Archive for September, 2011

28.09.2011

My Commitment to Pie

by marilynk

I’ve always preferred cake to pie. These are shocking, and sometimes argument-inducing, words to many that I know and love. To me, cake has everything: yummy crumbly cake, delicious and varied fillings (if you want), and an infinite variety of icings (although I am picky about my icings). Pie has great fillings, sure, but I would often leave the crust uneaten – again, sacrilege to the pie-devout.

See, the crust is the crux of the issue. I’ve never made a pie crust that I really liked. The pastry was hard to work with, the rolled dough broke when I tried to move it to the pie plate, and the taste…was never all that good. For a while I used pre-baked pie shells or the unbaked rounds from the grocery store, but the taste still wasn’t great. Better, but nothing that was going to rival a homemade cake.

In July, my friend Nicole gave me this sage piece of advice:

Know when to take good advice...it's a life skill.

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27.09.2011

Harvest Dinner with EOGG

by marilynk

Saturday was EOGG’s AGM and Harvest Dinner. I unfortunately missed the AGM because I got started too late on my baking. But the dinner was one of my favourites from this year. It had everything you want in a good dinner party: interesting, friendly people; good conversation; excellent food; and a beautiful setting.

Getting the water on for corn!

Appetizers, pickles, and sides.

Desserts!

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26.09.2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Zucchini, Tomato, and Potato Bake

by marilynk

This is one of the best local-focused recipes I’ve made recently. I made it up in an effort to use up some of the ingredients in my kitchen that were getting to that “Must Eat Now” stage. It’s super easy and could easily be adapted with other vegetables that need to be used up. It is also somewhat inspired by this recipe from Smitten Kitchen (I seem to be working my way through her blog…I think it’s the pictures. They always make me hungry).

I promised to post this recipe two weeks ago, but better late than never! 🙂

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23.09.2011

Thoughts on Food

by marilynk

I think a lot about food. I like food, how it tastes, how it smells, how it looks on a plate. And I love cooking. I cook or bake for people because it is an expression of how I feel about them. I like it when people enjoy something I’ve made for them. I think about what kind of food a person will appreciate: their favourite flavours, the season, decorations that will make them laugh, anything that will make what I’ve made for them memorable and special.

I thought about food before I got sick. I was already trying to shift my food buying to more local sources and I’ve been trying to get back into synch with what is seasonal – not only in Edmonton, but the produce that I need to buy from farther away. Partly seasonality makes a difference to the cost of food – everything is cheaper when purchased in season. Partly it’s about supporting local farms – purchasing from local growers keeps more of my food dollars in my own community and circulating through the local economy. Mostly it’s about taste. Food just tastes so much better when it’s picked in it’s prime (have you ever eaten a freshly-ripe peach? I think that is the best example of what a difference seasonality makes to flavour!).

Since I got sick, I’ve been thinking even more about food. The only dietary triggers I’ve noticed are processed and packaged items, so since June I’ve made probably 80-85% of my meals from scratch and when I’ve eaten out, it’s mostly been at local restaurants that make food from scratch. Eating mostly from scratch takes more thought. I need to have an idea what I’m going to make, I need to make sure I have time to make it, and (I struggle with this one) I need to remember to take things out of the freezer in time to use them.

Needing to control what I eat and my moves to eat a more seasonal diet have led me to a new volunteer opportunity too. In August I joined the Edmonton Organic Grower’s Guild, a group that has about 3 acres at the University of Alberta farm – right in the middle of the city! Everyone I’ve met there has been lovely and although I haven’t volunteered many hours yet, I’ve really enjoyed getting into the garden. I like that I’m contributing to growing the food that I’m consuming. And nothing beats gardening for learning what foods are in season when! Tomorrow is the group’s annual harvest dinner and I’m really looking forward to meeting more of the volunteers and sampling dishes made with the ingredients we’ve all grown. If you’re interested in gardening, I really encourage you to come out to EOGG. It is a really great option, especially for people who live in apartments or aren’t able to garden on their own property.

Edmonton doesn’t have a climate that makes a 100 mile diet possible, but it is possible to choose foods that are in season and choose local over imported when that choice is available. I’ll have some recipes in the next couple days that really illustrate what I’m talking about.

22.09.2011

Health Update

by marilynk

Here’s a quick update on where things are with my health. I know not everyone wants to know about medical details, but I’ve had a few questions so please click through to read the full post if you’re interested (also, look at me learning how to use the “More” tag!). For those that aren’t interested in the details, know that I’m doing really well and just have to be careful about catching any infections, so please let me know if you’re sick or getting sick and please don’t be offended if I cancel plans if you are!

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22.09.2011

Unintentional Hiatus

by marilynk

Hi everyone! I’m sorry for the unexplained gap in posts. Life got very busy and my procrastination gene kicked in and I think most of you can relate to how that goes. All this to say that I apologize for the hiatus, but I have a number of posts that are being typed up today and tomorrow, so be ready for a number of updates in the next few days. I’ve also refined a few things on the site, so you might notice some minor changes. There will likely be more of those as I figure out what I’m doing and how I want this blog to work. I hope you’re all enjoying what I’m putting out there and I thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings.

If I ever disappear again and you’re wondering what’s happened, please feel free to tweet at me or send me an email (marilyn at marilynk dot com). Or be like my friend Mike and use every form of contact you have for me to harass me into blogging again. I kid, I kid, I know he does it out of love…but I don’t need anyone else loving me that much!