GFM Network News


My husband Dave has lost count of the number of ways we eat chicken, but his favourite is still fried chicken, which I make once or twice a year.

A chicken in every pot

First We Eat: Every summer I pick up our year’s supply of butchered chickens from our local farmer

I buy my chickens from a local farmer. She sells me eggs too — blue, brown and white ovals so beautiful they can’t help but taste better than commercial eggs. Each winter, my farmer sends me a note when she is ready to order her chicks, and I guess how many birds I think we […] Read more

I for one am thoroughly sick of screens, and those viewing snacks have caught up with me. The recipe below for these whole wheat crackers may be just the thing you’re looking for.

Pass the crackers please

First We Eat: Many of us may be snacking too much as we watch too much TV. Try this healthier choice instead

Don’t you wish you could have your buddies over? Miss those chances to get together and just hang out? Me too. I miss parties. I miss hanging out. I miss visits. I miss shared meals. Who knows when we’ll be able to celebrate like that again as we move into our second year of COVID lockdown.  […] Read more


Mocha Chocolate Pudding.

Try making this timeless, classic dessert

First We Eat: What could be better than a creamy, homemade chocolate pudding?

After Dad died last year, Mom started giving things away. It was as if his absence triggered her awareness of her own mortality and her dwindling need for stuff. She gave pots and pans to my eldest son, vases to my cousin, Dad’s unopened bottles of Scotch to her cousin, tools to my brothers, wineglasses […] Read more

Making corned beef is a weeklong process with the bulk of time spent brining.

Kindness and corned beef

First We Eat: When neighbours shared a butchered steer I wanted to share back as thanks for their generosity

My neighbour Sharon gave me half a beef brisket last week. She and her husband had taken a steer to the small local abattoir for slaughter, and were generous in sharing after the animal had been butchered. I decided that whatever I made, they’d receive some back for their kindness. Brisket, as you know, is […] Read more


I can’t resist eating pasta whenever I immerse myself in “The Godfather,” and carbonara is one of my favourites.

Food and ‘family’

First We Eat: Just like in one of my favourite movies — food plays an important role

Like most of us, Dave and I have been binge watching movies. High among my all-time favourites is “The Godfather” I, II and III. I particularly admire the attention that director Francis Ford Coppola pays to food, making it integral to many pivotal “family” scenes. We enter the tragedy at Connie Corleone’s wedding, rich with […] Read more

On days like that, the big kitchen is not warm unless I keep the fire bustling in the wood stove and have pots on all four burners of the gas stove, located at opposing ends of the kitchen.

Hot soup for a cold day

First We Eat: Try variations of this basic recipe to help get through the frigid weather

Before the polar vortex returned and the morning thermometer read -40 C, I spent some time splitting birch for the wood stove in the kitchen. We live in a house that’s over 100 years old, and my mom thinks that it was originally assembled from two grain bins bolted together; three steps lead down from […] Read more


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

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