An #Apricot Awakening – thanks to my friend Gail Norton of @cookbookcooks

Inspiration  photo - Karen Anderson

Inspiration
photo – Karen Anderson

I don’t know how it came up. I think I asked my friend Gail Norton for a new recipe for a summer dessert. I was bored with my usual repertoire.

Apricots, she said.

Make a Tatin. I’ll send you a recipe.

She did and that’s where this story starts.

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Filed under Cooks I know, Food markets of the world, Great ingredients, Recipes, Travel

Cool thing #24 – Watch this @calgaryfoodtour video and then join us for some local food, fun and adventure

Thanks to Telus TV and their OptikLocal branch for the brilliant video profile of my company Calgary Food Tours Inc.

We made this video on a rainy day in May 2014 and it captures the essence of the food tours we offer here in Calgary. They are all about food, fun and adventure and you can see my guests enjoying delicious food prepared by great local cooks, having fun exploring and sharing the adventure of a day out of the ordinary.

It’s one thing to watch the video – that’s fantastic – but the best thing of all is to come on out and enjoy a tour.

Calgary Food Tours Inc. is one of the best things that helps me savour it all. I hope you’ll come and share in the food, fun and adventures we’ve designed for our guests.

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Filed under Cool things, food tours, Restaurants, Savour food

Back on Joy Road – an alfresco dinner with @joyroadcatering and @LaStellaWinery

the setting for Joy Road Catering's al fresco "cuisine de terroir" Okanagan dinners  photo - Karen Anderson

the setting for Joy Road Catering’s al fresco “cuisine de terroir” Okanagan dinners
photo – Karen Anderson

Last week I made my annual summer pilgrimage to Penticton in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. It’s year 15 and each year gets better and brings more joy.

We have rituals that make this place a haven for our family.

Early morning cycling with friends, time for a coffee and chat, a dip in the lake when the notion strikes or if it is really hot – a chance to float lazily down the channel that cuts through this isthmus; this city lodged like a too tight belt between two very curvy lakes.

We shop at farmers’ markets, lunch at vineyards and dine on the patio. The air is soft and caresses the skin. Lavender, roses, Ponderosa pine and the smell of fresh fruit drift to the brain’s memory bank of scents and deliver a sigh and a smile in recognition. Blue sky meets blue water with pale faced clay banks lined with grapevines sloping to their steep cliffs. Life is grand and then it gets even better.

We go to an alfresco dinner with Joy Road Catering at a retreat called God’s Mountain and life feels quite complete. I’ve written about the very talented owners Dana Ewart and Cameron Smith and you can learn more about why I’m a fan of theirs here.

Read on to see what was on the menu this year, who the winery was and what it all looked like with the few photos I thought to snap here and there as the dinner progressed. I’m sorry there aren’t more. I was enchanted by the evening.

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Filed under Cooks I know, Joy, Travel, Wine

Whoot! what a thrill to be featured in @AvenueMagazine – “5 Great Calgary Food Tours” by @JenntotheH

I love my company Calgary Food Tours Inc. and all the fun people I get to work with. Cheers to them for making our company a world-class one! photo - Cole Anderson

I love my company Calgary Food Tours Inc. and all the fun people I get to work with. Cheers to them for making our company a world class one!
photo – Cole Anderson

Cool thing #23 – Calgary Food Tours is featured in Avenue Magazine

5 Great Calgary Food Tours.

Thanks to Calgary’s Avenue Magazine Executive Editor Jennifer Hamilton for so clearing capturing and highlighting my company Calgary Food Tours Inc in the article above.

Yes, it’s true. When I’m not writing, I’m out on the streets of Calgary leading food tours. The tours are amazing because of the depth of Calgary’s food scene and the terrific partners we choose to showcase. Yet many people still don’t know what a food tour is or what we do.

Read on for a photo journey that will help you see why food tours are quickly becoming the number one attraction in cities around the globe.

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Filed under Cool things, Restaurants, Savour food, Travel, Wine

We need ALL farmers – urban AND rural

YYC Growers - photo - Karen Anderson

YYC Growers – photo – Karen Anderson

Urban farming has become topical.
Here’s a video by Alberta PrimeTime discussing why. The video features Rod Olson of Leaf and Lyre SPIN farm here in Calgary and Professor Debra Davidson of the University of Alberta and they do a great job of explaining why people are becoming more interested in growing food within city limits and addressing naysayers who believe agriculture is only for rural areas.

There is an idea I’ve heard of late that people who grow food for a living inside a city’s limits are not “real farmers”. There’s a bit of an old boy’s club mentality that you must have grown up on a farm, live on a rural farm, and have the stress of bank loans to be a farmer.

I think we have to get past this way of thinking. It’s not going to serve us as we prepare to feed 9 billion people on our planet by 2050.

I think that we need to appreciate ALL people who grow food for us and that’s what I’ll discuss here.

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D-I-Y farm tours – Here’s a pitchfork full of opportunities for city folk to connect with farm folk this summer in Alberta

Me and one of my closest farming friends - Penny Marshal of Highwood Crossing Farms presenting at The Calgary Stampede Calgary Coop Showcase Kitchen in 2011 - I've learned so much about farming and cooking from Penny! photo credit - Adam Chiasson

Me and one of my closest farming friends – Penny Marshal of Highwood Crossing Farms presenting at The Calgary Stampede Calgary Coop Showcase Kitchen in 2011 – I’ve learned so much about farming and cooking from Penny!
photo credit – Adam Chiasson

Visiting Alberta’s farms and farmers – whether urban or rural – has always been a big part of my life in Alberta and summer is the prime time to make a visit. If you’d like to meet some farmers here’s some ideas I’ve collected to help you be “Outstanding in a field” this summer.

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My June @AlbertaatNoon podcast – @skipperotto community supported fishery comes to Alberta weekly for 2014 season

Albacore Tuna is another Ocean Wise ™ offering from Skipper Otto photo -Karen Anderson

Albacore Tuna is another Ocean Wise ™ offering from Skipper Otto
photo -Karen Anderson

I’ve got fish on my brain. That’s a good thing. People who eat fish really are smarter. They have higher IQs and less dementia. Their hearts are healthier.

Here’s my CBC Radio One Alberta at Noon podcast about how you can access sustainable Ocean Wise™ certified fish from Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery if you live in British Columbia, Alberta or Saskatchewan. Skipper Otto is casting his net wide this year and will be expanding weekly fish delivery beyond the usual Vancouver drop to land in Calgary and sometimes Edmonton.

Knowing the fish you eat is sustainable and that you are supporting small scale fisheries is a great way to savour it all.

Check out the recipes here and find more info on Skipper Otto here.

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