3 posts tagged with “Canadian Food Experience Project”

  • The Canadian Food Experience Project: Tardiness and taters (in scape pesto)

    New potatoes with garlic scape pesto

    I’m not always the most confident person but I can confidently say that when it comes to being late, I kick butt, hands down.

    My skills at tardiness are unsurpassed. I can get up a half an hour earlier and still be 10 minutes late for work. Want to meet for lunch? Bear with me because I’ll be there after our date has started. Throw a baby into the mix and now it’s just embarrassing how late I can be. I don’t do it to be rude. I’m often just a bad judge of time and how long things take.

    In saying all that, I’m really late with this post, which is the last in the Canadian Food Experience Project and it comes equipped with a recipe that may also be a bit late for the season. Alas, it all seems fitting if I’m being honest with who I am, which this post demands.

    This final instalment of the Canadian Food Experience Project is supposed to be reflective — how and if we found our Canadian food voices, what we learned. I can say this with certainty: I don’t know that I could define Canadian food with any more ease or clarity today than a year ago when this project started. From one region to the next, one province to the next, food is so vastly different and so influenced by every culture that is a part of Canadian society. The Niagara peach is as Canadian as poutine, bannock, maple syrup, cod tongues with scruncheons, Saskatoon berry pie, perogies (I’m thinking of you Glendon, Alta.), pizza, dim sum, fusion — the list goes on. If someone out there has a definite answer to question of what Canadian food is, I’m game to hear it.
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    Category Recipes


  • Peach Tree
  • The Canadian Food Experience Project: Five garden weeds to put on your plate

    My garden is barely a postage stamp.

    Right now, it’s mostly a barren swath of soil, home to a clematis that keeps hitting the snooze button on the growing season and some early rising rhubarb that’s up but barely at ’em.

    I love it, though, for the gifts that it provides. Sure, I feel grateful when the herbs and vegetables I plant each year grow and thrive and reward me weeks and months later for what little effort I put into their upkeep.

    It’s the surprise gifts that I love more, though. The ones I don’t plant.

    The weeds.

    Yes, what other gardeners despise and work out the day’s frustrations by pulling, I take delight in letting grow. I don’t fret about these herbaceous squatters competing  with perennials who have seniority in my plot or annuals who lease prime real estate for a season. The reason is simple. Most of the weeds in my tiny plot are edible. They pack a health kick and more flavour than some of those invited guests we go to great lengths to make comfortable. I’m looking at you green leaf lettuce.

    Ever since the province imposed a cosmetic pesticide ban in 2008, lawns and gardens everywhere have become virtual salad bars. They’re filled with roots, leaves and blooms that had been all but banished from existence by those poison-carting tanker trucks  homeowners once hired to spray weeds into oblivion. And for that we should be grateful.

    Some food security advocates lobby for insect farming to feed the world. I say we should eat more weeds. They’re plentiful and effortless to grow, so why not take advantage of what’s on offer? Just forage for edible weeds where you know the ground isn’t contaminated (your backyard is a safe bet) and refer to a field guide to help you identify plants.

    Here are five common garden weeds that we should be putting on our plates instead of the compost heap:
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    Category In the Garden, In the Wild


  • Peach Tree
  • The Canadian Food Experience Project: (Almost) a Canadian love affair with ice fishing

    Ice fishing huts on Lake Erie near Fort Erie.

    The framed photo propped against the wall in my office started it all.

    The red wooden ice fishing hut against the stark backdrop of baby blue sky interrupted by the ruler-straight line of Lake Simcoe’s frozen surface was so beautiful, I had to buy it when I saw it 12 years ago at the One of a Kind craft show in Toronto.

    It also awoke in me something primordial. There was something about sitting on a frozen lake, just me, my rod and the anticipation of catching fresh fish, that led me to believe I had to go ice fishing.

    The second toe on my left foot, which regularly turns nose-wrinkling shades of purple and blue the moment it feels chilled, is the regular reminder that it was all nonsense.

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    Category In the Wild