GFM Network News


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

Modern-day sausage making

First We Eat: This was once a good way for butchers to use up trimmings but now a good way for you to control ingredients

Sausages used to be the great unmentionable, made from things no one wanted to know about, never mind eat. But although they began as the thrifty butcher’s way of using up trimmings, sausages have gone uptown. Making your own sausages, like anything homemade, means the cook controls everything, from the selection of meats, salt and […] Read more


Saying farewell with apple crepes

First We Eat: What better way to pay tribute after hearing 
my cooking mentor had passed away

I learned recently that my culinary mentor, Madeleine Kamman, died in July 2018. At the time, the event went unnoticed. But when I got word, the news flattened me. Madeleine was the tigress who taught me to trust my palate, who set my benchmarks. She valued methods, flavour principles, terroir — that ineffable link between […] Read more

Reclaiming our peasant heritage

First We Eat: Don’t be intimidated by Boeuf Bourguignon — 
just a fancy name for beef stew

Yesterday I walked home from morning coffee at my neighbour Sharon’s house, my passage closely observed by a leggy Black Angus calf. She bounced up to the barbed wire fence, her head high as she gave my dog and me the once-over. Jake stopped in his tracks, uncertain what this until-now-predictable creature was up to. […] Read more


Lemon maple cranberry butter tarts.

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

The inside of the porchetta.

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

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


B.C. cheese and honeycomb.

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

You’ve heard the expression — a bird in the hand is better than a bird in the bush. In this case, Ted holds five destructive lily leaf beetles in hand that won’t get the opportunity to inflict severe if not terminal damage to someone’s lilies.

Ted has some info on how to help control lily beetles

Plus, try this recipe from a reader for Crisp Pickle Slices

Howdy folks, howdy. Readers will notice I’m beginning this Grainews issue with a new head photo of myself and WOW do I have a lot to cover from lily leaf beetles, to controlling apple maggots. Home pickling, canning and freezing are well underway so thanks to Peggy Lunde for her Crisp Pickle Slices recipe. We’ve […] Read more