Nearly two years ago, not long after I began blogging, a fellow blogger commented on one of my posts. Because I enjoy seeing what other food enthusiasts are up to, I checked out who he was. Kevin Kossowan is a food writer/blogger extraordinaire from Edmonton with an unprecedented passion for all things food and drink. When I clicked on his site I immediately began salivating. It was, quite simply, love at first read. Instantly, I became a devout fan of his blog and spent many reads fantasizing about actually being fed by this man. After several months of quiet devotion, I left a subtle comment, “When can I come to dinner?”
Fast forward 18 months or so and I find myself in Alberta on a cattle drive. Not long after posting that story I received a lovely suggestion, “If you ever get to Edmonton let me know. It would be nice to meet you,” Kevin Kossowan. My first thoughts were: Meeting would be nice, yes. But for the love of god man will you cook me dinner? I wrote him what I hope was a slightly more tactful email than my thought train. He responded with great kindness and generosity which I have come to know is quintessentially Kevin: “1000 times yes!”
Three weeks later I arrived at his doorstep with this deal hashed out: he would feed me and I would help him make apple wine. When he came out to greet me I stuck out my hand to shake his. He looked down at my outstretched arm and nonchalantly batted it away, “I’m a hugger,” he said, then, he helped me with my bags.
“We don’t have a spare room set up yet,” he said over his shoulder as he lead me down the stairs to his basement. “Our facilities are pretty rudimentary but something tells me of all the people I know, you’ll be able to handle it!” I came down the stairs and ‘my room’ came in to view. There in the middle of his basement was a small bubble tent replete with blankets, pillows, and ‘emergency’ flashlight! My dog was thrilled. She jumped into the tent as if she owned the place and turned to me with a look that said, “Wow, this whole room is ours… you coming in?”
I’d driven for five hours to get to Kevin’s (all the while dredging up juicy images from his blog and mopping them up with the crusts of my mind) so needless to say I was hungry when I arrived. He introduced me to his wife and children. We took a tour of his yard-garden (which has won ‘edible garden’ recognition by the city of Edmonton). The kids played with Tui until bedtime, when both children and dog were wore out! Finally, his wife and I sat at the dinner table while Kevin prepared the meal.
It was everything I’d hoped it would be: there were myriad cheeses to be tasted, wines to be quaffed, and several beautifully presented exquisite little courses of home grown and locally sourced food to be savored.
The meal was topped off with a creme brullee, which of course, having a ‘sweet-tooth’, I decided it was a divine finish to a wonderful evening. I only wish I’d taken a photo of that!