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Big Salad with Goat Cheese Truffles


One of the many benefits of making your own crusty loaves of bread on a regular basis is a plethora of bread ends to turn into the very best croutons ever. Honestly, I have been spoiled forever and will never buy a box of them again. Not that I ever really did before.

So I made some. And remember those spiced nuts I put away for a salad later? Well this is it. I had so been looking forward to a big salad since that no-shop drought… Mike went and bought a box of organic salad greens. I finely cubed a butternut squash and roasted it, and had some soft goat cheese. The whole thing was orchestrated like a perfect salad symphony.

And when the time came to assemble it, I pulled the box out of the back of the fridge. W had been playing with the temperature control, cranked it up as high as it would go, and the greens were frozen. Solid.

So I ran over to the market, but they only had Romaine. Which was a bit of a letdown. But I made up for it by – drumroll, please – instead of sprinkling the spiced nuts overtop, finely chopping them and then rolling walnut-sized balls of soft goat cheese in them to coat, making little goat cheese truffles that were crunchy-spicy on the outside with a soft interior; they would have been great for a party plate, but worked perfectly atop a salad as you can cut through them with your fork like soft butter.

Really, you could do this with any kind of soft cheese and finely chopped toasted nuts, and any variety of spiced or candied nuts, given a pulse (do it gently to avoid making nut butter, although that would be pretty damn tasty too) in the food processor.

Good news! I have been scouting out some stuff for FSF, and have been promised some fun and yummy things. Which I will wait to have delivered into my own hands before I give away.

Meanwhile, I’ve been pondering whether my idea for this week’s Free Stuff Friday is completely silly or not. (I imagine opinions will be split on the matter.) But I keep coming back to not – because of the whole idea of our food having a history and a story to tell. So this week I’m going to instigate our first (and perhaps only, depending on how it goes) Free-for-All Friday and give away 40 year old sourdough starter that originated in the kitchens of the Banff Springs Hotel, to anyone who would like some, complete with instructions on how to keep it going once it takes up residence in your own fridge. And of course you can then pass it on.

Depending on how this goes I’ll either spend a morning delivering jars all over town, or we could coordinate a coffee somewhere, or something. (We’d be like the groups of moms with babies, only all with jars of smelly starter.) But if you love the idea of a sourdough starter and want to get your own going from this monster, here’s your chance. Put your name in, and next week I’ll compile them and figure out the logistics.

And as a consolation prize for those of you who are not in town (or don’t want starter), I’ll draw for a copy of One Smart Cookie. (I take all your comments and then use a random number generator to pick a number – or sometimes I yell downstairs to Mike and say “pick a number between 1 and 58!”)

This week I’d love to know about those dishes that have a story to tell. Perhaps a history in your family, or with friends; those that have been handed down from past generations, or anything you do for a particular holiday or season. Or… whatever you ate for dinner last night.


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95 comments on “Big Salad with Goat Cheese Truffles

  1. Annalise
    March 28, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Really! You’re willing to share the sourdough monster living in your fridge? That’s wonderful! I would definitely love to have such a piece of gastronomic history living in my fridge. I’m not back in Calgary until April 26th though–perhaps we can arrange to have an exchange then? I’d be happy to bring you back something from the West Coast.

  2. Morgan
    March 28, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Well, in my family Taco Salad has always marked a special occasion. But it has to be Hanna Family Taco Salad. And it may sound spectacular and all but it’s really quite simple. The key is adding no seasoning to the hamburger (expect for salt and pepper.) It was one of the first solid foods I ate (and loved) and I am excited for my own little one on the way to try it someday! It’s iceburg lettuce, chopped tomato, green onion, hamburger, old cheddar cheese and Hunt’s tomato sauce to have on top. No salsa. Nothing real Mexican, actually. The tomato sauce is perfect because it keeps the flavor of everything within it coming to the surface without overpowering it. Other additions we enjoy are sour cream and sliced black olives…yum! I’m actually making myself hungry for it right now! LOL! Whenever a special occasion comes up or there’s a birthday (there’s six of us in the family, seven including my husband and eight including our baby-to-come) so there are lots of opportunities to have it. We even made it our Christmas Eve dinner this year! It’s one of those meals that when I make it in my own home it’s a comfy reminder of my loving family, scattered around now. And I savor every moment eating it!

  3. DinnerTableConversation
    March 28, 2009 at 11:18 am

    First of all, I LOVE the idea of a sourdough starter, especially one with a neat history! Of course, since I live in the Southastern US, I am obviously ineligible for this prize. (I fondly remember the tangy smell of the sourdough starter my mom used for years!) My mother and I are actually working on compiling family recipes, perhaps making a CD for all the family members. There are so many to choose from! Since we’re talking “cheesy”, though, how about my Gourmet Macaroni & Cheese? When my mother was a young girl, she tried to replicate her favorite casserole-style mac & cheese from a neighborhood restaurant (no crumb topping, but a gooey interior almost like lasagna). It was a staple at every family holiday and most birthdays. After I got married, my husband and I started experimenting with different cheeses, and we came up with this. We layer macaroni in the deep casserole dish first. Top with a ricotta, goat cheese, and egg mixture for the gooey middle. Next, another layer of macaroni, topped with mozzarella and feta. Pour a cream & egg mixture over it, then bake (tented to prevent over-browning) till ridiculously gooey and creamy! Absolutely and unapologetically decadent, but we only serve it about 3 times a year at huge family gatherings. Like rich desserts, you can only handle a small portion.

  4. Rosemary
    March 28, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Hi Julie – I would LOVE to have some sourdough starter. Gail N. (Cookbook & Co) gave me some a few years ago, but I neglected it one summer and it went “off”. This endless winter makes me crave the comfort of sourdough bread.

  5. Sue (London)
    March 28, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Oh how I would like to have some of that starter and to have it personally delivered by you would be an added bonus!! LOL! But alas, I live too far away and although I already have a well used copy of One Smart Cookie, I’ve been wanting to pick up a copy for my niece for her birthday so if Mike picks my number, I’ll be thrilled!!
    Our favourite, special family dinner when I was younger was called “Steak on a Board”. Take a 2″ thick sirloin steak, put it on a wooden board (which in our house was made by my Dad)slather mashed potatoes all around the sides, which seals in the juices and a healthy serving of mushrooms on top of the steak and cook it in the oven… Oh Man! My mouth is watering!

  6. Barb
    March 28, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    I wish I had a cool story to share but I am going to fall back on dinner last night. Rock cod in cream corn sauce and egg foo yong with rice. I have been intrigued by the starter (had one years ago that just turned into more than I could keep up with or give away) but I don’t live in Calgary so a second copy of One Smart Cookie would make a perfect gift that I could share. (If Mike picks me! Go low Mike!)

  7. Carolyn
    March 28, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    I would love some sour dough, but I live in Ontario. Is there any way to get some to me?

  8. Jill
    March 28, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Hi Julie,
    I have been coveting your started since you posted the first entry about it, so I would LOVE to have some of it. I’ll be a good caretaker and pass it on to friends whom I know would also love it. A friend in Squamish made sourdough pancakes for me two summers ago and I still haven’t got over the weird tangy chewy amazing-ness of them. So, besides sourdough pancakes, my favorite meal is to stirfy/saute shallots, garlic and bison chorizo with a little wine and sage (or whatever’s around really) and then add diced tomatoes and kale and eat it over rice- kinda soupy, kinda stewy, very delicious. Thanks!

  9. thepinkpeppercorn
    March 28, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    This is totally YUM!

    I think my Baba’s perogies always tell a wonderful story…although there are so delicious many Ukrainian dishes it is hard to keep the stories straight 😉

  10. Fiona
    March 28, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    I’m fascinated by the idea of sourdough starter, and though there are only two of us in this house and we don’t eat much bread, I’m fascinated by the idea of baking my own. I suppose I can always share with my mom.

    As for food that tells a story – my grandmother used to make lemon curd, and she once tried to show me how to make it (I overcooked the whites). Still my mom makes it every once in a while, and it’s fabulous. There’s nothing quite like it on a piece of toast in the morning. It makes me think of staying at Grandma’s every time.

  11. angiebean
    March 28, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Food story: My grandmother”s wands or Angel wings (cookies)

    You could only get the recipe if you helped her make them and promised not to reveal the recipe to anyone. The recipe she had written down was incorrect on purpose! The reason was sibling rivalry.

    Every Christmas my grandmother and her sister would make the wands. My grandmother’s were always light and airy while my aunt’s were heavy and burnt. My aunt always asked for the recipe to no avail. After my grandmother passed away, my aunt was still trying to get the recipe from all the children and grandchildren.

  12. Janet & Laurie
    March 28, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Hi Julie!
    Don’t know whether you still remember us from that time, a few years ago? One Smart Cookie is still our beloved, sticky noted reference book whenever a craving for cookies comes along (and the stuffed puppy is resting comfortably on a bed!) The sourdough starter certainly sounds amazing and mysterious! The Loch Ness monster of the refrigerator.
    Today was the monthly Vietnamese salad roll production line. Same as usual; artistic competitions in the placement of shrimp, green onion, shaved carrot and cilantro, a few bursting rolls which have to be double-covered and several rice paper wrappers that have crumpled too much to ever be successfully gently unfolded. However this time we tried out combining the traditional recipe with one that we found in Cooks Illustrated (Spring Entertaining), which resulted, in our delight to a few new tips that really improved the salad rolls! As for a story… perhaps the 14 year old frozen wedding cake still residing in the freezer?

  13. jenn (in niagara)!
    March 28, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Wow i only wish i were closer to get a bit of that starter…:(
    a favourite family dinner would have to be my mother’s spaghetti dinner, she makes a sauce in the crockpot, i dont even have the recipe, but there are sauteed onions and green peppers in it along with the browned the beef. she also puts in mild italian sausage, red wine, green olives bay leafs and typical seasonings. it is so good whenever she is home that is the request we make for dinner with her!

  14. Erica B.
    March 28, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    My favourite family meals all revolve around holidays. Our family always had turkey for Christmas & Thanksgiving. Easter was always ham and scalloped potatoes. To this day I don’t know how, with one oven, and a kitchen only a monkey could navigate, my Gran managed to make meals for 12+ guests. Most family get togethers in warmer weather involved my Grandmother’s savoury jello salad, potato salad and coleslaw…and on occasion, tomato aspic. Was it haute cuisine? No, but some of my best memories involved creative ways my sis and I employed when trying to dispose of the aspic 😉

  15. Cheryl
    March 28, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Like Gail, it is all about pierogies here. But you already knew that ; ).

  16. ladyloo
    March 28, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    I don’t know where they came from, but at Christmas time my Oma used to make wurstabrochen. She’d mix up ground beef & pork with pepper, and some other spices and lots of nutmeg. Then she’d wrap them in a bread dough, and partially bake them. Them they’d get frozen and portioned out to each child’s family to be fully baked on Christmas morning. Kind of like a sausage roll, but about a million times better.

  17. LisaMer
    March 28, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Me! Me! I’d LOVE some of your sour dough starter! I’ll be the coolest girl on the block and I know at least 2 people I could share it with! Maybe we could use our next “book club” meeting to collect our little yeasties?

    Growing up, we always had some sort of roast (beef, chicken or pork) for supper on Sundays. I remember some really lean days back in the 80s but Mom always had roast on Sundays. And every once in awhile, my Dad would make Yorkshire pudding and chocolate milkshakes.

  18. Elsbeth
    March 28, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    I would LOVE to have some of the sour dough starter. We’re in far NW Calgary but I can happily pick it up.

    I remember my mom having starter twice when I was a kid but, at the time, she was an overextended single mother of two with a black thumb when it came to baking so they didn’t last long. Come to think of it, she never overcame the baking aversion… black-bottomed cookies were her specialty.

    As for food with a story, most of our meals have some sort of association for me. I’m notoriously sappy and food associations abound. An easy one: my husband and I always share smiles during barbecue season when we make tinfoil packets of sliced potatoes, carrots and onions dolloped with butter and Lowery’s seasoning salt alongside whatever meat we are grilling. It was one of the first dishes we ever prepared together and, while our food budget has grown in the 15 years since those cheap-student-chow days, this dish persists.

  19. Cheryl
    March 29, 2009 at 7:01 am

    The best meals are always the ones that involve lots of people and a special occasion. As our family has grown (up) it’s great to see the avid interest they have in my turkey dinner, in sharp contrast to the many years where all we could get the kids to eat was a tiny scoop of mashed potatoes and a wee slice of white meat! In those days it was all about the dessert, not the main course. My how times have changed!

    My niece and nephews actually asked for an invite this year, despite the fact that their parents would be unable to attend the Christmas Eve feast. I was flattered and flabbergasted! Who knew?

    I suspect that we’ll have the big gang for Easter dinner here in a couple of weeks, although nothing’s been formalized yet — we tend to do these things spontaneously.

    It would be waaaay cool to have some sourdough starter to use in an Easter bread, as we’re a family of total bread hounds! I’d be happy to rendevous anywhere in town that’s convenient for you Julie, it’s well worth it to acquire some good starter! Cheers!

  20. Linda
    March 29, 2009 at 7:49 am


    Would love some sourdough starter, I could pick it up wherever you want. Thanks so much.

  21. Lynn
    March 29, 2009 at 9:10 am

    I have been taking care of a different type of starter – Amish Friendship Bread – now into it’s third cycle. Gave some to the contractors finishing our basment and they just love me.

    My mom used to make the best spagetti sauce from scratch – even ussing the cheescloth filled with spices and cooking it on the stove for hours. Amazing.

    I live in Edmonton so winning a copy of One Smart Cookie would be great.

  22. rea
    March 29, 2009 at 9:58 am

    julie, how about a pierogi recipe for those of us who don’t know how to make them? i’d really appreciate it.

  23. eroica
    March 29, 2009 at 10:05 am

    WHINE! I already HAVE One Smart Cookie.Couldn’t you just ziplock a wee bit of starter in the mail to Vancouver since I no longer live in Calgary?
    When I was growing up we always had roast chicken on Sundays with strawberry shortcake for dessert. The cake part was more like a genoise….

  24. Elaine
    March 29, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Embarrassingly enough, I think my favorite childhood food memory is of my dad’s “Pac-Man Dogs.” He was in charge of making us food each Saturday, and it was always hot dogs — he’d slice them lengthwise, 3/4 of the way through the hot dog, and stuff the slit with cheddar cheese. Then he’d microwave them and when the hot dog was hot and the cheese was melty, he’d cut them into pieces; each piece looked like a Pac-Man figure!

    Novelty of Dad cooking + finger food + cheese = superlative food experience for a child.

  25. Vivian
    March 29, 2009 at 11:23 am

    This brings back memories, some I’d rather forget. I tried to make my own sourdough back in the mid- 60s, along with my own yogurt, beansprouts etc.(Latent hippie!) I was warned that the wild yeasts at Latitude 53 were nothing like those around San Francisco and to not expect too much. They were right! Turned out really sour with a strange funky flavour. Out it went and I never did it again. I DO make all my own bread these days, just not sourdough. Would love your cookie book though.

  26. Tina
    March 29, 2009 at 11:34 am

    The obvious one is the tourtiere, not to be eaten before Christmas eve (after Midnight Mass) my whole extended family on Dad’s side (and there are a lot of them!) would come up with the same one…But I am just as nostalgic about “summer stew” a concoction of mom’s for when the first new potatoes were ready – just those babies, carrots, onions, and peas and or beans, with fresh herbs, all absolutely fresh right out of the garden and swimming in a simple white sauce with salt and pepper. SO GOOD!!

    I live near Langdon but would happily drive in for some starter! We are in the process of building a wood-fired bread oven out back so I am going to need to learn how to make bread and sourdough sounds like just the ticket!

  27. Margaret L
    March 29, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    I would love, love love some of your sourdough starter.
    Puleeze! Then I can make your dumpling recipe and forever never have to buy sourdough bread from the bakery.
    Thanks so much…. I hope I’m lucky!

  28. Margaret L
    March 29, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Oh, I forgot to mention…. that should you draw my number for the sourdough starter, I will send you postage to mail to Edmonton!

    Family tradition is to pick the first batch of spinach from the garden to make quiche. At the rate our snow is melting, it could be late summer before the spinach is out of the ground, even tho’ I sowed the seeds last fall!

  29. doula aj
    March 29, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    LisaMer – my thought exactly! Julie – save some of the sds for me, please!

    Family favourite dinner – roast beef, mashed potatoes, peas and yorkshire pudding. The rule was we all had to be sitting at the table before mom would pluck them, piping hot from the oven. Oh, and she made(and still makes) the best gravy in the world.

  30. Stacey
    March 29, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    You just read my mind…trying to figure out how I could get some sour dough starter from my Mom — out in Victoria. This would be fantastic. I really miss my sour dough pancakes! Dinner last night was simple (on the rush) leftovers. Not too exciting, but filled the void. Hope you are out enjoying the sun! (get rid of all this snow!)

  31. kevin
    March 29, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    40 year old bread starter? Sounds awesome. Would love to have a sample so I can continue to grow it and make some yummy sourdough breads.
    I bet those bugs (yeast) in there are only a few weeks old though. Nonetheless I’m sure their ancestors would be proud! 🙂

  32. PattyCake
    March 29, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I, too, would love some of your sourdough starter and can pick it up as well.

  33. Jen T
    March 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    I used to have an amish friendship bread – where you have a starter and share it with others -so I am happy to put my name in for the cookbook – as I have not yet had that one adorn my shelf. As for supper -good ol clam chowder – manhattan style. Using farmer’s market carrots and potatoes with milk instead of cream. Always a good thing to have on a snowy sunday.

  34. Barbara
    March 29, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    I would love to try using the sourdough starter. I’m trying to work up my nerve to join the daring bakers too.

    As for food memories…when I was a child, before microwaves, my mother would reheat elbow macaroni on the stove and it would get crispy. Now as an adult I have married into a Persian Canadian family, and we enjoy using a Persian rice cooker. It makes rice with a golden crust, which reminds me of that leftover macaroni.

  35. Tagyn
    March 29, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Julie, I think passing around some bread starter is an awesome idea! I would love to have some and can pick it up somewhere, whatever works for you.
    For me the traditional Sunday night dinners were the best, usually home grown chicken or a roast with mashed potatoes and veggies from our garden.
    I miss some of the things my Mom made for special dinners like perogies and butter tarts and of course she doesn´t remember her recipes! (My Mom is looking for some Christmas cake tins like the ones you mentioned with the removable bottoms if anyone knows where to find some.) 🙂

  36. Carol SB
    March 30, 2009 at 7:08 am

    Not a main dish, but Mom’s Orange Buns were soooo good. She brought them to every special dinner we went to: I remember the smell of Sunday afternoon baking. (They’re like cinnamon buns in structure/ process, but with grated orange/ sugar/ butter mixture rolled up instead of cinnamon).
    Do you think Cafe Beano would be too busy for a Sourdough dispensary? (Psst, have you got the stuff, man?) I’d happily buy you a latte. We were in there last weekend, and it’s true their Mochas are amazing. Saw one of the staff opening a fresh BOX of the callebaut Chocolate Shavings they mix into their steamed milk to create the hot chocolate/ mocha. Or we could meet @ bumpy’s, or… I don’t know Ramsay coffee shops well; any independents you’d like to drop in my willing ear? I was hoping you could give a halfhour window when we could all swing by… or your place if you don’t mind the stream of traffic!

  37. JenF
    March 30, 2009 at 7:12 am

    I’d love some sourdough starter! I can pick it up. My mom’s potato salad remains my favourite food of all time – she only makes it in the summer. I’ve tried to replicate it, but I think it’s one of those things that just tastes better when someone else makes it…

  38. Kate
    March 30, 2009 at 8:31 am

    I miss out on the starter too 🙁 I’ve had the “too sweet for me” Amish Friendship starter and believe me it’s no match for the real deal. I love the tangy taste of sourdough bread. Haven’t heard of One Smart Cookie but I am sure the grandbabies would love me to have a copy! One of our families repeat performance meals is Macaroni and Cheese made with fontina and goat cheese paired with my homemade pickled beets. It’s comfort at it’s best.

  39. Denese
    March 30, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Dinner last night was somewhat underwhelming: homemade spicy oven fries and haddock baked in there as well, and nuked frozen peas. Adequate, I guess.
    (The highlight was an Anjou pear, at the perfect point of ripeness. Juice dripping on chin.)
    None of the compares with the summer meals I took for granted as a child, involving fried chicken, from a chicken that had been strolling around, free as a bird, only an hour before, accompanied by potatoes dug while the chicken was frying, and peas shelled while the potatoes cooked.

    I would like to get some starter. I live in Innisfail. I would be willing to make the journey south to get the starter, or perhaps when you are teaching a class in Red Deer, we could meet there?

  40. Lana
    March 30, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Waaay to many special family meals..for dinner though? Bday party for my friend, Tanya and we had:
    Two kinds of pizza on homemade WW crust:
    1) fennel, zuchini, fresh tarragon and brie
    2) garlic oil brushed on crust, topped with peppers, onions, mushrooms, steak and blue cheese.
    Don’t send me the starter as Ontario is too far but I would love a copy of One Smart Cookie…I know, I know, why don’t I just order those books already…
    on my list of things to do!

  41. erin
    March 30, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Please put my name in for the cookbook, since I am in Edmonton! Thank you!!

    Since I spend much of my life thinking about food, I have a ton of food memories – pyrohy, of course, baking pies with my Baba, my mom’s meatballs and gravy, coming home for lunch for Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup, with buttered saltines! Yes, I know, not the healthiest. My favourite though is the kapusta (sauerkraut) soup I craved when I was pregnant – I must have made a pot once a week.

  42. Kathy
    March 30, 2009 at 11:16 am

    For Earth hour on the weekend my fiancee and I tried our hand at Indian – we made aloo gobi (potatoes and cauliflower) and butter chicken. We turned off all the lights and appliances, dug out the candles and had a great romantic candle lit meal. Feels like the beginning of a tradition!

  43. Haruko
    March 30, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    I would love some sour dough starter but live in Edmonton so the logistics might be hard…what do you think? The cookbook would be great as well if I couldn’t get the starter and my number was picked. We had some friends over with their kids a few months back and had a do-it-yourself-sushi night where you rolled your own individual serving of sushi at the table. It was a lot of fun though the parents (moms) were busy most of the time rolling the sushi for the kids. I was told it was a hit and that the individual families have started doing it at home since the kids enjoyed the night so much. We will have to do it again but I think a new tradition has started in a few families.

  44. Sarah (Calgary)
    March 30, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Would love to have some of the starter and share it right away with my co-worker who is an exceptional baker and is always bringing goodies in for us. This would be a very small way to give back :o)

    As for memorable dinners, my grandmother always did a roast for Sunday supper. The roast would be cooked to death and tough as shoe leather but the gravy was heavenly – all those meat juices had to go somewhere. For dessert, we all ‘treated’ ourselves to a serving of Wonder Bread and gravy with fresh pepper and salt. Yummo!

  45. glenda
    March 30, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    No starter for me alas! Too far away! but the cookbook sounds great!
    and aren’t food memories all about the routine and predictability of the food/event and the great people that you share both with. Hence, summer burgers and Christmas turkeys and Easter ham and scalloped potatoes and birthday chocolate cakes all hold special places in our memories!

  46. Larissa
    March 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Awww i would love some starter! sadly i live in edmonton… but i would also love your cookbook.

    our family recipe is for pancakes. cornmeal pancakes. its the only kind my dad ever made for us when we were little (and the only kind he still continues to make) and anyone who has ever had the priveledge of sleeping over and then getting them in the morning has always enjoyed them. they came from my grandma. yummie!

  47. Kim
    March 31, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Hope I’m not too late for sourdough starter! Just catching up on the posts after being away last week for spring break…

    I think every holiday and special occasion in our house involves a family traditional food! Chrismas eve is potato leek soup, Christmas morning is wife saver and cinnamon buns, etc. etc. One of my very favorites (just made it on the weekend!) is my grandma’s chocolate cake. Nothing fancy, but it has a taste and smell that brings back such memories.

    Thanks Julie, for the recipes, blog, sourdough and everything!

  48. corinne
    March 31, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    I am keen for sourdough starter – and I live in Calgary – and I love coffee too – how about winners of teh jar of starter meet at phil and sebastien’s at the farmer’s market – yummmmmm……..

  49. Luann
    April 1, 2009 at 10:17 am

    If I’m not too late, I would love to get in on the starter too! I could trade you for some oatmeal chocolate chip raisin cookies! As far as traditions go, in our family it was fondue on New Year’s Eve. In the 70’s and 80’s it was all about the oil but since then we’ve expanded into broth and cheese. It’s really a treat to hang out with family and friends, have a few drinks and eat! And of course you have to end it all with a chocolate fondue.

  50. Donna
    April 1, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    The starter sounds wonderful – but put me down for some future distribution. – too busy for a few weeks – maybe May or July.
    Dinner last Friday was mixed seafood plate at the Rock Cod cafe in Cowichan Bay B.C.It was OK -should not have ordered it battered/ fried. The big hit was on Sunday
    -buns baked with Calibeaut chocolate bits inside, and warm pretzels. (also Cowican Bay)

  51. Heather
    April 2, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Hi Julie, Interesting responses in regard to the Sourdough starter – especially from people so ar away! I am around the corner from you in Ramsay and would love some if you still have some to spare. I’ve been meaning to contact you for some time. (since the First Thursday at Pic Nic many months ago) Cheers, Heather

  52. Rebecca
    April 5, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Hey Julie! I’ve been offline for the past week because we moved but I would LOVE some starter too (and we just moved to Calgary so the timing couldn’t be better…). I’d be happy to pick it up sometime this week, if that helps.

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