Category Archives: Alberta at Noon

My April column for CBC Radio One @AlbertaatNoon – @mysoilmate

My April column for CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon was all about a new website called Soil Mate.

The Soil Mate website acts like a match making service between consumers and farmers. Just as internet matchmaking services helps people find their soul mate, this site will help you find your “soil mate”. But, it’s all brand new and Soil Mate needs help building a directory of farmers, farmer’s markets and wineries that will span North America. We can all help. Here’s a bit more information and my podcast.

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An #Easter lamb recipe for my @AlbertaatNoon column – April

Voila - Chutney Stuffed Alberta Lamb for Easter photo - Karen Anderson

Voila – Chutney Stuffed Alberta Lamb for Easter
photo – Karen Anderson

Half the lamb we eat in Alberta is imported but, the superior taste of our local product means demand for it is on the rise. Lamb producers in the province are responding with a strategy to increase yields by 40% over the next 6 years. A recent Edmonton Journal article chronicled what life on Tangled Ridge lamb farm is like this time of year.

Taste Alberta: Local food movement fuels growing support for Tangle Ridge Ranch (with recipes and video).

Here’s a link to my visit to Ewe-nique lamb farm and a whole menu of delicious things to make for Easter, spring and beyond.

These are just two farms out of hundreds that need our support if we are to have a strong and secure local system filled with our dream farms. Supporting and finding the farms of our dreams and cravings – our Soil Mates – was the main focus of my Alberta at Noon column today. I hope you’ll help build this potential treasure trove of “local” by asking your favourite farms, farmer’s markets and wineries to register.

Spread the word, like you’d spread manure and we’ll all watch Soilmate dot com grow into a fabulous and powerful consumer and farmer resource. That will truly be something to help us savour it all.

Read on for the recipe for the delicious lamb roast pictured above.

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My @AlbertaatNoon food column podcast – #DIYCheeseMaking

Fresh cheeses are truly "alive" with flavour photo - Karen Anderson

Fresh cheeses are truly “alive” with flavour
photo – Karen Anderson

Here’s my CBC Radio One Alberta at Noon podcast about D-I-Y Cheese making. I’m at the 7 minute mark.

What a fun topic. I hope you’ll give the recipes a try.

Turns out this whole D-I-Y cheese business is very tasty business indeed.

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D-I-Y #cheesemaking – two recipes for my @AlbertaatNoon column on CBC Radio One

A few of our wonderful Albertan Cheese Makers

Are Albertans are turning into cheese heads?

Cheese head is an affectionate moniker for people who love cheese. We’ve got a growing cadre of artisanal cheese makers in the province. I’ve profiled the 15 Alberta Cheese Makers I could find, I’ve posted on issues in cheese making, I’ve profiled the Make Cheese company that sells cheese making kits and most recently I’ve posted on White Gold’s encouraging story of growth.

Other Albertans might have a beef about being called a cheese head but I guess I’d qualify. I credit several influential visits to Wisconsin, the world headquarters of cheese heads, including one of my best friends Barb Murphy Moore, for forming the cheese head curd in my brain but I never thought my fondness for the stuff would ever lead me to making cheese myself.

Last summer a visit from one of my chef friends changed all that.

This post will demystify basic fresh cheese making and provide a few recipes that I hope will encourage you to give D-I-Y cheese making a try. Many of us, live pretty far from stores that carry fresh local cheeses, but as you’ll see, if you can access fresh milk, you can make fresh cheese.

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Chocolate recipes for Valentine’s Day (and my February @AlbertaatNoon column on @CBCradio One)

done cherry

Chocolate is a great ingredient. You can eat it on its own and savour every morsel or you can add it to your baking for a loving touch everyone will appreciate.

For my Alberta at Noon Column this month I talked about bean to bar chocolate-made-from-scratch and a company called Choklat. Their’s is the kind of chocolate I eat straight up oe in the over 1000 kinds of truffles they make on site or melted in the cascading bliss of a chocolate fountain fondue for two. I want to savour every last gram of this expensive but exquisite chocolate.

This post will highlight a few recipes that do not call for such expensive and distinct chocolate. Single estate chocolate would be wasted in baking that calls for the alchemy of many ingredients combining to create something new and fabulous as a whole. I hope you’ll read on and see what treats I have in store for you.

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Bean to Bar Chocolate by @Choklatyyc for Valentine’s Day – my @AlbertaAtNoon column for February

Valentine's is the kind of special occasion that I get my little chocolate fountain out and actually use Choklat's chocolate to lavish the love of my life with his favourite treat photo - Karen Anderson

Valentine’s is the kind of special occasion that I get my little chocolate fountain out and actually use Choklat’s chocolate to lavish the love of my life with his favourite treat
photo – Karen Anderson

Chocolate is a great ingredient and some say it is its own food group. In the history of chocolate, we’ve gone from small family run firms concerned with ethical practices and the purity of their product – to big multinational corporations infamous for their exploitive monopolies and ruthless quest to increase bottom lines – to a new trend back called the “bean to bar” movement which appears to once again be focusing on purity and ethics.

This post will talk about what it means to be a bean to bar chocolate maker and the history of how we’ve arrived at this trend. To close we’ll focus on Alberta’s one and only bean to bar operation, a company called Choklat and its three Alberta stores.

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Rambling through Rajasthan – my @AlbertaatNoon podcast for January and photos to bring it all to life

Travelling is a great way to Savour it All

Travelling is a great way to Savour it All

Today on Alberta at Noon I talked about a few recipes from my recent trip to Rajasthan, India. You can listen to that broadcast here. I’m on between the 28:10 to 34:10 marks in the show.

In my column today I talked about the colours of Rajasthan. I tried to convey in words on the radio a few of the images that have stuck in mind. I did not end up feeling that my brief words did this justice so I’ve put together a slide show so you can really begin to see why colour is such a phenomenon in this arid North Indian desert state.

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Full steam ahead – notes on cooking with a pressure cooker

This is a very basic pressure cooker with a red button that rises to let you know pressure has been reached and you can start timing your recipe photo - Karen Anderson

This is a very basic pressure cooker with a red button that rises to let you know pressure has been reached and you can start timing your recipe
photo – Karen Anderson

This week on Alberta at Noon I talked about Rajasthan and the warm and spicy food I found there. I shared a recipe for Lal Moss which is a simple red meat stew that you will see on every menu throughout this Northern Indian State. You can either leave it to simmer or braise in a slow oven or crock pot for a day or you can prepare it in a pressure cooker in about 15 to 20 minutes time. Watching the chefs in Rajasthan do so inspired me to get over my pressure cooker prejudices and demystify them once and for all.

This post will delve a little deeper into the question of whether there’s a place for a pressure cooker in your kitchen and whether or not you, like me, are ready to get to know them a bit better and maybe even buy one.

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Recipes from Rajasthan to warm up our Canadian January – my @AlbertaatNoon column this month

Lal Moss and complementary vegetables and chapati  A lovely lunch at Rohet Garh in Rajasthan, India photo - Karen Anderson

Lal Moss and complementary vegetables and chapati
A lovely lunch at Rohet Garh in Rajasthan, India
photo – Karen Anderson

This week on Alberta at Noon I’m going to talk about my most recent culinary expedition to India. In November I took 21 guests to explore the food and culture of the capital region of Delhi and two of India’s Northern States: Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

I especially loved Rajasthan which is renowned as the land of colours.

The colours dazzle against the backdrop of landscape’s sandy hues. The tropically hued fuchsia and tangerine saris of the women flow like nectar giving our eyes, like hummingbirds to the flower, a little relief from the neutral tones which though soothing do not tend to be as life-giving. The colours of Rajasthan light up like match tips in the equally bright turbans of the men which change from village to village, occupation to occupation, and perhaps signal that molds that castes were made of are hard to shatter. You see a rainbow of colour in the food markets that materialize on street corners just as the evening meal must be shopped for and of course those were my favourite colours of all: the aubergine and bright green of indigenous eggplants, the scarlet of tomatoes and the muted tones of neatly bundles onions, herbs and India’s own culinary gems; her spices.

The people of Rajasthan truly manifest their culture’s belief that “Guests are Gods”. My business partners at Indus Travels and Hi Tours of India live and breathe this philosophy in every action they take for me and my guests on my annual odyssey to their homeland. They have become my second family and even though we are half a world away for 50 weeks each year I hold them dear and look forward to our yearly fortnight reunion.

This post will share a few of the many recipes that the expert cooks I met in Rajasthan so generously shared with me. I thought they might be just the thing to help us savour it all on cold Canadian January days when we might not otherwise feel quite up to the task.

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My top three gifts for food lovers for @AlbertaatNoon

I wrapped up a basket of biscotti for my colleagues at the CBC today. They work hard all year to entertain and inform us. It's fun to treat them to some Christmas Cheer. photo - Karen Anderson

I wrapped up a basket of biscotti for my colleagues at the CBC today. They work hard all year to entertain and inform us. It’s fun to treat them to some Christmas Cheer.
photo – Karen Anderson

Today on CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon I presented some fun gift ideas for the food lovers on your shopping list. Here’s the podcast for this December column and my discussion with host Frank Rachow. I’m at the 24.48 mark in the show.

Here’s the shortlist of the things I think the food lovers on your list will enjoy as follows:

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