Just when I think I’ve tried everything (not really, but some days are more uninspiring than others) something comes along that is so much better than the sum of its familiar parts. Had I flipped past a recipe for bacon and tomato jam I would have certainly done a double take, but I’m not sure this would have jumped off the page and grabbed me – but when Shauna came to visit in Tofino and brought a copy of their latest book, she looked me straight in the eye as she handed it to me and said, “try the bacon and tomato jam.” It seemed at first as if she was speaking in code, like I was meant to read more into her message. I wasn’t. She just meant to make it clear that I should make the damn jam. And so I did. This is not jam in the typical sense of the word – it’s sweet on account of the roasted tomatoes andContinue reading
Can we have peach week please? There’s still time. Did something go awry with peach season, or does it always linger this late? Looking at the ginormous bins of peaches alongside tomatoes, peppers and zucchini feels like every year at Easter, when I wonder aloud to anyone who might know whether it’s the Friday or Monday that’s the holiday? And who gets it off again? And what day do you hunt for eggs and eat the ham? And why can’t I remember how it goes from year to year? Maybe I’m overthinking things, but it’s never a bad idea to stock up on peaches when they might be the last of the season. Awake with insomnia, skimming food blogs I haven’t visited in awhile, pondering what to do with all those peaches (it’s what I do) I came across Delicious Days (hello, old friend!) at about midnight last night, and on it this tangy peach ketchup, which is really like a pureed chutney. Sweet, vinegaryContinue reading
I have a sad tale to share today, friends. A tale of woe with a warning: let not this happen to you. Last week, my friend A dropped an armload of beautiful rhubarb on my front step. Thick and red, it was all rhubarb is supposed to be – nothing like the few spindly green crowns I have in my back yard. (Those stalks below? the best of my back yard. I know.) I thought long and hard about how to put it to best use, and settled on a big pot of strawberry-rhubarb jam to smear on toast and scones. Why settle for one pie that will likely be gone in a day when you can jar that summery taste to spread around? (Pun totally intended.) I want my morning to taste like summery pie. Once chopped, I had about 6 cups of rhubarb – I went and bought 3 pints of beautiful organic strawberries that were difficult to not eat as I trimmedContinue reading
Rhubarb: it’s not just for pie anymore. Everyone likes a little tang in their life -and in their barbecue sauce- right? And because it’s sugary by nature (barbecue sauce, that is), it’s a great vehicle for all that rhubarb exploding in your back yard. (Or your neighbour’s.) And while everyone else is jamming and preserving, how satisfying is it to make your own barbecue sauce? All you do is chop and simmer a few thick stalks of rhubarb, then add onion, garlic, maple syrup… all things sticky and savoury that make a well-rounded summer sauce. If you have a favourite formula already, just add rhubarb to the mix. And then bottle it up and share it with a friend, or store it in the fridge or freezer to slather on your ribs and chicken and burgers all summer long. I’m thinking this will become our House Sauce this summer. And make sure you have plenty of napkins.
I’ve never considered myself a pesto-making person. You have to mulch so much fresh basil – which I’ve never managed to keep alive myself – to produce even a teeny jar, that I found it easy to convince myself to drop $4 and procure some premade stuff at the grocery store. But then one day in Tofino my friend Cathy texted to ask if I might be able to use a bag of fresh basil from the Tofino-Ucluelet Culinary Guild she didn’t have time for? Why yes, yes I can. Turns out while there are plenty of things to do with fresh basil, there aren’t as many ways to use up several large handfuls of it, especially when you’re heading home the next day. I didn’t want to go out and buy pine nuts and Parmesan, but I had brought a wedge of Grizzly Gouda with us, and picked up some sliced almonds for who knows what. I toasted the almonds, grated the Gouda, packedContinue reading
It looks like a slice of brie tucked into the jar with the carrots – I assure you it’s not. It’s fresh ginger, a spur-of-the-moment addition inspired by David Lebovitz‘s mention of using ginger sugar in his batch. (From Paris to Tofino, connecting the world one pickle at a time.) I find myself now in the unusual position of trying to use up food before leaving Tofino to head home – among my targets were a bunch of carrots, forgotten in their crisper drawer in lieu of ice cream and fish & chips. And because all produce has pickle potential, I decided to do up a couple jars of them – one to take home and one to leave for whomever winds up at the house next. Pickling carrots is easy – and makes great use of all the wee finger-sized ones that are coming out of the ground right about now. You peel and blanch them, then dump out the water and add vinegar,Continue reading
It’s Official: I’m a grown-up. Married to a dude with gout. At 41, this is not the first of his old-guy afflictions: in 2005, when we moved back from Vancouver in blazing hot late June, packing everything we owned into a rented U-Haul with me 8 months pregnant and nowhere to live (besides my parents’ basement) when we got back, he came down with a raging case of shingles. Shingles! Damn sexy, they are. I wish I could find that photo I made him pose for – in his tighty whities, black socks and nothing else, reclining chaise-lounge-style on the bed with a can of Pil and ring of red blistery scabs around his middle. I called him Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute. OK, why is it I can’t access video of FGMP from NBC, MySpace or Hulu unless I’m in the states? what century is this? have they not heard the phrase WORLD WIDE WEB?? So it’s a good thing it’s cherry season – apparentlyContinue reading
(In a frenzy.) You would think, given that this website acts as a sort of mealtime confessional, I may be tempted to advise the world that I served my family a wonderfully balanced, seasonal meal tonight. Given the fact that W and I spent most of the afternoon at a playdate, perhaps I should have been more on the ball, stopping to buy a frozen steak on the way home before running for my bottle of valium. (Did you know that the term mother’s little helper referred to valium? Or executive excedrine among corporate types and dolls in the ’60s novel Valley of the Dolls. From 1969 to 1982 it was the nation’s most prescribed drug, earning La Roche pharmaceutical $600 million annually. In 1978, nearly 2.3 billion tabs of valium were downed. Perhaps I’m in the wrong business.) So at 6 o’clock the news came on, and suddenly we were all starving and started rummaging through the fridge and freezer in search of someContinue reading
Cook, cookbook author, writer, eater. Food columnist on CBC radio, contributing food editor for the Globe + Mail. ❤️ feeding people.