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Archive for December, 2009

Time to Tailgate

Posted by Chef John Berry of MenuMagic
January 2010 Edmontonians

To me, there’s nothing more sociable and a whole lot of fun than a tailgate party. The concept came from Angela Pisani in 1960 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. She was the wife of Dr Anthony Pisani, the team doctor for the New York Giants football team. She used her station wagon tailgate to spread out sandwiches, vegetables, chips and drinks for her children, family, friends and sports writers. A reporter asked about her “car picnic” and Angela replied that it was more of a “tailgate party”.
It has become the fastest growing social event in North America at football, baseball, basketball and soccer games… at rock concerts, NASCAR, and pretty well any other event where there’s a parking lot and like-minded people. Edmonton photographer and cameraman (CFRN-TV/CTV) Al Girard attended his first tailgate party in 1999 at a NASCAR event in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“It’s a real subculture, and very neat,” he says. “You set-up your vehicle or motor-home early—sometimes a day or two in advance—and leave when everyone else has gone. It’s the ultimate party.” This is the “new American community”… often referred to by the collective title of “Tailgation.” Subculture indeed.
What evolved from a simple picnic in the 1960s has morphed into an actual gourmet delight. You can go as simple or as crazy as you like. Hardcore tailgaters transport equipment to the site to prepare hot dogs, burgers, sausage on a bun, or smoked brisket, rib steaks or barbecued chicken to round out the fare. Flambéed prawns, canapés and crab have also been known to show-up on a tailgate. The sky’s the limit.
Recipe sharing is also part of the culture. Al brought home a delightful shrimp boil recipe. You get a big soup pot, add water, wine or beer, and once boiling add potatoes, corn, carrots, celery, broccoli, and finally shrimp. I also added clams, mussels and scallops. Season with some Cajun boil spice (available at Billingsgate Seafood Market, Calgary Trail and 73rd Avenue) and let it work its magic. It’s traditionally served on newspapers spread out on the tailgate or on a picnic table. Armed with a cold beer, crusty bun and garlic butter, you’re set to go.
Now this whole concept may seem like a free-for-all, but there is tailgate etiquette. You don’t show up at a tailgate empty handed. You’re expected to bring a bottle of wine or case of beer to share, plus a dish for everyone to try. Beware of the moocher who goes from one tailgate to another and takes advantage of the community’s good nature and hospitality. If you don’t have anything to contribute, no worries: Slap a $20 bill in the tip jar to help defray costs. You’ll be welcomed back as part of that community.
Tailgating isn’t as big a deal here in Alberta or Canada yet, primarily due to restrictive alcohol laws. At some State-side events, you’re not only allowed to enjoy a beverage in the parking lot, but you can take your drinks into the stands.
Edmonton’s pro sports teams—the Oilers, Eskimos, Rush and Capitals—have all held tailgate parties. Our events are generally more staged than spontaneous. Last summer’s Indy hosted its tailgate party downtown in an underground parking lot. Our other problem is weather conditions… but that’s where our innovative spirit comes in: When we host the 2010 Grey Cup (in late November), the tailgate party will be inside the new field house adjacent to Commonwealth Stadium.   
Try a couple of these recipes in your backyard or at your next tailgate party and have fun. Cheers!

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Posted by Chef John Berry of MenuMagic
January 2010 Edmontonians


4 oz. smoked salmon, finely diced
1 small container of garlic cream cheese softened
1/2 tsp. fresh dill diced
1 cucumber, sliced into 1/4” rounds
1 large carrot sliced into 1/4” rounds
8 small button mushrooms, stems removed

Dill weed sprig for garnish
Mix salmon, cream cheese and dill in a mixing bowl. Put mixture into a piping bag utilizing a large star tip and pipe onto each veggie piece. Garnish with a dill sprig.
Serves 6-8

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Posted by Chef John Berry of MenuMagic
January 2010 Edmontonians

1 pound bulk Italian sausage (remove casings)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (14.5 oz.) tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cans tomato paste (6 oz. each)
10 to 12 lasagna noodles
3 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
2 eggs
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
16 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded or thinly sliced
1/4 lb prosciutto, thinly sliced (optional)

Slowly brown Italian sausage; drain off excess fat. Add garlic, tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt and tomato paste. Simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes. (Add a little water if too thick.)
Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.
In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, eggs, salt and pepper.
Place a layer of noodles in bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking dish or lasagna pan. Cover noodles with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Spoon 1/2 of ricotta mixture over mozzarella.
Spoon 1/2 meat sauce over the cheese. Repeat layers.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in a 375°F oven.
Allow lasagna to set a few minutes before serving.

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The Bold and the Boler


Posted by Linda Bodo of Absolute Bodo

January 2010 Edmontonians

Boldly, I stuck to my guns. Amidst all the flak from family and friends, I refused to falter. What do they know, I reasoned. I have a vision. Even my husband, “H” offered no support.
“They’re so old… it’ll cost you a pile of money to fix it up.” 
“Why can’t you buy something new –something made in this millennium?” 
But, I had this vision…
I fell in love with the little egg-shaped trailers during our RV travels and vowed to acquire my very own Boler someday. My dream was to Bodo-fy the unit into a sexy leopard skin ensemble that would accompany me to presentations and book signings. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted it. I was a woman possessed.
When H headed south for a few days to golf with the guys, I knew I had a small window of opportunity. The plan was to purchase my dream trailer before his return. I knew the only way I would become the proud new owner of a Boler would be if the darn thing was already parked in the driveway when he got home and maybe, just maybe, I lost the receipt.
I sourced a 1974 beige-on-beige number and wasted no time contacting the owner in a sleepy little town an hour away. It was still available and I raced out there immediately. As I drove up the mile-long driveway through acres of canola, I wondered what kind of shape the Boler would be in. It didn’t matter, as soon as I rounded the corner and saw her nestled in the yard-high grass, it was, well, love at first sight. Despite the stench of pee and 35 years of dust and grunge, I plunked my cash on the dash before the vendor could say “BodoBoler”. A few days later, my acquisition was delivered. I giggled uncontrollably while rummaging in forgotten drawers and creaky cabinets, and began plotting the makeover. I could already see us bounding down the highway and taking the west by storm.
As I peeled back layers of material and memories, I envisioned the family vacations once spent in my little egg: warm summer days of sandcastles and triple-decker ice cream cones between dips in the lake… evenings of toasted marshmallows and shooting stars before falling asleep to the hoo-hoo-hoot of the great horned owl.
Sadly, the little trailer that was, was no longer. Years of neglect, hostile feral takeovers and the dawn of the super-sized RV seemed to have stripped away any dignity the Boler once enjoyed—never mind the fact she was fathered from a septic tank blueprint. Armed with rubber gloves and a respirator, I stripped away the upholstery, carpeting and curtains, and scrubbed every crevice and orifice with high-octane cleansers. Slowly but surely, the odour gradually dissipated; any lingering aromas were chased away with lavender essential oils.
Before performing any cosmetic surgery, I took my baby into the RV hospital for a full check up and spa treatment. She spent three weeks at the infirmary before she was considered road worthy. Tires, repacked axel bearings, kitchen taps, regulators, a POW-R-SURGE battery, a fridge and a myriad of seals and gaskets brought her up to snuff—along with an invoice that surpassed the original bill of sale.
Then came the process of decorating and skinning. A few minor technicalities intervened: Cracked hoses, a rusted hitch, broken lenses and a warped door were beginning to take its toll on my patience and my pocketbook. Oh, and then there was the time I was working in the Boler in the garage and she moved, just ever so slightly. But, it was enough to prevent the door from opening and I was trapped. It would be hours before H was home and I had left my cell on the work bench. Gently, I began rocking the trailer back and forth, finally gathering enough momentum to roll out the garage door. I watched in horror as we picked up speed and sailed into the wrought iron fence. Fortunately, damage was minimal.
Well, she’s been prodded, poked and pelted for six months now, but the BodoBoler is finally almost finished. I still have a little tweaking to do but she will be ready to hit the road in the New Year with the debut of my second book: The Art of Upcycle. Look for us ambling by to a location near you, or at the Edmonton and Calgary Home and Garden Shows.
Oh, by the way, H finally got his head around the whole issue so now I’m thinking maybe I can acquire a second unit and decorate it in a zebra motif…Did you know?
The Boler ultra-light fibreglass trailer was invented in Winnipeg in 1968 by Ray Olecko, a car salesman and inventor. An interest in fibreglass led him to patent a septic tank design with tapered ends. The invention was a hit, tanks to its ease of transport when compared to its concrete and steel cousins. While camping with his family one summer, Ray came up with the idea of tweaking the tank concept into a light-weight camper that was easy to tow and move around. The prototype reminded him of a hat… more specifically a bowler, and thus the Boler was born.√

Nook before and after

Bench before and after

Kitchen before and after

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