Tag Archives: culinary tours

My summer culinary tour to @Innisfail Growers w @cgyfarmersmarkt – a great @TravelAlberta @AlbertaCulinary #stay-cation

It's never too soon to learn where food comes from photo - Karen Anderson

It’s never too soon to learn where food comes from
photo – Karen Anderson

Sunday, August 11, 2013 was the kind of Alberta summer day one dreams about.

We have big sky in Alberta. When our big sky is nothing but blue as far as the eye can see and there is not a breath of wind and I have a farm tour booked for my company Calgary Food Tours Inc. – well, that is a sure sign that all is right in the cosmos and my guests are going to have a day they remember their whole lives. I care for that.

I take it as a sign that Alberta and I are working together to help my guests savour their lives. The big Alberta blue sky serves as the perfect backdrop for some deep emotional bonding between city folk and farm folk over the common thread of caring about our food and where it comes from.

The mission for this farm tour was to take thirty people to five farms in one day.

This blog post will describe the day and I’ll throw in some fun recipes as we tour the farms together here. I hope this post will encourage you to take a country drive and visit these farms yourself sometime or at least take a drive as far as the Calgary Farmer’s Market where you can get their truly local produce year round.

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Filed under Alberta at Noon, Farms, Farming and Farmers, Recipes

Savour food – Chef Guided Tours of the Calgary Farmer’s Market

I’m so happy to share this lovely blog about the tours my company Calgary Food Tours Inc is doing at The Calgary Farmer’s Market. I am fortunate to have lots of talented chef friends and two of my favourites, Pierre Lamielle and Judy Wood agreed to work with me and lead the weekend tours. Check out this great video Telus TV made with Judy talking about our goals. You can just see her passion and I hope people will see how much fun it is to go to the market with a great chef.
I hope we have a wonderful year of connecting Calgary and all the visitors to our city with the Taste of Alberta our food growers can offer them.
Alberta Tastes Great.
See you at the Market

Calgary Farmers' Market

Last winter, in an effort to provide a new experience to our guests, we tried our hands at offering tours of the market.  They were a hit and so, Karen Anderson of Calgary Food Tours will be offering a whole new round this year, starting Saturday, May 25th.  If you’re an adventurous person, if you’re new to Calgary or just visiting, if you and your friends are looking for a new way to explore the city and spend time together, or even if you’re looking for a unique gift, then you will love these tours.  The tours of the market are usually limited to 12 to 15 guests so that the atmosphere remains intimate and the chefs can provide an one-on-one experience.

Guests will join either chef Judy Wood, Pierre Lamielle, or a SAIT Culinary Instructor on a guided tour of the backbone of the Calgary Farmer’s Market: its farmers…

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Savour food – The City Palate Summer Tootle to Southern Alberta Farms

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Saturday, August 20th was a big Alberta blue sky day with not a breath of wind to disturb it. A perfect day to take a bus load of city folk out to meet farm folk.
Our first stop was http://www.aspencrossing.com where owners Donna Biggar and Jason Thornhill showed us their Pullman Dining Car, kitchen garden, greenhouse and gift shop. They also treated the group to fresh coffee and homemade field berry muffins and cinnamon buns. Aspen Crossing’s dinner theatre offerings for the fall season interested many Tootlers and we all found the plans for expansion which include renovating a 100 year old prairie homesteaders “mansion” into a coffee house very exciting.
Next up was http://www.broekporkacres.com where we found Berkshire hogs happily rooting in pastures under the hot midday sun. We dined al fresco in the shade on Joanne Vanden Broek’s Pulled Pork on crusty buns along with the Bronco Buckin’ Coleslaw (it kicks Pork Butt), fresh fruit, lemon and blueberry slice, http://www.wildrosebrewery.com beer and Zora’s lemonade.
The final stop was http://www.broxburn-vegetables.com just outside of Lethbridge, AB. Paul de Jonge showed the guests around his impressive 8 acres of greenhouses and fields. Everyone loved eating strawberries in the field as they were still warm and juicy from the sun. Hilda de Jonge and the staff of Broxburn Cafe were busy cooking up a huge array of vegetable goodness for us. We started with the cafe’s signature Red pepper soup and crudite, and had a potatoe trio with fixings, broccoli salad, bean salad and fresh green salad. This all went wonderfully with the Big D’s smoked side Broek Pork ribs we brought along (Derek Davies of Big D’s in the Calgary Farmer’s Market kindly smoked the ribs for us). Wines were provided by The Organic Wine Connection and we topped off the day with Broxberry Pie and coffee for the busride back home.
What follows are a couple of the recipes that made our food so enjoyable. Recipes, like the good times we had, are for sharing.
Cheers, Karen

Ingrid’s Blueberry Squares
Notes to the cook
I have substituted other berries and even peaches and this still turns out well.
2 cups flour
Pinch of salt
½ cup sugar
Enough berries to cover the crust in a single layer (about 2 cups)
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp flour
2 eggs (beaten)
2 T melted butter
1 cup coconut
Mix the first 4 ingredients and spread evenly in 13 by 9” pan, pressing down to form a crust.
Cover the crust with the blueberries or fruit of your choice.
Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the berries and crust.
Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Karen’s Bronco Bucking Coleslaw – It Kicks Pork Butt
2 heads green cabbage, roughly chopped
3 heads red cabbage, roughly chopped
1 bag carrots, diced in food processor
2 red peppers, julienned
2 bunches green onions, sliced on diagonal
2 red onions, chopped and soaked in white vinegar
2 English cucumbers, julienned
1 bunch of cilantro chopped
1 jar Hellman’s mayo
1 cup Thai Kitchen sweet chili sauce
1 – 2 jalapenos
some of the vinegar after the red onions were drained
Do all your chopping and put everything in a huge bowl
Drain the red onions and save the

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vinegar juice
Place the 2 jalapenos, jar of Hellman’s, chili sauce and about 1/4 c of the vinegar in a food processor and process until smooth adding more vinegar as necessary to achieve the consistency of dressing.
Fold into the vegetables.

Joanne Vanden Broek’s Pulled Pork
Notes to the cook – makes a lot but freezes well
12 lbs pork shoulder or butt
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c paprika
3 Tbsp black pepper
3 Tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp celery seed
1 tsp cayenne
Mix the dry ingredients and rub over pork. Place in Slow cooker for 8 hours. Let sit for 15 minutes and either shred with a fork or slice thinly.

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Savour food – The 2011 City Palate Magazine Spring Tootle

Which way to the farm?

Tootling according to Webster’s dictionary refers to the practice of “proceeding in a leisurely way”. City Palate magazine has sponsored “Foodie Tootles” to local farms around Calgary for 13 years. I used to help my friend Dee Hobsbawn-Smith run these and last year when she moved to Saskatchewan I took on the task of keeping the Tootle torch burning. It is one of the most rewarding things I do.

I love visiting farms and farm folks and their families to see what they do and if their niche in the world will be a good place to bring 44 city folk. I start in fall, making visits and forming relationships. I look for geographic clusters of farms so that we can visit two or three in a day’s outing. They have to have a great product, raise their animals or crops in a humane and healthy fashion and be open to the idea of speaking about it and sometimes pitching in to help feed all those city folk.

We eat well on Tootles because we create meals using the products from the farms we visit. Once I have confirmed the farms we’ll visit, I begin to plan a dream menu and the logistics of how we can pull it off while being on the move for the day. Lunch is usually a portable ploughman’s style picnic which is quick to set up and clean up but for dinner we like to show off a little. I get so inspired by the raw ingredients and I have a great team of my associate Tilly Sanchez and chef Matthew Altizer of The Cookbook Co. Cooks to work with.

Our Spring Tootle took us to Champion and Nobleford, Alberta. We visited Ewe-nique Lamb farms and the Vande Bruinhorst family, Noble Duck Farms and the Van Deuveren family and Noble Meadows Goat farm and the Van Driesten family. Because spring in Alberta is known for its changeable weather (just listen to Ian Tyson’s song “springtime in Alberta” sometime) we booked the Champion Community Hall for lunch and dinner when we would usually eat on the farms themselves. This proved to be a God send and we stayed dry and warm when all was muddy and wet around us by dinnertime. Amen!

What follows are some photos, the menu and some of the recipes. I hope you enjoy them. The next Tootle is August 20th, 2011 when we will visit Aspen Crossing in Mossleigh, Broek Pork’s pastured Berkshire pigs and Broxburn Vegetables and Cafe in Lethbridge. Tickets are $120.00 per person at 403-265-6066. Hope to see you on the bus.

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Spring Tootle Menu
Duck Confit Salad Rolls, assorted Noble Meadows Goat’s cheeses
Apricot Mint Barbecued leg of lamb
5 spice Roasted Duck Breast and Caramelized Grape Salad
Apricot and Almond Wild Rice pilaf
Roasted Poplar Bluff Russian Blue Potatoes with Tzatziki
Dee’s Sweet Potato Lentils
Edgar’s Asparagus – Grilled
Greek Salad with Broxburn vegetables and Noble Meadows Feta
Sidewalk Citizen rustic bread
Rhubarb Punch and Rhubarb Cake

Grilled Leg of Lamb (adapted from Jacques Pepin’s Today’s Gourmet)
1 c mint leaves
1 jalapeno
1 piece of ginger, peeled
4 cloves garlic, peeled
½ c apricot jam
¼ c soy sauce
¼ c water
4 -5 lb boneless Butterflied leg of lamb
1 Place the mint leaves, jalapeno, ginger, garlic, jam and water in the bowl of a mini-chopper and process until liquefied.
2 Transfer to a plastic bag. Place the lamb in the bag, seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
3 Remove the lamb, (reserve the marinade) pat it dry and place on a very hot grill for about 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a roasting pan, pour the reserved marinade around it, and place it in a 200ºF oven for at least 15 minutes.
4 Slice and serve with some of the juices.

Apricot and Almond Wild Rice Pilaf
2T butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2c chicken stock
½ c orange juice
1 ½ c brown rice
½ c wild rice
1 orange zest
¾ c dried apricots, diced
¼ t cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
¾ c slivered almonds
Sprigs fresh parsley
1. Heat the butter in a heavy pot
2. Sauté the onion until tender
3. Pour in the stock and juice and bring to a boil,
4. Stir in both of the rice and return to a boil and simmer for 45 – 50 minutes.
5. Stir in the apricot, zest, cinnamon and cloves about 20 minutes before it is done.
6. Toast the almonds and add them at the end
7. Garnish with parsley, serve on a platter.

Curried Sweet Potato Lentils
(Adapted from my friend Dee Hobsbawn-Smith’s Skinny Feasts book because Dee’s lentils are a Tootle tradition and everyone loves them)
1 T canola oil
2T ginger root, pureed
6 cloves garlic, minced
1T ground cumin
1 T ground coriander
1 T garam masala
1t fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
1 t turmeric
¼ t Cayenne
1t mustard seed
1T curry powder
1T Hungarian paprika
1each leek, carrot, celery, medium yam and onion diced
1c lentils
2c water
1 apple, diced
¼ c raisons
¼ c honey
1 lemon, juice and zest
Salt and hot chilli flakes to taste

1 Heat the oil in the pan and sauté the ginger and garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2 Add the spices and stir until fragrant.
3 Add the vegetables and cook until tender
4 Add the lentils, water, apple and raisons.
5 Simmer stirring frequently until tender (do not add any salt or the lentils won’t cook properly)
6 Adjust the flavours with the honey, lemon, salt or chili flakes.
7 Enjoy.

Rose Edgar’s Spiced Rhubarb Punch
6 c rhubarb, chopped
4 whole cloves
6c water
1 c sugar
1. Boil the rhubarb, cloves and water until the rhubarb is soft.
2. Strain the liquid
3. Add the sugar to taste

Rhubarb Cake (Little Red Deer Dorcas Women’s Institute “Tested Recipes” – an Alberta Classic)
Ingredients for bottom
2 c flour
¼ t salt
1t baking powder
½ c soft butter
Ingredients for Top
4 c rhubarb, cubed
½ c flour
2c sugar
2 eggs
½ c butter
Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon
1. Crumble the topping ingredients together and add the egg in last with a fork.
2. Save ¼ of this mixture for the crumb topping.
3. Press the remainder into a 9X13” pan
4. Mix the remaining ingredients
5. Put on top of pressed crumbs and cover with remaining crumbs
6. Sprinkle with some sugar and cinnamon
7. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.

Tilly’s “Warren Buffet” (it’s that rich!) Flourless Chocolate Cake (adapted from Gourmet magazine, November, 1997)
4 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
½ c unsalted butter
¾ c sugar
3 eggs
½ c unsweetened cocoa powder plus additional for sprinkling


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line the bottom with a round of buttered wax paper.
2. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and put it into a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water.
3. Melt the chocolate with the butter, stirring, until smooth. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture.
4. Add the eggs and whisk well.
5. Sift the 1/2 cup cocoa powder over the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in middle of oven 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.
7. Dust the cake with additional cocoa powder. (Cake keeps, after being cooled completely, in an airtight container, 1 week.)

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