I had an excellent day at Herbfest today. Perfect weather, great demonstrations, beautiful grounds, tasty food and generally a good combination of vendors (the parking left something to be desired).
According to their website, "Herbfest has been an Ottawa Valley tradition for fifteen years and is a must-attend event for those interested in herbs, gardening, cooking and living a healthy lifestyle". Let me share some of my photos from the day.
A variety of products, mainly local, were for sale.
I tried raw Ginseng for the first time today.
Apparently, you can preserve it by putting it in Sambuca. I'm not sure if it's my aversion to anise or the taste of Ginseng, but I'll just say it's an acquired taste. Though it seems like a good, natural way to boost your immune system.
I bought a bag full of scapes. It must be nearing the end of the season because last time that I bought scapes they were $1 for 7. Today I got a bag full of about 75 scapes for $5. Looking forward to making some scape pesto tonight. I may also blanche and freeze a bunch.
I thought of Giz when I saw this site -- look ma - no sodium (added)! (Message for Giz -- if you want me to get some for you, check out their website. I think the price was $20 for 3 jars)
EcoOttawa sells and home delivers organic products. Check out their website here.
Some days I want to just say "screw the budget" and buy a full set of handmade pottery dishes. Jane Snider's work is so beautiful.
I was going to walk past this vendor, but I'm glad I didn't. The lovely ladies from the Mississippi Textile Museum (located in Almonte, Ontario) were happy to answer questions/demonstrate their art.
One of the highlights of the day was the chef cook-off. We only caught the last portion, where Chef Jason Duffy from Arc the hotel (a boutique hotel in downtown Ottawa) made his BBQ Chip Crusted Lake Erie Pickerel, Sweet Pea Purée, Dill-Smoked Paprika Corn Milk.
Definitely have to make a point of checking out their restaurant.
The most exciting part of the day came when I won something! I swear, my luck has turned around. Ever since winning free tickets to the movies from Girl About O-Town, I've been on a roll (recall that I also won Mark Cullen's new book at Ottawa is Blooming).
Well, this time, my name was drawn from an even larger pool. I won something from Savvy Company, an interesting Ottawa-based company that has a multifaceted approach to sharing their love for wine. The company is involved in marketing, organizing wine tours, events, classes, and a wine of the month club (in both Ontario and BC).
I won a $50 gift certificate to use toward the cost of a Savvy U wine appreciation "class" or tickets to Savvy Company's wine & food events. Sweet! I will definitely make good use of that. I've already signed up for their newsletter. If you're in the Ottawa area, go sign up for their newsletter too (near the bottom of the page on their website.
After all of the winning and watching food preparations, we were hungry.
Although there was a variety of delicious-looking food...
I settled on a yummy curry stew with basmati rice made by the folks at the Cheshire Cat Pub, based in Carp, Ontario (not far from Ottawa).
For dessert, I bought a macaron (can you believe that it's my first macaron ever) from Pretty Fours. I'm usually strong enough to resist their delicious looking set up at the Farmer's Market.
But, convinced myself that dessert would be a nice way to cap off the day.
All around, an excellent day!