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’).
There’s a long way to go yet but every little bit helps. You are what you eat.
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 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.
Quite likely the richest meal I’v eaten in a year. It was good.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today breakfast was Palacinke. Crepes that my Croatian friend taught me how to make.
Eggs that I helped pick right from my friend Pam’s coop (:D). Flour. Milk. Butter. With peaches and maple syrup.
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.
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.
Another great Sunday.
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.
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.
I canned a dozen pint jars in light syrup – some with candied ginger and a clove.
And some became dessert. Pear Tarte Tatin.
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.
Saturday dinner was a harvest feast! Sausages from the Shulists in Combermere. Naturally raised organic meat. Absolutely yummy piggy goodness.
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.
I never get tired of that view.
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.
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.
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.
My house deal went through as planned today. Thankfully. There’s a cheque waiting for me at the lawyers office. So long Filbert Street.
The new owner takes possession of my Kitchener house tomorrow and I’ve started to look for a new place up here. One place that had been on my radar for some time fell off the list the moment I walked through the door. It felt cramped. Another that had been a long shot jumped to the front of the line. For now. I will keep looking.
Two acres with fruit trees and berry bushes on a paved road a 10 minutes from work. That’s the description of the next place I want to look at.
More tomatoes. A galette for dinner with my friend Mark on Friday and soup the day before.
I also managed to get 4 jars of pickled reds done and some into the freezer whole. If I can manage it at the time I may pick up another bushel for canning juice. And then I think I’ll be done.
I made bird stock with various bits of left over bones and veg from the freezer. It will be nice to have stock on hand again.
It’s been mostly a cool day but right now by the lake it’s too nice not to swim.
And now on to the next chapter.
A weekend in Kitchener yielded much produce – some gifted to me, some purchased, and some foraged.
My friend Jon planted 14 tomato plants this year and they are producing like crazy. In a moment of weakness and despite the fact that I had 2 full bushels of romas in my car, I decided to take a bucket full. What’s 25 more pounds anyway…
As luck would have it I read a recipe for yellow tomato Bloody Mary’s the other day and Jon’s tomatoes happened to be yellow. I think it was destined to be. They were a nice treat.
A bushel is a LOT of tomatoes. Two bushels is 2 LOTS! So far they have yielded 68 jars of whole tomatoes, 2 bottles of Jamie Oliver’s ketchup. 2 litres of dried tomatoes and a pot of soup for dinner tonight. Tomorrow I plan to pickle the rest. I’ve pickled whole roma tomatoes for a few years now and they are like crack. A stranger once came up to me in a Stratford restaurant and said “Oh YOU’RE the one who makes the tomatoes”.
Enough about tomatoes for now but I am scheming already and will likely have more to post of the topic before long.
I picked up about 5 litres of habanero peppers. MM. Over half of them are in the dehydrator. The rest will become an assortment of hot sauces.
I also got a basket of prune plums at the market that landed in the dehydrator. They are chewy and sweet and will be a great snack in February.
I foraged 2 hauls of wild food near hiking trails in Kitchener. I stumbled on an apple tree that was loaded with perfectly ripe crisp sour green apples. Half of them are in the dehydrator and the other half are for eating fresh. The other find was a grove of wild plum trees. The fruit are the size of cherries and amazingly good.
I filled a travel mug and an empty Tim’s cup with them and turned them into a couple of jars of jam. I need to give in and get labels. There’s no way I’ll be able to recall all the different jams I’ve made.
Have I said how much I love this time of year? Harvest.