Friday, December 31, 2010

Soup Challenge 2010

Whew... just finished Soup #52... thus completing a year's worth of Saskatchewan-based soups. Over the month of December I cooked up:

Week 49 - Lentil and Sausage
Week 50 - Pork Shish Kabob (made with leftover shish kabob)
Week 51 - Chicken Noodle (which became...)
Week 51 1/2 - Chicken Carrot and Chickpea
Week 52 - Christmas Ham Spilt Pea Soup (made with leftover ham)

So, I must decide my new food resolution for 2011...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Delicious Christmas Gift

I always say the best gifts are edible, so I was delighted to receive this basket from Over the Hill Orchards for Christmas. The basket includes jelly, toppings and chocolates made with Saskatchewan-grown cherries, blueberries and saskatoons. I'll write more about each item as we open and enjoy it. 

Over the Hill Orchards is a venture of Dean and Sylvia Kreutzer, who live near Lumsden. Their primary fruit crop is the sour cherry developed at the University of Saskatchewan, which they sell under the trademark of Prairie Cherry. I love their packaging and think it's a great "ambassador" for the new wave of professional food processing in Saskatchewan.

Valentine's Day is fast approaching so why not give a "bottle of red" to your special someone. Check out the range of products on the orchard website

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Ukrainian Christmas at the Farmers' Market

Saskatchewan is so special we get two Christmases!

Ukrainian Christmas falls on Friday, January 7, and the farmers' market is celebrating with a locally-sourced Ukrainian Christmas feast on Sunday, January 9. Dinner starts at 6 pm and includes the traditional twelve dishes and performance by the Pavlychenko Folklorique Ensemble. $25 adults/$15 for children 12 and under. Buy tickets here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Raw Milk Debate - Pasteurization

There are many public health warnings about drinking fresh, raw milk that has not been pasteurized. Learn about these risks before making your personal decision. If you would like to learn more about pasteurizing milk at home, see these links:

University of Guelph
Michigan State University
Mother Earth News

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

When I get fresh milk from a farmer I make this cheese, but you can also use milk from the store. Citric acid is the acidity of lemons in powdered form available from drug stores.

16 cups whole milk
1 tsp. citric acid in 1/4C cool water
1tsp. salt

Put the milk in a thick-bottom stockpot. Stir in the citric acid solution and the salt. With the burner on low, heat the milk until it reaches 190 F. stirring occasionally so the milk doesn’t stick to the pot. As it nears 190 F. you will see curds forming in the milk. When it reaches 190 F., take it off the heat and let the milk sit for ten minutes. Pour the contents into a colander lined with cheesecloth. Drain for about an hour. This cheese can be used in any recipe calling for ricotta. It also freezes well.

Make Ricotta Cheese Pie.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christie's Bakery on Broadway

Just in time for winter! A lot of folks have been wishing for years that Christie's Bakery would open a second location in the Broadway Area. Yeah finally!!

It's called Il Secondo and it's all about good coffee, real bread and authentic Neapolitan pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven. I warn you, this is not pizza for those folks who want gobs of meat and cheese on a big chewy crust. This pizza is all about thin exquisite flavour. It would not be an exaggeration to say this is the best pizza I have ever tasted. Really!

I'll also warn you that Il Secondo closes at 6 pm, so don't tarry.

(While there, check out the rustic beam over the pizza oven and note the similarity to the beams in my new kitchen. Yes, they're from the same tree!)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Terra Madre Day in Saskatchewan

John and I celebrated international Terra Madre Day at the New Ground Cafe in Birch Hills, near Prince Albert. Now that I think of it, every day is a Terra Madre Day at the New Ground Cafe, where Jenni fills her chalkboard menu with the local bounty.

Two years ago, Jenni attended the Terra Madre symposium in Turin, Italy. This symposium is held by the Slow Food organization to celebrate and encourage the preservation of local food traditions all over the world. She's an excellent ambassador for Saskatchewan.

Here's her Terra Madre lunch. It was all good but I'm still dreaming of that fabulous soup!

Jenni's got some delicious events planned this month:  
Thursday Supper Dec.16th: A Vegetarian Celebration!!!! My favourite type of cooking and a wonderful gift for the vegetarian on your list. Starts at 6 p.m..

Saturday, December 18th: 10 a.m to 1 p.m. Egg Nog Red River French Toast, Carrot Rhubarb Muffins, Santa's Rocket Fuel Chili and Bannock. NEW GROUND CAFE' SECOND ANNUAL MINI COOKBOOK will be finished and available for sale. Reserve your copy ahead of time as I think I'll only have time to make 50. Also available...NGC Bannock Mix, Naughty Biscotti with Wild Hazelnuts and Dark Chocolate in a mug with Cocoa Camino Fair Trade Hot Chocolate Packets and gift certificates in any amount.

Thursday Supper, December 23: TBA

Friday, December 24th: Our annual Christmas Eve brunch!!!! Served from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.. A combination of all the favourites from our December brunches, with some surprises. Reservations required as this is a popular event. Only one rule, you have to be jolly!

If you'd like to get the New Ground Cafe e-newsletter, drop a note to Jenni at newgroundcafe at sasktel dot net.