Monday, August 10, 2015

The Canning Kitchen Cookbook – Homemade Apple Butter & Book Review

homemade apple butter from The Canning Kitchen cookbook
The canning gene skipped a generation in my family.

I grew up in a family where every summer fruit became jam or jelly and the whiff of vinegar and pickling spices cleaned my sinuses most days when I walked in the kitchen door after school through September and October.
Our cold room shelves sagged under the weight of all those jars by the time Halloween arrived. There’s nothing like a bite of strawberry jam on toast in February to make you appreciate the effort that goes into homemade preserves.

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Queen's Muffins - Wheat Germ Muffins with Currants

These wheat germ muffins are moist and rich tasting, perfect with a cup of tea.

When Princess Diana visited Canada in 1983 she and Prince Charles were scheduled to do a walkabout in my little town of Rothesay. I was in grade 10 and as thrilled as anyone at the chance to see Princess Diana in person so my friends and I dressed up and joined the crows at what was then called Rothesay Collegiate School, to await their arrival.

I have no idea how I made it through the throngs of people lining their walking route to be positioned right at the edge of the rope barrier (I must have been following my friend Ann). So there I was, and Princess Diana came right over to me. She commented on my height and said I had large feet like her and how difficult it was to find stylish flats when you wore size 10 shoes. And then she was off to talk about everyday things with someone else.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Will cultured meat solve the environmental problem of meat?

According to a recent article in the Telegraph Journal, people in industrialized countries eat about 210 pounds of meat per person, per year. That works out to nine ounces a day, every day. And worldwide meat consumption is increasing as people in developing countries eat more meat, more often. 

The environmental impact of producing all of that meat is huge.

It’s estimated that 15 to 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock production, nearly half of which comes from growing and shipping the corn and soy used as feed. Another 45 percent are digestive gasses from cows.

There is a social impact to meat consumption too since about a third of the world’s grain production goes to feeding all that livestock instead of people.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Environmental Issues With Almonds

Are Almonds Becoming an Environmental Nightmare?

Could the popularity of  almond butter, almond milk and almond flour soon spell the end of fresh produce during winter in our northern climate?

I’m sure there are some who wouldn’t mind if broccoli was only available during our local growing season but the almond boom represents a real threat to our access to fresh fruit and vegetables outside of our own growing season.

The problem lies in the fact that we’re so dependent on imported fruits and vegetables, many of which come from California.
According to CBC news, 84 per cent of broccoli and cauliflower, 76 per cent of fresh strawberries, 68 per cent of lettuce, 69 per cent of carrots, turnips and other root vegetables eaten by Canadians come from California.

Meanwhile California continues to endure a severe drought.
With surface water drying up the agricultural industry has been depleting ground water sources to keep their crops growing and, with no signs of the drought ending, there is talk of California actually drying up completely.

In spite of this, almond groves continue to expand.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mom's Non-Dairy Pound Cake

Mom's Non-Dairy Pound Cake
Non-dairy pound cake has an irresistible texture - not too dense but not crumbly either.

Pound cake is the ultimate cake for summer. It’s versatile and stays fresh much longer than most baked goods, especially in warm weather. It slices easily, doesn’t go crumbly and doesn’t need frosting -- a simple dusting of icing sugar is fine.
My dad’s favourite way to eat pound cake was as mocha cakes – leftover pound cake cut into two-inch cubes, frosted with a basic icing and rolled in chopped peanuts.

Mom's Non-Dairy Pound Cake
Mom has three good recipes for pound cake but she considers this one the best. The recipe came out of a Food & Wine magazine back in the 1980s.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Fresh Tomato & Basil Tart on Goat Cheese Pastry

Fresh Tomato & Basil Tart on Goat Cheese Pastry
I have no recollection of Canada Day celebrations when I was growing up and I think it’s because our summers were like one extended family picnic. Week days were spent at the beach and weekends and holidays were for family day trips to St. Andrews, New River Beach, or Deer Island.

These trips always involved great picnics, especially the New River Beach days.  We were often with our cousins and there were mounds of food. We’d have sandwiches and hard boiled eggs for lunch but then our moms would cook great feasts around fire pits for supper.  One year when I was too young to remember mom said the older kids caught crabs at low tide and they cooked them over the fire. Sometimes we boiled periwinkles.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Ginger Crinkle Cookie S'Mores Recipe

Ginger Crinkle Cookie S'Mores
Chewy Ginger Crinkle Cookies are ideal for s'mores.

School lunch fatigue usually hits during the school-year home stretch so early June is just the time to put extra special treats in kids’ lunchboxes.

When I was little we walked home at noon so didn’t pack a lunch but we always brought some sort of snack for recess. Around this time of year when my brother and I were in grade three we brought lobster legs for recess one Friday. Lobster legs were a special treat but Timothy must have been too busy to eat them at recess because come Monday morning they were still in his desk...
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