Saturday, January 29, 2011

An apple a day

So, you haven't canned, frozen or dried a bunch of Saskatchewan fruit for winter enjoyment?

Try this -- dried apples from Petrofka Bridge Orchard. $3 at the Saskatoon Farmers' Market.

Also available at Souleio and the Bulk Cheese Warehouse.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Know your oats - Oat vocabulary

When can you eat cookies for breakfast? When they're mostly oats! But first, a lesson in oat vocabulary:
• Oat groats or whole oats are the oat seed with the outer hull removed. They take the longest to cook and are often pre-soaked.
• Steel-cut oats (also called Irish oats or Scotch oats) are oat groats cut into smaller pieces. Also pre-soaked.
• Rolled or old-fashioned oats are whole groats flattened in a roller. They cook more quickly than groats.
• Quick oats are steel-cut groats flattened in a roller. Because they are small and flakey, they cook quite quickly.
• Instant oats are precooked so they can be prepared simply by adding hot water and are often pre-flavoured and sweetened.

Chocolate Oat Clusters
From the website of Only Oats, a gluten-free oat processor in Regina.

1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
6 tbsp cocoa
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla

On medium heat melt butter or margarine, sugar and milk in a saucepan until it boils, stirring often. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well. Remove from heat. Drop by the spoonful onto wax paper. Cool completely.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ode to Oats

Did you know? Canada is the largest exporter of oats in the world, and much of those oats are grown here in Saskatchewan.

The bulk of Saskatchewan's oats are shipped to the United States and processed into the brand name cereals and granola bars you find in the grocery stores.

You can also buy oats from smaller local companies, like the package of organic oat groats (in the picture) that went into my morning oatmeal. The brand is Willow Creek, which is based in Watson, Saskatchewan.

Apple Honey Oatmeal
Find local dried apples at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market.

1/2 cup steel-cut oats
2 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup dried apples, chopped
1 tbsp honey

The night before, mix steel-cut oats with water and bring to a boil. Simmer 5 min. Remove from heat, cover and leave out overnight. In the morning, add another 1/2 cup water and bring to a simmer. Add the salt, cinnamon and dried apple. Cook, stirring, until desired porridge consistency is achieved. Stir in the honey and eat!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dining with the Stars

Our taste buds were dancing with the stars at Dine with the Stars - a wonderful initiative of the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate.

SOD paired up top chefs with local celebrities and some of our best farmers to stage a series of dinners around the province focussing on organic Saskatchewan-grown foods.

I had the privilege of attending Dine with the Stars at Weczeria in Saskatoon, where Chef Dan Walker performed for a select group including star authors Yann Martel and his wife Alice Kuipers. The menu:

Golden Beet Soup
Pear and Apple Salad with Blue Cheese
Rye Gnocchi with Pastrami Cream
Northern Pike with Wild Rice and Blueberries
Crème Brulée with Sour Cherry Compote

Dine with the Stars dinners were recorded and will be broadcast at a later date. Watch here for details.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Saskatchewan Food Summit

Interested in shaping the future of food in Saskatchewan? Attend the first Saskatchewan Food Summit March 2 & 3 in Saskatoon. The summit will examine the barriers, challenges and solutions to beefing up the local food economy. You'll find the agenda and registration information on the U of S website. See you there!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Berry Smooth

Want to eat more Saskatchewan berries? Try a smoothie.

This luscious smoothie for two contains:
1 banana (this is optional, but I like it)
2 big spoonfuls of yogurt (Dairyland yogurt is made locally)
1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries (available occasionally at the Saskatoon Farmers' Market)
1 spoonful frozen lingonberries (also purchased at the Saskatoon Farmers' Market)
12 or so frozen raspberries (picked myself last summer)
Squirt of honey (Saskatchewan honey, of course)
2 teaspoons ground flax (ditto)
Milk as required to blend to a drinkable consistency.

Perhaps it's the little girl in me, but I think a smoothie tastes better with a straw!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Sucking lemons

Ug. Bad cold. But a good excuse to drink my tea with a slice of Saskatchewan-grown lemon.

Sorry, I can't tell you where to get your hands on these lemons because they're not for sale -- yet. They were bred by a local horticulturist specifically for indoor growing on the prairies. The plan is to make them available within the year, so watch here for details.

Read more in this article I wrote for the Star Phoenix,

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Sweet start 2011

With my commitment to fill the year with Saskatchewan fruit, I've ditched the maple syrup in favour of locally-grown fruit syrups, such as this wild blueberry syrup from Over the Hill Orchards, which we ate this morning on french toast.
Over the Hill Orchards has a store in Lumsden. In Saskatoon, their products are available at the Saskatchewan Made Marketplace and online store. Yummmmm...

Monday, January 03, 2011

Apple Rosemary Jelly

I had time over the holidays to make a batch of apple rosemary jelly, which goes very well with pork chops, sausages and anything venison. I picked the apples from my neighbour's tree, which hangs abundantly over my back fence, and made the juice last summer. The rosemary isn't local -- my friend Colin brought it back from his property on Hornby Island. Oh well, it's hard to be pure Saskatchewan in the middle of winter...

To make Apple Rosemary Jelly, follow instructions for plain old apple jelly, adding a generous sprig of rosemary to the jelly as it's cooking in the pot. Remove the rosemary before pouring the hot jelly into jars. Before placing the lids, add a small flourish of fresh rosemary to each jar.

For a quicker method, buy a jar of apple jelly from the farmers' market. Melt the jelly in a saucepan, adding some fresh rosemary for flavour. Clean the jar and pour the jelly back into it to cool. Voila!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

A Fruity New Year

Every year, I make a food-related New Year's resolution. I find these resolutions are much easier to keep! So, my 2011 resolution is to eat more Saskatchewan-grown fruit: to beg, buy, u-pick, forage and by any other possible means try every fruit that grows in Saskatchewan and discover great ways to serve it. And to post it on this blog, of course...

Here's a list of fruits that are grown in Saskatchewan, as far as I know (additions welcome): Apple, Apricot, Black Current, Blueberry, Buffalo Berry, Cherry, Chokecherry, Cloudberry, Cranberry, Crowberry, Elderberry, Goji, Gooseberry, Grape, Haskap, Lemon, Lingonberry, Pear, Plum, Raspberry, Saskatoons, Seabuckthorn and Strawberry.