Tag Archives: eating local

If you like #LocalFood #LocalFarms and #FarmersMarkets then you’ll love finding your #SoilMate

Watch the video above to learn about this new agri-enterprise that has the potential to change the way we source our food.

Recommend your favourite farms, farmer’s markets and wineries/meaderies. Spread the word, like farmer’s spread manure.

Let’s see all our soil mates get listed and help get this great seed of an idea growing at the same time.

Local food, farms and farmer’s markets help us savour it all.

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Savour food – @LisaMonforton’s Taste Alberta article: Close-to-home-grown goodness

Broxburn tomatoes from Lethbridge are one of the local items on the menu at Geoff Roger's Market Restaurant on 17 Ave in Calgary - Photo credit Karen Anderson

Broxburn tomatoes from Lethbridge are one of the local items on the menu at Geoff Roger’s Market Restaurant on 17 Ave in Calgary – Photo credit Karen Anderson

Taste Alberta: Close-to-home-grown goodness.

I like to read Taste Alberta in the Calgary Herald every Wednesday. The focus is on Alberta food producers and processors and today writer Lisa Monforton gave several tips for getting more regionally produced foods on your plate. I always learn something from Monforton. Because I don’t watch TV, I didn’t realize Shaw TV has a daily feature called Farm Fresh Everyday. You can see the farms they’ve featured thus far here. I’ll be happy when they post the videos on the web. That would greatly increase my chances of ever seeing them.

Another initiative Monforton describes to help consumers identify local products is the use of bright orange stickers to flag and score local products on grocery store shelves. The program is called “Localize”. You can learn more about that program here. Adding the score is interesting. It does add another layer of the transparency in food production most of us are now craving.

I’ll be sharing some of my ideas about how to Eat Locally at the Southwood branch of the Calgary Public Library on Wednesday, June 5, 7 – 8:30 p.m. I enjoy the chance to meet people who are interested in this topic. I encourage them to be thoughtful in their choices. Afterall, being mindful is one the ways we can savour our food.

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Savour food – The City Palate Summer Tootle to Southern Alberta Farms

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Saturday, August 20th was a big Alberta blue sky day with not a breath of wind to disturb it. A perfect day to take a bus load of city folk out to meet farm folk.
Our first stop was http://www.aspencrossing.com where owners Donna Biggar and Jason Thornhill showed us their Pullman Dining Car, kitchen garden, greenhouse and gift shop. They also treated the group to fresh coffee and homemade field berry muffins and cinnamon buns. Aspen Crossing’s dinner theatre offerings for the fall season interested many Tootlers and we all found the plans for expansion which include renovating a 100 year old prairie homesteaders “mansion” into a coffee house very exciting.
Next up was http://www.broekporkacres.com where we found Berkshire hogs happily rooting in pastures under the hot midday sun. We dined al fresco in the shade on Joanne Vanden Broek’s Pulled Pork on crusty buns along with the Bronco Buckin’ Coleslaw (it kicks Pork Butt), fresh fruit, lemon and blueberry slice, http://www.wildrosebrewery.com beer and Zora’s lemonade.
The final stop was http://www.broxburn-vegetables.com just outside of Lethbridge, AB. Paul de Jonge showed the guests around his impressive 8 acres of greenhouses and fields. Everyone loved eating strawberries in the field as they were still warm and juicy from the sun. Hilda de Jonge and the staff of Broxburn Cafe were busy cooking up a huge array of vegetable goodness for us. We started with the cafe’s signature Red pepper soup and crudite, and had a potatoe trio with fixings, broccoli salad, bean salad and fresh green salad. This all went wonderfully with the Big D’s smoked side Broek Pork ribs we brought along (Derek Davies of Big D’s in the Calgary Farmer’s Market kindly smoked the ribs for us). Wines were provided by The Organic Wine Connection and we topped off the day with Broxberry Pie and coffee for the busride back home.
What follows are a couple of the recipes that made our food so enjoyable. Recipes, like the good times we had, are for sharing.
Cheers, Karen

Ingrid’s Blueberry Squares
Notes to the cook
I have substituted other berries and even peaches and this still turns out well.
Ingredients
2 cups flour
Pinch of salt
½ cup sugar
Enough berries to cover the crust in a single layer (about 2 cups)
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp flour
2 eggs (beaten)
2 T melted butter
1 cup coconut
Method
Mix the first 4 ingredients and spread evenly in 13 by 9” pan, pressing down to form a crust.
Cover the crust with the blueberries or fruit of your choice.
Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the berries and crust.
Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Karen’s Bronco Bucking Coleslaw – It Kicks Pork Butt
2 heads green cabbage, roughly chopped
3 heads red cabbage, roughly chopped
1 bag carrots, diced in food processor
2 red peppers, julienned
2 bunches green onions, sliced on diagonal
2 red onions, chopped and soaked in white vinegar
2 English cucumbers, julienned
1 bunch of cilantro chopped
1 jar Hellman’s mayo
1 cup Thai Kitchen sweet chili sauce
1 – 2 jalapenos
some of the vinegar after the red onions were drained
S&P
Method
Do all your chopping and put everything in a huge bowl
Drain the red onions and save the

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vinegar juice
Place the 2 jalapenos, jar of Hellman’s, chili sauce and about 1/4 c of the vinegar in a food processor and process until smooth adding more vinegar as necessary to achieve the consistency of dressing.
Fold into the vegetables.

Joanne Vanden Broek’s Pulled Pork
Notes to the cook – makes a lot but freezes well
12 lbs pork shoulder or butt
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c paprika
3 Tbsp black pepper
3 Tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp celery seed
1 tsp cayenne
Method
Mix the dry ingredients and rub over pork. Place in Slow cooker for 8 hours. Let sit for 15 minutes and either shred with a fork or slice thinly.

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Savour food – Green Tomatoes got you in a pickle?

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I’m going to dedicate this post to longtime clients Candy and Lucia who love to go on my farm tours and who love to garden and cook. I recently ran into them at Slow Food Calgary’s Feast of Fields and learned that due to a very slow start to our high altitude summer they have a lot of green tomatoes.
Don’t worry women. Here’s a recipe that will please the Green Tomato Goddess Divine herself. It’s called Green Tomato Chow Chow and it’s an old standard in New Brunswick. I used to watch my Mom and Dad make it every fall. She cut the tomatoes and he cut the onions. Later I joined in. We would never have a turkey dinner or tortiere at Christmas without it.
Thanks to my friends, Karen and Tony Legault of http://www.paradisehillfarm.ca for giving me a lovely 10lb box of green “Big Dina” beefsteaks for my pickling project. I promised to bring them a few jars when I take 46 folks to see their farm this weekend.
Green Tomato Chow Chow
8lbs green tomatoes
5lbs onions
salt as needed (about 1/2 cup)
10 cups brown sugar
1/2 gallon white vinegar (or just enough to cover the tomato/onion mix)
1 pkg of pickling mix tied in a cloth bag
Method
1. Slice the tomatoes and onions in rings and layer in a very large non-reactive bowl, sprinkling each layer lightly with salt.
2. Leave them overnight or for about 8 hours.
3. Drain the water that results, rinse them in cold water and drain them again.
4. Place the mix in a large pot with the sugar, enough vinegar to cover, and the spice bag.
5. Bring to a boil and then turn to simmer until the juices reduce and become a bit thick sticky (Mom’s word) and brown (about two hours)
6. Meanwhile boil the water in the canning bath
7. Transfer all the mix to awaiting sterile jars on a tray (makes about 19 cups)
8. Cover them and boil them in canning jar for 15 – 20 minutes.
9. Remove them to layered tea towels on the counter and let settle overnight. The lids should all be sucked down overnight. I love hearing that popping noise.
10. Enjoy this with a dab of greek yogurt on roasted potatoes, with tortiere, meats of all kinds but especially with a good turkey dinner.
This is the kind of pickle I like to get into. Cheers, Karen

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