Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Thanks Leon - VENISON STEW

Fabulous venison stew tonight. This recipe is from Ducks Unlimited Adventure in Cooking, which I picked up at a used book store in Regina on the weekend. Everything was local from Saskatchewan except the chocolate and cinnamon. (I didn't use kidney beans, but put in extra local pinto beans instead.)

It's a beautiful cookbook and I think I'll use it often.

So thanks, Leon, for the gift of venison, and I hope you're having a good hunting season. (A very self-serving sentiment!)

Friday, October 23, 2009

CBC Radio calling - Pumpkins

As discussed on the radio today, here are the links to the winning pie recipes at the Pilger Pumpkin Festival. Take note, however, the winning pie makers added their own special "tweeks" to these recipes:

Winning pumpkin pie
Second place pumpkin pie

Here are links to my favourite pumpkin recipes on this blog:

Pumpkin Gnocci
Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Ravioli
My husband and I ordered pumpkin-filled pasta in a rustic restaurant in Italy. It was quite heavy on the cinnamon, which I have toned down for this version.

Cut the flesh off a pumpkin, wrap in tinfoil and bake until soft. Mash the soft pumpkin and measure 2 cups. Place in a sieve to drain excess liquid. Mix the pumpkin with 1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, a few grinds of pepper and salt to taste. Whip an egg with a fork and blend into the pumpkin mixture. Use this mixture in ravioli or other stuffed pasta.

To serve, I made a sauce of melted butter sautéed with plenty of fresh chopped sage, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. I recently had pumpkin tortellini with mushroom cream sauce in a restaurant which was also a very good flavour combination.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thank You Rosthern Elementary

Thank you to Grade 3-5 students at Rosthern Elementary School for inviting me to talk to their class about Saskatchewan foods. They presented me with this gift basket and a beautiful handmade card. You can bet these vegetables are going to be turned into something special, so stay tuned for the results!

Frist things first, I roasted the pumpkin and made savoury pumpkin gnocchi. Then the carrots and potatoes went into a venison stew. I'm still mulling over what to do with the acron squash. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Farmers' Market in Saskatoon

This just landed in my inbox:

St. James with The Refinery, at 609 Dufferin, would like to welcome you to the Broadway Community Farmer's Market every Wednesday from 11am - 6pm. The market will feature local Saskatchewan products, a variety of organic meats and vegetables, a lunch counter with samples, and much much more!

The Community Market invites you to contact them at 384.2957 with any questions or concerns.Thanks kindly, Charlene Roberts.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Giving thanks, all the same

We had a family Thanksgiving dinner yesterday at my parents' house in Craik, so it wasn't particularly local. Tonight John and I had a simple but very local Thanksgiving dinner at home: coleslaw (farmers' market cabbage and carrots), fried potatoes (grown by my dad), beef sausages (West Bridgeford Meats) and for dessert, my canned pears (picked over on Temperance Street). We are giving thanks for the bounty of Saskatchewan!

(PS I rescued the ham bone and will make soup today.)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The first carrot Big Crunch

Imagine 5000 school children crunching into a carrot at the same moment. We just might hear that crunch clear across the city! Keep your ears tuned at 10:30 am on Thursday for the first carrot Big Crunch. All carrots grown locally. Sponsored by CHEP Good Food Inc. to teach children where their food comes from and the value of healthy snacking.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Great garlic sausage!

My brother-in-law Tony is a connoisseur of garlic sausage so I bought him a package from West Bridgeford Meats in Tugaske. I visited West Bridgeford last week in order to write an article for Prairies North magazine. It's a very neat operation...

Doris and Shane Oram run a butcher shop in the former grocery store and a certified abbatoir on their farm west of Tugaske. In order to finance the operation, they sold shares to local livestock farmers, who supply the meat. The company website includes bios, pictures and farming practices for many of those farmers, and each one is assigned a number that appears on the package. Customers can browse the website and choose the meat that fits their personal preferences.

Tony says the sausages were fabulous and he'd definately buy them again.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Three models of local farm sales

This past weekend, I attended the conference of Food Secure Saskatchewan in Moose Jaw. One session on driect marketing and CSAs (which stands for Community Supported Agriculture) featured three interesting local food enterprises:

Farmgate Food - Mark and Lynn Lane sell organic chickens, lamb and pork rasied in the great outdoors without hormones, antibiotics and additives. Also wool quilt batts, sheep skins and knitting yarn. Place orders by email. Mark delivers into Regina.

"Most consumers choose our product for the taste, not because it's good for the environment." - Mark

Hi-Low Angus - Dan and Erin Howell direct market Angus beef raised on their farm at Lumsden. Their 12-year-old daughter Cassidy is raising katahdin lamb. They sell at the Regina Farmers' Market. For every ten customers, they give a pound of beef to charity.

"As a farmer, it's been extremely gratifying." - Dan

The Green Ranch - Tim and Carla Schultz are growing all manner of vegetables on their farm at Osage, as well as livestock. They sell at the Regina Farmers Market and make regular deliveries into Regina. Customers pay up front, then place weekly orders via the website, where Tim posts each week's offerings.

"Marketing is my passion, and I want to help other farmers sell their products who aren't into marketing themselves." - Tim

They say the biggest obstacles to the growth of their businesses include the small-producer limit of 999 chickens and the lack of certified inspected abbatoirs in their area.