The Dryden Observer

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EDITORIAL: The special ingredient is…’love’

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.

Dear Stella,

You don’t know me, but I feel as though we’re good friends already.

I have something to say to you. I only hope that it doesn’t creep you out.

I’ve thought many times that if I were an Olympic athlete, a contender in the 100 metre dash on the eve of the biggest track meet of my career, the moment for which I had trained my entire life and would be subsequently drug-tested for the faintest traces of opiates and other illegal substances, I would not be able to stop myself slathering vegetables and leafy greens with your homemade poppy seed dressing.

Opiate traces be damned, I would relish the opportunity to take a bath in your dressing if only procuring such an amount didn’t present such a challenge.

This surprises even myself as I normally skip the jam and pickles table at the Farmers’ Market — this owing to an unfortunate incident some years ago involving an entire jar of pickled garlic consumed in one sitting alongside some spicy garden radishes. The four lonely nights on the couch that followed resulted in a bit of an aversion.

But I digress.

I’m one of those guys at the Farmers’ Market who offer a guilty smile as they walk right on past your legendary butter tarts, feigning an air of great purpose as though I have some important business to transact with the green beans. Perhaps I’m conflicted with loyalty to the picklers and canners already in my life and the unopened jars stacking up in the back of my fridge.

Ah, but fates conspired to put a bottle of your magical dressing in my very hands via the Locavore Box.

Allow me to paint a picture here.

Do you remember those ‘In the Land of Dairy Queen’ commercials from the 1980s with the chocolate mountains, avalanches of peanuts, pineapple streams and strawberries bobbing in a river of fudge?

My first taste of your dressing was like being transported to the salad version of that place — eyes closed and moaning, savouring the sweet, creamy complexity of the golden liquid tinged with a sulphurous touch of onion.

What more can I say?

And in this week’s Locavore Box — a new kind of magical golden elixir in a jar.

At first I thought, ‘Lemon butter eh? Blech…’

Oh Stella, I was wrong.

So wrong in fact, that after one piece of toast I ran to my laptop to ask for your hand in marriage on my Facebook status. In any case, I’ve learned it’s not good to do that when you’re already married.

Spread thin on toasted bread, the slightly-sweet citrus concoction has the most amazing ‘finish’, a sort of buttery giddiness that rises up within you, like the childhood thrill of eating pie for breakfast.

I guess I just wanted to say that your culinary skills have made me a true believer in all the hype that surrounds eating locally produced food.

While fresher food does taste better, there is something else there — a pride in food’s origins that you didn’t know could be so important to the act of eating.

It’s why we love our walleye, our wild rice, our Busters, our Hagens and now our Stella’s — it’s not only delicious, we know where it comes from.

Chris Marchand


2 thoughts on “EDITORIAL: The special ingredient is…’love’

  1. Hhhhhhhmmmmmmmm! Sounds delicious, my mouth was watering just reading it. It proves that :-“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. Have a nice day.

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