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Flavourful Saskatoon, October 26, 2020

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Local News The Night Oven Bakery now has apple cinnamon flax bread on Sundays. I highly recommend it fresh from their oven with a good smear of Kitako Lake Honey, seriously the best honey I’ve ever eaten. Other Night Oven options include cinnamon raisin sourdough on Mondays and granola sourdough on Wednesdays. Not forgetting the olive bread on Fridays - one of my favorites.
Fruit & Biscuits  Over the past 4 years, Pablo Salvatierra has visited 15 countries and tasted nearly 300 different kinds of fruit. Salvatierra, who used to buy all his produce from the supermarket, has gained a new appreciation for the superior taste of homegrown fruit and fair commerce. 
Britons love biscuits (aka cookies) – and so do I! But their history surprised me. Did you know that medieval Muslims invented the fig roll as a health food? Digestive biscuits were invented to relieve an “epidemic” of flatulence among Victorian gentlemen. In the 1920s, there was a biscuit for every occasion – from sailing to jaz…

Flavourful Saskatoon, October 19, 2020

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Local News The Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre is offering a skill development program for women entrepreneurs in the food processing sector
I would be interested in reading Beyond the Food Court: An Anthology of Literary Cuisines, “a collection of 14 creative non-fiction essays that delve in the subtleties, diversity, and individuality of ethnic cuisines beyond the uniform, kitschy offering at a typical mall food court” written by 14 Edmonton authors. 

In the Kitchen  Sandor Katz says fermentation is a fact, not a fad. His new book, Fermentation as Metaphor, explores how fermentation applies to politics, religion, and cultural movements. Fermentation pros may want to try their hand at nukazuke, making bran-fermented vegetables: “It’s kind of like a compost recipe.” 
I have purchased a lot of spices – 3 separate orders! – during the pandemic. I was relieved to know I was not alone. Jay Rayner, British restaurant critic, shares my dilemma of an overflowing spice shelf
BC …

Flavourful Saskatoon, October 12, 2020

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Local News The Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation is hosting a virtual lunch and learn on World Food Day, Oct. 16. Speakers are Jerónimo Prujin of the Small Producers Symbol Co-op, an intercontinental network of ecological small-producer organizations, and Tom Hanlon-Wide of Camino
Christmas fruitcakes can take months to prepare if you make them from scratch and give them time to age (and soak up a little alcohol). I’m excited to be home for Christmas this year and able to purchase one of Foodcraft by Sarah’s fruitcakes. Sarah makes small personal fruitcakes. The traditional fruitcake contains mixed dried fruits, peel, glacé cherries, walnuts, premium butter, vanilla, walnuts, almonds, crystallized ginger, and brandy. The natural fruitcake includes dried saskatoons, cranberries, golden & Thompson raisins, dates, sour cherries, crystallized ginger, walnuts, pecans, candied orange slices, and rum. Cakes are $10 each and Sarah, who lives in Swift Current, will ship t…

Flavourful Saskatoon, October 5, 2020

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Local News The format may have changed, but the Friendship Inn and The Lighthouse will be serving Thanksgiving dinners again this year. Why not make a donation to support their efforts? 
Odd Couple restaurant will be offering monthly set menus featuring a particular region of Asian cuisine. The first runs until the end of October and features Vietnamese cuisine. 
I enjoyed watching this 13-minute slideshow of Saskatoon’s bygone bakeries
Here and Elsewhere  Library branches across the United States provide free meals and collaborate with farmers’ markets, combining literacy and nutrition
Hestia’s Kitchen is a fascinating website with a mix of food, folklore, and history. The Buried Moon or the Big Plum Conspiracy combines witches, marshlands, opium tea, and a recipe for plum bread from Lincolnshire. 
In the Kitchen  Rice krispie squares: “It’s not just for kids, doesn’t require an oven, and, for some, it’s even high art” (check out the Mona Lisa and Ruth Bader Ginsberg). 
There’s a reason…

It's October! Time for Fungi & Mushrooms

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Welcome to October in what I’m referring to as my Year of Staying in Place. After spending the past six winters in Europe and travelling to BC in the summers, it’s a big change and I’m doing my best to turn that into a positive not a negative. Winter is especially challenging as my back and legs really don’t like walking on lumpy snow and ice. Plus it does tend to be a tad cold in Saskatchewan! Hence the focus on indoor activities. I’m setting a theme for each month with activities that I hope will send me exploring and having fun in new directions. 
The theme for October is Fungi & Mushrooms. (I realize that the term fungi includes mushrooms, but the use of both words strikes me as more poetic!) Here’s what I have planned. 
Read Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Future by Merlin Sheldrake 
Watch the documentary Fantastic Fungi
Read mysteries where the murder weapon is a poison mushroom 
Enjoy a mushroom spread (purchased in Quillan, France – h…

Flavourful Saskatoon, September 28, 2020

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Local News  It’s easy to forget how much work goes into growing and preparing food for sale. And Covid has made things even tougher. One farmer tells me he is spending an extra day to day and a half a week preparing vegetables to sell at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market in order to comply with health authority requirements. Where does he find the extra time in what must already be a jam-packed growing season! 
Trent at Scratch Provisions makes great pies with lots of imaginative flavours (e.g. harissa lentils and cauliflower; balsamic pickled beet, ricotta & sunflower seed). My family enjoyed his vegetarian Thanksgiving pies this weekend - lots of holiday spices and the tang of fresh cranberries. In fact, we enjoyed them so much, we're ordering more. 
I’m really enjoying the sour leaf cabbage rolls from Kapusta & Kake at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market Cooperative – rich, tangy, lots of flavour. Wally Satzewich says their borscht is the best he’s ever tasted. Their products are n…

Strengthening and Protecting Farmers' Markets

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The close relationship that develops between the person who grows or makes our food and the person who eats it is at the heart of a farmers’ market. A friend describes the relationship between consumers and farmers’ market vendors as a partnership. “We’re co-producers,” she says. 
Lockdown and the Covid pandemic have made all of us more aware of how important food is. As a result, farmers’ markets have grown in popularity. Sales increased between 10 and 30% in Melbourne, Australia, despite the lack of tourists and browsers. Instead, the focus was on local people coming to do their weekly shop. Similar trends have been noticed by Saskatoon Farmers’ Market Co-operative (SFMC) farmers and producers. If we want a secure food supply, we need to support our local farmers and producers. And the best way to do that is through a farmers’ market, a self-supporting group of farmers and producers who share a similar interest in working with their hands, providing their community with food, and int…