Category Archives: Heritage cooking skills

Preserving family recipes – my July @AlbertaatNoon podcast

I love to cook with my Mom Gerri - the expert pie maker in our family. How about you? Who makes your favourite family recipe? - photo - Karen Anderson

I love to cook with my Mom Gerri – the expert pie maker in our family. How about you? Who makes your favourite family recipe? – photo – Karen Anderson

Thanks to all the CBC Radio One listeners who called, emailed and tweeted to Alberta at Noon today to join the conversation on ways of Preserving Family Recipes. Here’s the podcast from the show. I’m on at the 24 minute mark.

I hope you’ll be inspired to record your own family’s recipes while you’ve still got a mentor to share them with you. Or – maybe it’s up to you to share your own recipes with the future generations of your family. Preserving family recipes is an important way to preserve our heritage.

Besides, cooking with a great recipe comes with a built-in reward – great food to help us savour it all.

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Preserving recipes – Preserving heritage – My July column for @AlbertaatNoon

Shish Kebabs with Cucumber Raita from A Spicy Touch: Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji's Kitchen by Noorbanu Nimji and Karen Anderson - photo - Karen Anderson

Shish Kebabs with Cucumber Raita from A Spicy Touch: Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen by Noorbanu Nimji and Karen Anderson photo – Karen Anderson

Summer is a time for family fun and family gatherings. Every family has a few recipes that everyone looks forward to. Whether it’s your great aunt’s hand pinched pirohy’s or your uncle’s smoked brisket – these are the foods that come loaded with great taste and great memories.

This post is about ways to preserve your family’s taste treasury. I’ll also share a bit about a big project I’ve been working on with my Indian cooking mentor – Noorbanu Nimji. Noorbanu is responsible for preserving not only her own family’s recipes but also – the recipes of a whole culture’s cuisine.

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Join some Monday baking madness with @duchessbakeshop in Calgary @cookbookcooks at 6:30pm tonight

The organizers of this lovely event tell me that Duchess Bakeshop owner, Giselle Courteau and her team, have baked lots of treats so pop by tonight on your way home from work or take a break from home and come in for some freshly made goodies and freshly shaken cocktails from Calgary’s newest cocktail bar Proof.
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#Foraging and the morel of the story – my latest @CityPalate feature article

morel mushrooms - photo - Karen Anderson

morel mushrooms – photo – Karen Anderson

I love the chance to spend time in nature and living in Alberta, Canada gives me great opportunities to do so. I love hiking in The Rocky Mountains, cycling, skiing or sometimes just getting in a raft and floating down the big wide Bow River.

Eventually, all that time in nature makes me hungry though and that’s when it’s good to spend a little of my time in the great outdoors with a cadre of culinary instructors from SAIT Polytechnic’s School of Hospitality and Tourism. Once a year we go on a hike that turns into an episode of Bounty Hunter. The bounty in this case is food and the hunting is part of the gathering we do on their annual foraging day in the foothills of The Rocky Mountains.

You might be a confirmed “urban forager” but in case you’d like to take a walk on the wild side of food read on…
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Food news #Calgary #Canada – famous @BestofBridge brand has new cards up their sleeves

Shuffling the deck for new winning hand of Best of Bridge - LtoR - Mary Halpen, Sue Duncan, Val Robinson, Helen Miles, Joan Wilson, Elizabeth Chorney-Booth and Julie Van Rosendaal - photo - Karen Anderson

Shuffling the deck for new winning hand of Best of Bridge – LtoR – Mary Halpen, Sue Duncan, Val Robinson, Helen Miles, Joan Wilson, Elizabeth Chorney-Booth and Julie Van Rosendaal – photo – Karen Anderson

Publishers Robert Rose held a quiet dinner at Rouge Restaurant in Calgary last night to make the announcement that the iconic Canadian cookbook brand Best of Bridge would be shuffling their deck of authors. Calgary Herald reporter Gwendolyn Richards broke the news in an exclusive interview.

Winners of a contest that asked for favourite recipes and stories about Best of Bridge were invited to the dinner under the guise of celebrating an intimate “retro evening” with the four remaining original authors – Mary Halpen, Val Robinson, Helen Miles and Joan Wilson. I was one of the fortunate winners.

I entered the contest because I am a long-time fan of the success of the eight (now four) Calgary stay-at-home Moms and savvy entrepreneurs.  They were everything I hoped they would be – happy, passionate, completely loyal and fond of each other, funny (just like their famous one-liners) and great businesswomen.

Here’s a bit more about them and the new plans for Best of Bridge with Julie Van Rosendaal, Sue Duncan and Elizabeth Chorney-Booth.

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The Gastronomic Meal of the French – #recipes from my friends @SucculentParis

My friends at Succulent Paris enjoying the treats I brought them from Alberta - photo - Kim Irving

My friends at Succulent Paris enjoying the treats I brought them from Alberta – photo – Kim Irving


My friends Marion Willard and Aurélie Mahoudeau of Succulent Paris food tours are wonderful cooks who love to share their passion with visitors to their city. This post will highlight a day where I booked them for a private gourmet tour. We met for coffee, shopped on Rue de Levis near their home and then prepared a seasonal multi-course gastronomic meal.

Cooking with Willard and Mahoudeau is a joyous occasion. Sitting down and sharing a meal together even more so. I hope that you’ll see that in the photos I’ll share here and that you’ll try some of the recipes as well. If they all seem a bit too much skip ahead to the next post where I share a ridiculously easy and fun Mug Cake that anyone can make and enjoy. It’s all good.

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The Gastronomic Meal of the French – a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Value and my CBC @AlbertaatNoon food column for May

I’m just back from Paris.

I had the opportunity during my visit to spend a day shopping and cooking a multi-course French meal with my friends Marion Willard and Aurélie Mahoudeau of Succulent Paris. For my Parisian friends, this is a daily occurrence. They have culinary skills that have been passed down through the generations of their families. They learned to cook both at extensive family gatherings and in the day-to-day preparation of meals with their parents. They enjoy shopping daily for what is fresh and in season and they use their culinary skills to pull together meals to celebrate those ingredients.

While this is la vie quotidienne (daily life) for my two friends in the food business, cooking a multi-course meal is no longer taken for granted by French families. Families in France also have two partners working outside the home, just like other families around the world, and here in Alberta. This means that their children and ours have less access to cooking mentors than previous generations.

The French government nominated The Gastronomic Meal to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage values in 2008 (it was accepted in 2010) in an effort to preserve its essence – taking time to care and enjoy family and life through gathering at the table to share a thoughtfully prepared meal. The traditional preparation of Kimchi in Korea is currently being considered for UNESCO’s list and Japanese and traditional Mexican cuisine have also already been accepted to the list.

The French realize future generations will need help to sustain this part of their culture due to the evolution of modern family life so they are working with UNESCO to save this intangible part of their heritage. As children’s health advocate Jamie Oliver puts forth in his Food Day Revolution, the life skill of cooking is necessary to the health of future generations. Suddenly, the intangible values surrounding a culture’s way of eating become very tangible supports for a healthy lifestyle when their manifestation has this outcome.

This post will talk a bit more about what’s involved in The Gastronomic Meal of the French and how the values it embodies translate to resilience needed for daily life.

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