I'm going to make a statement that seems to shock most people I tell, and amuses me to no end: I love Heavy Metal.
© Nick Moase Photo
Vicious, a band originally from Kingston, performs at the Maritime Metal and Hard Rock Festival. Cooking and Heavy Metal are very intertwined into my life, which led to a valley adventure on Sept. 14.
Yes, it is true. You are more likely to hear Motorhead coming out of my kitchen than Mozart, Black Sabbath over Bach.
My love for Heavy Metal goes back to the mid-1990's, when I first snuck down to watch TV late at night (I would have been 10 or 11). It turns out TV is pretty boring that time of night so I ended up on MuchMusic, which used to have a Heavy Metal show that time of night, and was the only time they would play the videos.
It was like a revelation. Pop had little appeal, and grunge never really caught on with me. I still remember the first video too, KMFDM's A Drug Against War. If you dare to try it out, it's found easily enough online.
It was about the same time I started taking an interest in cooking, so with boom box in tow and mix tapes made, my journey into Metal and cookery became intertwined.
So when I found out there was a Heavy Metal festival in the Valley earlier this month, there was no question I was going. It was in Aylesford, at a place called Foxhill Campground, and it was going to be over 10 hours of Metal performances.
On Sept. 14 I set out to the Annapolis Valley, to indulge in two of my passions in one weekend. The first was to blast my eardrums into oblivion with amazing Heavy Metal with a small but might group of Metalheads.
The music was loud, the people were headbanging, and the venue was oddly perfect.
Just so you know, no children or small animals were sacrificed in the name of some pagan God, despite the multitude of rabbits on the grounds. It was amusing when they ran across the stage however. I think the only injuries sustained were to many eardrums.
The next day, with my souvenir T-Shirt proudly displayed, I took in my second passion; great local produce.
I don't tend to hit many of the back roads, since most of what I need is pretty accessible. True, you can sometimes get a deal by finding some out of the way location, but it probably won't be much in the long run compared to gas costs.
Where I tend to buy my produce is in a strip of farmer's markets between New Minas and Wolfville. Each one has its own unique characteristics, and interestingly enough different produce between them. In one you will find a wider range of apples, and in another the only source of plum tomatoes. Since they are so close together though it’s an easy hop between them.
Just off of that area is Fox Hill Cheese House, no relation to the Metalfest venue from what I can tell. If you haven't been there, you are missing out. The cheese products are amazing, from the soft spreadable quark cheese to the tangy Parmesan. They also sell fresh whole milk and gelato by the pint. It's a real treat.
Usually I wander around Wolfville for a bit as well, with their unique selection of stores. Prices tend to be a bit higher, but if you're looking for something really different
Once I got home, it was processing time. Heavy Metal actually goes quite well in a kitchen anyway. It's high energy, aggressive music. It gets my blood pumping and adrenaline going. If you want to move fast in your kitchen, put a little Metallica on and see what it does.
I ended up with three bags of roasted peppers, eight bottles each of salsa and applesauce, six bottles of pear sauce and nine bottles of plum sauce. On top of that were a few different meats and cheese to freeze. Not a bad haul actually.
Is it Zen? It is for me. So just remember, sometimes under that chef's hat lies the heart of a true Metalhead.