Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A fine spring morning...

...cuddled up by the fire. That's a batch of Red Fife bread, very soon ready for the oven. Red Fife is a heritage breed of wheat that was almost lost, if not for a group of organic farmers who started with a bucket of saved seed and brought it back to life.

If you'd like to bake with Red Fife wheat, you can purchase it from Saskatchewan farmer Marc Loiselle. Learn more from his website.

Red Fife was grown in Saskatchewan back in the late 1800s when the first farmers arrived on the Canadian prairies. I like the flavour of Red Fife, but I also like the fact that my great great great grandfather was one of those farmers.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Get stewing...

See my article in today's Star Phoenix on the famous Polish stew called bigos. Winter is almost over, but it's not too late for a big pot of bigos. So get stewing...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Are you Michelle?

A reader of this blog named Michelle contacted the maker of my chicken mosaic (pictured in my kitchen) about having a mosaic made for her. Sadly, the artist Arbie Kepler wrote down your number incorrectly. Please call him again! His number is 306-244-8625.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sausage in the News

I love King of the Koubassa, the annual sausage judging extravaganza in Saskatoon. But I think I love this news coverage even more.

Warning, this news clip contains suggestive language that might not be suitable for children. Watch...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I can do better...

On a recent road trip, I ate a bowl of bigos in a Polish restaurant in Creston, B.C. It's a traditional meat and sauerkraut stew translated to English as Hunter's Stew. To tell you the truth, it was rather mediocre. But I liked the concept and decided I could do better. When I got home, I made this version...

1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 loose cup dried mushrooms (porcini and chanterelle)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 lb back bacon, cut in strips
4 cooked farmer's sausages, sliced
10 frozen tomatoes, thawed
1/2 medium cabbage head, shaved
1/2 lb sauerkraut

Pour the boiling water over the mushrooms. When the mushrooms are soft, pour off and save the water.

Heat the oil in a stew pot. Cook the onions and garlic until soft. Stir in the paprika, salt and pepper. Add the back bacon and garlic. When the bacon and onions are fully cooked, add the sausage, tomatoes, cabbage, sauerkraut, mushrooms and mushroom water. Add enough cold water to just about cover the contents of the pot. Place the lid and simmer for several hours, until the cabbage is meltingly cooked.

Like all soups and stews, bigos gets better every time you cool and reheat it, so plan to eat it over a few days.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Drink with me...

Not many among us have a drink named for them. Well, moi-meme, I have a smashingly good beverage bearing my name. The Amy Jo: 1 part Paddockwood London Porter and 2 parts Canadian sparkling wine, served in a champagne flute.

It was featured at a recent chef's dinner at the Sasaktoon Farmers' Market. But the real credit goes to my pal James Romanow, a.k.a. Dr. Booze, who invented this refreshing concoction. Check out his website for more wine wisdom.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Attention Snowbirds...

As you arrive back to Saskatchewan through Maple Creek, you really must stop in Consul and visit Manley's Bread and Honey Bakery. The lovely smell of fresh-baked bread is a tonic for all those long numbing hours in a car. We stopped at Manley's yesterday while returning from a U.S. road trip and picked up a multigrain loaf. Delicious this morning toasted with honey...

I had a quick chat with Vicki Manley, who told me the bread is made with organic wheat purchased locally and milled at the bakery. She also sells honey produced by her son, Mike. I was curious to know how they managed in a town of just 70 people, but she says business is good. In a way, it reminds me of those little French villages that, no matter how small, have a cherished bakery supplying the townsfolk with their daily loaf of warm fresh bread.

Read more about Manley's in Prairie Post online.