About the Author

Andrea Carlson

Books by this Author
Burdock & Co

Burdock & Co

Poetic Recipes Inspired by Ocean, Land & Air
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Tonight is the sturgeon moon. I get a text from Julie, our manager at Burdock & Co:

hannah says sturgeon moon nite time to let go
of all that burdens you
write it down & submerge
it underwater :)
meet u later?


I share the new plan with Gabe and Clea. We are out tonight in Chinatown, feasting and yelling at each other over the noise of the crowded restaurant. Gabe is one of my oldest friends and she now runs Harvest Community Foods, our sister restaurant, and Clea has taken up the task of editing this book. Tonight they are working to get my story out of me. And anyone who knows me knows I hate talking about myself.

Kevin (life partner, business partner, broth transporter, wine deliverer, architect) keeps reminding me I have a great story, and maybe I do, but for me it’s a process, more of a collection of spaces and moments, flavours and techniques that, when stitched together, become what I do, who I am.

From my first naive adventure going out ocean fishing, or discovering thealternative reality of botanicals, or planting gardens, building a bakery, working at great restaurants across the city—all these seemingly disparate events have led to what Burdock & Co is today, and to me sitting in a very loud restaurant trying to write a cookbook!

Julie’s text (thankfully) gives us a new mission for the night, and we escape onto Pender Street. We hatch plans to submerge our burdens. The closest body of water? False Creek. Paper? The sticky notes we’ve been writing recipe ideas down on all night. How do we get the paper to sink? Tie it to a rock.

Halfway to False Creek we stop at Campagnolo Upstairs on Main Street because 1) Gabe needs to pee, 2) while we’re here we might as well have another drink, and 3) we’re waiting for Julie, who’s getting off her shift at Burdock. It’s a precious night off from the restaurant for me, and my fatigue from the week is lifting. I write down my burden(s). It’s a list.

Julie arrives and I ask for butcher’s twine at the bar. The bartender laughs, but returns with four neat lengths of string. We tie our papers around rocks that we picked up on the way, and head out into the end-of-summer night.

We are giddy, happily drunk, walking through the empty streets. This is Vancouver to me, this nexus of Downtown Eastside grit, Chinatown refusing to give up, condos sprouting everywhere, dingy Main Street bars. Harvest is just around the corner on Union, and Burdock is up the hill, past the viaduct.

At the water, a gang of teenagers loiter under the constellation of Science World. A family down the way lights paper lanterns that lift off across the galaxy skyline of Vancouver city lights.

Julie pulls a jar of wine out of her bag and we all take a drink, then throw our burdens into False Creek, wondering if this drunken moon ritual will work. The rocks sink and the lanterns keep rising over us, over Vancouver, one by one, fat, slow stars, competing with the moon.

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