Sunday, 20 January 2013

A ShortStack Foodie field trip! A little bit of summer farmers market fun in January ...

Terra at Home Winter Market
No, I have not gone crazy.  No, I have not moved to the sunny south.  Yes, there is a winter-market in North Burlington.  Yes, I clapped my hands WILDLY when I found out.  And yes, I probably bought way more at the market yesterday than DH and I could ever eat ... in a month.  But not to worry - we don't have a month ... we have 5 days 'til we leave for NYC.  Not a problem ... we'll simply balance the vast array of cupcakes and butter tarts with kale salad and root vegetable soup.  That should negate the extra calories ... right?  RIGHT?  *sigh*  No, I didn't think so.  The market opens at 10am, at Terra, on Dundas in Burlington.  There's everything from baked goods like pies, tarts, treats, chocolate ... <pause> ... sorry I just got a little misty thinking about this one piece of peanut butter-marshmallow-fudge sitting on the kitchen counter ... I thought I heard it calling me ... where was I?  Oh yes ... there's smoked fish, winter veggies, sweet potato EVERYTHING, coffee, tea, lavender, popcorn, soaps, artisan crafty-type-things ... not to mention gorgeous potted plants, herbs, flowers ... all enclosed in a beautiful, warm greenhouse.  Ladies and gentlemen, heaven does exist ... it's in a greenhouse, and they're serving butter-tarts.

So what did I do with my haul of produce, meats 'n treats? Well ...

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Henry Miller got it wrong ... but the Christmas spirit helped us get it oh-so-right.

Henry Miller once said "Americans can eat garbage, provided you sprinkle it liberally with ketchup, mustard, chili sauce, Tabasco sauce, cayenne pepper, or any other condiment which destroys the original flavor of the dish."  I'm going to say it.  He's wrong.  Really, really, really wrong.  Aside from having had some of the best meals of my life in the country to the South, and having a personal love affair with all things hot-sauce, this guy was not lucky enough to have tasted my chili sauce.  Otherwise he never would have said such horrible things.  Did that sound boastful?  *sigh*  Such a delicate and fine line between boastfulness and sheer-unadulterated PRIDE in a recipe that would bring you to your knees ... did I cross the line again?  *double sigh*  Let's begin our story ...

This past Christmas I was in charge of providing my French Canadian flock with baked beans and tourtière for our Réveillon dinner.  This is "my thing".  I've finally got the bean-recipe down to a science and while the tourtière recipe continues to evolve it always brings about great conversation 'round the dinner table that night.  (In all honesty, a table of "frenchies" and one too many festive-beverages normally results in seemingly endless discussions about less-than-earth-shattering-things ... but we'll save that conversation for the therapy couch ...)  Christmas dinner was to be a wondrous buffet of stinky cheeses, pickled delights, pâtés, fresh breads and a veggie-tray large enough to span the Grand Canyon.

My plans for world domination bean and tourtière prep were all in hand.  I knew what I had to tackle for the Christmas buffet.  The list of baking for the neighbours was taped to the kitchen cabinet.  The groceries were set to be delivered.  We were almost packed for our journey up North.  I could TOTALLY get all the baking and cooking done in 4 days.  All while continuing to wrap last minute presents, sip eggnog by the fire with DH and watch holiday films.  I could almost hear the Christmas carols playing in the distance.

Enter "the plague".