Turkey Soup, Two Ways

Turkey Chickpea Curry Rice SoupSoup season has arrived! (Okay, to be fair, it is always soup season at our house). Each time we have a bag of parings, ends, and leftover veg bits, we make stock. And the same goes with something like the Thanksgiving turkey. We don’t eat much meat these days, but when we do, we are conscious of using every bit.

This starts with putting some sliced onion (skin and all) or other vegetable parings underneath the bird as it cooks. These will add flavour to the stock. We like to use a large roaster with a lid, and cook the stock right in the same pan, or otherwise put some parchment underneath so every bit can be transferred to the stock pot. We always keep stock on hand, and we love to make traditional soups, like Traditional Turkey, or new ones, like Turkey Chickpea Curry Rice soup.

What’s your favourite soup?

A Thought to Those Who are Working, This and Every Holiday

IMG_5974Labour Day. A day off. A celebration of workers. And yet, so many people are at work so that those of you enjoying a day of leisure, can do so.

I was reminded of this when my husband was reading me a reminiscence from a relative. They were talking about visits to Grandma’s house, where Sunday Rules – the day of rest – prevailed. There was no cooking. No playing. No “doing stuff”. I’m sure we’re not the only ones who had grandparents who wouldn’t drive their car, because someone might have to work on the Lord’s Day to pump gas, nor do shopping even if something was open, or even turn on the television, when a book (the Good One?) would suffice. For me, it’s not about the not labouring any more. Rather, it’s about giving respect to those who do.

In this country, and wherever you read this, there are thousands of people who work the holidays. Some are paid, some are volunteers. They all make days off better for the rest of us, and I hope you appreciate all they do, as much as I do. Happy Labour Day, Canada.

Tart and Tasty

Holiday weekends always result in us pulling out the old family recipes. But this one, slightly adapted, hardly needs a recipe. It’s easy to make and delicious. If you want some protein, eat it along with a handful of nuts. Great for breakfast, or as a side with lunch, or dessert. Grammy Gladys would never have used the blood oranges, and sometimes added a spoonful of sugar, but truly, you don’t need it.

Use one orange, one grapefruit, and one blood orange per person.


Cut off the peel – use for  something else if you like, or compost.


Cut the fruit into bite-sized pieces, removing white pith. You’ll probably need to dump some juice from the cutting board into the bowl during this process. No one said family recipes weren’t messy.


Stir in, at most, a tablespoon (15ml) of sugar or maple syrup, depending on how sweet you like your citrus.


We ate ours with some peanuts – a slice of almond butter or peanut butter toast is lovely as well.

Hashtag #leftovercornedbeef

The second best thing about St. Patrick’s Day is the day after. Assuming you paced yourself with the boiled dinner, there’s enough left for hash the next day. Cook it all up in a nonstick pan and top with an egg. If you’re worried about the calories, don’t forget: move more. Fortunately with yet another blizzard assaulting the city, we know exactly how we will be doing that.

A New Year of Eating Healthily, Frugally and Locally

Another year, friend. It seems like only yesterday we were eating like it was 2014. We hope you’ll join us on our journey as we fuel ourselves mindfully and with gratitude.

Of course there are an abundance of diet books that would refute our choice of breakfast to start the year, but common sense dictates that we don’t throw away food. So instead we continue to use up leftovers in a thoughtful way. No toast today…except to our healthier selves…our repast begins with buttery steamed cabbage, roasted baby potatoes from our garden, applewood smoked bacon, and fresh eggs. The coffee isn’t local but is from a local roastery, served in a beautiful mug from my sister’s local potter, Krista Oland.


Later today we will join with friends at St. Anthony’s to give thanks for the day, and then perhaps a hike or a stroll on the wintry beach to start the year off right. We wish health and happiness to you and yours.

Gardens Gone Wild: Harvest Niçoise


We’ve been traveling, attending a couple of family weddings and doing a little business along the way. It didn’t seem realistic to ask them to postpone their special events on account of our vegetable patch, so the consequences when we got home were, well, interesting…

First, beans were just nicely coming into bloom when we left. Which means Jack’s beanstalk had nothing on us when we arrived back. Beets are still growing, and we’ve already harvested potatoes. A few tomatoes were spared the post tropical storm blight that has attacked local crops.

All in all, we had the makings of a lovely salad (and roasted veg are in our future). The eggs, olives, and tuna are not our own, but the rest is absolutely home grown.

For two:

Cook 2 small red potatoes and 1 large golden beet (reserve the greens for the salad). Throw the beans in to blanch, just at the end of cooking.
Hard boil 2 eggs.
Chill all of this (we cooked ours at breakfast time).

Arrange the chopped greens on a plate. Top with the cooked, cooled veggies, some sliced tomato, olives, and good quality water packed tuna.

For the dressing, mix 1T/15ml each of Dijon, olive oil, and vinegar (your choice).


The Feast Continues – Saints be Praised

Our family traditional dinner for St. Patrick’s Day is corned beef and cabbage – or more colloquially, “boiled dinner”. And the feast was had, in all its glory.


For many years, we wanted to make Mom’s day-after breakfast, but, mysteriously, the corned beef would always disappear overnight while the young ones lived at home, or be eaten up because we had company. Finally, here we are – empty nest, and we’re making a hash of it!


Here’s to the approaching spring – and all your family traditions, whatever they are. Long may they last.

What Can You Put in a Pancake?

Well, we managed to get shoveled out after a huge winter storm (thanks Paul, for the plow!) and over to the Parents’ house yesterday to deliver…the Internet! Mom and Dad are easing into the digital age.

This morning all is right with the world – no quakes or anything. So we are continuing on our journey of “use up stuff left in the cupboards and freezer from the holidays”. This morning’s version: Mincemeat Pancakes. We’ve put all sorts of things in pancakes – apple chunks, blueberries, shredded carrots… We’re not talking about things wrapped in pancakes, or piled on top of pancakes (sorry, crèpes and blinis), but actually incorporated into the pancakes. These turned out deliciously cakey and spicy, perfect with just a little maple syrup.

For 6 pancakes…

In a medium bowl combine 3/4 c or 185 ml whole wheat flour with 1T or 15 ml baking powder. Make a well in the centre. Into this put 1 egg, 3/4 c or 185 ml leftover mincemeat, 2 T or 30ml canola oil or melted butter, and 1 c or 250 ml milk.

Cook on a buttered griddle or frypan at 350F, turning as the edges dry and bubbles begin to appear.

Serve with maple syrup and watch others wonder what the secret ingredient could be.

Live gratefully!


Can't Put a Damper on This Canada Day

Well, it has been a soggy Canada Day weekend, and today’s forecast doesn’t look promising. However our family has a sure-fire start to the day, no matter the meteorological outlook. It begins like this:

20130701-084826.jpg. Everyone has a favorite way to eat fresh, local strawberries, and in our house it’s shortcake. But cake is really a misnomer, because it has to have biscuits along with the freshly-whipped cream. And before it disappears, it looks like this:


Happy 146th birthday, Canada. Have a safe and wonderful day. Oh, and Happy Birthday to you too, Dad!

First Meal of 2013

20130101-084409.jpg the holidays are winding down and it’s time to get back on track. We plan to be in shape to seize every opportunity. Even in a hotel I can manage a healthy start with yogurt, berries, and walnuts from the buffet. (Amazing trick for weight loss: just because it is there and free, doesn’t mean I have to eat it!)

Happy New Year!