Sunday, April 20, 2008

Recipes as Seen on Shaw TV

Here are the two recipes that you will soon see on Shaw TV:

Spiced Indian Chai Tea

There are a million recipes for chai..........this is mine. If you end up with any leftover chai, try it chilled with ice!

4 or 5 peppercorns
4 or 5 cardamom pods
1 or 2 cinnamon sticks
6 to 8 whole cloves
2 star anise pods
peeled skin of half an orange
2 or 3 slices fresh ginger
3 orange pekoe tea bags
3 cups milk (traditionally homogenized is used, but choose whatever milk you like, including soy or almond milk)
1/3 cup sugar (more or less, even none, depending on your taste)

Place approx. 4 cups of water in a large pot. Add all the spices, orange peel & ginger. Bring to a boil, then turn heat off & allow to steep for approx. 30 minutes. If you do not have time, just continue to simmer for 5 or 10 minutes.

Bring back to a boil (if you turned the heat off in the previous step) & add the tea bags; allow to steep for approximately 2 minutes. Add the milk & sugar, & bring back to a boil. Once the tea has come to a boil & begins to rise up in the pot, it is finished. Be sure to watch it closely when it's close to boiling, because inevitably the phone will ring or some such interruption will occur at that last moment, & you'll end up with a stovetop full of milk to clean up!

Watermelon Feta Salad

This may sound a bit odd, but try it, especially on a hot summer will love it!

one 'personal' watermelon, seedless
2/3 cup feta
zest & juice of one lime
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
sea salt, to taste
1 TBSP freshly chopped parsley
Optional: drizzle of olive oil, black olives

Place the onion slices in a small bowl with the lime juice, tossing to coat. This step will mellow the raw onion flavour.

Cut one end of the watermelon off, about halfway between the equator & the end. Scoop out the flesh, trying to leave most of the flesh in large chunks. Cut the watermelon flesh into large-ish bite-size pieces & place in a bowl. Just before serving, toss with the lime zest, juice, pepper, salt & parsely. If desired, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil & a few chopped black olives. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Why I Never Kept a Diary...........

Here's a lovely pic of the very first green pepper available for sale by Grandora Gardens at yesterday's Market - Spring really IS here!

Well, it's been nearly 9 months to the day since I've posted (no, I'm not pregnant), and childhood memories of my attempts at keeping an updated diary come flooding back. I don't know why it's so difficult to keep up updating, it's not that there's been no news to tell! ;)

A brief synopsis:

The overwhelming success of the new home of the Saskatoon Farmer's Market has allowed me to take a reprieve from catering, and focus only on the market and my cooking classes. Even the winter market was good this year, & for the past month, it has already started to feel as bustling as last summer did. I am so thrilled to be a part of our Market - so thrilled, that I put my name in for consideration to be elected to the Board of Directors (which I applause, please). So I now have a 3 year term on the Board, and my position for this year will be Vice President.

Last summer I was invited to participate in the 1st annual Saskatchewan Mustard Festival, spearheaded by Exec Chef Moe Matthieu (of Willows on the Wascana). If you've never heard of the Napa Valley Mustard Festival, it's a 2 month long festival showcasing agriculture and the fine arts. The festival is held when mustard is in bloom, and mustard plays a key role throughout the 2 month event. Chef Mattieu has had the opportunity to work in the region and participate in the festival, and was keen to start a grassroots festival in Saskatchewan. Perfect place, since we are such a major player in world mustard production.
Last fall I was asked by Harden & Huyse Chocolates in Saskatoon to provide baked goods for their newly-installed coffee bar, featuring Eurpope's Illy coffee. My quick-to-disappear scones can now by enjoyed there, in addition to several other delectables. If you're craving one on a non-Market day, be sure to check them out!
This year I started scheduling Oyako cooking classes (Oyako means parent & child in Japanese); I do them on Sunday afternoons (about one a month). I thought it was a great way for a parent & child (or children) to connect, and maybe spark/kindle an interest in cooking. They've been a lot of fun. In my adult classes, we eat what we have made at the end of the class, but for the Oyako classes, I put together dishes that are taken home, so that the rest of the family can sample their creations.
I also ran a few 100 Mile Diet classes this year - over the past year, interest in this movement has really piqued in Saskatchewan. The menus were great fun to put togeher - generally I came up with them in my head while attending the Saturday's Market just before the class. The dishes were chosen based on what was available that day at the Market. In introduced several people to flat iron steaks, which have now become hard-to-find at Benlock Farms (even I'm having trouble getting them now!) I was clever enough to stock up on a few herb blends by Fran's House of Herbs before they left the Market for the winter - that made easy to add lots of flavour, produced locally. As a substitute for pepper, I had stocked up on chipotle peppers from Grandora (chipotle peppers are ripened, smoked & dried Jalapeno peppers), which I then ground up in a coffee grinder. Salt used was from Sifto in Unity. Pea shoots from Wally's Urban Market Garden added a burst of colour to salads. That's just handful of the the local products we used - really, it's amazing how bountiful Saskatchewan is, even in the darkest parts of winter!
This past January, I was invited to speak by the Mustard Development Commission at Crop Production Week. I shared a bit about myself and the mustards I make for the Farmer's Market, some fascinating facts about mustard properties & its history, and the Saskatchewan Mustard Festival. I was really honoured to be asked to speak........and I think I gave the audience a bit of a light-hearted break in the midst of all the more 'serious' crop stats, forecasts, etc. :)

Leading to.......I was recently able to double my scone production capacity by purchasing a 2nd double oven. I'm quickly building up my arm muscles trying to keep you all in scones ;)
We're off to see the pelicans today - they returned a week ago, which is the earliest return ever recorded, from what I understand. If you're not from Saskatoon, you can read all about the pelicans.