9 posts tagged with “Garden of Eating — Niagara”

  • Brewing new life into an old pear

    There’s something about persistence.

    It pays off, apparently. Although, one late November Saturday, as I hurtled down the QEW in my husband’s Corolla, bound for Toronto, it felt more like payback.

    It was 8:30 a.m. and for two sleep-deprived parents, it was painfully early to be up and vaguely resembling functioning people. But I had an invitation to brew beer at Great Lakes Brewery and precious cargo in tow — my wide-eyed daughter, Olivia, and 15 pounds of Kieffer and Bartlett pears — for the occasion.

    Rewind a week and I was scouring parks and boulevards in north St. Catharines for the last of the year’s Kieffer pears. A relic from the canning industry once omnipresent on the peninsula, the Kieffer is now an annoyance every fall when loaded branches drop bushels of fruit to rot on lawns. Continue reading

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    Category Food Finds, On the Farm


  • Peach Tree
  • The Canadian Food Experience Project: An ode to my favourite harvest, the Kieffer pear

    Some people might call me fickle or a fairweather foodie.

    Whatever is being harvested at any given moment is my favourite thing to eat and convinces me that particular season is the most wonderful time of year.
    I gush about asparagus in spring. Strawberries soon after. Cherries to start summer. Peaches, oh yes peaches, to make me swoon for most of hot weather. And wait, there are grapes to make late summer fantastic, even if it’s the segue into fall. And how about blackberries in late August? Or those early arrivals among apples and the first squash that make me pout just a little less when summer bids adieu for another year?

    Then there’s cabbage. And kale, which, lucky for me, comes just about all year in my CSA baskets. Thank you hardy green — and yes, you, too, leafy mustards. You make the most awful depths of winter bearable, if not quite my favourite time of year.

    Really, I think my serial monogamy with every harvest is a sign of gratitude more than me being unfaithful to the fruit or veggie of yester-jour.
    Through it all, though, there is one harvest that remains my sentimental favourite. It wouldn’t be fall on this blog without me showing some love for the Kieffer pear, that much-maligned, misunderstood urban fruit that makes longtime farmers cringe and chuckle all at once.
    Continue reading

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    Category Recipes


  • Peach Tree
  • The Canadian Food Experience Project: My most cherished “Canadian” recipe, Zwetschgenküchen

    Something about the words ‘Canadian recipe’ just don’t compute with me.

    I mean, what the heck is that? Other than tourtiere, poutine or pemmican, I am at a loss to think of a truly Canadian recipe that hasn’t been influenced by another culture.

    Add the word ‘cherished’ to mix and ask me to pen a post about it and my reaction is simply ‘gulp.’

    That’s exactly what happened when I saw that this month’s instalment of the Canadian Food Experience project was to write about a cherished Canadian recipe.

    I am the child of German immigrants. Every recipe that really means anything to me comes from a land known for its beer, punctual trains, and engineering. Rouladen, Zwiebelrostbraten, Sauerbraten, my Oma Mayer’s Sauerbohnen and Zwetschgenküchen — none sound particularly Canadian and yet all of them are cherished by me.
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    Category Recipes


  • Peach Tree
  • Writing the book on Niagara

    I got this fortune with my lunch shortly before an email arrived with an opportunity I couldn’t resist. Fingers crossed it’s true. Otherwise, I’ll have to try my luck at those lottery numbers.

    Eggshells would have been doomed a few weeks ago if I had to walk on them.

    My feet were heavy, weighted down by leaden thoughts that kept me preoccupied every step I took.

    That week, about the middle of July, was one of those stretches of time I wished had just passed already, even when it had barely taken its first few breaths.

    A puzzling fallout with someone I had long thought the world of. Job cuts at work. The loss of a cornerstone to my freelance work. Seeing talented people lose their jobs. The resulting tension at the office and elsewhere. The anxiety created by the uncertainty ahead.

    And of course Mother Nature just added to this pile-on with an overbearing heat that felt like I was the lead singer of an opening act at a summer concert and some hooligan whipped a can of Bud at my chest. It could leave a person winded during those first breaths outside of the climate-controlled comfort of the great indoors.

    The universe felt off-kilter.
    Continue reading

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