Browsing: Food Products

Looking for New Spots when Mushrooms are Growing: by Guest Blogger-Alice Kulyk


Guest Blogger Alice Kulyk has suggestions for the best time and places for mushroom foraging.

A good time to look for new mushroom picking spots is when that variety of mushroom is growing. I also mark the date I first found them growing in my gardening journal. This year I first found chanterelles on July 23 and have been going out once a week to search for more and scouting potential new spots for next year. Last year, I first found honey fungus mushrooms on Oct 4th. They were beautiful buttons probably just a day old so this year I will start looking for them a bit earlier, maybe mid September. Last year I found lots of honey fungus in Birds Hill Park and found a couple of new spots where no one had been picking. The mushrooms were big and old but there were LOTS of them.

Poison Ivy Pic

A warning to pickers: there may be poison ivy where mushrooms are growing.

Make sure you wear long pants with ankles covered, even rubber boots wouldn’t hurt and be careful when you are picking with bare hands. I did end up with a small case of poison ivy last year. A preventative measure when you get home is to wash your hands and arms with sunlight soap. For me, Birds Hill Park is a great place to pick mushrooms even though there may be poison ivy, as it is only 10 minutes from home. I did notice there was a big sign saying that every car should have a park pass even though the front ticket booth was closed. You could buy tickets at the park office.  I took a chance without a pass and was not towed or ticketed in the middle of October.

Find out more:

Kath’s quote: “If you want to go foraging into the wilds of Canada without proper gear, you deserve what you get, even if that happens to include being attacked by an undead moose”.


Love never fails.

Foraging for Chanterelle Mushrooms-by Guest Blogger: Alice Kulyk


Today I introduce a new feature and a new guest blogger to Food Musings. I have known Alice since high school. She was older than me and I would admire her and her friends in candid yearbook shots and on the sport team pictures. We were reunited when I discovered that she was married to a partner in the advertising firm that I worked at. Many years pass and her son’s family are friends with my nephew’s family. That son has a summer home at the same lake community as us. Belair Forest is well known for its blueberry and mushroom picking. Alice is a forager and has discovered many treasures in the woodlands. She will be sharing her tips for foraging as the weeks pass.

This is a great year for picking chanterelle mushrooms as there has been plenty of rainfall and very warm temperatures. I visited my favorite spots several times and found a few pounds every time I went.

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Even my grandchildren  enjoy a few hours in the forest hunting for chanterelles. They have their own baskets and they carry plastic knives which are safe but make for good mushroom cutting. Taking the grandchildren mushroom picking is a very rewarding experience as I am so passionate about picking and teaching them about the gifts the forest offers us. It is also an opportunity to really embrace and enjoy our natural resources and see the beauty in nature. Someone has to teach the younger generation to be appreciative of what nature has to offer.

Now I just have to figure out how to teach them to enjoy the taste of mushrooms. Chanterelles grow in evergreen or mixed woods forest with a mossy floor.

There are lots of areas out by Belair. In July through August, just take a drive north on Hwy 59 and see where cars are parked on the side of the highway and you know they are picking mushrooms.  Friends have also told me that the Kenora forests have provided large harvests this summer. I never did find the incredible chanterelle garden I have watched others find on YouTube. Nevertheless, we had several good meals and enough to share or give to friends.  I think they are as happy receiving as I was giving.

I will stay hopeful that one day I will find the mother lode.

Find out more:

Kath’s quote: “All of the people who work in the kitchen with me go out into the forests and on to the beach. It’s a part of their job. If you work with me you will often be starting your day in the forest or on the shore because I believe foraging will shape you as a chef”. –Rene Redzepi


Love never fails.

Seven Natural Health Wonders of the World



Yesterday I had the opportunity to once again style for and learn from Michelle Book the in-house Holstic Nutritionist with the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA).


Coming from every corner of the globe, the wonders that we displayed and she spoke of have been used for centuries in other countries to help with everything from soothing bug bites to achieving beautiful glowing skin. Although you may have heard of these natural health products you may not be aware of their secret benefits and how they can be used in our daily lives. We begin our tour in Asia.


Turmeric (Asia)

Across the globe, turmeric is used for its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to help alleviate joint pain and immune disorders and digestive aid. Michelle can demo a DIY turmeric face mask, as outlined below.


Arnica (Europe)

Stemming from an ancient plant, arnica has been used extensively to help strengthen joints and muscles. Often used as a topical cream, rubbing arnica on a sore joint or muscle can soothe and provide fast relief.


Tea Tree Oil (Australia)

This essential oil is a microbial that can be used to treat a number of skin conditions including dandruff and acne. It can also be used to soothe bug bites, making it a must to pack on the next family trip.

Argan Oil (Africa)

This rare oil boasts potent effects for improving skin elasticity in post-menopausal women and is proven to reduce the appearances of darkly pigmented age spots. Michelle can demo a DIY exfoliating argan face scrub, as outlined below.

Krill Oil (Antarctica)

These small crustaceans are found in the depths of the seas in Antarctica. For such a small species, it packs a big health punch. Rich in omega-3s, krill oil has been proven to help combat cardiovascular disease, and helps lower blood lipids and blood pressure.


Chia (South America)

This seed is prized for its dense nutritional profile. It’s a complete protein that contains all nine of our essential amino acids. It’s a rich source of omega-3s and fibre, which helps to slow digestion and maintain weight. Michelle can demo chia pudding, a replacement for boring breakfast oatmeal, as outlined below.


Ginger (North America)

Ginger is packed with phenolic compounds that help improve your digestive system, when consumed regularly. It is also able to reduce the feeling of nausea, and bolster your body’s immune system to combat the common cold, flu and other similar problems. A pot of water with ginger on your stove, provides your kitchen with a natural de-odorizer.

The recipes that Michelle shared for Tumeric Face Mask and Chia Pudding are both found at the Canadian Health Food Association Website.

Kath’s quote: “The greatest wealth is Health.”  ~Unknown 


Love never fails.


Table for Twenty



In 1996, farmers planted the first biotech crop. I was recently invited to Winnipeg’s “Table for Twenty” event at the Kitchen Sync. We assembled to celebrate that first crop and engage in continued conversation about plant biotechnology and the benefits to both Canadian farmers and consumers.


I was very excited that Chef Gordon Bailey was our culinary host that evening. I first met Chef Bailey when I was a judge for a PEI Shellfish Festival held a couple of years ago in Winnipeg. He won the best seafood chowder contest (not the category that I judged) and represented Winnipeg at the national cook-off which he won as well. No surprise really as Chef Gord once owned a popular restaurant in PEI.


First up was a basket of potato/whole wheat buns with smoked rosemary butter. I can usually refrain from the temptations of the bread basket but not on this evening. I ate not one but two-they could have been my entire meal!


The salad course was a feast for the eyes-zucchini confit, vine ripened tomato, sweet corn relish, basil marinated tofu, cold-pressed canola oil and spring greens freshly plucked from the garden. The spritely flavours were a lovely way to commence the evening.


A rustic bowl of goodness was the main course. Braised chicken thighs and wild mushrooms were perched upon split pea and yellow pulses.


We concluded with a sparkling apple sorbet on a crunchy oat and chickpea biscuit accompanied by warm vanilla cream.

Even though the food was an absolute pleasure, the persons who rose to speak in between the courses and the engaging conversation around the table, made the evening even more enjoyable. Coming from a multi-generational agriculture and food family, I love the opportunity to connect with the people who are responsible for feeding my family and indeed the world.

At our table was Erin O’Hara one of our hosts from Crop Life Canada as well as Shawna Mathieson of the Prairie Oat Growers Association and my long time friend Ellen Pruden from the Manitoba Canola Growers. Farmers Rob & Shelly Bartley and Paul Orsak (who I have met on numerous occasions) really illuminated the advantages of bio-tech crops for me. Not only are crop yields higher but they are able to be kinder to the land they own in addition to being able to spend more time with their own families. Nita Sharda, a Dietician and fellow blogger, was an important part of the discussion indicating how she negates worries about bio-tech plants with her clients.

Of course there are also world-wide advantages of bio tech crops. For a more global perspective I found the Table for Twenty website a great resourse.

Kath’s quote: “Genetically modified organism foods are feared and hated by environmentalists and the public alike. Yet the scientific assessment of GMOs is remarkably different. Every major scientific evaluation of GMO technology has concluded that GMOs are safe for human consumption and are a benefit to the environment.”-Ramez Naam


Love never fails.

Canadian Health Food Association makes Winnipeg Appearance




I recently had the opportunity to accompany Michelle Book to her guest appearances on the Global and CTV morning shows. I was responsible for providing some props including a variety of healthy products which I acquired at The Vita-Health store, a place I had never been.

Michelle is the Canadian Health Food Associations’ in-house holistic nutritionist and she has recently developed a “Natural Guide to Workplace Wellness”. I was all ears as I often experience a three o’clock slump when I bypass the fruit bowl and start snooping through the kitchen cupboards in search of some kind of snack.

This is what I learned today:

You can punch up productivity with omega-3 fatty acids , vitamain D to lift your mood and help improve problem solving abilities in addition to B vitamins which ensure proper and faster nerve-impulse transmission.

Pro-biotic supplements have been shown to help brain health by reducing anxiety and stress. Fruits and vegetables including avocadoes, baked potatoes and bananas are also rich in vitamin B, which can help to ease psychological stress since it’s used to make serotonin.

Have you heard about walking meetings? Or thought about swapping your chair for an exercise ball?


Set a timer on your computer/phone that reminds you to take three deep breaths and try starting and ending the work day with three things you are grateful for.

Complex carbs like beans and legumes are packed with fibre that slows and stabilizes absorption, giving you a steady supply of glucose for the brain without the risks of sugar spikes associated with subsequent crashes. Some studes even show that when stress prone individuals are subjected to stress, they fare better eating a high-carbohydrate diet versus a high-protein diet.

I  was up at 5 this morning and because of my early alarm I didn’t sleep terribly well. I was very tempted to have a nap this afternoon but instead, I went to the gym and came home energized and raring to go.


When I got home I snacked on Hippie Snacks-Coconut Chips and Go Raw’s Ginger Snaps which were left over from our appearances. Both were absolutely delicious and I didn’t feel sluggish from the treat.

Kath’s quotes, I found it when I searched for “hippie quotes”: “Love is a friendship set to music”. ~Joseph Campbell

New York 15-Isla 16 211

Love never fails.












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