Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Eating up the Hill: Jewish wine and bacon-wrapped scallops

There can be a lot of receptions in Ottawa that different lobby groups and associations host to meet Parliamentarians. And often, many of them happen on the same night. Like Tuesday night.

We had five on our agenda Tuesday, and we managed to make it to four. Sadly, we weren't able to do many of them the justice they deserved, and my stays were too short to give you the full, in-depth reportage you've come to expect in my less than 24 hours of parliamentary food blogging. Still, I will share what I can.

My first stop was the All Party Event on Global Education Priorities, hosted by the Malala Fund in partnership with the Canadian Education Policy Working Group, in the committee rooms next to the Chateau Laurier. A very worthwhile event in support of the importance of global education, especially for girls.

I paired my glass of merlot with some meaty appetizers (perhaps compensating for that earlier veggie pizza, even if I doused it with bacon). I enjoyed two beef kebabs on a stick, a beef slider, and a delicious bacon-wrapped scallop. A very solid start to the evening.

Unfortunately, our schedule didn't permit us to make the Dairy Farmers of Ontario reception, but I did chat with them earlier in the day. While I missed out on their chocolate milk, they were pleased to learn I switched from margarine to butter two years ago (a huge trend that is beginning to stretch their production capacity) and, with a Shoppers Drug Mart in the ground floor of my Ottawa condo building, that my consumption of skim milk has increased substantially since last fall now that I don't need to carry it home as far. (In retrospect, I regret missing the opportunity to ask them abut bags vs. jugs)

Next stop was two events at the Sir John A. Macdonald Building, which has replaced the West Block reception room as the main social venue in the precinct. It hosted two parties tonight. First floor was Israeli Wines meet Canadian Cheese, hosted by my friends at the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee. This is one of the premier events on the hill social calendar, and I wish I could have stayed longer. I didn't get to enjoy any Canadian cheese, but I did get to enjoy a tasty glass of Israeli wine of unknown (to me) vintage. Some people look down their noses at Israeli wine, but I very much enjoyed the bottle I brought back from the Galilee a few years ago.

Upstairs was a Lunar New Year event, hosted by a number of Senators. We didn't have time to hit the buffet, which disappoints me, as it looked fabulous.

Finally, it was back up to Centre Block for the annual general meeting of the Canada Europe Parliamentary Association. This was an AGM and not a social event, but they did have a selection of snacks so it merits mention. As I had dinner plans I stuck to cheese and crackers, which were tasty. They had those rye crips I enjoy, the ones with the cranberries baked in. Pairs very nicely with cheese and a glass of merlot.

They did have salmon sliders but, at the risk of getting too political in my food blogging, it looked like farmed salmon so I declined. Besides, as a BCer I have a rule regarding fish: if there's not an ocean nearby, I'm not having it.

Next reception night, I shall endevour to go deeper.

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