Definitely homemade – Aunt Muriel’s Farmhouse Carrot Cake – photo – Karen Anderson
When I was a little girl I loved to visit my great Aunt Muriel.
She lived in a big old farmhouse high on a hill overlooking the St. Croix River near my hometown of St. Andrews, New Brunswick. I remember her huge vegetable garden and a tire swing hanging from the bowed branches of an old willow tree across the yard from the creaky screen door of her kitchen. She used to make this carrot cake for my cousin Debbie’s birthday party each year and when I moved away to college I asked her for the recipe as it was definitely my favourite cake growing up.
I’ve lived in Alberta 30 years now and I know many of the farmers that grow my food. Now when I make Aunty M’s cake I use as many things from their farms as I can. I know she would’ve loved the golden hue and rich flavour of the organic canola oil I can source here. She farmed organically because that’s just how you did things.
Once in awhile when I’m on a farm in Alberta, I’ll catch sight of a tire swing hanging from a tree and my mind will race back in time to meet a little girl swinging with all her heart – her cotton dress fluttering and flying up around her. She’s laughing and throwing her head back to catch the rays of the sun as a warm summer breeze rustles the soft leaves of the giant old willow above.
Twirling, twirling, twirling – today I iced my cake with swirls and twirls and remembered again the joy of time on a family farm.
Read on for my Aunt Muriel’s carrot cake recipe. I’ve noted all the farms I was able to support in the making of the beautiful cake. It’s my small way to toast a farmer – the social media theme for the World Food Day – and the International Year of the Family Farm. Enjoy.
paella on my plate
photo – Karen Anderson
I’m just back from Spain. It was my first time there and the whole time I explored my new surroundings Elton John’s song Daniel kept playing in my mind. I’d find myself humming it or singing a few lines…
Daniel is flying tonight on a plane
I can see the red tail lights heading to Spain
(and a bit further on)
They say Spain is pretty though I’ve never been
Daniel says it’s the best place he’s ever seen
and he should know he’s been there enough…
Spain is pretty and its filled with justifiably proud people and that very wonderfully (when it’s done right) ubiquitous dish called paella.
This post will tell the story of my chance to cook paella in San Sebastian with a Basque country native. Keep reading and I’ll share his great recipe with you.
I love my company Calgary Food Tours Inc. and all the fun people I get to work with. Cheers to them for making our company a world class one!
photo – Cole Anderson
Cool thing #23 – Calgary Food Tours is featured in Avenue Magazine
5 Great Calgary Food Tours.
Thanks to Calgary’s Avenue Magazine Executive Editor Jennifer Hamilton for so clearing capturing and highlighting my company Calgary Food Tours Inc in the article above.
Yes, it’s true. When I’m not writing, I’m out on the streets of Calgary leading food tours. The tours are amazing because of the depth of Calgary’s food scene and the terrific partners we choose to showcase. Yet many people still don’t know what a food tour is or what we do.
Read on for a photo journey that will help you see why food tours are quickly becoming the number one attraction in cities around the globe.
Chocolate is a great ingredient. You can eat it on its own and savour every morsel or you can add it to your baking for a loving touch everyone will appreciate.
For my Alberta at Noon Column this month I talked about bean to bar chocolate-made-from-scratch and a company called Choklat. Their’s is the kind of chocolate I eat straight up oe in the over 1000 kinds of truffles they make on site or melted in the cascading bliss of a chocolate fountain fondue for two. I want to savour every last gram of this expensive but exquisite chocolate.
This post will highlight a few recipes that do not call for such expensive and distinct chocolate. Single estate chocolate would be wasted in baking that calls for the alchemy of many ingredients combining to create something new and fabulous as a whole. I hope you’ll read on and see what treats I have in store for you.
Travelling is a great way to Savour it All
Today on Alberta at Noon I talked about a few recipes from my recent trip to Rajasthan, India. You can listen to that broadcast here. I’m on between the 28:10 to 34:10 marks in the show.
In my column today I talked about the colours of Rajasthan. I tried to convey in words on the radio a few of the images that have stuck in mind. I did not end up feeling that my brief words did this justice so I’ve put together a slide show so you can really begin to see why colour is such a phenomenon in this arid North Indian desert state.
Lal Moss and complementary vegetables and chapati
A lovely lunch at Rohet Garh in Rajasthan, India
photo – Karen Anderson
This week on Alberta at Noon I’m going to talk about my most recent culinary expedition to India. In November I took 21 guests to explore the food and culture of the capital region of Delhi and two of India’s Northern States: Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
I especially loved Rajasthan which is renowned as the land of colours.
The colours dazzle against the backdrop of landscape’s sandy hues. The tropically hued fuchsia and tangerine saris of the women flow like nectar giving our eyes, like hummingbirds to the flower, a little relief from the neutral tones which though soothing do not tend to be as life-giving. The colours of Rajasthan light up like match tips in the equally bright turbans of the men which change from village to village, occupation to occupation, and perhaps signal that molds that castes were made of are hard to shatter. You see a rainbow of colour in the food markets that materialize on street corners just as the evening meal must be shopped for and of course those were my favourite colours of all: the aubergine and bright green of indigenous eggplants, the scarlet of tomatoes and the muted tones of neatly bundles onions, herbs and India’s own culinary gems; her spices.
The people of Rajasthan truly manifest their culture’s belief that “Guests are Gods”. My business partners at Indus Travels and Hi Tours of India live and breathe this philosophy in every action they take for me and my guests on my annual odyssey to their homeland. They have become my second family and even though we are half a world away for 50 weeks each year I hold them dear and look forward to our yearly fortnight reunion.
This post will share a few of the many recipes that the expert cooks I met in Rajasthan so generously shared with me. I thought they might be just the thing to help us savour it all on cold Canadian January days when we might not otherwise feel quite up to the task.
I wrapped up a basket of biscotti for my colleagues at the CBC today. They work hard all year to entertain and inform us. It’s fun to treat them to some Christmas Cheer.
photo – Karen Anderson
Today on CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon I presented some fun gift ideas for the food lovers on your shopping list. Here’s the podcast for this December column and my discussion with host Frank Rachow. I’m at the 24.48 mark in the show.
Here’s the shortlist of the things I think the food lovers on your list will enjoy as follows: