Thursday, August 28, 2008

The IncrEDIBLE Picnic, an incredible success

Could there have been a better day for a picnic? I woke up on Sunday morning to sunshine and was immediately relieved to know that, for once, the Weather Network had been accurate!

A friend and I got geared to go, and arrived at Garisson Grounds at noon. It was a great sight to see so many people coming to show their support for Select Nova Scotia.

Now this type of event takes some strategic planning. We looked at the list of producers to plan our purchases in advance, and did two laps before going in for the kill.

Our first stop was for seafood chowder from Mike's Fish Shop, and Clearwater lobster rolls. I had good faith in this chowda as I often get Mike's fantastic smoked salmon at the Farmer's Market. The chowder was a combo of fresh seafood; haddock, shrimp, scallops and salmon, with onions, potatoes and celery in a smooth, creamy broth. The lobster rolls were a mix of sweet lobster, mayo, onions and celery for crunch. I was a little disheartened when I saw that the rolls themselves were white hot dog buns. How come no one ever uses delicious 12 grain or other such alternatives? Anyway, I overcame this minor dissapointment with the genius idea of dipping the excess roll in Mike's chowder. What a pairing!

Next we had a slice of Heppy's traditional Acadian meat pie. Tender, savory pork and chicken were enclosed within a soft, buttery crust. I got it served with pickles, which owner Corrine Weir assured me was the traditional way of eating this dish. With that, we had fresh corn on the cob with buttah from Ian Newcombe Farms in Canning, purchased by The Department of Agriculture and generously provided free of charge to picnic goers.

By the end of the day, I was stuffed, but on the way out I made room for a couple of samples that warrent a mention.

Meadowbrook farms were providing the most delicious sausages, in a variety of flavors-my favorite being the maple sausage. Mmmmmm, maple and pork. I wish I had room for a full sausage as these were fantastic.

DD's ice cream from Peggy's Cove was a great discovery. Sadly, by the time the last piece of Heppy's pie was put away, and the sweet craving set in, DD's was closing up their booth. I don't know if the fact that I paused ealier for a sample was a good or bad decision. It's tough to have just a little taste!

I also have to mention the pan-fried haddock samples from The Wooden Monkey. They used Goldwater Seafood haddock, pan fried in a light, crispy batter. It was, hands-down, the best of it's kind. I'll definitely be hitting up The Wooden Monkey for dinner if that's on the menu.

Mike's Fish Shop

Clearwater Seafood

Heppy's Meat Pie

Meadowbrook Meat Market

The Wooden Monkkey

Goldwater Seafood

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