GFM Network News


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

Preserving lemons and what to do with them

First We Eat: Fresh lemon juice will enhance flavours but preserved lemons become a condiment

I’m standing in my auntie’s orchard on a mild afternoon, the temperature about 18 C. In Canada, it’s deep winter, but here in California, the citrus trees have bloomed, and the fruit is ripe. It’s a tough gig, being a grower on the Canadian Prairies. We make jokes about the harsh weather — “But it’s […] Read more


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

Consumers are paying closer attention to what they eat.

Are you what you eat?

Professor in food distribution and policy says food choices are getting more complicated

At CropSphere in Saskatoon in January, Dr. Sylvain Charlebois from the University of Dalhousie talked about food trends at a keynote presentation. “The three-meal institution is dying,” he said. While he does know that people still buy cookbooks, Charlebois sees no signs that people are cooking. However, people are paying more attention to what they […] 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

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


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

Making sourdough bread

First We Eat: If you have trouble digesting bread try sourdough

Gluten and wheat intolerance has been in my family for decades. My sister Lee gave up eating all wheat-based foods in her early 20s after a childhood and teenage years filled with bellyaches and gastrointestinal distress. Fifteen years ago, I started to experience similar negative reactions to bread. But according to food writer and historian […] Read more


Let us eat cake

First We Eat: Try this cake recipe at your next celebration — sure to be a crowd-pleaser

Cake is an important part of my family’s birthday rituals. When I was a kid, Mom made birthday cakes that contained coins wrapped in wax paper — for her five kids, but also for my dad, but always chocolate for him, and no coins. I began to bake as a youngster, and in later years, as a chef, restaurateur and […] Read more

Mustard greens, or flowering gai lan, a Chinese form of broccoli, are assertive and blend well with strong tastes.

What to use for salad greens while waiting for local produce

First We Eat: In winter, turn to sturdier greens for warm salads and veggie dishes

In winter, when arugula and other salad greens travel thousands of miles, have been contaminated with E. coli or are too costly, I turn to sturdier greens for warm salads and robust vegetable dishes. Mustard greens, or flowering gai lan, a Chinese form of broccoli, are assertive and blend well with strong tastes. When I […] Read more