GFM Network News


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


Beef demand soars as consumers ‘aggressively’ stock up

Surge in sales accompanied by a jump in people looking online for recipes

Canada’s beef demand has been strong during the pandemic. “Unlike previous disease outbreak issues, COVID-19 has not been about food safety or consumer confidence or issues with food products,” Canada Beef president Michael Young said during a recent online town hall. “Beef demand at retail is up 50 to 70 per cent. Consumers have aggressively […] Read more

Roasted vegetables — good for you and good for your dog

First We Eat: Home-cooked pet food can be a nutritious option to processed commercial food

Our golden retriever, Jake, is lying at my feet, waiting for me while I write. He won’t let the clock slip past 8 a.m. in mid-winter without getting up and nudging me. Sure enough, on the stroke of eight he’s beside me, his beautiful head in my lap, insisting we get moving. Time to get […] Read more


Trying to learn patience? Make marmalade

First We Eat: The entire process will require varying degrees of this attribute but the final product is well worth it

My eldest son and I were out for lunch with my elderly mother yesterday, all of us slurping pho at my son’s favourite noodle joint. Mom is recently widowed. “Your father’s mind was like a laser,” she said, “and mine is set on real-time motion.” I glanced at my son with a sudden flash of […] 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


Feeding our elders

First We Eat: It’s important that seniors eat well and have supports in place to help with meals and groceries when needed

Last month an elderly friend called me, wondering if I could help him and his wife cope with food for a couple of weeks. They were living in assisted living after he’d had a stint in the hospital, but both were anxious to get back into their own home, a move scheduled for several weeks […] Read more

Carrot and Coconut Cream Soup with Anise and Ginger (see recipe at bottom).

Shared birthday will always evoke memories

First We Eat: When my parents were stationed in France I was born on Dad’s birthday

I was born on my dad’s 22nd birthday while he and my mom lived in northeastern France. My dad was in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and at the time he was stationed at the fighter jet station called 2 Wing, near St. Avold. Mom and Dad waited for many months for Dad’s very junior […] Read more


Ham with Black Mission Fig Glaze (see recipe below).

Pork is king around the world

First We Eat: It’s eaten in a wider variety of styles and shapes than any other meat

Pork has influence far beyond the table. Words invoking pork have made their way into everyday life, from football’s autumn pigskin classic at your favourite stadium to pork-barrelling politicians looking for re-election. Of course, electors will be choosing a pig in a poke, and then must make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. Even […] 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