Category Archives: Writing

#ArtInstallation no. 25 – The Maritime [Edit] magazine

“If something doesn’t exist, that you want to exist – create it,” says The Maritime Edit magazine editor James Mullinger in the video above.

I’m just back from a quick trip home to New Brunswick to check in on my folks. I picked up the first edition of this magazine at the Saint John airport and devoured it on the Halifax to Calgary leg of my trek back to where I live with my husband and son. The magazine is fresh in that it exists “to celebrate and highlight the discreet luxury of living in Atlantic Canada.”

I love that wording.

The people of the Atlantic are discreet, low key, unpretentious, muted, restrained and intentionally unobtrusive as they go about the luxury of living their lives. Their lives are a luxury because living at a slower pace, in proximity to ocean and earth and connected to family and culture is an antidote to the fast pace world of carpools and commutes, distance and indifference that is existence for most of us.  I’m so happy someone will be celebrating and highlighting this wee corner of Canada. I’ve subscribed.

I’m looking forward to including this quarterly art installation in my life. My Atlantic roots and values help me savour it all.

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#CanadianHumour – Thx to @OutandAbouter for this quiet little piece of satirical #writing 

Canadian humour, nicelittlehedge.ca, outandabouter, satirical humour, satirical writing

Read the article at the source: Concerned, But Not Wanting To Offend, Canada Quietly Plants Privacy Hedge Along Entire U.S. Border.

outandabouter blog, satirical humour, quite little hedge, canadian humour

photo via @outandabouter with gratitude

That was a beauty, eh? The Canadian sense of humour is officially cool thing no. 52 on this blog. I love our True North Strong and Free and this is likely the only “hedge fund” I’d ever invest in but seriously, I’d never let one silly orange president (small “p” – if you know what I mean) stop me from loving my friends and their country.

It’s even more important to be our nice Canadian selves right now. It’s the only way to truly savour it all.

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On carrots and writing for Alberta Health Services’ applemag.ca

I was a nurse for over 20 years. I was a Masters-prepared Nurse Practitioner for 10 of those years. I left that profession because, though I loved working with people, I wanted find ways to help people stay healthy instead of caring for them once they’d become very ill. I saw that the further we got from food as a society the sicker we were getting. I thought writing about food and starting up food tours would be fun ways to engage and connect people with the source of food and all the health and joy it can bring to our lives.

I’m very pleased that after 11 years in my new career I have the opportunity to go full circle and to write for Alberta Health Services’ health magazine (applemag.ca) on the topic of healthy food. It’s a dream come true to write for a magazine whose credo is “Be healthy. Be Well. Be informed.”

In my regular “Food Sight” column I’ll be writing about a different great ingredient each issue. For the food issue I also got to write about five ways to build a healthy plate. Here are the first two pieces. Grab a carrot to munch on and have a read.

 

click on the photo to expand to the article >
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A carrot close-up
Look inside >
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Build a healthy plate

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Eating #India with @AlbertaFoodTour – a @CityPalate article by Catherine Van Brunschot

Alberta Food Tours annual cuisine and culture trips to India with Karen Anderson

Cooking with Sumeet Nair in New Delhi – photo credit – Karen Anderson

Huge thanks to writer Catherine Van Brunschot for the City Palate magazine piece she wrote about the 2014 cuisine and culture trip to India I organized. I’ve been leading these tours with my company Alberta Food Tours and our business partner Indus Travels since 2012.

Catherine’s a writer’s writer. She quietly observes, scribbles notes and jots details. Her camera is always close at hand. She’s able to capture a moment and it’s feeling to share a sense of the traveller’s journey. I hope you enjoy reading her piece from the source: Eating India with Alberta Food Tours

I’m pleased to report that my 2017 trip to India is sold out and that Catherine is returning. When you get to the end of her article, you’ll see I’ve shared with you the answer to the question she poses.

For my 2018 trip to India we’ll return to some places I love – Delhi, Agra, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaipur – and also venture to a place I’m longing to visit – Kolkata. Please comment below if you’d like more information about that trip and I’ll be happy to email you an itinerary.

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#ArtInstallation No 19 -@jennifer_ck proves food is a legit form of art with Food Artisans of the Okanagan

Food Artisans of the Okanagan by Jennifer Cockrall-King

Jennifer Cockrall-King is an accomplished food writer and mentor to many of Western Canada’s developing writers, bloggers and literary enthusiasts. She divides her life between homes in Edmonton, Alberta (where she’s been the director of Litfest for 5 years) and Naramata in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia (where she started the Okanagan Food and Wine Writers Workshop). Because of her frequent coming and going she has the perfect perspective to write about the Okanagan Valley because she is at once a local but also a visitor who notices the nuances of change and development.

I’ve had a sneak peak at her new book Food Artisans of the Okanagan – Your guide to the best local crafted fare and am longing to go west and thoroughly explore (read eat!) the Okanagan Valley anew. Cockrall-King has also included the Similkameen Valley which will be terra incognita for most. I cycled that valley in early May a few years ago and fell in love with its laid back vintners, rolling hills and hidden farms and restaurants.

My friend and colleague in Edmonton, Liane Faulder, has written more extensively about the book. You can read her recent interview with Cockrall-King and learn about the details of the Edmonton launch on April 13 here. The photo above has all the information you’ll need for the Calgary launch on April 21.

Cockrall-King’s in-depth research and innate good taste make her a very well-chosen curator for this national treasury of farms and food artisans. This book proves that people that dedicate their lives to creating beauty and appreciation for food are indeed artists. I’m confident it will help many people savour it all.

 

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@postmedianet @CalgaryHerald @EdmontonJournal cut access to #local editorial food content with layoffs of @gwendolynmr #GwendolynRichards and @eatmywords #LianeFaulder

I’ve always looked forward to opening The Calgary Herald on Wednesday morning. I knew there would be food content that was editorial and journalistic. Whether it was her Cooking the Books review column or the scoop on a new development in Calgary’s burgeoning food scene, Gwendolyn Richards wrote with savvy and gave a voice to stories that would make a difference in our community.

I met The Edmonton Journal’s (until yesterday) food editor, Liane Faulder a few years ago when she was teaching a food writing course at The Okanagan Food and Wine Writer’s Workshop. I watched her in the field as she interviewed a pioneer in the seed saving movement, synthesized the data and crafted a story which she then filed for print the next day. If you scan the headlines of that paper’s food blog it’s easy to see her dedication to covering the stories of Edmonton’s food scene and to imagine the impact of those stories.

Both these journalists had the ability to judge the impact of stories that would be important for their community. They made a difference for fledgling restaurant businesses, chefs, farmers, food artisans, cookbook authors and cross-cultural food community events.

I wonder how news about local food projects will be shared now? We’ve lost two trusted critical thinkers. You can be doing great work as a food business but unless there’s an objective editorial voice to share that with your community it can make or break your project’s success.

Today, when I read the paper I found a long-standing recipe advert-orial column sponsored by the local gas utility and a collection of food photos from Twitter and Instagram. The photos and their one sentence tag lines don’t seem to contribute meaningful impact for the broader community given their propensity to glittering generalities and myopic focus.

I know this content helps newspapers pay their bills but, sometimes it seems newspapers are turning into a print version of Pinterest. The publishers “pin” stories from news feeds and patch together a scrapbook for publication each day. I’m not sure this is a great strategy as consumers can find that content themselves – very easily and in much more beautiful formats.

If content is king, then it is no wonder our local papers are turning into paupers.

Local papers have always been about local content. If that is missing, the local paper will be less and less compelling as a part of local culture (culture as in DAILY LIFE and HABITS). The last bastions of local content in local papers seem to be backgrounder columnists for politics, business, finance and human interest breaking stories. But, let’s face it, breaking news is old news if you wait to receive it in paper format each morning and so is the re-hashing of it.

I value original story journalism and observe with solemnity the bleeding edge of print media and its declining subscriptions. But, instead of holding onto their strength – the provision of depth and variety in local original content for local interest – newspapers that let go of local content experts take the leading edge that they had and add to that bleeding edge that’s slowly (or not so slowly) killing them.

We just lost two golden keys that opened the gateways to understanding our food scene as a piece of our local culture. To use an analogy from the food world, restaurants that take favourite features off the menu frequently fail in entirety shortly thereafter. I’ll see what the Calgary Herald’s Friday Swerve Calgary and Saturday food section continue to bring, but in all honesty, reading today’s paper felt like “the day the music died” for me. I’ll be looking elsewhere in my efforts to savour it all.

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My December @AlbertaatNoon column – @ASpicyTouch #cookbook release w #NoorbanuNimji

A_Spicy_Touch_Cookbook_Cover

I am a food columnist for Alberta at Noon and at first glance it might seem terrifically self-promoting to talk about my own book for my monthly column but this story isn’t really about me at all. It’s about my mentor, Noorbanu Nimji. She is a great Alberta immigrant, cookbook author and cross-cultural success story.

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