• It’s time for some Grub, y’all

    My blog has always been a creative outlet for me. And as much as I love to write, I really did enjoy all those broadcast courses I took in journalism school all those years ago.

    So I decided that 15 years after graduating, I’d put them to use, and launch a podcast. It’s called Grub and of course it’s about food — the people feeding us, their stories, the issues involved in keeping us all fed. And unlike this blog, I’m not limiting it to Niagara, though of course my home region will get plenty of virtual airwaves in the making of episodes.

    Speaking of which, it will be a monthly to-do, each episode clocking about 30 minutes. My hope is to have multiple segments per episode, including interviews, soundscapes, talk tapes and all that other jargon that only a rusty j-school grad would use in a post promoting her new podcast. Think of it as short documentaries in just about every format possible. My favourite part of radio and TV production has always been the editing, so I look forward to the creativity of putting together compelling audio stories and, I hope, providing listeners with some good ear candy.

    That said, I broke that mould in the first episode. It’s one segment: an interview with former vegan chef Kyle Paton and how the movement with which he once aligned himself ended up alienating him. His is a compelling story so give it a listen.

    And while I can’t pay contributors just yet, I do take story ideas. If you’re willing to be interviewed or have an idea, drop me a line at eatingniagara@gmail.com and put Grub in the subject line.

    In the meantime, put some love in your grub and have a listen. And keep a watch for it on iTunes. I’m waiting on the fine folks at Apple to give it the green light for availability there. For now, you can catch it on SoundCloud. 

     

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  • Peach Tree
  • The lunch you need to make yourself: The April Listicle

    Disclosure: I help Niagara Presents with media relations. However, this is not a sponsored post. I was not asked or paid to write it, nor was I given any free product to use in the creation of this recipe.

    One of the most valuable lessons I learned from a cookbook has nothing to do with cookery.

    It was in Tara O’Brady’s gorgeous tome, Seven Spoons, where, woven into a recipe for a hamburger, I found the nugget about how Tara makes a point of making herself a good lunch each day. The burger in question could be made quickly, which made it a perfect candidate for lunch, but it was far from the afterthought to which we often relegate our midday nosh.

    It resonated with me, office worker at the time, who scoured the fridge every morning for leftovers. If my search turned up nothing, it was rushed cafeteria fare at high noon.

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  • Peach Tree
  • Regrets and potato doughnuts + a giveaway for Per La Famiglia

    Whitecap Books kindly provided me with a copy of Per La Famiglia: Memories and Recipes of Southern Italian Cooking for review but was given no input into the writing of this post.

    My biggest regret in life is not learning German.

    Saturday mornings spent as a kid trying to master what noun went with which definite article — der Hund, die Katze, das Mädchen — when I’d have rather been watching cartoons was enough to alienate me from the entire process. And much to my Oma Mayer’s disappointment, the rest of her existence was spent speaking in a German-English pidgin that included lots of gesturing when we were together.

    Now, nearly three years after her death, I’m finally trying to master the language. But for every new word I gain, I become more acutely aware of what I lost by having waited this long, including learning from her in the kitchen when I’d visit her in Germany.

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  • Peach Tree
  • Reconnecting Niagara to the wine industry

    Inside the Cuvée Grand Tasting.

    It was late in my tenure at the paper when a study about Niagara residents feeling increasingly disconnected from the local wine industry was released.

    For a place where stories abound about the rite of passage of swilling Baby Duck at the high school prom, this was incredibly newsworthy. The wine industry always seemed as quintessentially Niagara as tender fruit and rushing water, and though we’ve willingly shared those with others, they’ve always been ours.

    At the root of the growing disconnect were changes made to the Niagara Wine Festival, starting in 2002 when ‘Grape’ was dropped from its name followed by having to pay to get into Montebello Park during the 2007 festival when it had always been free; and changes that same year to rules about the appearance of Grande Parade participants.

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