Last Monday evening was HomeEc #14. HomeEc is our monthly potluck/ pop-up gathering. For now it happens in one of three locations: The Avro (a small bar in the east end of Toronto where Dana and I host), The Rehab Tavern (in Columbus, Ohio where Rachel and Kate host) and virtually where anyone can participate in the monthly theme and play-along. We publish our theme two weeks before the event and participants make something to share and show up! It’s generally hosted on the last Monday of the month.
This month was all about the roots. When I first discussed the idea with Dana she thought it was awesome and we agreed on the theme. The next day I explained to a friend that we were doing an event based on root vegetables and Dana nearly choked on her coffee. “I THOUGHT YOU MEANT ROOTS – LIKE CULTURE.” We laughed a lot and bounced the two ideas back and forth before settling on root vegetables and decided to sit on the culture idea for now.
HomeEc #14 – Got Roots – Columbus Recap
The Columbus event sounded like a lot of fun (you can read about it on Rachel’s blog, Harmonious Homestead). It was their second HomeEc event; they are planning to take part all year and we are so excited by the fun community that is forming there! In many ways it reminds me of when we started and a core group of people were just getting to know each other. Columbus seems like a really awesome city and is a place that’s now on our eventual-must-visit places.
My favorite dish from Columbus was from Nick. I saw a photo of his dish on Instagram and its name card won my heart. He called is square tarts “Square roots.” I’m a sucker for puns.
HomeEc #14 – Got Roots – Online Recap
To play from home people simply tweet or share photos on Instagram with the hashtag #WPHomeEc. Although the concept is a little slow taking off, I really like seeing connections to people who otherwise wouldn’t be included or wouldn’t have a venue to share these photos. This month we had a few, including (from left to right) Shannon’s pickled beets and spicy smashed sweet potatoes, Aaron’s root veggies (he took these as he prepped for the Toronto event) and Rachel’s Instagram shot or Nick’s Square Roots dish:
HomeEc #14 – Got Roots – Toronto Recap
Life had been very hectic in the days leading up to the event and Dana and I were low on energy as we bundled up to walk the entire 150 yards to The Avro. As soon as the doors opened, I felt a burst of energy and total excitement to be there.
There was a great mix of regulars (including Aaron and Kelly who have made it to every single event, MaryAnne who drives an hour home after the event, many other ‘locals’ and our bartender extraordinaire, Emily) as well as newcomers. We gave Emily a lemon-ginger simple syrup and she made some killer cocktails that added to the magic of Monday night and the potential horror of Tuesday morning (all kidding aside, we kept things under control).
It was exciting for me to have met Candy (who has a sweet blog called Dessert by Candy). We’ve shared messages back and forth for the last few years and our previous close encounter was squashed when a major storm hit the East Coast and made her trip downtown inadvisable. I was blown away to find out that much of the amazing baking she does is whipped up before she goes to work (between 5:00-6:00AM) so she can bake, taste and take the extra calories to work where the vending machine is broken. I suspect there are a few people very interested in making sure the machine doesn’t get fixed!
It was also an awesome opportunity to reconnect with Rebekka from Alchemy Pickle Company. Both Dana and I had met Rebekka a few years ago (before she started her company); as soon as I saw her, I knew that we’d met previously. It was great to hear about her company (ironically I had talked to her on twitter but not connecting our previous meeting with her new incarnation). She makes mostly local ferments and brought along some great samples.
Regular attendee MaryAnn brought beet buns. They were buns that were dyed with beet juice and looked like purple potatoes. I have to state that these were my favorite Toronto dish because, once again, I like puns.
We brought some pickled golden beets. I’m hoping that these particular beets will be famous beets – they were subject of a photo shoot for a secret project that we’ll be sharing about later this month!
It was a great night all around! The next HomeEc is Monday, March 25th – we’ll announce all the details and theme next Monday (March 18th). Are you going to come out (or stay home) and play along?