I’m in Toronto today – at editorial meetings at the Parents Canada offices (très professional, doesn’t that sound? I think that means I have to change out of my yoga pants) – but back in Calgary the theme this morning was prairie cuisine on the Eyeopener, and so I made these biscuits out of prairie wheat, canola oil, milk, Saskatoon berries and honey. Très delish.
It’s a good weekend when I get to putter, and make jam, and pick up a loaf of crusty sourdough to toast and eat with sauteed chard and over easy eggs. And then toast some more to eat with jam. We had been berry picking last week, and had a bagful in the fridge. The boys wanted to make jam. Straight-up Saskatoon berry jam can be a little hardcore – they’re a little hardier than blueberries – and so I picked up some strawberries and let them squish them directly into the pot with their hands. We made strawberry-Saskatoon jam, and as far as combos go, it’s just about perfect. The berries get cooked down anyway – normally you chop or mash them first or in the pot – and they got a great kick out of demonstrating their respective superhuman strengths by squeezing the guts out of strawberries with their bare hands. Hopefully now they won’t grow up to be those guys who smashContinue reading
In Edmonton last night and today to cook with watermelons on BT this morning. We made a day of it, poking around Edmonton a bit before heading back. We found a cute little shop called the Whimsical Cake Studio, right beside Transcend Coffee, the High Level Diner and a poutinery. I splurged and bought a dozen, thinking we could bring some back for the sweet teeth in Calgary. They met a tragic end in the Winners parking lot. Most of our drive looked like this – all big Alberta sky with Simpsons clouds. And plenty of very gutsy dragonflies on the front windshield. On the way home we took a detour over to Pearson’s Berry Farm. They have a little take-out counter from which they sell pies, sauces, baking (Saskatoon butter tarts!) and ice cream – we got Saskatoon berry ice cream, of course, a (as yet uneaten) sour cherry pie and some berry picking. We set out into the fields with our ice creamContinue reading
There are Saskatoons at the dog park. (Sandy Beach, and the hill up to and down from Brittania.) I noticed this when I was about two-thirds of the way through my latte. Stopping by a particularly fruitful bush, I chugged it so that I could fill my cup with Alberta’s Own blueberries. As in Blueberries for Sal, I walked along the path, dropping berries into my little bucket: kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk. (Only it was more like tut, tut, tut – far more unceremonious in my Starbucks cup.) I went home with the better part of a grande – enough to make muffins. Sundays, after all, are meant for making muffins. (But then W ate most of them – just like in Blueberries for Sal – and I had to pad the muffins a bit with some Saskatoons my neighbour brought over.) I recalled a recipe for Browned Butter Blueberry Muffins from Joy the Baker (and wow, have you checked out her newly-made-over website?) – IContinue reading
I had a fitful sleep last night – I dreamed I had to cook dinner using slugs, and couldn’t decide whether to serve them raw on greens, which would risk of having them crawl off the plate, or cook them. A quick sauté in a hot pan I imagined would be the best method, being small meaty bits, or perhaps using one of those escargot bowls with all the little divots in it – because snails are essentially slugs too, right? What do you think it means? The day was one of medical emergencies – we’re all OK, but I spent the morning shuttling to various doctors and the afternoon bringing bags of ice to Mike’s knee and attempting to put a warm compress on W’s eye and administer expensive drops – 3 mL for $24, of which I managed to get approximately zero into his eye while he ejected about a quarter of a bottle – or about $6 worth – into Mike’s eye.Continue reading
I have never made a batch of hamantaschen, those triangular cookies closesly associated with the Jewish holiday of Purim, and although I’ve always been familiar with them, I can’t clearly recall eating one before today. Traditionally filled with thick poppyseed paste, date, prune or apricot preserves, they could contain just about anything — I’ve come across versions filled with marzipan and sprinkles, Nutella, and hazelnuts and apricots with a browned butter cookie base. You could, in fact, fill these hamantaschen with just about any sweet filling that could be contained by the edges of the cookie and would stand up to the heat of the oven — fruit compote, sweetened cream cheese or pie filling. Hamantaschen is like the cookie version of a galette, with sugar dough rolled and cut into circles, then folded over whatever filling you happen to come up with. (I used some blackberry jam from last summer, and some thick date filling I made in the same way I would toContinue reading
This was a weekend I felt like baking for people. Even before things began to happen, I woke up on Saturday morning wanting to make something for the farmers we were going to pick up our CSA share from, so I turned on the oven without knowing what I was going to make. I didn’t want to default to my usual scones. I pondered muffins. I confess I’m one of those people who enjoys the muffin top more than its stump. I had a tub of sour cream that needed using and some pinkie-thin rhubarb that’s perfect for breakfasty things, and so I started mixing a batch of muffins, changing course halfway through when I decided to give drop scones a go again.