“Summer 2013- Flood; Consume”
acrylic on canvas by Kate Sara Bennie
from the artist’s website – used with permission
My friend Kate Sara Bennie works at the Tea Trader shop in the Inglewood neighbourhood of Calgary. She’s an artist. She works enough to pay her rent and feed herself but otherwise protects her time to paint and to just be still. Being still lets daydreams and flashes of places distill within in her – which of course, often leads to more painting.
In this installation I’ll talk a bit about Bennie and the story behind the painting above.
Tracey Aubin of Terra Farms talks to guests and me (in red at back) about growing fresh herbs and how they help us savour our food
photo credit and thanks to- Leilani Olynik of Calgary Farmer’s Market
Calgary restaurant scene impresses foodies on tour.
I’m very grateful that my small business, Calgary Food Tours Inc. was mentioned in this article by The Edmonton Journal‘s Liane Faulder. This was a very cool thing for me today and showed me the power of encouraging words.
The Sides Show – a disappearing act
photo – Karen Anderson
This week we called my food column for Alberta at Noon on CBC Radio One, “the sides show”. Turkey dinner is on the short list for my last meal – I love it that much.
I love the whole package: the bird, the mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and I love all the side dishes. I divide sides into the ones you must have and two, the ones you can play around with.
My family has certain things they HAVE TO HAVE. Fair enough; I make them. But, as someone whose creative outlet is cooking, I also need my play time and a chance to try new things with each holiday meal.
I hope this podcast shares my enthusiasm and that you’ll try some of the recipes I shared.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. May each and every day give you a chance to savour your food and savour your life.
Freshly harvested organic barley field at Highwood Crossing Farm
photo – Karen Anderson
Highwood Crossing Farm has been in Tony Marshall’s family for almost 120 years now. The farm is in Aldersyde, Alberta and hugs a curve in the Highwood River. It’s as though the land of the farm and the flow of the river are two lovers spooning. Most of the time, life is that peaceful and serene there.
In June of this year that was definitely not the case. That’s when we Albertans dealt with The Great Alberta Flood of 2013 and Tony and Penny Marshall of Highwood Crossing saw their Highwood Crossing Foods Ltd. processing plant in High River swallowed up by the river. To add insult to injury the basement of their beloved and beautiful home on the family homestead was also devastated. As always, they looked around and thought – things could be worse. They regrouped and are slowly rebuilding as they can. Before long Tony was making a joke that with all that flour and water in High River it was a good thing they did not also make yeast. High River would have had another mess on their hands the likes of a Ghostbusters movie.
This blog will talk about the Highwood Crossing organic grain farm, the products they produce and what’s involved in that process and then finish with a few of Penny Marshall’s delectable recipes. I’ve had the delight of trying these good things and enjoyed them so much I’m confident you will too.
Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park
Mt. Assiniboine Lodge opened in 1928. It was the first ski-touring lodge in North America. It seems that the people who have worked there have fallen so deeply in love with it that they have spent most of their lives devoted to it.
This blog will give some of the history, talk about current and past owners and use pictures to show you what a few days of living and hiking at the lodge is like. I’ve described the wildflowers food and and some recipes in other posts. I hope you will explore those as well.
relaxing with a cool drink on the porch of Mt. Assiniboine Lodge
photo – Karen Anderson
I’m just back from a luxurious 2 day trip to Mt. Assiniboine Lodge. I’ve stayed at Skoki Lodge in winter three times. I’ve camped at Lake O’Hara in summer and skied into the ACC Elizabeth Parker Hut there in winter.
Time in nature, whether in a tent or in a comfy bed with a cozy duvet – it’s all good and it always helps me savour my life. I hope this post with a long list of lodges and huts (in every price range) will be of use to you as you explore what helps you savour your own life.
photo – Karen Anderson
I am passionate about spending time in nature because I find it one of the easiest ways to live in the moment and savour my life in the now. I’m all-absorbed by the natural beauty of my province Alberta. Every where I look there is something magnificent.
This week I fulfilled a life-long dream of going to Mt. Assiniboine. This is a mountain which sits on the continental divide and the border of British Columbia and Alberta. There are no roads. It is only accessible via a 27 kilometer hike (which was closed due to a recent massive flood in Alberta) or a seven minute helicopter flight. I got to fly in. What a thrill.
In this post I’ll talk a bit about why Assiniboine is such a special place and then I’ll focus on some of the area’s more subtle beauty – the wildflowers of this undisturbed part of Canadian wilderness – and the power they have to help us savour our lives.
I love these videos that Travel Alberta makes. They remind me of what I love most about living in Alberta – time in nature.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m loving life in my city this week. I’m experiencing all the hustle and bustle of the Calgary Stampede this week. I’m really proud of the hospitality our city displays not only at Stampede but always. It’s a great place to live all year but this is when we really kick back and have a good time.
But next week…I’m going in to Mount Assiniboine next week to spend a little quiet time up closer to the sky.
We are blessed to have many amazing choices to help us savour each day of our lives in Alberta. All we have to do is “remember to breathe”.
Cattle are meant to roam and graze. Cattle are not meant to be “centralized in animal feeding operations”. They are meant to eat grass. They are healthy when they eat grass. They can contribute to the health of our grasslands if they are rotated and managed well. Here’s a brief video explaining this further.
Here’s another video where Alberta rancher Tim Hoven talks about the carbon sequestering properties of well-managed grasslands.
Here’s a final video which explains how returning animals to grasslands, managing their grazing to mimic how it would be if predators were present can return areas from desertification to lush healthy grasslands that because of their carbon storage and contribution to the water table could reverse global warming.
So, are you surprised that cattle could actually increase the health of grasslands and help decrease global warming?
Thursday June 20 – 2013
Elbow River near Hwy 8 and 22 at Bragg Creek roundabout
photo – Cole Anderson
When the going gets tough, cooks get cooking.
This past week my city, Calgary, Alberta, had the worst flood in its 129 year history. My husband and son mopped, shoveled and dragged mud, drywall and the remnants of our friends lives, now rubbish, from their homes. It was dirty, stinky, nasty, gut-wrenching and emotional work. Where was I, you might ask? I was where you can always find me when the going gets tough – in my kitchen.
Disasters are extreme. I did an extreme amount of cooking this week to match. I’ve been cooking a long time. I have developed a repertoire of recipes that I’ve made time and time again when people I love are under duress. I make these recipes in particular because they are the ones I nearly always have the ingredients on hand for. They are also the ones that people tell me that they enjoyed the most and that stood out for them. People ask me for these recipes once they’ve tried them. They are practical but seem to have just the right amount of deliciousness in them to show the care I’m wanting to transmit. I’ll share those recipes here and perhaps they’ll become something you can add to your repertoire for when you have friends in need.