We’ve been traveling around Alberta a lot lately, discovering new places we didn’t know existed. This past weekend, we found ourselves in Elkwater, a tiny camping-cabin community in Cypress Hills interprovincial park, which overlaps the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan. In Elkwater there’s an eatery called Camp Cookhouse and General Store, which is just the best place ever. Exhibit A. Exhibit B.

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Is it weird that I get more excited about winter salads than the summer ones? I love hardy salads that give my jaw a workout. (At least part of me is working out, right?) Every winter I vow to keep a grainy, beany salad in my fridge to prevent myself from living on bagels and raisin toast (a hazard/benefit of having my office in the spare bedroom), and in fact, these kinds of salads actually improve after a few days in the fridge. Also- feeling virtuous over lunch is enough to keep me feeling more or less on the ball during the afternoon, sometimes propelling me out to do a power walk. Eating healthy things begets eating healthy things (and doing healthy things). I even organized my office this weekend, which was a monumental task. I blame the salads. I love adding chopped apples to salads – not only are they always around, they add sweetness, tartness and crunch to just about any salad, fromContinue reading

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Apparently it’s Labour Day weekend in a few days (HOW!), which means part of me is plotting what to bring to the parties our friends hold every year to see out the summer, and part of me is getting used to the idea of getting back to a regular schedule next week. I’m also doing my annual kitchen purge, after coming home from Tofino and wondering why we have so much stuff. This includes the stuff currently occupying our freezer and cupboards – including bags of pasta shapes I’m always drawn to at the Italian market, that seem to multiply in the dark recesses of the pantry.

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Look, I have something for you! That’s not baking, nor dessert. Something that can be called into service for barbecues and potlucks all summer long, or hang out in your fridge and wait for you to need a scoop of something real instead of a handful of chips or another piece of raisin toast. I feel like I’ve been shortchanging you lately, and when I was reminded of this salad – and how delicious it is – I got all tingly (as W said this morning when he woke up with his hand asleep for the first time: “it feels all sparkly, like a fuzzy peach”) – and wanted to rush home and tell you about it immediately. This is a salad my mom and I came up with years ago – decades – to bring to a baby shower, and we’ve been making it ever since. It has orzo, and spinach, and purple onion, and lemon… we tossed things in without measuring, and whenContinue reading

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