Category Archives: Savour life

W5 – a series of questions about @cookitraw #rawAlberta @albertaculinary – Let’s start with “WHAT” is Cook it Raw?

If you have no idea WHAT Cook it Raw is, this blog post is for you.

Watching the video above is a great place to start learning about Cook it Raw. Check it out and see if, while you’re learning about WHAT Cook it Raw is, you can also find seven Alberta food products that you might be quite familiar with but that the rest of the world might know very little about. That’s a pretty big hint about the answer to WHAT this is all about, by the way.

Don’t have time to watch the gorgeous video by Edmonton cinematographer Kevin Kossowan? Nah – go back and watch it. It’ll make you want to get on a plane to Lac LaBiche, Alberta – even if you have no idea where in the world that is. Hey, wait, that’s another clue to WHAT Cook it Raw is all about! Let’s cut to the chase.

Cook it Raw is a group of local and internationally-renowned chefs who gather to discover and articulate the essence of diverse and emerging culinary locations throughout the world. They are just winding up six months of intensive work in Alberta this very week. This is only the ninth time there’s been such a gathering since the inception of the program in 2009.

To learn more, read on and as an incentive to do so, I’ll give you the answer to exactly WHAT the seven truly Albertan ingredients are at the end of this post.

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Filed under Alberta at Noon, Great ingredients, Heritage cooking skills, Savour food, Savour life, Time in Nature, Travel

Art Installation #14 – @BlueRodeo #StealingDreams – #art speaks #politics – VOTE

After almost a decade of Stephen Harper as Prime Minister of Canada, I’m tired of secrets so I’ll not keep it a secret that I won’t be voting for his party in the October 19 election.

Why? Watch the video by Blue Rodeo above.

Muzzling scientists? Getting rid of research institutions that were self-financed by the industries they researched? Destroying freedom of speech? Lying and cheating and insulting Canada’s collective intelligence by thinking we don’t care or NOTICE politicians who lie and cheat? Denying that 1200 aboriginal women being abducted and murdered is not a massive human rights and societal issue? Dismantling a national public radio service and news broadcaster to the point where reporters are capturing content on their iPhones? Not spending the allotted money for social programs that could prevent poverty while watching food bank use rise by 30%?

I rest my case and I hope Stephen Harper will be resting his briefcase somewhere else October 20th.

Please Vote and let the world know this is not our CANADA! If he wins, I’m going to need grief counselling for I will have suffered the loss of my country as I’ve always known and loved it.


Filed under Art Installation, Grief, Savour life

A note from @jamieoliver regarding a #FoodRevolution for #ChildrensHealth

A Letter from Jamie Oliver (reprinted with his permission)

Sign the petition

As you may know, recently I launched a global petition to fight for compulsory, practical food education for all children in schools across the world. Within a month, we had well over 700,000 signatures but now I really need your help to get more.

I profoundly believe that it is every child’s human right to have access to food education from a young age. It’s only with this knowledge and understanding of food, where it comes from, how it affects their bodies, and how to grow, cook and enjoy it, that we will be able to fix the terrible state of global health as it stands today.

To give you just one stat, according to the World Health Organization, 42 million children under the age of five were overweight or obese around the world in 2013. Under the age of five. Something is seriously wrong with our relationship with food and we need to act now before our health services around the world become overwhelmed by the effects of preventable diet-related disease.

I really need as many people as possible in every country to sign this petition and share it with their friends all over the world. With enough support, we can create a movement that’s powerful enough to force governments everywhere – including yours – to take action in the fight against diet-related diseases, and I really believe this is possible.

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Filed under Health, Heritage cooking skills, Savour food, Savour life

XYZ – an alphabet for what I hope is my mid-life in the year 2015

I'm happy with who I am at this point in my life - photo by my friend  Pauli-Ann Carriere

I’m happy with who I am at this point in my life –
photo by my friend Pauli-Ann Carriere

I’ve never believed in New Year’s resolutions but I do like to think about how I live my life each day.

I’m 53. I hope to live till I’m 100 so I’ve accepted that I am now in the middle of my life should I get my wish to live to be a centenarian.

When I was about three years old I learned my ABC’s. That’s been useful – especially as a writer – but as I toddle my way into mid-life I’ve been thinking about another use for those 26 letters. I think their convenient format can be borrowed to lend structure to this new time in my life – life beyond A is for apple, B is for boy and C for cat.

This alphabet starts at X because…

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Filed under Health, Joy, Savour life

@Soup_Sisters #TheBigStir event is coming up November 18 @cgyfarmersmarkt (cool thing #27)

I’m going to be in India from November 1 to 17. When I arrive back in Calgary I’m going to be jet-lagged from traveling – literally – half way around the world.

That’s okay. I’ve got the best cure for jet lag ever.

On November 18 I’m going to be a chef leader for #TheBigStir event. This is a very cool thing and the video above really communicates how easily I’ll find the energy to be there.

I consider it a privilege and an honour to be involved in Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers efforts to create domestic harmony and functional relationships. Besides – I’m crazy about making soup.

I’m writing this in October and #TheBigStir event is already sold out. Calgary’s incredible volunteer ethic triumphs once again. #TheBigStir event will utilize the skills of over 200 volunteers to make 2000 litres of soup for the women and families fleeing domestic abuse and currently rebuilding their lives in the eight designated shelters here in Calgary.

Read on to find out how you can support the work of Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers no matter where you live.

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Filed under Cool things, Joy, Recipes, Savour life

Sugar and our health – a little balance might be in order to keep your love alive for Valentine’s Day

Naturally occurring sugars found in fruits are not included in the sugar excess contributing to heart disease photo of local strawberries from The Jungle Farm - Karen Anderson

Naturally occurring sugars found in fruits are not included in the sugar excess contributing to heart disease
photo of local strawberries from The Jungle Farm – Karen Anderson

Yesterday I wrote a few blog posts about chocolate and some really sweet treats for Valentine’s Day. Chocolate and the sugar within it are great ingredients…in moderation.

Today, the first thing I read on the CBC news is that sugar has become an independent risk factor for Cardiovascular Death. It’s long been established that increased sugar consumption contributes empty calories to our diet and is a direct cause in the obesity and diabetes epidemic sweeping North America. Now sugar has been shown to contribute independent of obesity and diabetes to deaths from coronary artery disease.

National Geographic featured this phenomenon in the summer of 2013.

Fat vs. Sugar: Which Do We Crave More?.

Sugar–Photo Gallery.

It’s not just because excess sugar consumption causes obesity and diabetes, there’s something about the effect of excess sugar alone causing the increase in these deaths.

Seems like perfect timing for a short but sweet (couldn’t hep the pun, I mean, this is serious but I refuse to lose my sense of humour) note on balancing what we eat. After all we want to live long and savour it all – as goes the credo of my blog.

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Filed under Great ingredients, Health, Savour life

Art installation #2 – seeing the #yycflood through the eyes of Kate Sara Bennie and a really good gift for @nenshi

"Summer 2013- Flood; Consume" acrylic on canvas by Kate Sara Bennie from the artist's website - used with permission

“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.

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Filed under Art Installation, Savour life