GFM Network News


Roasted vegetables — good for you and good for your dog

First We Eat: Home-cooked pet food can be a nutritious option to processed commercial food

Our golden retriever, Jake, is lying at my feet, waiting for me while I write. He won’t let the clock slip past 8 a.m. in mid-winter without getting up and nudging me. Sure enough, on the stroke of eight he’s beside me, his beautiful head in my lap, insisting we get moving. Time to get […] Read more

Trying to learn patience? Make marmalade

First We Eat: The entire process will require varying degrees of this attribute but the final product is well worth it

My eldest son and I were out for lunch with my elderly mother yesterday, all of us slurping pho at my son’s favourite noodle joint. Mom is recently widowed. “Your father’s mind was like a laser,” she said, “and mine is set on real-time motion.” I glanced at my son with a sudden flash of […] Read more


A freezer is a must-have item on the Prairies

First We Eat: Keeping it well organized will mean there’s always something on hand for a meal idea

There’s no way to avoid having a freezer if you live on the Canadian Prairies, especially if you live rurally. Cooks who live in town have freezers too, but it’s not as urgent as it is for rural residents. Winter in particular makes a freezer an ironic necessity. (I have in some winters used my […] Read more

Feeding our elders

First We Eat: It’s important that seniors eat well and have supports in place to help with meals and groceries when needed

Last month an elderly friend called me, wondering if I could help him and his wife cope with food for a couple of weeks. They were living in assisted living after he’d had a stint in the hospital, but both were anxious to get back into their own home, a move scheduled for several weeks […] Read more


Apple pie for a snowy day

First We Eat: When it’s snowing and blowing outside it’s the perfect time to stay inside and bake

Another grey winter day, with the wind howling from the east and snow drifting across the yard and our long driveway, means we are snowbound. A snow day! Yay! What better thing to do but bake? An apple pie for instance. Apples are the fallback fruit of winter, and a pie is what all apples […] Read more

Carrot and Coconut Cream Soup with Anise and Ginger (see recipe at bottom).

Shared birthday will always evoke memories

First We Eat: When my parents were stationed in France I was born on Dad’s birthday

I was born on my dad’s 22nd birthday while he and my mom lived in northeastern France. My dad was in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and at the time he was stationed at the fighter jet station called 2 Wing, near St. Avold. Mom and Dad waited for many months for Dad’s very junior […] Read more


Ham with Black Mission Fig Glaze (see recipe below).

Pork is king around the world

First We Eat: It’s eaten in a wider variety of styles and shapes than any other meat

Pork has influence far beyond the table. Words invoking pork have made their way into everyday life, from football’s autumn pigskin classic at your favourite stadium to pork-barrelling politicians looking for re-election. Of course, electors will be choosing a pig in a poke, and then must make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. Even […] Read more

Edible holiday gifts from your kitchen

First We Eat: These can be simple to make but your time and effort will be greatly appreciated

Last fall, when we bought a lamb for the freezer from a local shepherd, he tucked some extra livers into our box. “You’re a chef,” he said, “I know you’ll know what to do with them and they won’t go to waste.” He was right. Our gift bags to our friends last year included ramekins […] Read more


Squash, Pear and Parsnip Soup with Maple Croutons.

When it’s too cold to go outside make soup instead

First We Eat: Some say this comfort food has the power to do everything from curing the sniffles to mending a broken heart

When my sweetie caught a cold recently, he asked me to stop in at our favourite Chinese restaurant and bring home some hot and sour soup. “Are you kidding me?” I said. “No way. I’ll make you some.” Next time you slurp some of this Szechuan soup at your fave joint, look at it closely. […] Read more

My Chili Cha Cha in a jar.

Preserving pickles and relishes

First We Eat: Making your own means personalized flavours from ingredients you can trust

Whenever one of my sons visits, he invariably rummages through the fridge, hunting for a jar of beet pickles or dills. When he finds it, he devours half of its contents. It’s been that way for years; I am the Condiment Queen. My pantry — and my sons — are full of preserves. They are […] Read more