We spent a chilly morning remembering the Halifax Explosion and firefighters at the Line of Duty ceremony this morning. Traditions help us remember where we’ve come from and appreciate where we are going.
Food is another way we connect to our world – today we are having a smorgasbord of flavours – some old, some new. Delicious French cheeses – Tomme and Reblechon – from our friends at Ratinaud, along with a rabbit rilette. They’re an example of the wonderful community that has grown up in Halifax’s North End since the disaster, showing the resilience of community.
Olives, and some homemade Lebanese pickled turnip added tang and zip. We added apples and grapes for freshness. Homemade rye bread, creamy mashed turnip, and leftover beet risotto for warmth (and because we are above all, frugal).
So beyond being grateful for delicious food, we are grateful to be sitting in our warm house, and not shivering in the cold like our predecessors 97 years ago, when the world’s largest pre-nuclear explosion had rocked Halifax. Thousands were killed and rendered homeless. We are truly grateful, and we will always remember.
Today’s lunch doesn’t even need a recipe, it’s so simple. We had some delicious Tomme from @Ratinaud_HFX, so we grated it into a bowl, and mixed it with diced hothouse tomatoes (go local!). We piled the whole mix on top of some toasted leftover homemade bread and English muffin (both whole wheat) and popped it under the broiler until it was sizzling hot.
We got up early yesterday…lots to do! We fueled up with a delicious omelette – all fresh and local. Eggs, a yellow pepper, green onions, shiitakes, and a little shred of cheddar.
It’s the time of year when minds turn to winter weight loss. But we’re not big believers in the quick fix. What gets us into a mess can often be turned around to get us out. We’re free of holiday distractions and back into our normal “eat less, move more” routine. Today though, the Toronto weather is still in the deep freeze. (Yes Winnipeg, we hear you laughing…) it made us want a warm and satisfying breakfast.
For 330 calories, here’s what we had: 2 large eggs, scrambled in a nonstick pan and topped with 1/2 ounce of Shropshire Blue cheese. On the side, a slice of whole wheat toast with 2 teaspoons of blueberry-raspberry jam we made back in the summer (thanks, East Lynn Farmer’s Market!) and half a small hothouse local tomato.
Starting the day in a satisfied frame of mind!
On Wednesday we had a very interesting lunch. It started as a recipe from Cooking Light, except we didn’t use any of the same ingredients. Theirs called for Serrano Ham, Manchego, sourdough bread and arugula. Instead, our quick trip in the rain and wind to Plank Road yielded multigrain bread, prosciutto, and Crotonese cheese. All good, nonetheless. On the bottom, a piece of toasted multigrain was spread with grainy mustard and just a little mayo. On top of this, the ham, and a grating of cheese. All that was heated under the broiler, then topped with some mizuna picked from our garden, a sliced apple, and a little grainy mustard vinaigrette (using Triple C from Kozlik’s).
Ripe, juicy peaches – mmm! They look so tempting at the Farmer’s Market. We freeze some. We make jam. We put batches up in jars. Yet still, we keep buying them, because they’re so delicious. Then suddenly, they’re all ripening at once!
Here’s a tasty and different way to use them up. We took 4 slices of whole-grain bread, and spread them with Organic Meadow cream cheese. Then we grated a tiny layer of delicious goat cheese from Montforte on one side. Next, grate a bit of fresh ginger, and top with thin slices of fresh peach. Top with the second piece of bread, and butter the top. Grill in a nonstick pan with just a little butter, flipping when they’re golden.
Tastes like summer!
When we were travelling around France, needless to say, the food was fantastic. Not just in restaurants, but all over. And oh, the variety! But when you’re staying in a rented apartment a few things are certain: your appliances will be unfamiliar. The variety of available seasonings will be limited (unless you plan to cart them all home at the end of the holiday, or be extra-benevolent to the next tenant). You will find new and creative ways to use the few pots and pans you have, but you’ll always be missing something. That something will start a craving.
Our apartment in Besançon had no pizza pan, nor anything similar. So we went out for pizza, and it was yummy: hand-thrown, nice sauce, cooked in a wood-fired oven. But what it wasn’t, was home-made. So when we got back it wasn’t very long before our thoughts turned to pizza. This one has a spelt crust (use the same recipe as our artichoke pizza for the crust, substituting spelt flour from Monckton Organics). We topped it with a little chili sauce, and some yellow pepper. We threw on some black olives for good measure, and some artichokes. Then for cheese: creamy, delectable Oka, brought by the W Parents on a recent visit. So good!
Recently we took some time away from our usual digs and spent a glorious week in the Franche Comte. We’ll be featuring some of the local foods we enjoyed while we were there – including this fresh-caught fish with haricots verts and a sort of rosti with comte cheese.
Sunday morning, feeling lazy. We had a meal plan but it was organized on a day when we weren’t overtired, and were feeling extra energetic. Sunday came, and we just wanted to chill. What to do?
We had some great organic whole wheat English muffins in the cupboard. We also had some delicious Green Valley eggs from Rowe Farms (we got them at Better Bulk). There was an end of some ash-coated cheese from Montforte Dairy.
So, we toasted the muffins. Sliced the cheese thin and put it on the hot muffins so it could wilt a little. Meanwhile, we poached the eggs. We sprinkled the whole thing with some French tarragon, which was growing in the urban farm. (We didn’t start it from seed – we bought it from Mimi’s convenience, around the corner).
That, and a hot cup of coffee will get you Sunday morning heaven. (Okay, that and church – which we had plenty of energy for, after a breakfast like this!)
Now I know summer is really going to get here! The East Lynn Park Farmers’ Market is finally open.
Clearly the farmers have had the same problems we’ve had with the garden – cool temperatures, and not enough sun. But there were a few early veggies to be had, and some rhubarb. As for us, we bought a delicious looking rack of lamb from the Belanger brothers, Peter & Josh. By the time we arrived their veg were pretty well sold out.
We also swung by Montforte and picked up some cheese – oh, what a surfeit of delicious dairy flavours. Today we went for an oozing packet of ripe deliciousness (camembert?) with herbs, and some nice hard cheese for grating.
Last stop, Better Bulk for some whole wheat flour – gotta get some bread going before the heat returns. It’s going to be a tasty week.