Monthly Archives: September 2013

If they can do it everyone can.

Hats off to A&W for eliminating hormones, steroids, and medicated feed from the beef they serve. With almost 800 outlets in Canada, this will have an impact and will help pave the way for other chains to follow. Despite the claims in the article about strict regulations and the ‘supposed’ proven safety of the drugs and chemicals they give the cows, I don’t think they can be trusted. They don’t have the best interest of the cows at heart. Remember that the same agencies that approve the drugs and chemicals added to our food are the agencies that, over time, have approved other ‘safe’ drugs and chemicals like olestra (causes oily anal leakage and dramatic loss of vitamins), thalidomide (causes birth defects), BHT, BTH (waxy carcinogens made from petroleum that help keep food ‘fresher’), and even arsenic (‘it makes chickens looks ‘pinker’ and therefore appear ‘fresher’).

http://www.calgaryherald.com/health/diet-fitness/eliminates+steroids+hormones+medicated+feed+from/8957682/story.html

There’s a long way to go yet but every little bit helps. You are what you eat. Image

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It’s Official!

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Home Sweet Home! The inspections and estimates are all complete. I waived the conditions. I get the place on October 30th – perhaps sooner. And I am in mad kitchen-reno-planning mode. It’s been a long time coming. I’ve ben planning a kitchen in my head for years and this place is the perfect canvas for my dreams. Woodstove heat, high ceilings, gorgeous wood floors, main floor everything, mature fruit trees and a spot for a great big veggie garden. There’s even a good sized garage for those of you who kept telling me not to forget about a garage. Check, check, check. Did I mention that it’s a 3 minute walk to work 🙂  And it’s ramped for easy access – I think it was meant to be. It came on the market a day after I sold my last place. One thing at a time…

“And whether or not it is clear to you, the universe is unfolding as it should.” ~Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata” 

I think it’s clear.

A weekend getaway to Ottawa with my friend Scott

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A perfect early fall weekend in Ottawa – and lots of food. We didn’t have a lot of time so we focused mostly on downtown the market and Chinatown (of course).

Friday night dinner at a Scotish Pub and I had hagis with garlic mashed potatoes and a wee dram of scotch.

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Quite likely the richest meal I’v eaten in a year. It was good.

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Really good 🙂

No matter where I am, Saturday morning generally means a trip to the market. It’s funny how attached I become to particular markets. As much as I loved the Byward, I kind of missed my Combermere market. None-the-less, I got a pretty sweet haul.

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It lead to a lunch on the balcony of cheeses, pate (mmm bison) and fruit. I also picked up a big basket of last-day-for-sale orangey/yellow tomatoes and turned them into 6 litres of brilliantly coloured tomato juice.

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More treats tucked away to brighten up the winter. (I still have more jars yet so likely there’s more canning to come. )

Pho for lunch in Chinatown and the broth was exceptionally good. It reminded me of street side stalls in Hanoi.

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If you’re in Ottawa I’d recommend a bowl of soup at Saigon Boy.

Finally it was back to the cottage and another feast. Rutabaga mustard seed and coconut curry – a recipe from Vikas Khanna with rutabaga from Joanne  and corn on the cob with sweet onion gravy.

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More good food to come from the trip. I still have a good feed of chanterelle and some lobster mushrooms on the horizon.

I like the ingredients that you can get in a bigger city but I’m not about to give up living in paradise for it. The occasional trip will have to do.

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Generosity

In my old life, people used to bring me gifts of produce from time to time – things they’d grown a little too much of or if they had found a deal too good to pass up. In my new life it’s become an almost daily occurance.

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My friend Karen dropped off a bag full of goodies – tomatoes, zucchini, rosemary and more. Pam gave me eggs (that I got to pick from the hen house!) tomatoes cucumbers and squash.

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And as I was viewing a house, the owner made sure that I left with a basket of plums from the tree on the yard.

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Today a woman I know dropped off a bushel of apples from her tree – enough to send some home with everyone in the office.

Squash becomes soup. Zucchini and tomatoes get sautéed and served with the eggs, and the plums spent an evening in the dehydrator becoming what is quite possibly the best candy I’ve ever eaten.

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And I got to watch the mist rise off the lake as I had my morning coffee.

I’m starting to feel like a part of this community. And I like it.

Palacinke, Tomato Tatin, and a day of puttering and chores

Breakfast yesterday was the first of many at my new local diner. The place was packed and we sat at the counter on stools. All original fixtures. The menu you’d expect and great food.

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Today breakfast was Palacinke. Crepes that my Croatian friend taught me how to make.

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Eggs that I helped pick right from my friend Pam’s coop (:D). Flour. Milk. Butter. With peaches and maple syrup.

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I also managed to use up a basket of grapes by making a good sized bottle of grape juice and a tray of grape fruit leather. First time for that. Not quite up to Uncle Norman standards but I have lots of time to practise.

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Some random foraging in the rain yielded a nice feed of blackberries and, keeping with a theme, I made a tomato Tarte Tatin with some of the leftover pastry.

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Another great Sunday.

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Aa pear of something :)

I had a great visit with John A this weekend – his first time here. V and M were also here for the weekend. Lots of fun all around.

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Bread from Dave at the market made a great canvas for some heirloom tomatoes that Tamara gave me the other day. Toasted and slathered with mayo. It’s hard to think of a better lunch.

The sis brought a grocery bag full of pears from the tree in her back yard. They were amazingly good.

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I canned a dozen pint jars in light syrup – some with candied ginger and a clove.

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And some became dessert. Pear Tarte Tatin. 

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There are more yet that I’ll just eat as is. I look forward to having my own fruit trees. I can only imagine all the things I’ll make.

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Saturday dinner was a harvest feast! Sausages from the Shulists in Combermere. Naturally raised organic meat. Absolutely yummy piggy goodness.

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With tomatoes and cucumbers from my friend Pam in B B, my homemade sauerkraut made with Joanne’s cabbage, and what is possibly the best corn I have ever eaten. Ever. Joanne normally only grows enough corn for herself. She brought some to the market on Saturday and I bought the last 8 cobs. It was so fresh and sweet that each kernal popped and exploded in my mouth. Good job.

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I never get tired of that view.

LOUD

The house in Wilno was charming wioth lots of potential but the noise from the road made it a no-go. The right place will come along. I have lead on a place that isn’t currently for sale but that might be just the right thing. I may just go knocking on doors.

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Dinner today, and likely for the rest of the week, is all about using up ingredients. My recent focus on canning and preserving caused some things to be pushed to the side.

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This yummy concoction is a version of eggplant in black bean garlic sauce. I got to use the almost-past-due eggplants, the last of the fresh tomatoes from Jon, the rest of the lacck bean garlic sauce from the weekend and the remainder of a jar of tomatoes that didn’t seal properly.

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My house deal went through as planned today. Thankfully. There’s a cheque waiting for me at the lawyers office. So long Filbert Street.