Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Peasant Cookery Revisited

October26

I had been a bit underwhelmed by my first visit to Peasant Cookery and I knew that I must have ordered incorrectly because all my family and friends who’s opinions I trust, had experienced quite the opposite.  So when when an old friend suggested that we should get together with another friend, for an early supper before attending a class that we are all involved with leading (and she was treating), I jumped at the chance.

It was one of those first rainy nights that come with autumn on the prairies and it was murky and grey outside.  Even though the bright and cheerful interior of The Peasant should have elevated our mood, I notice that even the background tone of my photos are blue/greyish.

Ah, along came just the ticket….an excellent glass of wine and a focaccia just warm out of the oven with extra crispy corners, just the way I love it.  The wine was selected from an extensive list (8 reds and 8 whites) all priced at $8. per glass.  This is reason enough for me to return.

My first friend opted for the Aged Cheddar Gnocchi (which had been on my short list as well).  The light and puffy potato pillows had been tossed with sun dried tomato, spinach, red onion , piquillo peppers and basil oil.

My second friend chose the Tourtiere (also on my short list) which was dense with meat, contained in a buttery pie crust.  The recipe was very dissimilar to the recipe that I make at home but had a hearty taste that was appropriate to warm the innards on a night such as this one.  The French Canadian pie was served with hand-cut French fries that I could not stop sneaking from her plate.

I ordered the half chicken which the menu described as being served with sage and thyme spaetzle, currents, sweet potato, leek and chicken gravy. Spaetzle is a little German dumpling that is typically boiled and then pan-fried.  This version was more like a noodle than a dumpling but I am sure that there are many variations on a theme.  The chicken was firm and moist and far easier to eat than a half bone-in chicken would have been.  The gravy was a teensie bit on the salty side.  I merrily shared and tasted bites with friends and cleaned my plate.

I understand that chef Tristan is competing in the Gold Plate Competition.  He is a talented young Chef and I wish him well.

Peasant Cookery on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: Often, admiring a chef and getting to know him is like loving goose liver and then meeting the goose.”-George Lang

 

Love-that is all.

An Old Fart attends her 2nd We Day in Winnipeg

October25

As I look towards next week and my schedule of responsibilities and events, I am keeping Tuesday, October 30th clear so that I can attend We Day, coming again to Winnipeg.

We Day is a movement of young people leading local and global, social change. The We Day organizers believe that they are the first generation that can truly end the worst forms of poverty and remove the barriers to youth being agents of social change. They push forward the boundaries of charity, social entrepreneurship and create change. “It’s a worldwide movement that proves anyone can change the world.” In order to succeed, Free the Children and Me to We have forged a relationship, and work together through We Day.

These are the notes that I hastily scribbled at the last We Day event that I attended:

“Do all the things that you think you cannot.” Mia Farrow

“Make changes in your own life.” Vice President Al Gore

“When you pray, move your feet.”  Desmond Tutu

“Time, knowledge, compassion is available.” Rick Hansen

“Age does not define what I can do.” Hannah Taylor

“Redefine possible.” Spencer West

Freedom, love, trust, hope.” Shawn Desman

“We are the generation that we have been waiting for.” Craig Kielburger

“Africa will capture your heart, but it will also break it.” unknown

“There are no can’ts or won’ts, only hows.” unknown

Important to me, is whether We Day practices what they preach. This is what my research unearthed:

In the past year alone, there were:

  • 92,121 trees planted to offset carbon emissions
  • 275,000 people inspired by Me to We speakers, books and leadership programs
  • 8 summer leadership academies held across North America, inspiring 439 young leaders
  • 145,600 volunteer hours served by 1,300 travellers including youth, families and corporate groups on Me to We trips
  • 500 Maasai mothers in employed full-time as Artisans

So why would a Boomer like me be interested in screaming and jumping around with 18,000 youth when I could be sitting at home with a mug of coffee in my turquoise house coat? Because:

  • I am a shameless idealist.
  • I believe that we cannot inspire our children to make a difference in this world unless we stand along side them rather than watching them from the sidelines.
  • My premise is food=love and this does not just mean in places of the world where it is aplenty but in those areas of the earth, where it is not.
  • I plan on inviting my daughter who has taken classes through the Canadian School of Peacekeeping and is currently studying for her degree in International Development at the University of Winnipeg.
  • She is looking at Kenya as one possibility to complete her practicum and I would love to visit the Maasai Mara and perhaps volunteer with Free the Children, building schools alongside local community members.
  • This will likely be the only time that I will be in the same room as the President of the Soviet Union and Nobel Peace Laureate, Mikhail Gorbachev.  I hear that he is a snappy dresser (JK).
  • The Keg Steakhouse and Bar is a sponsor so the food will be good…..

Kath’s quote: “Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has that ability to comfort.”-Norman Kolpas

Love-that is all.

10 Things I Loved at She’s Connected

October24

1.  My new gel nails- that exactly match the turquoise of my business card and my bracelet from World Vision.  These were lovingly applied by the nicest team from Bio Seaweed Gel at the Shades of Grey party.

2. My gorgeous new ilashme eyelashes-I feel years younger with them on.  They take five minutes to become accustomed to because they are light weight but securely affixed.  They make your eyes open wide and make me feel sophisticated and sassy at the same time.

3. Molson Canadian 67 Sublime -I was already a lover of the beer all by itself but I now have fun recipes for cocktails that I can’t wait to try out and the knowledge of cheese pairings to impress with at my next dinner party.  I was blown away that a company like Molson’s hires so many savvy women in key roles.  My understanding (and reverence) of their product has been elevated.

4.  Meeting Stephanie from World Vision-I am quite sure that we will stay in touch.  Her enthusiasm and passion was genuine and something just clicked when I spoke with her.  I am so impressed that an organization like World Vision understands that female bloggers are a key way to get their message out in a compassionate way.

5.  Getting to meet Heather, her staff and the rest of the Canadian Beef Ambassadors from Canadian Beef IRL (in real life)

over dinner at the Lonestar Texas Grill (amazing steak sandwich).  The opportunity to attend the conference was because of Heather for the purpose of meeting the rest of the team.  I was so impressed (and rather humbled) that I was in the company of such successful bloggers.  Christine, Alexa, Lina-you have already coached and connected me in so many ways.

6. The Speakers for She’s Connected-I cannot even begin to list and share all that I have learned.  I must admit I did some day-dreaming in a couple of sessions but that is good because I have been inspired to write a third blog that I can’t wait to get at.  Stay tuned.

7.  The hard-working Ambassadors for She’s Connected-(including my roommate Little Miss Kate), SoberJulie, Life On Manitoulin and Mommyoutsidethebox you all welcomed me into your circle and I cannot express my gratitude. I look forward to staying connected with you and blogging alongside you.

8. Donna Marie the founder of She’s Connected-I finally got a chance to introduce my self to her on our last evening.  In spite of all the details, stress and people that she had encountered at the event, she recognized me, knew my work and praised me for it.  I was very touched and look forward to spending more time with her in the future.

9. Getting to hang with the lovely ladies from the Manitoba Canola Growers.  Thanks Jenn and Leanne.  It was a comfort to start the conference off with friends from home.

10.  Being in TO again.  The city energizes me with its diversity, culture and natural and man-made beauty.  I love to visit and I love to come home.

The view from my office window at home.

Until next year, lovely ladies….

Kath’s (overheard at conference) quote: “Go big, or go home.”

Love-that is all.

 

 

Think Christmas with Gifts that will Change Lives Forever

October23

I have been in TO this weekend and this is significant for two reasons: 1) Even though I am not much of a shopper when I am at home, I do love to shop in cities not my own  and 2) I met Stephanie from World Vision Canada at a conference that I was at and wanted an opportunity to share the amazing work that they do.

We already have the World Vision Gift Catalogue at home in the bathroom basket with the rest of our “urgent” reading material.  This is because Daughter #2 and The Frenchman are foster parents to a World Vision child.

We are a family that loves to celebrate Christmas and plans are already being made about drawing names for our gift exchange, the location of our celebrations, dinner menu, etc., etc.  I sometimes get stressed about Christmas because I want to give the family “exactly” what they asked for.  When I read through a brochure like the one provided by World Vision, I realize what a ridiculous thing my stress is.  “Lydia knows what it is like to be poor.  To be hungry and have no food.  To be sick and have no medicine.  To not have even one dress without holes.  Her parents are farmers barely scraping by in the bush country of Uganda.  But this little girl’s life has begun to change…”

And so I am rethinking gift giving (and receiving) this Christmas.  Sure I have been dreaming about that Kitchen Aid Mixer but that money could buy the following:

clothing for 250 children, or

9 pigs, or

medicines for 120 children, or

36 soccer balls, or

help protect 7 child laborers, or

help restore 5 child soldiers, or

help 5 sexually exploited children, or

educate 6 girls, or

provide a latrines for 3 communities, or

60 fruit trees

Without that mixer I will expend more calories and conserve energy too.  My life is so full and I am richly blessed.  I know this in my soul, so this Christmas, why do I need one more “thing”?

Kath’s quote: “It is not good for all our wishes to be filled; through sickness we recognize the value of health; through evil, the value of good; through hunger, the value of food; through exertion, the value of rest.”-Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Love-that is all.

Jamie Oliver’s Sweet Potato and Chorizo Soup

October22

Today my Guest Blogger is my much loved daughter in law, J2, married to my son (J1).  She is a successful blogger in her own right and has started up her own business and can you tell, I am so very proud of her?

“I wouldn’t classify my husband as a picky eater. His palate is very wide and he is no stranger to trying new things (we both tasted fertilized egg embryos when we lived overseas…). There are a few things though that he strongly dislikes. He dislikes beans, or more specifically anything with a chalky texture – lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans. He dislikes most foods that are overly pungent (he also dislikes when I eat them, but I LOVE them) – olives, blue cheese, black licorice. He dislikes broth-y soups. Chicken noodle, minestrone, hamburger…if you can see through the broth, he will probably decline. I love soup, so I try to be creative in finding thick and creamy soup recipes that we will both enjoy.

One soup that we can both agree on is Jamie Oliver’s Sweet Potato and Chorizo Soup from Jamie’s Food Revolution. This happens to be one of the recipes on our weekly meal plan this week and it was a perfect fall meal after raking the front yard.


Jamie Oliver's Sweet Potato and Chorizo Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
From Jamie's "Food Revolution"
Ingredients
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1¾ pounds sweet potatoes
  • 7 ounces chorizo sausage
  • a small bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1¾ quarts of chicken or vegetable broth
  • olive oil
  • 1 heaped teaspoon curry powder
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 fresh chile
Instructions
  1. Peel and roughly slice the carrots.
  2. Slice the celery.
  3. Peel and roughly chop the onions.
  4. Peel and slice the garlic.
  5. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes.
  6. Slice the chorizo.
  7. Finely chop the parsley leaves and stalks.
  8. Put the broth in a saucepan and heat until boiling.
  9. Put a large pan on a high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  10. Add all your chopped and sliced ingredients with the curry powder and mix together with a wooden spoon.
  11. Cook for around 10 minutes with the lid askew, until the carrots have softened but are still holding their shape, and the onion is lightly golden.
  12. Add the boiling broth to the vegetables.
  13. Give the soup a good stir and bring to a boil.
  14. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until the sweet potato is cooked through.
  15. Season with salt and pepper.
  16. Using an immersion blender or liquidizer; pulse the soup until smooth and scatter over a little finely chopped chile.
  17. Divide between your serving bowls and tuck in.

I have used a regular blender in the past (before I received my beloved immersion blender as a gift), but be sure to let the soup COOL OFF before you blend. Otherwise it will end up all over the walls.
I modified slightly and blended the soup before I added the sausage for a little more texture. Delicious!

Jen Grisim, Providing Pre & Postnatal Services in the Heart of Winnipeg www.specialdeliveriesfitness.com Check out my blog: www.babyladyoftheprairies.com

From Kath: By coincidence, Jamie Oliver was in Toronto this weekend and so was I.  He was there for a Jamie Junior T-Fal event.  Jamie is our families’ favourite chef and I would love to meet him.  Maybe next time…..

Kath’s quote:

“Said Aristotle unto Plato,
‘Have another sweet potato?’
Said Plato unto Aristotle,
‘Thank you, I prefer the bottle.’”

Owen Wister

Love-that is all.

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