I love going to Bluesfest every year. It brings back so many memories and I love creating new ones with the people I go with and the ones I inevitably run into. This year I didn’t do a full review of the festival food offerings since I’ve been on a bit of a personal health journey and have been really careful about what I eat.
Hello Party Peeps!
I hope you all had a lovely Halloween. The gloomy weather and shortened days can inspire hibernation but I try to still get myself out there and immerse myself in party times. I was almost going to pass on seeing the epic 15-piece Lemon Bucket Orkestra but I'm glad I didn't!
This Ukranian - Canadian fronted band is a joy to see for me because it's great to hear the music of my parents done so artfully & wildly. It's a nice touch that they sing a Serbian tune or two, as well.
I have a lot of fond memories of the band. I first met them because a friend was hanging out with them and knew I was into the band so she thought I'd like to join. Little did I know that it would lead to a beer run into Hull by bicycle and sea shanties into the wee hours of the morning. This is not your typical band.
The show that I checked out on November 1st at De La Salle High School in Ottawa was part of the Chamber Music Festival concert series. It set the stage for their release of their new album If I had the Strength. Listen to the CBC Q interview with the lead singer, Mark, here.
Did I mention their parades into the audience?
Naturally, seeing the band makes me think of my many visits back home to Serbia. And of course the key to understanding any culture is through their (music) FOOD! Now, I'm no food historian but I'll share some commonalities between balkan foods!
The cuisine uses very few condiments or sauces.
You got any paprika or oregano? You're pretty much set. Well.. you'll need some salt and pepper obviously. In terms of fresh herbs, parsley can be used pretty much on everything and dill is usually added to stews as they cook down.
Charcuterie is boss
A quick snack to a meal. And we don't fuck around with like.. chutneys and frivolous additions. Just some crusty bread and fresh cheese will do!
Everyone knows someone who makes the best moonshine.
Truth. Fact. And it's usually from fruit that they grow.
Soups & stews (or 'chorba') is a staple.
Like a minestrone.. potatoes, meat, tomatoes & broth. Living it up winter styles.
The balkans span a variety of climates however they are mostly temperate with some lull in fresh produce. Many of these culture's cuisines incorporates fermented cabbage, beets, milk (in the form of yoghurt, fresh cheese) fruit preserves into their daily diet as a way to preserve the freshest of the warmer months.
Coffee is king.
But don't worry we have your herbal tea in case you have a cold, k?
Hey Lemon Bucket. Come back soon, k?
Let me know in the comments if I've missed one of your favourite aspects of Balkan foods!
Even though Oktoberfest doesn't actually happen DURING October (no, not even in Germany!), it's a great way to ring in the new season and the harvest. Many of Ottawa's (and the region's) best restaurants get together and show their stuff.