything from appetizer-type samples to samples of main courses. We even had mustard ice cream one year,” Buettner says. “Our chefs are top notch in this province. And we have chefs from right across the province, but the majority from Regina. Our chefs are very creative.

“What we’re seeing in the culinary world is people are wanting to experiment more. They’re wanting to see how they can emulate some of the dishes they’ve tried – you know, when you’re going out and you want to make it at home. We’re seeing a growing number of chefs and foodie types incorporating mustard.

“They’re excited to look at creative ways to showcase the product. So it’s always great to go there and try a little bit of everything, if you can.”

All festival samplers feature one or more forms of mustard in the recipe – paste, powder or seeds.

Yellow mustard is the most common, and what people are most familiar with, Buettner says.

“But there are so many more prepared mustards available on the market – flavoured mustards, coarse or seeded mustard.”

More and more people are now also using mustard seed, Buettner points out. It’s available in three types: yellow (traditional), brown (a little stronger than the traditional yellow) and oriental (a deeper yellow seed used predominantly in the Orient in oil).

Today’s consumer is keen to support locally grown product, Buettner points out.

“There’s interest in what they’re eating, where it’s from, how it’s produced. And if you come to The Willow, you’ll see and learn some of that. And it will also inspire you to try some mustard and maybe go home and incorporate it into some of your everyday cooking, and experiment with some new flavours and some new tastes.

Buettner encourages home cooks to incorporate mustard in their salad dressings, gravies, sauces, barbecue rubs “to try to be more creative.”

© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post

 

I say again, there is always something going on in this city! Just brilliant!

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EDIT:
We went. So did a lot of other people. We ate a lot of mustard-related Things. Miri danced! And, woe is me, they actually sold out of Mustard Festival t-shirts!! Deep sadness!

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Watching from the West

Warning: Political Ranting to follow!
My Twitter stream is still populated mainly by UK friends and businesses. As we still have no TV, they, the BBC news website and the iplayer are my only sources of world current affairs. Even so, it makes depressing, (and in the case of Twitter, amusingly sarcastic) reading.

I spoke to my parents via a Google hangout at the weekend, we were talking about selling our house (still no hope on that front), and sorting out extensions to our visas and work permits (I know it seems like we’ve only just got here, but the first ones took nearly five months to process! If the same happens, we’d better start reapplying as soon as possible!!). The Parents were not exactly very positive about the UK. The housing market is apparently getting worse and worse. We bought our house in 2004, we have 17 years left on our mortgage(!!) and now the only offers we’re getting from buyers are a full THIRTY THOUSAND POUNDS LESS than what we paid 8 years ago. It’s not even a horrible house, its a 2 bed semi with a garden (and a SAUNA!), it’s just in a region that always has been severely economically deprived, and is only getting more so. The only people who can afford to buy a house in the UK nowadays, are not the sort of people who want to buy in the North-East.

Dad reports that whole towns in their area are just shutting down, only charity shops, kebab shops and Poundland left in some places – and of course, those pariahs of modern Britain, the pawnbrokers, the Cash-For-Gold places and the payday loans shops. Incredibly depressing. A job was advertised for the manager of a charity shop, and had 45 applicants. This says a lot.

Meanwhile, letters and tweets from my wonderful, talented, personable, intelligent, responsible, creative and reliable friends are also filled with negativity – the depression and loss of confidence caused by years of frustrating unemployment. The Daily Mail ran the story recently of a girl who committed suicide after receiving her 200th job rejection letter. I know I started my own business in 2009 because I couldn’t face the soul-destroying post-university unemployment AGAIN, but by the sounds of it, it has got even worse since then.

And now, Twitter, and the online version of Newsnight inform me that there has been a Cabinet reshuffle. The most telling tweet?

New cabinet composition: 4/29 women, 29/29 white, 19/29 attended Oxford or Cambridge. Monocultural Britain.

Jeremy Hunt, who’s only really positive contribution during his time as Culture secretary was to provide us all with a new bit of Cockney rhyming slang, who utterly ballsed up with Murdoch and BSkyB, and who tried to block the NHS celebrations at the Olympics opening ceremony is now Health Minister. This means he gets out of dealing with the fall out of the Leveson inquiry AND Andrew Lansley avoids implementing the NHS policies he was universally loathed for dreaming up. Worse still, former employment minister Chris Grayling from DWP – that’s right, the Department of Wankers and Penpushers whose bureaucratic nightmares have resulting in such a failing in the welfare system that 200,000 people were forced to use the Food Bank last year despite half of them actually being in work (according to Newsnight!)- and the man who brought in ATOS, the company that terrorizes the disabled and mentally ill and who famously deemed a partially paralysed woman ‘fit for work’ is now Justice secretary. That is an irony far too bitter for me.

Even worse, George Osborne is still Chancellor. He wasn’t really likely to be moved, but this (from Twitter) did amuse me: Apparently, Osborne was booed by 80,000 people when he attended the Paralympics medal ceremony. Why 80,000 people? Because the stadium doesn’t hold any more.

I can summarise thusly:

The UK is truly fucked.

My Mum said, “don’t even think about coming back!” – I assume that wasn’t an insult. Don’t worry, we won’t.

Meanwhile, there was an article in the Canadian Globe and Mail about student tuition fees costing a whole $5000 a year here, and how students are protesting in Quebec….. Quelle Horreur!

Even Canadians get negative sometimes. Here’s some comedic relief: