GFM Network News


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


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

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