The bounty of summer – photo credit – Karen Anderson
It happens. You go away for a few days in August and come back to a zucchini patch that has hatched green baby belugas. Apples cover the lawn like a spilled bag of marbles under your backyard tree. The kitchen table is covered with the peaches that you just had to stop at that roadside stand for. The bounty of summer is upon us and for most of us, it’s more than we can use.
Contrary to what we’re often told, there isn’t so much of a food shortage in the world but rather, food is not equally distributed and a full 40 per cent of food is wasted. It never has the chance to make it onto the tables of the hungry and there are a lot of hungry people. The U.N. says 800 million people suffer from chronic hunger and 2 billion – a third of the world – suffer from hidden hunger.
Several Alberta organizations are working to do something about food inequity. This post will reveal who they are and how you can support them. As for those zucchini posing as big green baseball bats? Consider this post Zucchini 101 where I’ll reveal my Top 10 things to do with the wild child of the garden. Continue reading
Sour cherry pie from THE PIE HOLE and Bakery – photo credit – Karen Anderson
Today on CBC Radio’s Alberta at Noon we talked about Alberta’s Quintessential Summer Foods. You can listen to the podcast here. I’m on at the 30:20 mark in the show.
The Cedar Planked Prime Rib Roast of Alberta Beef “mystery recipe” from today can be found here or on the CBC Calgary or Edmonton Facebook pages. Congratulations to the winner of two tickets to Rootstock.
I always make the featured recipe for my CBC colleagues to sample but since I wasn’t quite up to planking a roast first thing this morning I took them another great summer treat – a still-hot-from-the-oven Sour Cherry Pie from THE PIE HOLE and Bakery in Calgary. I can’t believe I forgot pie as a quintessential summer food in my previous post.
I’ll include some photos of my recent visit to this charming little pie shop. I hope you’ll support them. They buy a lots of local fruit so your money will support many local businesses with a local multiplier effect. I’ll end this post with a great “hack” for easy summer entertaining. Continue reading
Cool and creamy gelato from Pulcinella Ristorante – photo credit – Karen Anderson
I’ll be on CBC Radio’s Alberta at Noon tomorrow (July 28, 2016 – 99.1 FM) between 1230 and 1 p.m. talking about quintessential summer foods. What’s your must-have summer food? If you’re anything like me, it changes by the week because there’s something new to savour with each seven day growing unit in our brief Northern summer.
I hope this post of fun food photos and events (including Food Day Canada this weekend) inspires you to hit the giant tasting trail that is Alberta or to search for your own favourites wherever you savour it all. Continue reading
chefs in the food lab – photo credit – Karen Anderson
With the downturn in Alberta’s energy dominated economy, it is estimated that 100,000 jobs were lost this province in 2015. Local news agencies have tracked the lay offs. It’s been devastating to watch. Job losses come with people attached. If not personally affected, everyone in the province knows family and friends who have been.
Fortunately, Albertans have true grit and with every flattened tire in the cycle of oil’s economy, the creativity of Albertans help diversify our economy away from that old cycle of booms and busts. We are a province of entrepreneurs and food entrepreneurs can get a boost for their ideas from a facility called the Alberta Food Processing Development Centre.
This post is about a day I recently spent at that centre and the positive potential that the centre has for impacting our economy. Continue reading
Despite being punched down by the “wheat belly” gluten-free movement, bread is once again on the rise. Why is bread making a comeback? Maybe it’s because gluten (the protein found in wheat responsible for giving bread it’s elasticity) wasn’t the evil culprit some claimed it to be. With the exception of people who have Celiac Disease or actual allergies to wheat, gluten hasn’t shown harmful effects on humans in any solid research trials.
Bread has been “the staff of life” for thousands of years and wheat is the most commonly eaten substance in the world. Wheat varietals have evolved with plant breeding and natural selection. They’ve been tolerated well.
Michael Pollan, in his book Cooked – A Natural History of Transformation (Penguin, 2013) delves deeply into the bread box to conclude that perhaps it’s not the wheat that’s the problem; perhaps it is all the additives in commercially prepared bread combined with a lack of time spent making that same bread.
Time is important in bread making. Time allows the yeasts and bacteria in our environment to do their thing which turns out to be really important for the health of humans. What do they do? They combine with bread’s flour and water and if given the time, they will “eat” the sugars in the flour, produce the gas that causes dough to rise and most importantly for people that find wheat hard to digest; they partially digest the proteins (like gluten) in flour for us.
I hope you’ll watch the 2015 CBC Fifth Estate video above that probed into the “war on wheat” and that you’ll tune into my CBC Alberta at Noon show tomorrow, Friday, May 27 between noon and 1230 p.m. on 99.1 FM when I’ll talk more about how to get rolling in the dough – with sourdough and a few easier bread recipes.
Some of my favourite cooking utensils – photo credit – Geoff Lilge
Entrepreneurs invent business opportunities to meet societal needs. Few parents have the time or skill to teach their children to cook. Few schools include cooking in their curriculums and yet, thanks to the work of food educators like Jamie Oliver we know we need to reconnect children to food literacy and cooking skills. Enter the entrepreneur.
Need creates opportunity and here’s the response – this post contains a list of very entrepreneurial summer cooking camps for kids around Alberta this summer. Continue reading