A feast fit for a family

The 2011 Saanich Peninsula Harvest Feast is now in the history books, along with the memories of the fabulous food, shared good times and laughter.

The 2011 Saanich Peninsula Harvest Feast is now in the history books, along with the memories of the fabulous food, shared good times and laughter.

It’s lovely to sit among both friends and friendly strangers in the hall at the Saanich Fairgrounds and share a delicious meal and several stories.

The point of the dinner is to promote a community celebration of local food and agriculture, but over its short three-year history the dinner has become even more. Several tables were reserved for large family and community groups and still more large tables were filled with couples and small groups of friends who became families for the duration of the meal.

Steaming bowls of seafood chowder and squash soup were passed hand-to-hand along with baskets of fresh baked bread and fried bread. The young folks helped the older folks with heavy plates and clean up while community groups rallied the troops to serve up supper.

The Central Saanich Lions heaped generous portions of locally grown corn, carrots, green beans, turkey and beef spiced with hot gravy, cranberry sauce, oregon grape and red currant jelly onto hungry diners’ plates.

No fewer than 17 items were on offer for dessert that was served by board members of the North and South Saanich Agricultural Society, including coveted pieces of lemon meringue pie that were distributed to lucky winners.

All the food was contributed by local farmers and prepared by a variety of Peninsula eateries for the evening, and with the exception of a few items like tea and coffee, the main ingredients were all locally grown. These facts are of course, exceptional for such a small area, but along with the wonderful feast came a time of bonding with family, making new friends, connecting with old friends, sharing a memory, a story, a laugh and a helping hand — all things we’d like to see more than once a year.