I can’t say enough about our awesome hosts for this month’s meetup. Rolling up the long driveway of Carcajou Fruit, it is impossible not to be wowed by the view over the fields and orchards towards Giant’s Head Mountain, which sits like a hunched old man soaking up the last of the summer sunshine.
The garden is bountiful with all manner of autumn vegetables, including enough squash to make 100 recipes.
When you get out of your car, you are greeted by the quiet and shy Pepper the dog, who is easily charmed if you’re willing to throw a stick for her.
A tour around the property with Jan included the outdoor kitchen used by summer staff. As we walked, the cinnamon waft of the apple crumble they had made seemed to warm the air. A colourful cartooned toaster told the story of how a short, intense cherry harvest can transform dozens of strangers into family. “You’re the best thing since sliced bread.” What a wonderful message to greet you in the morning.
It was such a treat that several of the staff who are still on site were able to join us for our feast, and I’m not just saying that because they brought apple crumble and pie and bread, and the most beautiful bouquet of flowers that had been playfully flecked with glitter.
Both Jan & Erin’s veggie souffle (made with eggs from their own chickens) and butternut squash samosas were a huge hit. The key to the samosas: bake the squash in the oven before cutting up the inside and cooking it with warming spices like cumin. Don’t skimp on the butter. Load up little pastry triangles, bake and try to keep yourself from “tasting” too many before serving.
What better way to wash down all of our goodies than with apple cider from Summerland’s own Heritage Cider Company? Tom is no doubt lamenting being struck down by bronchitis and having to miss the festivities.
And even when you know you’re full, it’s difficult to say no to a sliver of a perfectly ripe and juicy, locally grown Asian pear. I’m going back to buy a whole box tomorrow!
Thank you so much to Jan, Erin and Keith, and everyone at Carcajou for such a great evening of baking, learning and fun.
The rest of the recipes will be posted next time!
Save the date: Next month Summerland Bakers will be heading to Grape Escape Guest House. Theme: Halloween! Date: Thursday, October 17.