GFM Network News


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

Salad rolls with dip.

How can you get your kids to care about food?

First We Eat: Try these tips to get them thinking and talking about what they eat

When my millennial kids were young, on the last Friday of each month I showed up at school early, having first made a trip to the recycling centre to return our household’s contributions. “Noon dismal,” my kids called it, that early discharge. We made it into a family ritual by going out for Vietnamese pho, […] 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

Spread out the work over the day to make assembly a quick job. Makes four rounds or two large rectangles.

How to share food with people outside of your household

First We Eat: Dropping off a meal is still one of the best ways to show you care

Worrying about food is part of the times, especially for those of us who feel responsible for others — our elderly friends and relatives, new moms with a babe in arms, immune-compromised cousins, kids at university or on a tight budget. Drop- ping off a meal is still one of the best ways to administer […] Read more


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

Classic cheese fondue

First We Eat: Now is the perfect time to enjoy a leisurely fondue
as we continue to stay closer to home

Life in a pandemic takes its toll in many ways. One of the noticeable changes is how we spend our leisure time. No trips this year — not that I was actively planning, and not that I go often, but I’d love to see Europe again. I want to see Asia, too, and Australia, Africa, […] Read more


M.F.K. Fisher and me

First We Eat: This food-writing author was an early influencer

I’ve been thinking rather a lot about M.F.K Fisher. That is unsurprising — she’s been one of my food-writing, writing candles in the night for decades, ever since I read her small and elegant book, A Cordiall Water. I went on to acquire everything Fisher wrote, including her wartime response to food rationing, How to […] Read more

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


Who doesn’t love spuds?

First We Eat: No matter how potatoes are served, most would agree, they are a favourite veggie

As a dedicated spudnut, I save potatoes for seed. This year I planted Pink Fir Apples, Amarosas, Kennebecs, German Butterballs, Linzer Delikatess, Yukon Golds, Norlands and Purple Vikings. When I dig the first crop, it’s a sign that we’ll be eating spud dishes of all sorts: boxty, champ, shepherd’s pie, colcannon, kugel, latkes, Parmentier, rosti, […] Read more

Changing weather means changing diet

First We Eat: As the weather warms up it’s time to get out the ice-cream maker

When my dog Jake brought the season’s first tick into the house, I knew for certain that the weather had changed, and spring had arrived. But there’s an upside. That break in the weather means it’s time to eat ice cream. Dave eats ice cream year round, or claims he does. But what I know […] Read more