The Drive is the Point

by Darcie Friesen Hossack

There's a saying among those who make their beds at Overlander. And today, on the drive between the Town of Jasper and the Lodge, when it seems that all the citizens of the Park have come out to greet us, we're reminded of what it is.

It doesn't happen this way every time.

It's also not every day that you must stop on the highway to let mountain sheep cross the road: their shaggy winter wool still shedding away in rags, while freshly-laundered lambs follow close behind their moms.There aren't always herds of elk-wives, nursing their spotted young. Or bucks who make you think a tree has taken a step, just because one of them has turned its head.

Bears and golden eagles, for that matter, don't appear on demand. But today, it certainly seems like that's exactly what they do.

"Bear!" we both call out, and like the eternal tourists we are, we pull onto the shoulder and, from inside the car, gaze towards a grassy meadow. It's a grizzly this time, munching on salad, and we've forgotten to bring the zoom lens.

"Next time," Chefhusband and I assure one another, knowing there will be one.

Soon we're back on our way.

The thing is, even if the animals of the park were on strike, the mountains are astonishing enough in their beauty, appearing as a three-dimensional, ever-unfolding postcard, especially when heading towards the park's east gates and home.

"The Drive is the Point." That's the saying. And just before we take to our kitchen, we stop at the Jasper East store for olive oil from Maison Orphée, and fresh tomatoes from one of Stone Peak Provisions' garden partners.

Today the tomatoes will be cooked confit, and used to flavour a simple summer pasta salad with marinated artichoke hearts and vegetable ribbons.

Because while it's true that the drive is the point of choosing to be here, once you've reached your destination, it can become all about the food.

--------------- o O o ---------------

Summer Salad with Pasta and Confit Tomatoes

1/2 lb Farfalle (bowtie) pasta, cooked tender
1 baby zucchini, sliced into ribbons with a carrot peeler
1 stalk green onion, very thinly sliced on an angle
3-4 tufts parsley, torn off stalks, finely chopped
1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, sliced
1/2 cup favourite black olives, sliced
1 recipe confit tomatoes (follows)
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 – 113g package goat cheese
flaked kosher salt/fresh ground pepper

In a large bowl, toss together first 6 ingredients. With a fork, remove confit tomatoes from oil and add them to the other ingredients, allowing the oil clinging to the tomatoes to become part of the dressing. Add white wine vinegar and toss until coated, adding more of the tomato oil as needed. Season with salt and pepper.

Reserve goat cheese until plating, then crumble desired amount over each serving.

Confit Tomatoes

10 small Roma tomatoes (or 4-6 larger variety), quartered (8ths if larger), seeds removed
1 shallot, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
olive oil to cover tomatoes
flaked kosher salt/fresh ground pepper

Place tomato, shallot and garlic into a small, shallow baking dish. Cover with olive oil. Season with several pinches of salt and 10 turns of the pepper mill.

Cover with foil and place into a 275F oven (toaster ovens are perfect for this) for 45 minutes. Allow to cool.

*Note: Reserve tomato oil for use in other salads or bread dips.



Previous post Next post


Leave a comment