The Importance of Rabbit

Food — Tags: , , — By Crust on January 11, 2016

One day our sous chef said that he had read Thomas Keller’s “The Importance of Rabbit” chapter in the French Laundry cookbook. He said if he was going to eat and cook meat that he wanted to see the process through from live animal to butchered meat. So one weekend when we were off work we slaughtered two hares for personal consumption. He and Kyle found the process to be very rewarding and a great learning and life experience.

A General Store

Crust out of the kitchen,Food — By Crust on December 18, 2015

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Someday we would like to open a general store, in the beautiful space above The Hollows. Here is the space in it’s raw form. The light is nice and it is ridiculous that it has been used only as an office all of this time. We will keep you posted…

I wrote this before my computer broke on me. In the mean time we opened a general store. Goldie’s General is located above the Hollows, it is a house of quality and our motto is “Goldie’s General-Nothing Specific”. Keeping it general gives us the freedom to sell whatever we see fit as long as it is of lasting quality, I feel that under these guidelines we cannot go wrong. We will only be open Sundays to start with the hours corresponding with the Hollows brunch, I love the brunching and browsing combination. Our general store also has a “pop up” room where rotating vendors can set up shop so there is always something new on offer. We are working on a pop up pastry shop for around valentines day. More on this later I promise.

For me personally it is really amazing to have a general store above my restaurant because, I can sell edible goods made in the commercial kitchen below. Also anything that I order bulk for the restaurant can be sold up there. For example there are so many things that I use at the restaurant that I wish I could buy for my household kitchen that just isn’t available, like high quality stylish rubber gloves, biodegradable sponges and local organic flour and eggs.

There is so much more to tell, but for now here are some pictures of Goldie’s before.

Laundry and Glassware

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Our philosophy has taken all 4 of the years we have been open to shape itself and it continues to change as we learn.
One good way to explain it is that we try and work like a crew of old timey house wives, down to the last detail. We wring out and wash all of our kitchen rags by hand and lovingly put them in our energy efficient washing machine with borax. We then hang them to dry on a clothes line on the patio, or in the lounge in the winter.

Our restaurant philosophy is really inspired by my Grandmother and the way she ran her household and entertained guests. We love quality things like vintage fine bone china and crystal rocks glasses. I even use her case of 50 pheasant tumblers as water glasses. She wanted each of her guests to have a matching glass when they attended her garden parties in her backyard on Sask Cresent. Sadly not many of those tumblers remain after three years but I believe beautiful things are meant to be used and experienced not just tucked away and forgotten. Hand made lace table cloths and doilies are also used throughout the restaurant, and great care is taken in our tea service. We believe that the time and grace someone put into crocheting the intricate doilies beneath our tea pots adds to the experience and can bring the tea drinker into the moment.

The doilies and cloth napkins are washed, ironed and folded neatly in house by our staff. Our team is always on the hunt for vintage cocktail glasses to add to our collection and refresh it as things get broken. Wine glasses are the one piece that we buy new as we take great pride in our wine service and believe that a beautifully crafted glass lends itself to our sommelier’s carefully chosen wines. Some of our glass can be repaired when it breaks by a glass blower but not all. We try to waste nothing and take nothing for granted.

It seems I have a lot to say about every little thing that we do. It has been swirling in my mind over the last 4 years that I have been cooking in our kitchen. It is time to write about it.

The Whole Animal

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This is us trying to flesh and tan the hide of an Iclandic sheep that was delivered whole to the restaurant. We screwed it to the wooden table and started scraping but we didn’t have the proper tools and we kept puncturing the hide. We felt we were in a race against time because you need to get it salted immediately but we were struggling to remove the fat and flesh. Suddenly we realized that a million ticks were beginning to crawl out of the thick wool. We freaked out, unscrewed it, threw it in a garbage bag and started frantically calling professionals. We found a guy and drove it out to him emergency crew style and 3 weeks later he had it ready for us. It is beautiful, and we will invest in the proper tools before we try again, but I want to put theses gorgeous hides all over the restaurant in winter.

Grease Traps

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This is a little something for the cooks. This morning I was lying in bed and I realized how proud I am that we “do” our own grease trap at The Hollows. When we first moved into our restaurant building we hired a company to suck out the grease trap because we had no idea what we would find in a grease trap from a 50 year old Chinese restaurant that had been closed for several years prior to us taking it over. Since then our “do it yourself” attitude has taken over and we realized that we could just suck it out ourselves with a shop vac and dump it in the oil bin. We have a special old, cheap shop vac that we found in the basement that we use specially for the grease trap. It is easy and gross but we don’t mind because we love to be as self sufficient as possible, and we don’t use that much oil.

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