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June, 2007

  1. CSA Barrie – round 2

    June 30, 2007 by TheCanadianFoodie

    We’re heading out to the Orillia Farmer’s Market first thing in the morning tomorrow and will stop at Heritage Hill Farm (our CSA Farm) on the way home.

    I’m hoping the produce is a little better this week, but it has been SOO dry in the Barrie area for the last month that most of the local produce I’ve seen lately is pretty scrawny…


    Still tastes better than store bought of course :)

    We’ll take some pictures tomorrow and I let everyone know how it goes.

    <Update: sun. July 1 – We forgot the camera :) and today’s Canada day, so I’ll follow up tomorrow!>

    Update: July 4 —

    This weeks pickup consisted of:

    Garlic Scapes
    1 bag assorted greens
    1 bag mustard greens
    1 bag bok choy
    1 bag of very large peas (forgot to ask variety)
    a few small green onions
    Assorted herbs (basil, chives, thyme etc)

    Still a little light, but the lack of rain is to blame there.

    Hopefully we’ll see radishes, cucumber and tomatoes soon too!

  2. Essential Foodie Reading

    June 27, 2007 by TheCanadianFoodie

    I signed up for the SlowFoodForum today and found the following great list of food books in the introduction post.  They have listed them as essential reading for SlowFood enthusiasts.

    I’ve read a couple of these so far :) Guess I’ll have to go shopping to find some of the others:
    Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

    Food Politics by Marion Nestle

    The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan

    Coming Home to Eat by Gary Paul Nabhan

    Local Flavors by Deborah Madison

    Epicurian Delights: The Life and Times of James Beard by Evan Jones

    Serious Pig: An American in Search of His Roots by John Thorne with Matt Lewis Thorne

    The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester

    No Foreign Food: The American Diet in Time and Place by Richard Pillsbury

    My Vegetable Love: A Journal of a Growing Season by Carl H. Klaus

    The Slow Food Guide to New York City Restaurants, Market, Bars by Patrick Martins and Ben Watson

    Slow Food: The Case for Taste by Slow Food Founder Carlo Petrini

  3. Garlic Scapes

    June 25, 2007 by TheCanadianFoodie

    Ok, glad I looked the Garlic tops up, I would have gone and cut them up into a salad (which may actually be pretty good too) but this sounds so much better!

    But instead, tonight in Barrie we’ll have Garlic Scapes in butter!

    Garlic Scapes

    Image found here

    Content below is from: Boundary Garlic Farm’s site
    Garlic Flowers

    Hard neck varieties produce a central stalk which goes straight up and then usually makes one or two loops. The garlic top is called a scape, garlic flower or top set, and contains a bulge where bulbils will form. If you want all the plant’s energy to go into producing a large bulb, snip the scape off after it has made one or two loops. If you want to use the bulbils to propagate more garlic, leave them in place until harvest time and then dry them separately from the bulbs.


    Steam or Stir Fry Garlic Flowers

    The garlic tops, called flowers or garlic scapes, are a gourmet delight! Steam them whole and serve with melted butter like asparagus. Cut them into short lengths to add to a stir fry. They have a delicate garlic flavour which gives a subtly different and delicious flavour to the sauce.

    Serve like asparagus! Yummy. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  4. First week of CSA pickin’s

    June 25, 2007 by TheCanadianFoodie

    Saturday morning arrived (as it generally does on Saturday morning) and Mrs. Foodie and I packed up the little foodies-in-training (foodie 1 and foodie 2) and headed off to the country north of Barrie to visit our CSA farm.

    We live on the edge of Barrie so the drive is really only about 10 minutes for us, which is nice.

    It’s still early in the season and this week offered slim pickings… We’ve also been hurting for rain so far this summer too, which is affecting crops. You may have noticed this if you’ve gone to pick strawberries yet this season.

    Our share works out to $20 per week, and we probably received an equivalent of about $12 – $15 worth of produce (assuming you went to a local grocers to pick it up)

    Not that I’m complaining :)

    Our $20 got us fresh, organic produce that came out of the ground the day before we picked it up! And I’ll take that any day over chemically-sprayed food shipped from 5000 miles away.

    Here’s what we got this week:

    • Green Onions (still small, 1 bunch)
    • Bag of assorted lettuces
    • Bag of Spinach
    • Bag of Bok Choy (unfortunately somewhat beetle chewed)
    • Garlic tops (I have to look up and see if there is an official name)
    • Bag of Peas (I got side tracked before I could ask what kind of peas but will find out next week)
    • 1/2 dozen farm fresh eggs

    Of course Foodie 1 & 2 were all about the farm animals; spending the majority of their time with the brown & white varieties of chickens, geese, turkeys, and the newly added pigs (presumably all available for your dinner table by the end of the year)

    The pigs were interesting, some kind of historic British variety. Black and hairy with very large ears. I’m hardly a pig expert so I hope you excuse my technical language :)

    We had a nice organic salad last night to celebrate, and it was delicious. Tonight we’ll have stir fry so we can use up the Bok Choy.

    I’ll see what I can do about pictures :)

    We spent so long at the farm that we missed the Farmers Market this week, but that’s probably ok. I was busy all weekend jamming all the strawberries we picked up at Barrie Hill Farm last week.

  5. Dark City Coffee

    June 22, 2007 by TheCanadianFoodie

    I was recently introduced to this micro-roastery a couple months ago and was an instant convert. There is simply no substitute for coffee slow roasted by a professional…

    I couldn’t say it much better than this snippet I came across:

    Dark City Coffee Company. Offering fair-trade coffees that are “roasted by the pound, not the acre,” the selection is as impressive as co-owner Raymond Eme’s love for the bean. From the light roast “cherry bomb” to the dark roasted “extra butter” blends, the boys of Dark City Coffee will roast your coffee to specification and ship it to your door within the GTA.

    You can even pick up a bag of dark chocolate covered espresso beans for about $20!

    If you are a coffee lover, give Dark City a call! 

  6. Canadian Foodies on Squidoo

    June 22, 2007 by TheCanadianFoodie


    Well, from the horses mouth:

    “Squidoo is the world’s most popular site for people who want to build a page about their passions. ”

    It’s also a great venue for us to reach out to a broader audience and share all the great things we have coming your way in the next couple of weeks, and months!

    So checkout our Barrie Food Site on Squidoo sometime too!

    I should mention that there isn’t much there so far :)  but we’ll be putting more content up soon!

  7. Joined Technorati

    June 22, 2007 by TheCanadianFoodie

    Well, just in case anyone is interested…

    We created a profile on Technorati which you can find be clicking this link:

    Technorati Profile

    That’s about it for tonight…

  8. CSA share starts to pay off this weekend!

    June 22, 2007 by TheCanadianFoodie

    This year, my wife and I bought a share in a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm north of Barrie.

    I’m excited because tomorrow I get to go pick up our first round of fresh, farm grown organic vegetables!

    In fact, I’m so excited, I’ve created a new column here at the Barrie branch of Canadian Foodies where I will talk about the great opportunities around Barrie, and the country, that make it easy to stop buying chemical-laced, factory-produced, processed goods (mmm… sounds appetizing doesn’t it!?) and eat healthier, better foods!

    I will start back tomorrow with some information about local farmers markets, and when we pickup our organics this weekend I’ll be sure to take a few pictures to share!

    Until then, have a great Friday!

  9. On the Path of Sushi Master

    June 7, 2007 by TheCanadianFoodie

    Meal Rating:
    Time – 2
    Complexity – 4
    Food – 6
    Overall Success – 4 out of 10

    I’ll be frank right up front… this was not one of my better meals.

    It wasn’t bad, but I think Sushi will take some getting used to, both learning the best recipes and the actual preparation which is quite a bit more difficult and time consuming than this deceptively simple food suggests.

    I’m beginning to understand why a real sushi master apprentices for many years! (if you live in LA you could fast track!)


    Veggies (carrot, cucumber, avocado, bean sprouts, eggplant, be creative!)
    Meat – optional (tuna, salmon, butterfish, crab, etc)
    Rice Vinegar
    Soy Sauce
    A variety of Japanese Sticky Rice
    Pickled Ginger (optional)


    1 Bamboo mat
    1 Hot-off-the-Grinder SHARP knife (for the fish & cutting the rolls)
    1 Bowl of water close at hand (the rice is STICKY!)

    Sushi Ingredients

    One thing I will say about Sushi is the time it takes to make… especially the first time you try tackling this dish. I spent close to 4 hours planning, preparing ingredients and rolling/cutting my sushi rolls! I will never again complain about wait times at AjiSai!

    And before you even think about getting started preparing this meal, you’d better put a little thought about where you’re going to get your ingredients!

    At the end of the day, I had to pick up my supplies from 3 different locations:

    a local Grocery Store (zehrs)
    a Fishmongers
    an Asian Grocers

    Depending on where you live you may be able to pick up everything at one location. For instance, a local grocery store (Zehrs on Bayfield st for any Barrie, Ontario readers) has a sushi bar so you can pick up pretty much everything I went to the Asian Grocers for. But the fish is a little trickier since you aren’t going to cook it. Some Grocery stores will carry sushi quality fish while others will refuse to sell you any fish at all if you even mention Sushi!

    Generally I found that a lot of Grocery stores WILL sell sushi quality fish, but only on one (or two) specific days of the week (delivery days)

    Instead of messing around I went straight to the best fishmonger in town, Johnny’s Fresh Fish & Seafood Market (516 Bryne Dr for Barrie readers), and picked up a fresh Atlantic Salmon Fillet and a Flash-Frozen Tuna Steak (see ingredients picture above)

    The Best Roll

    Advance Setup:

    Cook your rice and gently fold in a little rice vinegar (to taste)
    Prepare your wasabi (if you bought powdered)
    Slice your fish THINLY
    Chop your veggies into small sticks

    After setting out everything you’re going to need, place some nori in the folds of a damp towel to make it more pliable; it doesn’t take long.

    Place a sheet of nori on your bamboo mat, shiniest side down, and rub a few spoonfuls of rice across it. You won’t need very much and keep the rice away from all sides (quarter inch on the sides and a half inch or more on the top and bottom)

    Rice on Nori

    Rub a line of wasabi (to taste) across the rice and top with your preferred sushi vegetables, again making sure to keep away from the edges:

    filling a Shushi Roll

    Now for the tricky part…

    Rolling your Sushi

    Figuring out how to do this well is a little tricky, but by the 5th or 6th roll I pretty much had it down to a science and started producing pretty good Sushi Rolls:

    Sushi Roll

    My best suggestion is to keep a lot of pressure on the roll and bamboo mat as you’re rolling. Other pointers:

  10. Try to loosely fold the mat and nori over whatever filler you’ve used and then pull the filler back, squishing it into the roll
  11. Small turns of the mat
  12. Push down on the top of the roll every turn of the mat
  13. Once you have your roll almost complete, wet the last piece of Nori to make it stick to the rest of the roll
  14. Once you have your rolls, simply cut them up into bite-sized pieces (7 or 8 per roll usually) and serve with Wasabi, Soy Sauce, pickled ginger and wine, beer or of course, green tea (which is supposed to help with digestion).

    I have seen Sushi served with either red or white, but don’t think you are being smart by serving Saki which generally isn’t served with sushi. Essentially the reason is because Saki is produced from rice and it’s believed that a rice wine cannot properly compliment a rice dinner, so stick to something else.

    That’s about it.  I did get approval from the boss so the meal couldn’t have been that bad…

    Critics Approval


    This is a difficult, time-consuming meal to make. I will keep trying to improve my Sushi skills, but in the mean-time you should see me at the Sushi-bars in town on a regular basis. Actually, all this talk about Sushi is getting me hungry, and I just heard that the Monsoon Lounge downtown offers some decent Sushi…

    mmmmm… Sushi…

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  • A Guide to Spices

    June 3, 2007 by TheCanadianFoodie

    I added a new section under the Food Guide heading on the sidebar called Spice Guide.

    While it’s still pretty basic so far it will be further developed over the next week or so, so stay in touch and check back often!

    Also, we made a trip to the Barrie’s Farmer’s Market this morning and I will try and get some pictures and a little information up for tomorrow!