Issue: 2015-04-23 PHOTO: kozzi.com
For my efforts I received a lovely package of moose ribs
The title is a misnomer. Perhaps it is ironic, but I’m not literary enough to remember the nuances of such terms. At any rate, it is inaccurate.
The moose ribs I cooked up last week were anything but fast food, and that’s one of the reasons they were so good. The cooking itself took time (ten hours in a slow cooker), but my involvement with the raw materials began long before I pulled out the cutting board. Comparatively, when we get food in a restaurant, even slow food, the time we are aware of it is still only a couple of short hours.
My ribs began with a call in August describing how a local farmer couldn’t get all of his blackcurrants off his fields, and was offering a modified you-pick-them scheme. Naturally, my friend Shiela and I whipped into action, with the Ghostbusters theme song going through our heads — okay, maybe only through my head.
In the end we only managed to pick for an hour, but man was it a haul. The currants were huge and juicy, and very ripe. Mead was the only thing for them. Skip ahead to March and bottling day, watching the ruby liquid snake its way down the siphon into the emerald Grolsch bottles, with a little for tasting. Quality control is a must.
Then we need to slip back to September, and an attempted moose hunt that didn’t quite happen. A hunter received a gift of part of a moose instead of getting his own, and then had to fly out suddenly for a few days. I went over to check on the meat while he was away, and received a lovely package of ribs later in the winter.
Then there is the garlic. It has been planted each spring and harvested each fall on this property by my friend Ruth for close to a decade. I’ve had the good fortune to be involved with it for three seasons.
Any relationship takes time, and as such I’ve had a longterm commitment with these food items. When I finally got to the eating part, it was more like a silver anniversary than a honeymoon. And like any person who seems simple on the outside, they usually have unplumbed depths. Bring on the slow and simple food!
Plan for a simply delightful meal
Pick a small number of ingredients to highlight, in this case I chose homemade blackcurrant mead, homegrown garlic, and meaty moose ribs.
Choose a speed to suit your pace — I chose the slow-cooker to let all the flavours marry while cooking, and to avoid feeling rushed before supper.
Take the time to enjoy the meal with friends.