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I just got back from a quick (36 hour) jaunt to Vancouver that included the opening of Whitecap‘s hip new office in Gastown (around the corner from Meat & Bread! And Revolver!), breakfast with one of my favourite people at the new Forage in the Listel, lunch on the steps of the VAG with one of my favourite food bloggers, and dinner at YEW in the Four Seasons (it was also Dine Out Vancouver) with Ned (whom some of you may know I did a few seasons of a not-on-Food-Network cooking show years ago). Which all sounds very glamorous now that I type it out here, and I suppose it kind of was, except that I’m really not all that glamorous, even when thrust into a swanky hotel. (I hope that didn’t come across as a humblebrag, but people have been asking what I was up to in Vancouver, and that was what I was up to… that and buying far too much coffee andContinue reading

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Railroad 4

This post has been sitting in my drafts folder for a week. Every night I write, delete, edit, and then close my laptop and go to sleep until I know what to say. Guts are hard to clean up once spilled. It’s probably evident that it has been a less than perfect summer, despite the endless sunny days and idyllic locales. Situations came along, as they tend to do, that I didn’t anticipate. Some were better suited to an episode of Real Housewives than to my own life, and depleted my appetite and hoovered my emotional resources. It happens. But. Navigating stormy waters makes you better able to steer your ship, or something like that, right? Building character is what I’m doing… look at me being all productive and becoming a better person. I’ve been less culinarily inspired than usual, but one exception was this ham sandwich, one M.L.K. Fisher wrote about in A Stew or a Story, which has lived by my bedside forContinue reading

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I know it’s not quite asparagus time yet, but as a food writer I have lead time, and so generally I’m making back to school lunches before summer even arrives, and mincemeat pies on Canada Day. Thus I have a glut of asparagus in the fridge from an asparagus story I was working on, and it is exciting to think that spring is technically here even if the green things haven’t quite caught up yet, and that these buds will be prodding their way out of the ground very soon. And when they do, we’ll be eating as many Alberta grown and snapped off by hand stalks as we can. Asparagus in its raw, natural state is surprisingly delicious – it tastes like freshly shelled peas – and it’s fabulous marinated and chilled, in a salad, dipped in hollandaise, sliced into ribbons and tossed onto a pizza. I’ve seen shaved asparagus pizza (which triggers thoughts of a lady asparagus – dressed up Bugs Bunny-like –Continue reading

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I love my job. I really, really do. But most days are a Tasmanian devil-like whirling dervish of recipe testing and photographing, and usually what we wind up eating for dinner was left over from some show or had just been photographed for a magazine. Ironically as a food writer, I don’t often work with ingredients when they’re actually in season on account of the lead time. On Canada day this past July I was making gingerbread and mince tarts. Today I was working on Valentine’s day stuff. Some days I just want to make dinner with no ulterior motives. Today I was working on a cocktail party story that involves meatballs, and so I took the opportunity to take a little detour and make pork meatball bánh mì – Vietnamese subs – that I’ve been wanting to try for about a year now. The recipe looks long but they’re simple to make – and in fact they could potentially be made ahead – theContinue reading

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Sorry, that’s Saturday morning breakfast, not Friday night dinner. Come to think of it, dinner was apple cider and Kinnikinick cookies at the very first Calgary Food Summit in honour of World Food Day, where I spoke a bit to the group of 130 and was involved in lively discussion/brainstorming session on the issues of food security and policy and everything related to creating a sustainable food system, trying my best not to touch anything or anyone and washing my hands so obsessively they now look like they should be attached to a 90 year old. By the time I got home last night I felt on the verge of a full-on flu smackdown. (I couldn’t manage to hold myself upright at the computer, looking desperately around my cluttered office for something good to give away, and finally crawled into bed and called it Free Stuff Saturday mornings.) W is up and down, a little more feverish again last night and kept falling asleep throughoutContinue reading

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A. brought tomatoes from her in-laws’ garden in BC. Mom brought a loaf of crusty sourdough. There was bacon in the freezer. We couldn’t rightly not have bacon and tomato sandwiches for dinner. (Mike and I shared this – it’s enormous – I’m not a total glutton. Well, maybe a little bit.) One Year Ago: Pulled Pork Pizza

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And a new toilet. Mike and I installed one our very own selves. (Since then, Mike has been running around the house in slow-mo – arms in the air, singing We Are the Champions. We planned to do it at around dinnertime, knowing that our handy neighbours would be home around then in case we needed backup (we did, due to our 100 year old house’s extremely wonky floors). After, we drank cold Strongbow with our friends/neighbours on the lawn as our assorted toddlers played with pushy things and W tormented one of their cats. And when we finally came inside it was pushing 8, so W had Raisin Bran and dried apricots, and I cooked up some bison bacon I had bought earlier specifically for the occasion of a perfectly ripe, buttery avocado, and turned both into sandwiches on toasted grainy bread. Bison bacon is very lean – much like back bacon, only leaner, and quite salty. A perfect pairing with soft avocado. SoContinue reading

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Made high tea today for donors attending the Family of Hope Tea at the Alberta Children’s Hospital; wee sandwiches with the crusts cut off, lemon scones with berry jam and cream, my Mom’s nut balls, vanilla bean meringues and lemon curd tartlets. I made it home (through rush hour) by 5, but after milling about with the neighbours out front it was suddenly 6, and so we had the last of the egg salad for dinner. Egg salad, in my opinion, must be eaten on soft white bread, spread with soft butter. Crusty bread and rolls are the natural enemy of egg salad, causing it to squirt out the other end upon biting. All teas must have small sandwiches, and among them must be egg salad and cucumber (I did mine with chives and fresh mint from the garden), but plain old egg salad, though I love it, seemed dull. So along with the mayo I stirred in a bit of curry paste (powder wouldContinue reading

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I haven’t been fully awake since arriving in Tofino, but haven’t managed to sleep much either. I’ve been hanging on the edge of full consciousness, spaced out, feeling like I could curl up and sleep for two days. In this state I’ve had little interest in cooking despite the fresh air and open kitchen, and haven’t prepared anything beyond oatmeal for breakfast and toast with peanut butter. If my Mom wasn’t here, I’m sure I’d let myself live on eggs on toast and spoonfuls of peanut butter all week. I think I may have coming-home syndrome, something I’m not all too familiar with having spent the majority of my adult life in the same city as my parents, and as such not really ever having the opportunity to really come home to the house I grew up in to stay and sleep and be cooked for and taken care of, an experience I always envy when my friends go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. When I walkedContinue reading

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