Fernie & Elk Valley Culture Guide Winter 2020-21 Edition - Page 28

After the 1904 fire , the new Trites-Wood Building featured an impressive sandstone façade , and stocked the finest stoves , furnishings , clothing , homewares and more .
After the 1908 fire . The Trites-Wood store was lost but the business forged on .
A temporary wooden structure and a series of fireproof cellars provided service to the community during the winter of 1908 while a new store was constructed
Heritage buildings were not popular in the 1970 ’ s . The Sombrowski family added shingles for a modern look after they purchased the business . commercial building . J . F . Spalding , who went on to document Fernie through his photographs and later work as the Tourism Commissioner for the Tourist Association of Southern Alberta and Southeastern British Columbia , arrived in Fernie in March 1904 to take the position of bookkeeper at the company ’ s Morrissey store . He purchased the A . W . Prest Photography studio in 1905 .
In 1922 , A . B . Trites and R . W . Wood left Fernie to pursue other business endeavours . Together , they became millionaires with an investment in the Premier Mine , and Trites also went on to become notable in the Dairy Industry with ranches across Western Canada . The store was left in the care of the Stewart family , who continued to run the business after the deaths of Mr Wood in 1935 and Mr Trites in 1943 .
In 1970 , Arthur and Ingrid Sombrowski purchased the 2nd Avenue location and it has remained within the family for the past 50 years . They have run their own store the entire time , leasing out other parts of the building which have over the years been occupied by furniture , general goods , hardware , décor and sporting goods stores , and a hair studio and art gallery , among others . On the second floor and at the rear of the building is the Fernie Academy .
Through fires , wars , the great depression and the boom years of the 50 ’ s and 70 ’ s , this building has not only been a constant business presence in Fernie , it has also been a consistent employer and locally owned retailer of many of life ’ s essentials .
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CULINARY NOTES ON FERNIE THE SLOW ART OF BRUNCH WITH KEVIN MCISAAC Local Foodie and creative leader Kevin McIsaac has brought culture and entertainment to Fernie for many years. He took over producing the Taste of Fernie Festival then after a brief hiatus, established the Wapiti Music Festival with a group of passionate friends. In 2019 he brought us the mouth-watering Fernie BBQ Challenge and has been one of the most consistent contributors to the Fernie Fix Magazine. Here, he shares one of his favourite ways to spend a morning. You won’t see many fast-food brunch places. Not just in Fernie, but anywhere. That’s because brunch isn’t a set meal or a set menu or a set time. It’s outside the set three meals of the day. Restaurants tend to hate brunch anyway. People stay too long. They order too many beverages. Half of the customers are hungover. Brunch is the Edina and Patsy of meals. I love brunch. For all the same reasons. There are few opportunities in our rushed lives to enjoy something that feels so luxurious as brunch. Brunch takes time. It’s often late morning or early afternoon so it’s difficult to squeeze into a workday. Brunch is a meal to be shared and experienced. It’s spread out. It takes as long as it takes. 28 For me, one of the important aspects of brunch is sourcing and making the components. If I’m making biscuits and gravy, I make the buttermilk biscuits. If I’m making Chilaquiles, I make the Queso Fresco and Salsa Verde. Not because it’s better — it probably isn’t — but because the time put into making it with my own hands and serving it to friends and family is what elevates brunch from a simple meal to a shared experience. Brunch ingredients are effort, time, flavours, smells, laughter, and food. It’s memorable. I remember a few lunches, but I remember most brunches. One of my favourite brunch dishes is chilaquiles. It’s nice because it’s simple and you can make it economy style with corn tortillas, salsa verde, manchego cheese, and eggs all from the store. Or you can make your own tortillas, salsa verde, and queso fresco and move it up to first class worthy of metal cutlery and a cloth napkin. SALSA VERDE Broil or grill 1/2 onion, 1 tomato, 2 garlic cloves, 6 tomatillos, and 2 serrano peppers until they’ve browned on both sides. Tip: grill the onions and garlic in the skins and peel after. Put everything in a blender. Add 1 Tbsp of lime juice, 1/2 cup of cilantro, 1 tsp salt (or to taste). Blend until you get the consistency you like. I prefer it a little chunky, so I pulse it maybe 8 or 10 times. Add a little water if it’s not blending smoothly. CHILAQUILES (SERVES 4) 12 corn tortillas = leave them out overnight = cut up into wedges 6 oz Manchego cheese, shredded 16 oz Salsa Verde 8 eggs Salt Heat some vegetable oil in a medium pan and fry tortillas until lightly browned. Add salsa (be careful of the hot splatter), stir and cook for a few minutes then turn heat to low. Make 8 wells in the tortilla-salsa mix with the back of a large spoon. Break an egg into each well. Cover and let simmer until eggs have cooked how you like them. I prefer medium poached. Spread the shredded cheese over the top just before serving. I serve this with some fresh sliced avocado. Pair with freshly squeezed orange juice (or make it a tequila screwdriver if it’s that kind of day). For more brunches follow @kevstravels on Instagram. 29