Category Archives: Alberta at Noon

Cool thing #30 – Grocery delivery research “drones on” – via @guardian

All of this could be just a drone away - photo - Karen Anderson

All of this could be just a drone away – photo – Karen Anderson

I recently wrote about Corner Grocers and some other grocery shopping trends for CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon. I talked about the money Amazon is spending on research to make home delivery – by small aircraft drones – of groceries (and many other items under five pounds – which is 86% of their business) a reality. Some of you might have thought that was a little far-fetched but it turns out that strides they are making towards turning this into a reality are happening very close to home.

As this article from The Guardian describes, Amazon is testing its delivery drones in our own backyard in beautiful British Columbia. Alberta has set aside 700 nautical square miles for testing drones beyond visual capacity. According to The Guardian, Amazon believes that ultimately drones will be faster, safer and more environmentally and economically friendly.

I usually tune out when someone “drones on” but this trend has me riveted. I’ll always want to visit farmers’ markets for my fresh groceries for the love of the community that comes with that type of shopping but I’d be quite happy for my toilet paper to fly the friendly Canadian skies and be delivered to my front door. My bottom and my bottom line will both be happier with less time in the car and the big box stores.

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Recipes for Easter and a menu for Passover – my @AlbertaatNoon column for April

Crown Rib Roast of Pork - photo - Karen Anderson

Crown Rib Roast of Pork – photo – Karen Anderson

It is both Passover and Easter this weekend. May everyone have a peaceful weekend and enjoy sharing the warmth of community and great food together.

I’m going to refer our Jewish friends looking for great recipes to this Saveur article with a beautiful Passover Menu (not something I’d want to get wrong). And for those that can enjoy pork and non-Kosher eating, I’ve got an Easter Refresh Menu for you.

Hamming it up at Easter is delicious but a little predictable. If you’d like to change things up try frying a few slices of ham steak for your Easter brunch – with a side of chocolate eggs fresh from the annual hunt – and enjoy this special occasion Crown Rib Roast of Pork for the big feast.

I’ve attended several Long Table Dinners over the last few years in Alberta and the Easter Menu that follows is inspired by the great tasting food I’ve been served.

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#LongTableDinners – my @AlbertaatNoon column for April

the table is set for a season of long table dinners - photo - Karen Anderson

the table is set for a season of long table dinners – photo – Karen Anderson

The Guinness World Record for the longest of long table dinners is 1.286 kilometres.

The record was set in August of 2014 in Finland where the long table dinner was measured with three decimal precision to eek out Spain’s record of 1.258 kilometres. This record has toppled more than once in the last few years proving that long table dinners are “a thing”. But are they truly a new phenomenon or are they an exaggeration of an age old tradition?

This post will look at this trend in dining and the list of long tables setting up for an exciting season of outdoor dining in Alberta this year. Check out a holiday menu inspired by this phenomenon here.

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My @AlbertaatNoon podcast on Corner Grocers and food shopping #trends

CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon host Donna McElligott and I had a lot of fun reminiscing about Corner Grocers today. Catch the podcast and let me know if you have access to a great up and coming corner grocer or small general store in your area. I’d love to hear about it.

I’ve always felt I was born to GROCERY shop. It’s my favourite thing to do. I’m just a little picky about where I do it. That’s the key to making it fun. Check out my visit to three fun Corner Grocers and the recipes they inspired when you get the chance.

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Corner Grocer Goodies inspire a whole menu of recipes for my @AlbertaatNoon column – March 2015

Waldorf Astoria Cake Revival - photo - Karen Anderson

Waldorf Astoria Cake Revival – photo – Karen Anderson

I got so inspired by the quality of ingredients I found at three corner grocers in Calgary today that I came home and made a fennel salad with blood oranges, avocado and shrimp; a star anise and shitake mushroom short rib slow cooked stew and – the piece de resistance – a beloved old recipe for Waldorf Astoria Mocha Cake. I think this would be a great make-ahead meal for entertaining.

Read on for the recipes and photos.

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Corner Store Revival – my March column for @AlbertaatNoon

Corner Grocer Goodies - photo - Karen Anderson

Corner Grocer Goodies – photo – Karen Anderson

Loblaws, Canada’s largest grocer, announced this week that they will add 50 stores and spend $1.2 billion on expanding their network and distribution. Walmart echoed this push announcing $300 million in expansion. Big chains are getting bigger. That is not a story.

The stories in the grocery world right now, for me, are two trends I’ve been watching.

One is happening in a big way south of the border with Amazon dot com. They’ve been a distributor of all things since the 90s and 15,000 dry good groceries for a good part of that. Now, in their home base of Seattle and Los Angeles, if you join Amazon Fresh and pay a fee of about 200 dollars a year, you can order online from a wide variety of grocers and specialty stores for home delivery. As you long as you order by 11 p.m. – for most items – that which you desire will arrive on your doorstep by 6 a.m. the next morning. No wonder Loblaws are looking into e-commerce to broaden their distribution. They might be looking at some very empty big boxes of stores if this catches on in Canada. They’ll have to go some to catch Amazon who’ve been doing e-everything since the 90s and who just spent $750 million on their inventory robotics systems. Now that is a big story but it’s not the one I’m going to focus on.

The trend I’m going to focus on is the opposite of big. It’s small in every way. It’s the revival of the corner grocer.

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CocoLoco – why coconut intake continues to snowball – my @AlbertaatNoon column for December


Today on CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon I talked about why the world’s gone loco for coconut and some ideas for using coconut in your holiday baking. The recipes can be found here and the podcast here. I’m on at the 17:44 mark in the show.

Read on for a little more background on coconut’s popularity around the globe.

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Filed under Alberta at Noon, Great ingredients, Health, Savour food