GFM Network News


In my grandmother’s kitchen she is remembered

In my grandmother’s kitchen she is remembered

First We Eat: Memories are kept alive as we live on in the rural home of my grandparents

Dave and I live in my grandparents’ house in rural Saskatchewan. Back in the day it was a three-room farmhouse, the long narrow kitchen its beating heart, the other two rooms chilly and dark — heated only by the wood stove and illuminated by kerosene lanterns. Electricity came in the 1950s, when the local farmers […] Read more

Some of my bottles hold self-infused vinegars — my own fruits, berries and herbs stuffed into jars of cider or wine vinegars.

Back to basics: vinegar

First We Eat: Vinegar has come a long way from being a staple used to make pickles

I was thrilled to recently read about Alchemist Vinegar, artisanal vinegars made by Paul Poutanen, owner of Tippa, a distiller in Okotoks, Alberta. I promptly ordered a sampler and am awaiting its arrival. I love vinegar, and six open bottles occupy prime real estate on the butcher block beside my stove. They offer testament to […] Read more


Back to basics with salt

Back to basics with salt

First We Eat: It not only enhances food’s flavour but traditionally used to celebrate friendship and new homes

Let’s start over. Yes, we are still in the grip of a pandemic. But there’s hope, and food is part of it. To reboot, here’s the first in several parts on culinary essentials — the balancing act of salt, acid, heat and sweetness. Today, salt. Like many cooks, I keep an array of salts on […] Read more

The expertly cooked rib eye roast being carved.

You can’t buy me off with a great meal

Plenty have tried, but I am still a hard-nosed journalist, unless there is dessert

I certainly can’t remember every meal I’ve had over my lifetime, (I would have a serious problem if I did); however, as I was about to make beef liver and onions one late January Saturday night here in Calgary, it did cause me to think back about excellent food and hospitality that I’ve experienced over […] Read more


Pandemic cooking revival

Pandemic cooking revival

First We Eat: In unstable times there can be comfort in cooking

Food has always been essential, right up there with sleep, water and shelter. But it’s more than that: food is what we use to mark momentous occasions and events — brunch with the bunch, cake for a birthday, anniversary suppers, restaurant date nights, cookies with the kids after school. We’ve lost many of those occasions […] Read more

Chicken, Lemon and Wild Rice Soup.

Helping kids learn to cook

First We Eat: By creating a fun and safe environment even a young child can help out in the kitchen

The knife was small, with a curved tip and serrated blade. As knives go, it looked safe. But that didn’t prevent my anxiety the first time I put it into my child’s hand. He was four, and stood on a sturdy chair. He used that knife to saw up carrots and celery, spuds, an apple. […] Read more


Anything for dessert — as long as it’s chocolate

Anything for dessert — as long as it’s chocolate

First We Eat: If you love chocolate try this sourdough cake recipe

My family recently marked the first anniversary of my dad’s death. I miss him. He and Mom lived fairly close by, and Dave and I visited them weekly for movie night with our dog Jake, sometimes with dessert in hand. Like a good chocolate, Dad had a soft heart within a crusty exterior. Chocolate was […] Read more

Embellishing everyday foods

Embellishing everyday foods

First We Eat: Add a puff pastry topping to a common stew and it suddenly elevates the meal

Mom doesn’t like to cook. I hardly blame her — she’s 84, after all, and spent decades feeding five kids and my dad. When Mom had double knee replacement surgery seven years ago, Dad stepped into the kitchen. Mom was relieved, and after her knees healed, she didn’t return to cooking, but ate whatever Dad […] Read more


Hands-on food

Hands-on food

First We Eat: As we all spend more time at home why not try making your own pasta?

Before the pandemic, I spent an afternoon at my neighbour Sharon’s house, teaching her how to make pasta. Sharon and I drank wine and told stories as we cooked, although she stopped talking during her first effort at feeding a strap of dough into the pasta maker. When she caught the first handful of noodles […] Read more

It’s true! Breakfast really is an important start to the day

It’s true! Breakfast really is an important start to the day

First We Eat: Research shows that many people skip breakfast but you’ll function better with a healthy start to your morning

Breakfast can be hard. I don’t have much appetite in the morning. As a chef and restaurateur, I spent years making breakfast out of too many cups of coffee, then wondered at my short temper and plummeting blood sugar levels. So now I sit down to eat breakfast every day. Many studies show that 25 […] Read more