Spring arrives officially March 20th! It’s already present in the fresh greenery popping up everywhere and yes (!) the slow awareness that it is no longer dark at 5pm! With the arrival of spring it seems appropriate to write a bit about some of the news and opportunities that have come our way over the past few weeks.
First, we have made a big decision to put our steadily building catering service on the backburner. With three key elements of a young start up, (producing preserves for sale, creating and teaching workshops, and building and sustaining a catering clientele) necessarily demanding a lot of attention, we realized that our much longer term goals might not be served best by trying to get all three off the ground…especially without significant capital!
So, we’ll be maintaining a couple of key relationships, (Creative Mornings Vancouver, being one), but with rare exceptions, we are now putting most of our focus back into our preserve creations, recipe development and yes, workshops! There is news brewing on the workshop front, but it’s a little too soon to reveal all of that!
In the meantime, we’ve been steadily focusing our attention on our retail relationships, and putting our attention to building relationships with other food producers and learning what we can and need to know about being a small scale food producer.
Retail news: We have our preserves in several locations now, primarily artisan boutiques that have a broad artisanal focus, not just food. They have been incredibly supportive and we’re excited about these relationships. Currently we have preserves in Dream Boutique in Gastown, Window Community artisan shop on East Hastings, Twigg and Hottie on Main Street and Bird on A Wire, also on Main Street.
Bird on A Wire and Karen Unger-Strickland have been especially supportive and we’ll be joining Karen and Bird on A Wire as one of their feature artisans at the April Make It Show (April 19, 20, 21), where we’ll be sampling and selling our preserves! As a lead up to this event, we put up a window display in the shop today and on Saturday, March 23, we’ll be in-store at Bird on A Wire, just past the intersection at Main and Broadway, sampling our preserved treats!
Amongst the things we’ll be sampling is our preserved lemon peel. Yes, you may be suspicious, but we’re serving it up in a citrus slaw with toasted black sesame, and the light earl grey syrup in which they are preserved makes a wonderful dressing with a dash of mustard and splash of grapeseed oil. Here’s a recipe to pique your interest:
1/2 head green cabbage finely sliced (use a mandolin for ease)
1/2 head red cabbage finely sliced
1/4 -1/2 jar of Good Girl Bad Girl Preserves Earl Grey preserved lemon peel (Available at Bird On A Wire)
1/4 Cup (or less) black sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/8 Cup grapeseed or 2-3 Tbsp walnut oil
Organic tamari for seasoning the sesame seeds
Combine finely sliced cabbage in a bowl (use a mandolin for ease, speed and very fine slices of cabbage).
Add a liberal pinch or two of the preserved lemon peel (should equate to about 1/4 cup ..more if you want) and toss well with the cabbage.
Place the black sesame seeds on a baking sheet or in a pie pan. Drizzle a splash of tamari very lightly over the seeds and toss to ensure they are relatively evenly coated. Bake the seeds in the oven at 275 F, until they are just lightly toasted.
Add the seeds to the cabbage and citrus peel mix. Toss well.
1/4 Cup syrup from the jar of preserved lemon peel
1 scant tsp of dijon mustard (grainy preferred)
dash black pepper
small pinch salt
1/4 Cup grapeseed oil or 2-3 Tbsp walnut oil
juice from one wedge of lemon if desired.
combine all ingredients except the lemon wedge in a bowl and whisk or blend until well emulsified. Pour desired amount of dressing over the slaw and toss until evenly dressed.
This slaw makes a great little side for any spicier seasoned dish, as the crispness and mild ‘bitterness’ of the lemon peel clean the palette between bites!