Saturday, October 8, 2011

Meeting The Galloping Gourmet, Graham Kerr

Port Angeles, Washington is having their annual Dungeness Crab Festival this weekend and Graham Kerr, The Galloping Gourmet, was invited to be the main speaker. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go because I knew it would probably be crowded and me being short, I probably wouldn’t be able to see him.

Taken from my cell phone - blurry!
I ended up going and it wasn’t as crowded as I thought, but I was having a hard time seeing the front. Graham was going to be on stage, but the early speakers were on the floor, which was hard to see. As I’m waiting and trying to find a good spot, I noticed some people had 2 of Graham’s books. I thought to myself that I wouldn’t buy them because they’re probably too pricey. I ended up finding a great spot off to the side of the stage and was able to see him - I couldn’t see him doing things on the table, but generally, I could see him, and that was all that mattered to me.

He talked about his wife Treena and how he helped her after she had a heart attack and a stroke. He totally revamped his way of cooking to benefit her and he said that there is no way she can get another heart attack or stroke with the way he’s been cooking for her. He started to grow his own foods and talked about eating more whole foods. "Eat more plants, grow more plants, share with others . . . gather with your neighbors." He also said, "We need to do less harm to our soils and water." He talked about “not putting all your eggs into one basket because they will break  keep them in an egg carton. They can bounce all around in the egg carton and they will not break.”

His mantra is: Eat, Grow, Gather, Share

The first letters in each of those words spell EGGS. In January, he is going to start an Egg Carton Club. It’ll be an online site where people like us can go and share things about food.

He promoted his books for sale. It is normally $27, but for today, it was by one get one free for $20. I figured that this was a once in a lifetime chance for me and the price was pretty reasonable for TWO books, so I went and purchased them. The lady that helped me said that Graham would be signing the books after he was done on stage.

When cooking, he said that if you take something out (like fat), put flavor in - lots of flavor. He likes to use olive oil I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter - it is a very healthy replacement for butter or other spreads.

He made for us a sauce with some parsnips. He used parsnips, evaporated milk, some water and a little salt. He chopped the parsnips and boiled them, put them in a blender with the milk, added a touch of water and the salt. He let that puree for 3-4 minutes. He told us that he created this sauce by accident while talking to a friend on the phone. Just as he turned on the blender, his phone rang. He left the kitchen and closed the door so he could hear. After 4 minutes of talking to his friend, he remembered his sauce and told his friend that he had to go because he had something he had to tend to and when he went back to his sauce, it was smooth and glossy - how sauces are supposed be.

After making the sauce and telling us the story, he demo’d how to make an omelet. He used 2 oz. of Southwest Egg Beaters and 1 whole egg, put it in a pan and moved it around with a fork. When it was still slightly runny, he added his filling - peas and some parm cheese. He was given some lavender pepper last night from someone local and was very pleased with it and he used that in the omelet. He showed us how to get the omelet out of the pan and poured his parsnip sauce over the top and added some smoke paprika and more cheese. He had someone from the audience who’s never made an omelet before come up to the stage and he walked her thru making an omelet. The omelets were passed around, but I didn’t get any - they passed out forks while I went to purchase the books, I missed out.

At the end, he talked about spending less time watching TV and more time with our families and neighbors. He closed by teaching us sing a song - I don’t remember the words, but it was a great way for him to close the show. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay for the signing because it was already 12:30, I hadn’t eaten lunch, and I didn’t go to the Farmer’s Market. But as I passed the line for signing, it wasn’t that long, so I decided to wait. The line went pretty fast and when it was my turn, he started chatting with Treena, his wife so I didn't get his full attention. I was kind of bummed, but he did say that he liked my name and after signing both of my books  I asked if I could take his picture and Treena said, “Let me take both your pictures.” She had a hard time with my cell phone camera and I had to help her out. After taking our picture, I said it was nice to meet him and I left. I wanted to say more, but his attention was with Treena.

It was very cold and after standing in the outdoors for an hour, my teeth were chattering while walking back to the car. I did go home for a quick bite to eat, then I rushed to the Farmer’s Market which closed at 2pm and it was already after 1. But, despite being cold, it was a rather nice day - I got my shopping done, I got to learn how to make a new sauce, and I got to meet a celebrity chef - how cool is that?

Thanks for reading!!!


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