Tortilla Soup recipe can be made a chicken tortilla soup (with chicken and chicken broth) or as a vegetarian version (eliminate chicken and replace with veggie broth). It can also be made vegan with the elimination of the sprinkle of cheese at serving.
First off I have to admit: I was after the berries. Ever since landing here in Newfoundland I was told about how great the strawberries are from the farm. I’ve tried finding them in the grocery stores but they are always out of local. So when my Mother’s friend told us, as we were having tea, that Lester’s was the place to go, we decided it was the place to be. It was way too hot for tea today anyway.
The market is well known for their fresh strawberries, when in season. During the berry season, U-Pick is also available at their two farm locations. Check their website for details as the farms are open dependent upon current growing and weather conditions.
Lester’s Farm Market features heavily the produce from the farm but it also has a selection of dairy and baked goods.
Fresh produce when I visited included beet greens, collards, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, zucchini, green onion, lettuce, cabbage, white turnip, garlic scapes, swiss chard, kale, potatoes, cucumber and more.
Inside the Market, they also have gardening supplies, including soil and fertilizer as well as gardening tools, seeds, and watering aids.
Lester’s also features a petting zoo on the property and a mobile food truck. Lester’s has been around since 1854 and it is clear they are doing it right.
On my way out the door I decide to ‘check in’ on Facebook and a few minutes later receive a message from a good friend in Toronto because a Facebook friend of hers, from St. John’s, had just posted a query about the current availability of strawberries at Lester’s. I was glad to report back that there were indeed strawberries available and in doing so have made a new friend.
Lester’s Farm Market
173 Brookfield Road
St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
I’m currently GaddingAbout Eating in Newfoundland where I am visiting friends and family. It would be hard to avoid the ocean and its wonderful bounty when visiting (or talking about) Newfoundland.
Newfoundland’s history is firmly rooted in the Cod Fishery. Europeans were recorded to be visiting here to fish as far back as 1501 and settlements started springing up soon after. Reportedly, fishing at that time was as easy as dipping a basket into the ocean.
Things have changed over the years and for a period of time the question has been: “Will the Cod Fishery be part of Newfoundland’s future?”. A moratorium was put in place in 1992 in response to the collapse of the North Atlantic cod stocks. A study in 2010 did show that the stocks are recovering but at that point had only returned to 10% of original biomass, having fallen to 1% at the time of the moratorium.
Starting in 2013, a recreational (food) fishery was opened allowing people to catch up to 5 fish per day (maximum 15 per boat) including cod, during selected weeks of the summer. The fishery is on currently and my host this week went out with his neighbour. Like ya would! 😉
If you’re super lucky, you’ll also know someone who knows someone who has a commercial licence for things like crab or lobster. Or you’ll know someone who knows someone… also given is that Newfoundlanders love to share with their neighbours. So when the neighbours hear that someone has guests from ‘The Mainland’ then you might even get yourself a lovely feed of delicious crab legs.
Crab eating is dirty work, so don’t wear your best shirt. Expect to take a bath in crab water at some point. If at all possible, eat outside; on a deck next to the water; drinking some yummy beverages; and close to a garden hose.
I plan on writing more about my food adventures on The Rock including some recipes, restaurant reviews, and photos.
But for now, one more food porn teaser. A photo of some amazing Smoked Jerked Chicken. enJOY
It’s also a great recipe to mess with and try different variations. If you are avoiding sugar: use honey. The general rule for honey/sugar substitution is replace by the same amount of honey if it is under a cup of sugar. (If the recipe calls for more than 1c sugar, then substitute 2/3rds to 3/4s of a cup of honey beyond the first cup). Remember: honey is sweeter and contains more moisture than sugar. The flavour and colour of the honey can have an interesting impact on the results. Honey also contains some great antioxidants.
Or you could replace the eggs with an egg substitute. Don’t feel like lemon? Use orange! Avoiding flour? Replace with a gluten free substitute. The flour is to help bind the cheesecake but it’s not as important an ingredient as it would be in a bread, so you can easily substitute it out.
Recipe kindly shared with me by Chef Mohammad of Tibisti Foods & Grill in Vancouver. A truly lovely recipe. Learn the basic technique and then you can play with the syrup and spices to add your own loving touch. Today I’m going to make another with some added honey and maybe spice.
I’m honoured to have had this recipe shared with me and am thrilled to be able to share it with you.
An amazing location full of honey products. Honey, wax, bee pollen, candles, and beauty products. The honey selection is second to none. If you want to try different types of honeys from different parts of the world, this is your place.
Connected to the HoneyBee Centre in Surrey (which also sells bee keeping supplies) their depth and breadth of knowledge is impressive. There are instructional sessions held at the shop – email them to get on their mailing list for updates about activities at the store.
They also have a selection of tea and some baked goods made with the products. A lovely bright shop and well worth the visit.
Don’t worry – it’s not just for West Coast People. This is the place to go for organic seeds and gardening supplies and they are available online or in person. I started using West Coast Seeds years ago. At that point they weren’t in their fancy store. It was a shop in a barn on a farm property. The selection was very good and the service has always been consistently great: pleasant, helpful, and well-informed staff.
West Coast Seeds believes in the principles of organic gardening and as such they only sell untreated seeds. They have wonderful varieties of heritage, heirloom and organic seeds for your vegetables and flower gardens.
The staff is wonderfully knowledgeable and incredibly helpful. It’s an interesting experience listening to their conversations with other customers and you scan the racks of seeds – what you overhear are some interesting tidbits about other’s gardening practices and concerns as well as getting the sense that all the staff are genuinely interested in helping and are very passionate about what they do.
Most years I start my seeds super early and fill up my tiny kitchen table and shelves with trays and lights. This year I’ve managed to show some restraint – only because of my incredibly busy school schedule – and am about 2 months behind. Which probably puts me right in line with when normal people would start.
I haven’t yet taken my Spring trip out to their store but good news is: I have a selection of seeds that I’ve been collecting for years; I’m seeing West Coast Seed displays in my local garden centres; and – something you internet people will love – they have an amazing catalogue and webstore.
The website is an amazing resource itself.
The site includes planting guides for all areas of Canada [LINK] as well as many other informative guides, instructive articles and blogs, and glossaries.
This is the perfect food for these grey winter days. This recipe calls for a ham bone – maybe you have one sitting around the freezer, left-over from the holidays? Maybe you need to make yourself a delicious meal of glazed ham and scalloped potatoes ….