music

Lemon Bucket Orkestra & Balkan Food

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.

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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!

Market stand in Zlatibor, Serbia

Market stand in Zlatibor, Serbia

I ate the whole thing. (Drvengrad, Serbia)

I ate the whole thing. (Drvengrad, Serbia)

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.

Fermented Foods
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?

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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!

Back in Town / 2014 Beau's Oktoberfest

Now you may be wondering why I'm writing about Oktoberfest in December?! To be fair, I've been going through an enormous amount of transitions career, home and personal-wise. I've been on the road with a film crew cooking for the cast and crew. 

Ballymaloe Week 2 / Big Bright [cloudy] Lights

FILM CREW!?
FILM CREW!?

For this post I'd like to talk about my roots.. I grew up in Ottawa, Ontario but I was actually born in Serbia. I attribute feeling 'at-home' in Ireland because of my European roots. Another thing I'm taking in from the Irish culture.. (mind you, I'm in a very remote place.. so this could be particular to where I am) but damn everyone is so incredibly nice! They are so helpful.. giving rides, offering things to borrow, like a bicycle?! Film crew?

Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie Board
Food set for a special project.
Food set for a special project.
Musicians!
Musicians!
One thing I wanted to get back into was music. There are a lot of bands around here.
One thing I wanted to get back into was music. There are a lot of bands around here.
I finally had fresh fish sushi from the sea! Actually, Ballycotton - the harbour town - directly intersects the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea!
I finally had fresh fish sushi from the sea! Actually, Ballycotton - the harbour town - directly intersects the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea!

I also had a chance to make my way into Cork city, the biggest city near by us. They also have an amazing indoor farmer's market called The English Market. Tourist from all around come here for quality products from the fertile Cork soil.

CORK CITY! beaut.
CORK CITY! beaut.
Crew going to Cork!
Crew going to Cork!
Fresh Fish from the Market
Fresh Fish from the Market
The famous English Market!
The famous English Market!
Beautiful cappuccino and beat salad.. waiting for my sandwich. At Farmgate Cafe!
Beautiful cappuccino and beat salad.. waiting for my sandwich. At Farmgate Cafe!
BACON SANDWICH
BACON SANDWICH
Real fish.
Real fish.
Teaching my peeps how to eat oysters..
Teaching my peeps how to eat oysters..
...expecting freshness
...expecting freshness
There are shells in them...
There are shells in them...
they weren't shucked properly...
they weren't shucked properly...
disappointment.
disappointment.
Patty's day at the 'EURO SHOP'
Patty's day at the 'EURO SHOP'
- One Direction -
- One Direction -
Beautiful cafe.
Beautiful cafe.

This week we also had a cheese maker come in. He was a full on scientist, too. I've never seen someone more passionate about their job.

Home made fresh ricotta cottage cheese (un-broken) with rose and pistachio.
Home made fresh ricotta cottage cheese (un-broken) with rose and pistachio.
Labneh (strained yoghurt) with anchovies, chili, mint and pepper. DELISH
Labneh (strained yoghurt) with anchovies, chili, mint and pepper. DELISH
Beautiful ricotta with herb, calendula (an edible flower) and home-made crackers.
Beautiful ricotta with herb, calendula (an edible flower) and home-made crackers.
I milked these cows today!!
I milked these cows today!!
Check out the worldwide Slow Food movement! This lecture was on Irish culinary history pre-potato.
Check out the worldwide Slow Food movement! This lecture was on Irish culinary history pre-potato.
snacks before lecture..
snacks before lecture..

More on food politics next blog!