With the chill in the air, and the yellow leaves everywhere, it certainly feels like fall today! When autumn begins, I love to remember this famous quote by David Henry Thoreau:
Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
I don’t know what it is about fall that makes me want to resign myself to the influence, but like no other season, I want to make the most of it, to immerse myself in it.
Metaphors aside, nothing says “taste” and “drink” the fall season like the Thanksgiving feast. With the last long weekend of summer behind us, the next one up is Thanksgiving. Even the word conjures up images of the beautiful fall colours, the warmth of Indian Summer, the bounty of the harvest. Surely the most wonderful time of year (sorry, Santa).
That in mind, I thought I would focus solely on feasting in this newsletter. After all, it’s never too early to plan a great meal!
Are you having guests this year? Fruit wines can usher in a native berry theme, so appropriate to an autumn feast, and be a great companion to the balance of the day’s treats.
So, in celebration of Alberta’s fruit, here are five festive feasting ideas:
Start by introducing your fruit theme early. As guests arrive, consider serving this lovely, fall-flavoured Sangria, fragrant and festive:
Cherry Cider Sangria:
2 bottles Cherry Fruit Wine
500 ml. apple cider
2 – 250 ml. bottles ginger beer (non-alcoholic)
Red and green apple, sliced
Orange and lemon zest (opt.)
Mix all ingredients together in a large pitcher. Chill for at least one hour to let flavours mingle. So easy – and pretty, too!
Serving an Appetizer? With a little more effort, you can make your own Fruit Wine Jelly.
Raspberry Wine Jelly:
3 ½ cups Raspberry Dessert Wine
4 cups sugar
½ cup lemon juice
1 package certo
Put wine in a deep saucepan, add certo and lemon juice. Stir, and bring to a boil. Add sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil and boil for one minute. Remove from heat, pour into jars and seal. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Let cool. (Makes 6 – 250 ml jars). Serve on wheat crackers on top of cream cheese, or on Triscuits with a slice of brie. Yum!
Now, on to the Main Event…
For a slightly new flavour inside the big bird, try this one this year:
Savoury Saskatoon Berry Dressing:
Thaw two cups of frozen saskatoon berries and soak in Saskatoon Berry Dessert Wine overnight. Add to your favourite stuffing recipe for a yummy flavour boost. Adds a new dimension with so little effort!
And, at the risk of being too predictable, I am once again including this great recipe, certainly one of our all-time favourties:
Cranberry Sauce Extraordinaire:
1 bag fresh cranberries
¼ teaspoon cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
1 cup Wild Black Cherry dessert wine
¾ cup wildberry juice
¼ cup honey
Simmer all ingredients until berries are soft and slightly reduced. Cool and serve. As many of you already know, this really takes Cranberry sauce up a notch …
Don’t forget to treat yourself to a bottle of chilled Bumbleberry Fruit Wine to accompany the turkey. Bumbleberry’s hints of wild berry flavour guide your tastebuds through the savoury flavours of hot stuffing and poultry with ease.
Well, that leaves dessert! May I suggest something a little lighter this year?
Saskatoon Berry Crème:
2 ½ cups whipping cream
¾ cup sugar
½ cup Saskatoon Berry Dessert Wine
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Heat cream and sugar over medium heat and and whisk occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in wine and lemon juice. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then carefully pour into clear serving dishes. Chill overnight. Top with an assortment of fresh berries.
Serve this with a small glass of chilled Saskatoon Dessert Wine and you have a perfect ending to a perfect meal. Guaranteed!
As for shopping for the feast, the good news is that a Field Stone booth can still be found at some seasonal farmers markets – Bridgeland Calgary, CSpace at Marda Loop Calgary, Millarville, St. Albert and Callingwood Edmonton – during the first week in October, and right through to October 7. Alas, all other summer markets will finish by the end of September. Thank you for visiting them. Thanks to all of you, it has been a terrific summer. We enjoyed meeting every one of you!
And just a reminder that our many fine retail stores are open almost every day. For an up-to-date list of where to find us, at any time, you can always visit: www.fieldstonefruitwines.com/find-us.
At Calgary Farmers Market, there are many great events planned throughout the harvest season. Visit www.calgaryfarmersmarket.ca for more information. We guarantee that with a visit to the farmers market, Thanksgiving food shopping will never be more fun!
Many of you have already heard the big news about the new Calgary Farmers Market opening at Greenwich in Spring of 2020. As a special treat, several vendors (including Field Stone) will be at the location this Saturday, September 15, for a Pop-Up Market. Come on by for some fun! Details at www.calgaryfarmersmarket.ca.
Alas, the winery has closed for the season, but the good news is that our draw for the free case of wine will take place in a few days. Is your name in the box?
If you live in the Red Deer area, we have an upcoming event that is always heaps of fun. Central Alberta Co-op Wine and Spirits Festival (10th Annual) takes place on Friday October 5, 2018 from 5-9pm, in the Parkland Pavilion, Westerner Park, Red Deer. This will be Co-op’s largest show to date (over 100 vendors), so don’t miss it! More info at Deer Park Liquor Store: 403 342-4040.
Finally, a big thanks to everyone for supporting us this summer, wherever you may shop – at the markets, the winery or at your favourite retail store. We appreciate all the encouragement and all the kindness. Stop by this month at any of our seasonal markets for the last ‘stock-up’ opportunity of the season, with our market-only discounts still in effect.
We hope you enjoy your fall season as you “taste” and “drink” its influences.
Happy September, everyone! Take a big bite.
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