On Saturday, we joined Maple Lodge Farms, Erica Ehm from Yummy Mummy Club and several other Vancouver mom bloggers at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts to make sandwiches. That’s what I told the girls we were going to do: make sandwiches. They couldn’t wait to get there. All morning, they asked me when we were going to be making sandwiches.
When we walked into the intimate event, I was immediately impressed. There was a table with colouring for the kids and appetizers circling for everyone. Rock the Chicken was there to give high fives or hugs, and even Jade (who usually doesn’t like mascots) managed to give him a quick high five. The Maple Lodge Farms reps made us feel immediately at home, joking and colouring with the kids and encouraging us to take pictures together with their funky frames. It was definitely a family first environment there, which made me feel right at home.
There were chicken masks for everyone, which the girls had lots of fun with. We all tried to make our best chicken noises and Lily did a chicken dance. Sunshine kept asking when we’d start making sandwiches.
The sandwich-making competition was the highlight of the afternoon. Someone had joked with the girls that they could make candy sandwiches, and after that any of my suggestions about healthier ideas fell on deaf ears. My husband and I couldn’t wait to try the chicken bacon and the deli meat while the girls saw only the gummies. (A few other kids were similarly gummy-eyed at the candy bowls.)
Each family had their own sandwich making station, with a name-tag sign and aprons for everyone. We soon tied on our aprons (mine went over Pearl too, who slept through all the fun in the Juno) and set out to find our sandwiches fixings. (I kept waiting for my husband to sing his favourite Fred Penner song, “Sandwiches are beautiful, sandwiches are fine, we like sandwiches, we make them all the time” but I guess it was only running through my head.)
Sunshine grabbed a wrap while I went for a sourdough bun. BLTs are one of our favourite sandwiches, an easy go-to supper on nights when we’re running multiple directions, so I decided we’d do that. While the girls decorated their wrap with all their candy, my husband and I assembled our sandwich. Mayonnaise and a touch of mustard, then lettuce (to keep the tomato from making the bun soggy), tomato in the middle and two pieces of bacon layered across the top.
Then my husband got really creative. We both love bacon and this chicken bacon is both yummy and healthy. (I made sure to sample several pieces before we started our sandwich. And a few more while making the sandwich, just to maintain quality control.) He tied two pieces into a bow for the top of the sandwich and added a strawberry for decoration.
With the girls’ help, we added some of our favourite condiments around the sandwich: pickles, peppers and cheese hearts. Then our “BLT Bow” was ready to present to Erica Ehm for judging! She had a tough job, because there were some fantastic sandwiches there, from the “Happy Chickens” open-faced sandwiches to the “Tower of Hearts” multi-layered sandwich.
Afterwards, the chefs brought out Maple Lodge Farms hot dogs, which were amazing. We chatted with Erica about how much fun everyone had making their sandwiches. She said this was her third and last event with Maple Lodge Farms and it had really been neat to see what each family came up with at the events. Although we were all given the same sandwich fixings, we really made them our own.
I love brands with a family-first focus and it was so cool to see that from Maple Lodge Farms. One of the posters had a picture in the cornerof a farmer carrying two buckets. Apparently, he’s a real employee, now age 90, who still goes in to work every day. He made me think of my grandpa, a retired farmer who also heads out on his farm (now run by his son) on a weekly if not daily basis.
Maple Lodge Farms sent us all home with our aprons, picture frame and some bacon and deli meat. We’re looking forward to making more sandwiches as a family!