Sunday, March 30, 2008

Food and environment event in Craik

The good folks in Craik (my hometown) are holding an Earth Day Film Festival on April 26-27. On Sunday afternoon, I'm helping out with a food related workshop: Eating Local, Going Organic: Idealism vs. Reality. The films look great and there'll be a local lunch.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Breakfast nectar - FRUIT SMOOTHIES

Here it is, somewhere between oatmeal porridge (winter) and tea on the patio (summer). It's the perfect season for a smoothie breakfast. My sister got us hooked on smoothies a few weeks ago. Lucky for us, there are three biiiig bags of Saskatchewan wild blueberries and one of lingonberries in the freezer just waiting to be smoothie-fied. I say there's no better way to get your daily dose of fruit. Here's our recipe:
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 chopped banana
1 tbsp ground flax
4 big spoonfulls plain yogurt
enough juice to blend it all
(currently using store-bought cranberry juice, but also used Saskatchewan cherry juice and my raspberry preserve syrup.)

Instructions: Blend!

Isn't this a marvellous glass? It's a souvenir from my childhood (yes, imagine, not broken after all these years...) Here's a closeup of the "Eskimo." Isn't he cute in pink?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Saskatchewan Food Trivia - Mustard

Where does mustard come from? Three countries together produce 70% of the world's mustard seed: Nepal, Russia, Canada. Place them in order of 1st, 2nd and 3rd largest producers. Answer

Monday, March 17, 2008

Newspaper Column - Kids Kitchen

Published in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, 17 March 2008.

My mother never taught me to cook. This is not in any way a criticism—mom was a good efficient cook and there was no need for me to meddle in the kitchen. Besides, I had plenty of other chores to keep me busy on the farm.

As a youngster, I joined a 4-H cooking class taught by Mrs. Barnett in her home. I remember learning to make a lovely fruit cup. I have another memory of dropping a pound of soft butter on her kitchen floor. I suppose we did not make cookies that day. In high school, we went by bus once a week to a home economics class in the next town. I remember making breaded veal cutlets, which I am quite sure I have not made since. In university, I lived with my grandmother who was an excellent cook. In short, I had no need to learn to cook because healthy homemade meals were provided throughout my youth.

Some kids are not so lucky. For reasons of a busy or fractured home life, they don’t have the benefit of consistent nutritious meals, while in some families it is just the opposite—the child is the cook, preparing meals for younger siblings. In these circumstances, I think it would be a great benefit to learn to cook a few simple and nutritious dishes from scratch. And that is exactly what Kids Kitchen is designed to do. In Kids Kitchen, Grade 4 and 5 students in several elementary schools in Saskatoon learn to cook hearty simple recipes and, along with the fun of mucking about in the kitchen, they learn the basics of nutrition and good food choices. So, when the teacher says they are going to make fruit smoothies “just like you get in the mall” the kids are eager to try it themselves. And when they hear that it’s just as quick to make pizza as to order it delivered, they’re at the counter ready to chop vegetables and grate cheese. If truth be told, their fruit smoothies are actually better than those in the mall because their recipe calls for a bit of Saskatchewan ground flax. When possible, their teacher Gaylene Buchko uses Saskatchewan-made ingredients so these city youngsters get a better appreciation for the foods that are produced close to home.

One Friday afternoon, with scrubbed hands and a hairnet, I joined Kids Kitchen at St. Goretti Community School to make smoothies, pizza and minestrone soup with the kids. I asked them if they cook at home. Wyatt says he cooks macaroni. Jazzzlyn says “only cereal” while Kelly has cooked turkey and mashed potatoes, adding that she burned the turkey once. Shaneen announces that fresh mushrooms are “icky” but also admits that “sometimes I don’t like the look of something, then I try it and I like it.” A good lesson to learn as a kid, and I bet she liked the pizza, too.
Kids Kitchen is a weekly program funded by the Catholic school foundation and CHEP Good Food Inc. with the goal of instilling some basic knowledge of kitchen skills and nutrition when the kids are young. At the end of each class, students take their creations home to share with their families, and at the end of the term, they get a homemade cookbook with all the recipes. “If they learn it here when they’re young, hopefully they’ll make better choices as adults,” says Gaylene. “A few years from now they’ll find that little cookbook and they’ll start cooking again.”

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Upcoming food event in Regina - I'll be there!

You are Invited to a Discussion and Potluck on Local Food and Community Supported Agriculture

When: Saturday March 15th at 5:30pm
Where: The Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre, 2900 - 13th Ave., Regina
Cost: Free!

Come out and learn more about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and local food in Saskatchewan. Meet Keith Neu, an organic farmer, who last year started a Community Supported Agriculture project in Saskatchewan together with 36 families. In 2008, Keith is planning on delivering food for about60 families in Saskatchewan! One of them could be YOU! The time has come to sign up for 2008. Do not miss this opportunity to get Organic Saskatchewangrown vegetables, eggs and meat delivered to your neighbourhood.

Amy Jo Ehman, the keynote speaker for this event, is a Saskatchewan freelance journalist with a great interest in local food, she is a columnist on CBC's Blue Sky, her articles regularly appear in Saskatchewan newsletters and magazines and she runs a website called: Home For Dinner: A culinary journey dedicated to fresh local food from the province of Saskatchewan.

A discussion panel with Kim Sakundiak (Lincoln Gardens), Mark Lane (Farmgate Food) and others will be held to ensure that you get your questions answered regarding local food and CSAs! Everyone is welcome to attend! Bring a dish to share, your own plate and your own cutlery. Please note that the potluck is optional and that you are welcome to come by anytime during the evening. For more information