Keep your chin up – a tribute to my father

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Dad posing in front of the Acadia – Halifax harbour, 2014

My father, Reginald Keith Robicheau, died last night. He was 79 years old. I cannot make it to his funeral. I will use this space to pay a tribute to his life. I loved him dearly and he was a wonderful Dad to me but I said my good-byes to him while he was alive. When you live so far from home, this is part of the deal.  It’s hard but I’d rather focus on savouring all he gave me.

There are two great lessons he taught me. They are things that he always said to me and my brother Keith and sisters, Susan and Laurie.

“Keep your chin up” – was what he said when he wanted to encourage us. And, “Where’s your common sense?” – came out when he wanted us to question our own behaviour.  Continue reading

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Roast and boast but don’t forget the side action this Thanksgiving

Curried Apple and Celery Salad, Savour it All blog, Karen Anderson

Curried Apple and Celery Salad – photo by Karen Anderson

The frosty mornings have begun in earnest where I live. With each silver plated morning, the leaves on the apple tree outside my kitchen window turn a little more golden. The apples have gone from shades of magenta to crimson rubies.

How can we not be inspired to cook with these darlings of the season? They will keep the doctor away if we will only eat one per day. They will stay true while other fruits fade away like a summer romance. They were juicy while they lasted, but nowhere to be found now. Apples have a place in the crisper from now until their last crunch in late spring.

I’ve blogged about Thanksgiving turkey dinner. I’ve blogged about Thanksgiving sides. This quick apple recipe is a favourite because it is made with ingredients you almost always have on hand. It’ll be amongst the sides on my table next weekend. I’m grateful for another year of good health, another chance to give thanks for the food on my table and especially to give thanks for the the farmers who grew it. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving 2017. Continue reading

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Women Chefs and Restaurateurs – Saturday, September 16 in Calgary. Got tickets?

WCR logo 2017 Canada (1)

Whether you just need a little battery charge or a bonfire under your butt – The WCR – Women Chefs and Restaurateurs conference could light the inspirational spark you seek.

I attended two years ago here in Calgary and enjoyed the camaraderie and humour. Turns out women that excel in hugely demanding food enterprises are funny as H – E – double hockey sticks – on top of all their other talents.

This year’s symposium features a woman I’ve wanted to meet for a very long time – Meeru Dhalwala. Meeru is Vikram Vij’s former life partner and enduring business partner. While Vikram is the best “front of house” restaurateur I’ve ever met, I suspect she’s the reason their restaurant kitchens are filled with women dedicatedly making their incredibly delicious food.

I’ll also enjoy the vivacious Elizabeth Faulkner and my friend, Italian winemaker, Angela Maculan. Hometown favourites Liana Robberecht and Top Chef Canada all-star Nicole Gomes will be there. Tickets are $225.– at women chefs.org/calgary-2017

See you there. These people with purpose and passion really know how to savour it all.

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Rootstock 2017 – This Saturday, August 26 at Flintrock Ranch

Rootstock Alberta organizer Kimberley Cornish says, “Proceeds from this fundraiser further the work of Food Water Wellness in advancing the practice of regenerative agriculture that nurtures a robust ecosystem and healthy soil.” Cornish who is the director of the  Food Water Wellness Foundation is leading this third annual Rootstock to support work being done, “to create an artificial intelligence tool that helps both farmers and researchers understand how soil can potentially be used to reverse climate change, increase biodiversity, mitigate both drought and flood and, most importantly, produce healthy food.”

Watch the video above to learn more about the work this event supports and read on for a sneak peak at this year’s event at Flintrock Ranch in Cowley, Alberta. Continue reading

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An invitation to my 2018 India trip – Delhi, Rajasthan, Agra and Kolkata

The Taj – photo – Karen Anderson

I’ve been fascinated with India and Indian cooking for a very long time. My mentor Noorbanu Nimji and I published A Spicy Touch – Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen in December of 2015 but we’ve done tours and taught Indian cooking together in Calgary since about 2007. In 2011, because I am also founder and owner of Alberta Food Tours, Inc., I was asked to lead tours to India and have been happily doing so since 2012 thanks to my partnership with Indus Travels.

My 2017 trip has been sold out for some time so I’m happy to announce my plans for  India 2018. Click on the link for the full itinerary. The synopsis follows along with some photos from past trips to whet your appetite. Continue reading

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Corn Chowder and Buttermilk Biscuits 101 – a cooking lesson with my friend Lisa Neiles

Baking Powder Biscuit recipe on Savour it All blog

We bond with friends for different reasons. With my friend Lisa Neiles, we have several ties that bind us.

We are both Maritimers and we both love to cook. Add in that we have children the same age and husbands that work long hours, and you’ve got a solid friendship – even if we don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like. When we do get together, it is relaxing and fun. We chat about “home”, kids, hubbies, travel and we share recipes and a good meal.

This post brings you along for some corn chowder and biscuit making in the kitchen with two friends. Continue reading

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#notinmycity – raising awareness of human trafficking – it’s time to abolish modern day slavery

#notinmycitycampaign to end human slavery and human trafficking mounted by singer Paul Brandt and designer Paul Hardy in Calgary

Tonight, on a perfectly calm and warm summer evening I stood at the confluence of the Elbow and Bow rivers, surrounded by roses, in the garden of Deane House restaurant in Calgary. I sipped an Italian rosé wine and ate halibut cakes, duck arancini, cured salmon and seared ahi tuna. My loving husband of 27 years stood  beside me. Sounds ideal, except for a knot in the pit of my stomach.

Why the knot? Despite, the glorious day and the chance to catch up with a few caring friends, we were actually there to learn more about a grotesque subject – the fact that human slavery which is also know as human trafficking exists in our city and our country.

According to the Criminal Code of Canada, trafficking in persons occurs when “someone recruits, transports, transfers, receives, holds, conceals or harbours a person, or exercises control, direction or influence over the movements of a person for the purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation (Criminal Code of Canada 2015).

This is modern day slavery. It is time to abolish it but that can only happen if more Canadians become aware that it is happening right here in our cities, our provinces, our blessed country. Tonight Calgarians, Paul Brandt and Paul Hardy launched their #notinmycity campaign to tackle this subject and raise money for both the Sheldon Kennedy Centre for Child Advocacy and the Joy Smith Foundation. Continue reading

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