What I did on my long weekend, part 1

I had a busy, busy Saturday. My adventure started with a short volunteering stint as a “food sample girl” over at the downtown City Market. Saturday was Canada Food Day and to celebrate, the City Market held a number of food demos from chefs. Once the food was made, I helped to distribute the goodies out to the hungry crowd (at least, for the first demo).

setting up

setting up

The first demos were from Chef Brad Smoliak, whose first recipe was Ukrainian Eggs Benedict. Chef Smoliak started off by doing some prep work, including putting the Irvings Farm Fresh pork chops (or, as the Chef called them, bacon chops) in a pan to begin frying.

bacon chops

bacon chops

He made an effort to point out places in the City Market where he had grabbed the ingredients – from eggs to herbs. (Unfortunately I didn’t jot down where everything came from.)

Chef Smoliak talking about herbs

Chef Smoliak talking about herbs

He cooked Mo-Na mushrooms, fried eggs, flipped the chops… the smell was torturing everyone in the audience.

almost time to eat!

almost time to eat!

The final product looked like a giant open-faced sandwich. And it probably could feed at least two people.

the assembled benny

the assembled benny

My duties were over, but I stuck around to catch the second demo where the Chef presented a summer salad.

adding finishing touches to the salad

adding finishing touches to the salad

the salad, complete with edible flowers

the salad, complete with edible flowers

One of the Chef’s last tips was that if you were doing a buffet style party then you might want to pick up some candle votives and utilize them to serve the salad. I’m not sure if I would use votives though, unless you were sure that the vessel was safe to use with food. I’ve seen this technique used in Las Vegas, although they used cups that were smaller, like shot glasses.

salad in a votive

salad in a votive

Also hanging around the market was fellow volunteer Eating is the Hard Part, and Only Here for the Food who was helping to man the Slow Food Edmonton booth.

So what did I do for the rest of the day? Well, if you have been following my tweets then you’ll know. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for my next post to find out what happened next.

Urban Diner, Edmonton

A friend and I popped over to the Urban Diner for brunch on the weekend. The brunch menu isn’t large, but I’ve always found the food to be delicious.

I normally do not eat eggs benedict. Generally, I find hollandaise sauces to be too creamy and too rich. The first time I had brunch here, I had a craving for eggs benedict for some odd reason and fell in love with the Urban Diner’s version.

eggs benedict on French bread and diner potatoes

eggs benedict on French bread and diner potatoes

They give you just enough hollandaise to cover the eggs, but not so much that it drowns everything. The sauce itself is slightly tangy, which allows the taste to cut through some of the creaminess. The ham is sliced thinly enough that you can cut it with a butter knife, but thick enough so that there is plenty to chew. The eggs can be ordered soft, medium or hard; I prefer a soft or medium so that the yolk can soak into the bread. And instead of an English muffin, the eggs are served on a slice of French bread. This dish also comes with a very tasty side of diner potatoes fried with leeks.

My dining companion ordered two eggs with sourdough toast, jam (that I suspect is home-made but did not get a confirmation of this), sausages and diner potatoes.

eggs, sausauge and toasted sourdough bread

eggs, sausauge and toasted sourdough bread

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