I’d love to eat more locally. Unfortunately, in Alberta during the winter, local eating proves to be a challenge.
On a recent trip to Vancouver Island, I learned just how much the local food scene is bustling there. With the mild climate, it’s easy to grow almost anything there. Here’s a video by farmer Bob Duncan explaining how he has been able to grow lemons and limes on the Island. He’s also managed to grow figs, olives, and almonds and even sells pomegranate trees at his tree farm, Fruit Trees and More
I was astonished to learn there is even a Black Tea Farm – growing black tea leaves – a first for Canada.
Just in time for the holiday season, here’s a twist on an old standby. Lower in sugar, but not low in taste.
1 cup water
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2 T. maple syrup
splash of orange juice
1 T. chili powder or to taste
Combine water, cranberries and maple syrup in a small pan and bring to a boil. More water may be required. Boil until cranberries “pop” and tenderize a bit. Add remainder of ingredients and reduce heat to low, and simmer until desired thickness is achieved.
This filling makes enough for two regular-size Tenderflake pre-made pie crusts. What I decided to do was divide the filling in two and add diced strawberries to one half of the rhubarb filling and make rhubarb-strawberry tarts.
3 T. milk
2 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
4 C. diced rhubarb
One prepared pie shell and 12 tart shells
Beat eggs. Add milk, sugar, flour and nutmeg. Mix in rhubarb.
Pour approximately half of this filling into an unbaked pie shell. Add top crust. Bake at 400 for 55 minutes.
To the remaining filling, add in two cups fresh strawberries. Fill 12 tart shells. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.
I peeled and sectioned quite a few oranges – naval and clementine – probably about 8 in total. An simpler, pain-free way would be to buy several cans of mandarin oranges and drain them and put in a bowl. Add about 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, 2 T. each olive oil and sugar, and 1 T. curry powder. Stir. This is good either served immediately or the next day after the flavors have blended a bit. It was quite a tasty salad and doesn’t get much easier.
Take a peach and cut it in half. Remove pits. Place cut side down on the BBQ on medium heat until it begins to carmelise (about 3 – 4 minutes). Turn over and cook for another 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from BBQ to a plate or bowl. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the center and drizzle with Grand Marnier, if desired.
I love the summer’s bounty. We have been enjoying this lately.
4 nectarines, sliced
2 T. each brown sugar, honey and grand marnier liqueur
Divide the nectarines between two pieces of tin foil. Add 1 T. each of the sugar, honey and liqueur to each piece of foil. Add a splash of vanilla to each packet. Fold up the foil. Grill on the BBQ on medium for 10 – 15 minutes, until the nectarines are soft. This can also be done in the oven at 375. Serve in bowls with a scoop of yogurt or vanilla ice cream. Serves four. *This would also work well with bananas, peaches or other stone fruit.