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Forget about the ‘Spaghetti Western’ and try this ‘Spaghetti Eastern’ dish

First We Eat: You’ll want to give this ramen noodles in a tasty broth recipe a try

It’s a wintry morning in Calgary, where I am visiting my son and his partner. We are bundled up, standing in line. Even though the chinook is blowing in, the morning is raw, and I am grateful I didn’t make any assumptions and underdress. It’s still deep-freeze Prairie winter. The restaurant’s door opens at 11 […] Read more


Fish on the flatland

First We Eat: Aquaponics on the Prairies make local sourcing of fish easier

We didn’t eat much fish when I was a kid, just the occasional trout my grandfather reeled in from the North Saskatchewan River, and East Coast cod on Fridays. Not until we arrived on Vancouver Island did I learn to love fish, especially West Coast sockeye salmon, although the act of fishing struck me as […] Read more



Reimagining comfort food

First We Eat: After a long, cold winter day relax with a steaming bowl of barley risotto

So there I am one afternoon, lying on the couch and staring out the window. The sky is blue and glazed with ice; drifts of fresh snow lie in shadows across the fields and pastures. Once I get out there on my skis, my blood pounding through my veins and arteries, I’ll enjoy it. It’s […] Read more


Fowl supper? Fall supper?

Whatever you call them, they are a delicious Prairie harvest tradition

We gathered at my parents’ house on a mild autumn evening, clucking over Mom and Dad’s recent renovations, sipping Dad’s homemade wine, letting our appetites build for the fowl supper. Our neighbour Ken commented on the lineup he’d witnessed en route. “Halfway down the street and around the block,” he claimed. I was disinclined to […] Read more



This pork porchetta is sure to please

First We Eat: Traditionally a whole pig would be roasted on a spit but here’s a smaller oven version

I visited my sister and brother-in-law in the Toronto area for Thanksgiving this year, the first time, perhaps ever, that I wasn’t home to cook the feast for my favourite holiday. But even though I wasn’t in my home kitchen, food played as large a part as usual. “We have errands,” my sister said soon […] Read more


Cooking the foods of our ancestors keeps heritage alive

First We Eat: And what better way than with a pot of homemade soup?

One of the great truisms about food is that by cooking the foods of our forebears, we maintain or re-establish a link with our heritage. My mother’s antecedents were off-colony Hutterites who arrived in Saskatchewan at the turn of the previous century from a colony in South Dakota. Earlier, my great-greats and their babes had […] Read more



vegetables, fresh, raw, tomatoes, garlic, red, pepper, cucumbers on the table on a plate and cutting Board, jars of pickles, jars of pickles and tomatoes on a table, food

Why not pickle some of those garden veggies?

First We Eat: Try this recipe to pickle colourful jars of crisp mixed vegetables

Dave is mourning the passing of the lake that almost surrounded our house for seven years. It covered 15 acres at its peak, in fact a large slough, but “lake” dignified what was a difficult situation. And now he mourns its loss. Our lake arrived suddenly and unannounced in April 2011 with the flood that […] Read more


Enjoy the sweet tastes of summer

First We Eat: Now is the perfect time to try some fresh local honey

About 30 years ago, my brother the horticulturalist planted juniper shrubs along the west face of our parents’ house in rural Saskatchewan. Under Mom’s benign care, they throve, but eventually succumbed to legginess and the scraggy look of a once-stylish haircut overdue for a trim. As you may already know, Dave and I moved in […] Read more



Why do we cook?

First We Eat: We should know how to prepare food and it's the best way to have control over what we eat

On a Friday over lunch after our weekly trip to the farmers’ market, I asked Mom what her favourite desserts were. Her 82nd birthday was rolling around soon. I’d already decided on the main course — cioppino, Mom’s favourite fish dish. It’s a tomato-broth-based, Italian-derived fisherman’s stew that’s been part of our family’s repertoire since […] Read more


Good neighbours are what it’s all about

First We Eat: Always there with friendship, moral support and help in an emergency

Our neighbours are one of the reasons Dave and I are able to live in the country. Admittedly, as writers, we have the wrong skill sets for rural life. Dave can edit a short story like nobody’s business, and he’s a fabulous writer, but he’s not so good at manual labour or at troubleshooting failed […] Read more