The quintessential long weekend of summer is the B.C. Day weekend at the beginning of August.
In the Okanagan, residents expect visitors.
There are lots of options for summer food and beverages to get you over the long weekend, while you celebrate B.C. Day—whether that’s in your own kitchen and on your patio—or that of a local eatery such as Earl’s where they offer special Margaritas every Monday until Sept. 9, along with guacamole, tacos, burgers and salads.
We also can offer our guests a wide array of local wines, from summer sippers for pairing with appies, to serious wines to go with barbecued meats—or funny-looking chickens, balanced over a small tin can.
While you’re picking out the perfect wine you can enjoy some of the best patios in the valley, at wineries such as See Ya Later Ranch in Okanagan Falls, Mission Hill and Quails’ Gate in West Kelowna, CedarCreek and Summerhill in the Mission area of Kelowna and Gray Monk Estate Winery in Lake Country.
Or, you could join the Craft Beer Revolution, beginning with the book by that name by Joe Wiebe. It’s sub-titled The Insider’s Guide to B.C. Breweries.
Nick-named the Thirsty Writer, Joe chronicles the microbrewing movement in B.C., which began in 1982 at Horseshoe Bay.
He includes a chapter on Craft Beer in Wine Country, with mentions of Okanagan Brewing (about which he’s no longer very enthusiastic) and Freddy’s Brewpub in Kelowna, the legendary Crannog Ales in Sorrento, the Firehall Brewery in Oliver, the Barley Mill Brewpub and Cannery Brewing in Penticton and the Barley Station Brew Pub in Salmon Arm.
I think this little book would be a must-have for the beer enthusiast, and it’s all about B.C.’s best.
I’m a big supporter of B.C. agricultural and food products, from beer and wine to everything that’s fresh and local, in season, and that’s what the Buy Local Eat Natural movement is all about too. They organized the We Heart Local Awards which conclude Aug. 5. You can vote for your favourite local food supporters in 15 categories, including my book, Jude’s Kitchen and this food column, in the advocacy category, by going to: www.facebook.com/buylocaleatnatural
See Ya Later Hunny Punch
I confess, I’m not a grapefruit fan, so this is not a recipe I tried, but I suspect if you like the fruit, you’ll love this. It’s a recipe created by YEW lead bartender Justin Taylor.
The 2011 Hunny is a late harvest Riesling from See Ya Later Ranch winery in Okanagan Falls which is perfect to end a meal with or to pair with strong-flavoured cheeses or fresh-baked apple crumble. Although it’s a dessert wine, it’s still fresh and lively tasting and would make a great addition to a before-dinner cocktail too.
1 oz. (30 ml) gin
1 oz. (30 ml) See Ya Later Hunny
1/2 oz. (15 ml) Campari
2 oz. (60 ml) fresh red grapefruit
Combine all ingredients in a glass or cocktail shaker and shake together with ice.
Serve in your favourite patio glasses.
Ned Bell’s Soda Can Chicken
This chicken cooks up moist and full of flavour, and the sauce is simply to die for. This paired well with the fruity flavours of the See Ya Later Ranch 2011 Belle, a blend of Viognier and Pinot Gris, which has a refreshing citrus kick that makes it perfect as a summer patio sipper.
1 organic chicken (3-4 lb.)
1 can soda water
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp. (45 ml) molasses
3 tbsp. (45 ml) malt vinegar
3 tbsp. (45 ml) olive oil
sea salt, to taste
Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Cut the lemon in half and smash the garlic cloves over the skin of the chicken, placing the remains in the cavity of the chicken.
Add sprigs of fresh herbs, and lemon pieces.
Open the soda and stand the chicken up over the open can, in a deep casserole dish or pan.
Bake for an hour.
Remove the chicken, empty the cavity into the pan or a pot and tent the chicken with foil to rest for 20 minutes.
Pour the soda in with the contents of the cavity and make a BBQ Vinaigrette sauce with the molasses, malt vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Over medium heat, bring to bubbling and remove the whole herbs before simmering for about 10 minutes, or until reduced and a bit syrupy.
Taste, adjust the seasoning and squeeze the lemon from the bird into the sauce, tossing away the remainder of the lemon.
Ned suggests serving this with barbecued asparagus, golden spuds and yams. Top the chicken with a drizzle of the BBQ Vinaigrette.