South Indian toddler – photo credit- Karen Anderson
I feel privileged to travel to India every year. I felt its pull when I began practicing yoga 15 years ago. I wanted to go to the place that taught people to focus on awareness and fully living in this existence. Now that I’ve been a few times, I am increasingly drawn and look forward to each new journey’s discoveries.
So, that’s all the more reason I find it shocking when people say to me, “Why would you ever want to go to India?” Some people have indeed had poor experiences. They tell me INDIA is an acronym that stands for I‘ll Never Do It Again. I’ve learned to recover quickly and to share the reasons why I personally love it. I tell them INDIA stands for I Need to Do It Always.
I love the food, the patterns of daily life, the markets, the natural beauty and diverse landscapes, the arts and crafts, the monuments, the colours, the textiles, the exotic plant life, the cows everywhere, the ancient culture, the fascinating religions and most of all – THE PEOPLE.
I know most of you will never go to India but, if you’re at all curious, this post will give you some books and movies to explore so you can know it a bit better – from your armchair – at least. Continue reading
Edgar Farms of Innisfail Growers
I woke up to find a message from my friend Elna Edgar of Edgar Farms in Innisfail today. She asked if I would share the news that they’ve had to cancel their annual Asparagus Festival which was to be held on May 31, June 7 and 14.
I’m sad for my friends. They’re passionate farmers and they love to share that passion for all they do with visitors to their farm.
I hope you will support them more than ever this year. Read about one of my visits to Innisfail Growers, visit their stall at the Calgary Farmers’ Market, participate in their annual Country Drive or Open Farm Days and let them know we’ll all be waiting to celebrate a bumper crop of asparagus next year.
Sometimes having to wait a bit for something we love helps us all the more to savour it all.
Read on for the full press release.
There’s so many reasons Calgary is Canada’s Chowtown.
The fact that our chefs can access Japanese knives at Knifewear to make all the chopping they do easier – and therefore make the long hours they spend cooking for us more enjoyable – must surely be one of the reasons the food in this town rocks.
The motto of Knifewear is “sharp knives rocks”. I think the chefs using them and their food also ROCKS.
If you live in Calgary – come out tonight and see Knifewear’s Springhammer documentary about the Japanese blacksmiths that hand forge the knives they sell. Details are here.
SAIT Polytechnic Culinary School Alumnus Kevin Kent cut his cooking teeth with Fergus Henderson at St. John in London, England and at River Cafe in Calgary. He started selling knives to chefs in Calgary from his backpack and now owns five Knifewear stores across Canada. He’s one of Calgary’s culinary mavericks.
Japanese knives help me savour it all. Right now I’m savouring the idea of … buying myself another one.
Here’s a few videos highlighting last year’s host farms.
Chefs, restaurants, caterers and culinary tour operators can design and offer culinary events to celebrate our Alberta farms on Saturday, August 23, 2014. Fees will apply for these events.
Farms willing to host a free admission open house of their farm on August 24 have the opportunity to engage and enlist direct market support of their enterprise through this annual event.
Both culinary event operators and farmers can download the participation form here.
Taking time out to celebrate our amazing Alberta farms and farmers is a great way to savour it all.
Paulo Campanella and Frank Fiorini, White Gold Cheese Factory
photo credit – Karen Anderson
Here’s the link to my latest piece for City Palate magazine where I wrote about White Gold Cheese Factory owners Frank Fiorini and Paulo Campanella. I love those two generous-hearted Italian guys and admire their dedication. Making a successful venture out of a cheese making factory in Alberta’s tightly controlled Alberta Milk dairy quota system is commendable. I hope you enjoy reading the details of how they did this and here’s a bonus video so you too can visit with Frank and Paulo in their factory.
White Gold are one of 15 Alberta cheese making companies I’ve highlighted previously. They all have such fascinating stories that they all deserve a full piece. I may have to attempt that but later this week, I’ll be posting my column for CBC radio one’s Alberta at Noon where I focus instead on D-I-Y cheese making. That’s right, after hanging out with all these cheese makers, I decided to give it a try myself.
I hope after you read this week’s CBC column you will want to give cheese making a try too. Here’s a little preview eye candy to encourage you to consider doing so.
Cheese…I definitely savour it all. I must have been a mouse in a former life.
Cindy Lazarenko’s Goat Cheese Ricotta
photo – Karen Anderson
This film clip talks about the small but important trend towards grass-finished beef ranching, pasture management, environmental stewardship, and prairie grassland habitat restoration here in Alberta, Canada.
Do you know the difference between grass-fed beef and grass-finished beef? A friend that I consider a real food lover asked me the what the difference is last week and I thought – wow, if he doesn’t know then how many other people don’t understand the difference and what it means for the health of the animal, the land and the humans who enjoy beef? This blog will discuss the difference between grass-fed and grass-finished cattle in more detail. If you are keen to read this I’m sure you’ll enjoy the 12 minute film above. It’s loaded with the beauty of Alberta and her precious grasslands.