Saturday, June 23, 2012


A few weekends ago (and ambitiously early in terms of my tolerance for outdoorsy activities), we packed up our world and trekked it out to Spray Lakes. For someone with a near-complete disinterest in the discomfort of the outdoors, I needed a beautiful setting, good company, and really good food in order to get to the point of suspended disbelief and settle into enjoying the escape. 

Our first trip to Spray Lakes was last year and while there was a general state of preparedness, there was one tremendous misstep, which led to one tremendous meltdown. We each thought that the other had put the bag full of blankets in the car..... it was cold..... there was one sleeping bag between the two of us..... there was ugly crying..... need I say more?

Well, we made it through (without driving back home in the middle of the night) and in true Christine fashion, we laid everything out upon arriving home and now have itemized Excel packing lists, prepacked tubs of gear, and dedicated camping blankets whose sole purpose is to get us through the camping cold snaps. 

So, obviously, the first thing that made it to the car this year was a tub full of blankets (haha!) and we got on the road and out to our little hideout in Spray Lakes. We even managed to procure our same campsite, which just made everything so familiar and lovely. It really is the perfect site. And because I was packed up and felt prepared (basically since last summer), I had the time and energy to focus on the part that I really love... the food!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes

Today's post is brought to you by duck fat. Need I say more??

Duck fat is amazing. And tasty. And amazing. And a healthy fat. And amazing. And inexpensive. And amazing. Another thing on my top 2359235273 list. hahah.

In planning our Easter dinner, we decided to go completely different from our usual turkey or ham proteins and opted to concoct an entirely different menu featuring duck. In preparation for Easter dinner, I sourced some beautiful duck breasts through the wonder of twitter. To the rescue was Ocean Odyssey Inland (Edmonton), Jessie Radies of the Blue Pear (Edmonton), and Kingsland Farmers Market (Calgary) all enthusiastically recommending Greens Eggs and Ham. The funny part is that they would have been my go-to stop for duck (amongst other fantastic sustainable grown produce and protein) in Edmonton but I had no idea that I could find them in Calgary. Enter: The corner booth in the Kingsland Farmers Market... at 5 minutes to close... Mary Ellen of Green Eggs and Ham.

Mary Ellen was a happy market-goer's dream. She was welcoming and enthusiastic, despite it being moments to closing. She stopped closing up shop for the day to not only help us purchase our duck breast but provide us many product recommendations, cooking tips, and overwhelming enthusiasm for her product. While we came for duck breast, we also left with duck fat (why not?) and some pretty little white almond potatoes. We probably could have bought up half the store but restrained ourselves with plans of returning on Thursday or Friday for a few more Easter dinner party items... and maybe some more cooking tips.

Kendall at City and Dale (a great Edmonton... I want to say blog but it really has become so much more than that... site that promotes all things in and about the city that she and several other contributing writers love so much) seemed to get a similar recommendation on these potato gems (see her post on City and Dale here).
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