This year I bought tickets for the Dig In Festival, in the town I live in, St. Albert. It is the second time this event has run as last year was the inaugural year and it is a weekend full of farm to table workshops, presentations, cooking classes, garden lessons, and more.
There is a gala dinner on Friday night for $125 per person, filled with six courses of food each done and presented by a professional chef in the Alberta region. On Saturday they offer dozens of workshops that are only $60 for 3 session per person! It was such a fun event and I will definitely try to go next year so I thought I would share a bit of a recap because it was so awesome!
The whole premise of this event is to bring people back to cooking, gardening, and really appreciating food. One of the best parts about this event was the session instructors and presenters were never trying to “sell” anything, and most often what they were talking about was simply a hobby of theirs they loved so much that they wanted to share it with others. The passion for food and cooking and gardening that filled this event was incredible.
I had actually originally bought these Dig In Festival tickets for my dad and I for his birthday. We had our sessions all lined up for things that we both love but due to some unfortunate circumstances, my dad had to be at work and at the crime scene all day Friday and Saturday. I admire his career and he will always be a hero in my eyes but admittedly I was a little frustrated on Friday night, not with my dad, just with people who shoot each other and steal my daddy away from me while he attends to the crime. 🙂 Not to fret, my mom was all to happy to join me at the event, right mom?!
Rogue Wave Coffee. At 9am my mom and I showed up at the St. Albert Enjoy Centre to do a coffee tasting with Rogue Wave Coffee. It is a small coffee shop in downtown Edmonton that has a passion for “unique” beans and fair trade coffee. They roast their own beans and it is a hobby of theirs to roast, grind, and brew each delicious cup of coffee. The owner talked a lot about the process of coffee making from picking the bean and the family-owned coffee farms in South America he has been to and from there how it ends up in your cup of coffee and he definitely invigorated a renewed sense of appreciation for my morning fix!
NourishMe Cooking Classes. The coffee tasting was actually a free introductory session for participants who registered in three of the regular sessions. Our first “real” session was a squash cooking class. My mom and I made butternut squash soup and a pumpkin risotto and they were incredible! So tasty and the chef, Lindsay from NourishMe, showed us how easy it was to make each dish and how to modify them to make different flavours and vegetable combinations. It was a small class so we got a real hands-on experience in the kitchen!
Alberta Brewed. On of the most anticipated for me was the Alberta brewed session. My dad would have loved this one as we tried NINE craft beers from Alberta and as a beer-lover he would have really enjoyed the experience. My mom and I definitely had a blast though and we graded each beer report-card style so we could remember which ones we liked best! The guy who took us through the tastings was actually a library director and was a beer enthusiast as a hobby! He knew SO much about the process of brewing, the history of brewing in Alberta, the types of beer, and the beer tasting process! We tried a pumpkin pie spice beer at the end that was AMAZING from Alley Kat Brewering Co.
The Art of Apple Cider. This one was more of a “I can’t think of other session that I truly would enjoy, so let’s go make apple cider” kind of choice. It ended up being really fun (keep in mind we were half bombed from the beer tasting so our judgement on the excitement of crushing apples may be skewed just a little). The host or session instructor was hilarious and made apple cider as a hobby, and was SO SO SO passionate about it. We tried apple juice straight from the tap after crushing dozens of pounds of apples and I can’t even think about drinking store bought apple juice now, then we tried fresh apple cider! It was delicious!
All in all it was a really fun day and we got to experience some awesome domestic crafts. I love cooking but often claim I have too little time or I just stick to easy recipes but the squash session encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone. The beer and apple tastings were pure fun and I love trying new things so it was a great way to do so! I didn’t venture into any of the gardening sessions but if you have a green thumb or want to develop one that is the place to be! For more info check out the Dig In website!
Are you a gardener? What do you grow?
How awesome are the white pumpkins in the photo above, amirite?!
Coffee lovers – how do you brew?