Comfort food on rainy days

May 30, 2011

May 23, 24, 25 and 26

It’s been raining solid for the past two days. We stay overnight in Shelby, Montana. Not much to report, but we’re impressed with the tourist information centre. Of all the stops we had at tourist information centres (and there were many), this was the only one that gave us each a thank you for visiting gift pack of travel toiletries!

Because of the weather, we decide not to go to Waterton Park and cross the border into Canada at Del Bonita. We head to Cardston to tour the Remington Museum. Thank goodness the displays are indoors, where we could stay dry and wander through the displays of over 240 carriages.

We continue on to Ft. McLeod, past rising waters and flooded farmers fields. No need for irrigation in this part of the province, at least at this time of year. I call Anita Oudshoorn, the owner of Fairwinds Farm, the producer of one of my favourite goat cheese products and agree to stop in the following day.

Fairwinds Farm has grown from its small beginnings 12 years ago. They have 400 goats to milk now and an expanding production facility. Currently, production includes goat milk, yogurt, chevre, feta and hard cheese and if all goes well, I may have convinced Anita to produce Greek goat yogurt under their banner! It was well worth the visit, to finally meet Anita and see their operation.

On to Lethbridge, still through pouring rain. At Anita’s suggestion, we stop for a late lunch at Miró in downtown Lethbridge. The restaurant is owned by chef Miro Kyjac, originally from Czechoslovakia, and is in it’s eighth year. It’s located off the downtown square, in an historic brick building, with warm red walls, contemporary artwork and a beautiful original pressed metal ceiling. Their wine list is recognized by the Wine Spectator since 2005.

I order the soup of the day, Lentil. It’s a very welcoming bowl of vegetable broth, whole lentils and lingering flavours of celery, carrots and onion. Soup is followed by an Eggplant and Goat Cheese Lasagne. It’s three layers of grilled eggplant with generous amounts of Fairwinds Farm goat cheese on two layers, topped with a fresh tomato sauce that’s a perfect balance for the dish. It`s an appetizer, but could easily be a light entree. I would go back just to have this dish again. Jon orders the Penne with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche. It’s a hit with al dente pasta, tossed with salmon that’s been freshly smoked. The flavour is sweet and strong but not overwhelming and balanced with the cream sauce. Our server, Tessa, convinces us to have one of the house made desserts and we settle on the White Chocolate Crème Brûlée. It’s lovely, and presented way that I prefer, in a wide dish that’s not deep, so there’s lots of burnt sugar covering the ½” thick creamy custard.

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