Friday, October 27, 2017

Do Your Magic Gougères

When I was little, my mom made cream puffs as a special treat. I loved how she filled them with clouds of whipped cream that gushed out all over my face and fingers. I thought they were magic. Now that I'm a big kid, I can make that magic myself. And it's really quite easy! Only now, I'm more inclinded to make them savoury with cheese rather than

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Take One BIG Zucchini...

I like a recipe that starts: "Take one big zucchini..." Or, you might say, "Prenez une grande courgette..." because this recipe is from France. It was included in a tourist brochure I picked up somewhere in the south of France in 1998. Wow, almost twenty years and I've been making this savoury zucchini loaf every summer since. It serves as a nice side dish

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rhubarb to the Rescue

This time of year, I struggle to suppress my natural instinct to go out into the wilds (read: back alleys) of Saskatoon and forage for rhubarb. The devil on my left shoulder says Go ahead, back alleys are fair game. The angel on my right shoulder say, Nooooo, that's somebody's pie. Then I think of my friend Eva, who had an altercation with a back-alley

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Eat Your Spuds it's St. Patty's Day

Since St. Patrick's Day is nigh upon us, I dedicate today's musings to my grandmother, Josephine O'Hara. Or, as I knew her best, Grandma Jo. That's her on the right (below) with her mother-in-law, my Great Granny O'Hara, circa 1936. Grandma Jo was so proud of her Irish heritage that dinner on St. Patrick's Day was akin to Christmas or

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Time to Stop and Eat the Flowers

Some people prefer to grow flowers and some people prefer to grow good things to eat, but me, I like to do both at once. Edible flower gardening. Here are four good reasons to eat flowers: Flowers are pretty. We already put flowers on the table – in a vase – so imagine how extra pretty they are atop a salad bowl or a dinner plate. Flowers

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Orange You Hungry? Carnitas!

I remember the first time I picked an orange. Not from the produce section. Not from a fruit bowl. Not from the recesses of my Christmas stocking. Picked an orange from a real orange tree. I remembered it today because I just picked an orange and the smell took me back to the first time I plucked an orange from a tree and held it to my nose. It

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

A Culinary Lesson from Hannibal Lecter

One crisp winter day I set out to pick juniper berries at a local park. I planned to make bigos, an old Polish stew, for a dinner party that week, for which juniper berries are a traditional ingredient. Being both frugal and old-fashioned, I decided to forage the junipers in the wild, or at least the wilds of Kinsmen Park, Saskatoon. After all, why pay for

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Old Timey Gingersnaps


Today I dipped into my own cookbook Out of Old Saskatchewan Kitchens for this old-timey gingerbread cookie recipe so I could make a batch (or two) to take to my sister's place for Christmas. I originally found the recipe in the Maidstone community cookbook Preserving Our Past for the Future. Thank you Maidstone for preserving this

Monday, November 07, 2016

Seared my Dear

My friend Joanne said she would not eat raw lamb, and that was fine with me. So while everyone else at the table made adventurous forays to try the lamb, she watched bemused. When they liked it, she looked puzzled. And when the bowl was almost empty, she finally picked up a piece of pita bread, spread it with lamb, topped it with mint and

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Kibbe Nayya

My girlfriend Paula is a fabulous cook. Let her loose in the kitchen with a lemon and a sprig of mint and she can make a Lebanese feast. In her family, Kibbe Nayya is made the same day the lamb is slaughtered. There's no cooking in this recipe. "Nayya" means raw. Eat at your own risk!

1 shoulder of lamb (about 1 kg/2 lb of meat)
4 green onions
Handful each fresh mint and basil
2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp each mace, cinnamon, and cumin
1 cup cracked wheat (called ‘burghul’ in Lebanon)
Olive oil for drizzling
Lots of thin green onions and extra mint leaves
Pita bread

Put the lamb (minus the bone), onions, mint, and basil through a meat grinder. Mix in the spices. Cover the cracked wheat with hot water and let stand ten minutes, until softened (or follow package instructions). Drain well. Mix the cracked wheat into the meat mixture and knead as you would bread dough, adding a drop of water from time to time, until the mixture is silky smooth.

Taste and add more spices to suite your palate. Paula says salt and pepper are the most important spices; the others should be evident but subdued.

Spread the lamb mixture into a flat serving bowl. Using a finger, run three furrows the length of the lamb. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil into the furrows. Garnish the edges of the bowl with thin green onions and fresh mint leaves. To eat, scoop the Kibbe Nayya with a chunk of pita bread, top it with a green onion and a mint leaf, and pop it into your mouth.