Tag Archives: Recipes

We are one!

Article and photographs by Gayle Hurmuses and Hurmuses family archives,  featured image by Brandi Deziel

A year. 58 recipes, a couple of dozen articles, many reviews, and 16 contributors with more coming soon!

Grampa's store, Main St, Vancouver
Grampa’s store, Main St, Vancouve

It’s been an exciting year and a growing experience full of opportunities to meet great people, to try new foods, and to share the love of cooking.  At the end of the day, that’s what this site is for, to teach about food, to discuss it, and to share a passion for food and its annual rituals.

On the Ptarmigan
On the Ptarmigan

I grew up cooking, in a food industry (fish exports, restaurants, grocery markets) household where everyone not only cooked, but each had their own specialty. Funny thing, we were all so busy cooking that it’s one of the few activities we don’t really have pix of us doing.

My folks would regularly host parties with 100 people or more and we’d cook as a family enough food to feed all of them. Christmas dinners were often for 35 to 40 people, with furniture moved out of the way and tables brought in from everywhere.

The National Cafe - Vernon, BC. - Uncle Jeff
The National Cafe – Vernon, BC. – Uncle Jeff

In those days it was a lot more common for people to preserve their own foods, and it’s what I grew up doing…certainly during my childhood. Both my mom and Mrs Davidson the next door neighbour, would each can bushels of food every year, with Mrs Davidson having the edge on volume and variety.

BushelTomatoes1I don’t make everything myself from scratch, but have always made it part of my objective to know how to do so, to understand how things are made and how to work with the seasons. There are some things that I always want to do for myself, or I’d simply do without them…like canned tomatoes.

For me, there is no comparison between home canned tomatoes and even the best that one can buy commercially. In a pinch, I might consent to use commercial tomatoes for a pasta sauce, but never for tomato soup, where the taste of the fruit itself is the key note.

Last year I did one bushel of tomatoes and really ought to have done two, as I usually do. The sauce was gone in a moment and I’m already down to only 3 quart jars of tomatoes, which I could easily use up in a week. I still have a good amount of ketchup and salsa…which makes me happy.

Sadly, my computer was held hostage to an evil repair company in September (note to self, always go to the Apple Store) and I was unable to post almost anything during that month, although I certainly did a lot of canning and preserving. I’m planning to post some of those retroactively, as soon as time permits.

Canned Tomatoes, Salsa, and Ketchup
Canned Tomatoes, Salsa, and Ketchup

That bushel of tomatoes netted me 7 litres of canned tomatoes, 3 litres of tomato sauce, 16 pints of salsa, and 9 pints of ketchup. The ketchup is entirely bonus, as it’s made from the skins and cores of the tomatoes, which most would normally toss out. It’s almost the best part of cooking a bushel of tomatoes simply to get the ketchup.

The thing about canning is that it’s not about the money you save, it’s about the quality you get…and it’s about owning the food you eat and share with the people in your life.  It’s a great family project, and adds enormously to the appreciation of the food we eat.

Grape leaves
Grape leaves

This website celebrates the importance of the seasons as part of the calendar of food and of keeping us grounded. It’s a reminder that everything we eat comes to us directly out of the earth. So, this year, as last year, we’ll look at planning a garden for cooking and follow that process all the way through to cooking from the garden, preserving the harvest and later use of that food during the winter months. Over time, we’ll look at planning these activities year over year…one doesn’t need to make every canned item every year…if you’re not a nomad, you can plan your preserving in 2 or 3 year cycles, or join a canning exchange group in order to assure a good variety of canned goods.

From seed to jar, food always provides a context for being grounded, for following the seasons, enjoying the best of food as it appears, and setting some of it by for later use in the winter.

Yes, it’s work, but it’s a joyful celebratory labour that creates fun from beginning to end and it’s an act of love and caring to share with the people who are important in your life.

Grampa Hurmuses Turkey
Grampa Hurmuses – The Turkey Master

December – Eatin’s Canada

The end of the year, December is always about making sure we remember to celebrate our families and friendships. Parties, dinners, brunches, and celebrations in general give us the opportunity to share food with our loved ones.

Not only is it a good time to gift them with some of those pickles and tomatoes you canned in the nicer weather, there are still things you are able to preserve in December.

Like cabbage. It’s a great time for Kim Chi, which is nicely spicy and helps cut through the cold and drab days. Right now we have two recipes: Philly’s Easy Kim Chi is a traditional style, and Joel’s Smoked Mackerel Kim Chi is a bit of serendipitous fusion. There will be an accompanying recipe for Bulgoki Beef soon, I promise.

We also have a recipe for No Knead Sourdough, and will have more for you soon. Not only the usual how to plan a party and make food for holiday events, but also how to pack for your plane trip home. Who cares what kind of food the airlines are serving? You can have the best!

Potato Latkes are a great seasonal dish if you are cooking for Hanukah, or invited to a potluck. When fried in oil, they are excellent at room temperature.

We’ll be adding more to this soon, but wanted to make sure that it was begun.

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Eatin’s Canada – April

ESSENCE:

  1. The intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, especially something abstract, which determines its character:
  2. An extract or concentrate obtained from a plant or other matter and used for flavouring or scent. (Oxford)

There may in some quarters be a debate about what is the most Canadian food, but here at Eatin’s Canada it is recognized that Maple Syrup is the essence of Canadian spring..and the most Canadian of foods.

This year, given the long and harsh winter, April is the month of the essence, when the warming of the weather allows the sap to run freely, filling buckets with pure liquid, almost like water, but ever so slightly sweet.  JP Campbell returns with part two of the sugarbush story.

Maple Syrup, The Essence of Spring, our feature Food for Thought article takes us from tapping, though the cooking process, to the final product. Later in the month, we’ll be featuring an article on another wonderful essence…Honey, but more on that when it arrives. When time permits, there will also be a follow-up and progress report on the seedlings.

Meanwhile, we have reviews and recipes for your reading and cooking pleasure:

Reviews: GaddAboutEating’s review of West Coast Seeds. For those that have not yet begun their gardens, as I did last month, there is still time to get seeds and start them indoors. Through the month, we’ll also be reviewing some other products and some events, watch for updates.

Recipes: In honour of the season, Gurpreet Chana has created a Canadian version of Gulab Jamun, an Indian classic dessert, using a maple based syrup, rather than a rosewater scented one. Lindiwe Sithole has provided a new Zimbabwean comfort food, Oxtail Stew, and Glen Synoground has returned with a delicious and tempting Crispy Szechuan Chicken recipe.

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Recipes

This month the recipes all feature seeds in one form or another.

Butter chicken 2Gurpreet Chana shares a delicious Butter Chicken recipe made with whole seed spices.

 

 

LindysBeansLindiwe Sithole offers Lindy’s Kidney Beans in spiced tomato sauce.

 

 

DSC_0007GaddAboutEating, has a hearty Labrador Creole Bean Soup.

 

 

hummusAlison Cole has shared a Sunflower Seed Hummus

 

 

RibPaste…and Sean Galt’s BBQ is flavoured with hot pepper seeds.

Bon apetit!