Thursday, 24 July 2008

Another Farm Under Threat....

The UBC Farm is the last working farm in Vancouver. The farm provides fertile ground for a wide mix of learning, research, and and community projects for learners of all ages. The farm is currently embarking on a new project entitled, "Changing the Food System to Change the Climate."

If you haven't had the chance to vote for the farm in the Tyee's Green your Campbell Cash competition, now is the time!

There are just 3 days left to vote (voting closes on July 25th). Especially with the tone of the op-ed piece that UBC published in the Vancouver Sun this Tuesday, it is absolutely vital that we send them a clear signal that this place really matters to people.

Please click on the link below to give the farm your five stars!

Friday, 18 July 2008

A Sea of Concern

I work with a fasinating group of staff, faculty and students at the University of Victoria. One of the Environmental Studies graduate students, Tom Child, is doing an interesting study on traditional coastal First Nations food supplies and toxins. In a time when we are becoming more aware of where our food comes from, food security and growing or providing organic foods, the issues of toxins is extremely important. First Nation peoples obtain their food supply from the land more than we do, and therefore may be exposed to more toxins from the seafood in their diet.

Interesting reading:

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Jam tarts

I made some sweets Tuesday for Louise's spa party. Jam tarts, natch -- the easiest kind of pie/tart to make.
Didn't have any leftover piecrust to make 'em with. That's my mom's way of making jam tarts. When small child is helping her bake, she takes the scraps of pie dough that have been re-rolled once (and shouldn't be used again for real tarts as they will be tough and chewy, not flaky) and gives 'em to the child to flatten. Put a spoonful of jam in the middle. Get child to pinch dough around it, like a perogy or a chinese dumpling. Bake about eight to ten minutes in oven. Child will be overjoyed to eat her/his very own jam tart.
Easiest kind of tart to make, not a 'real' tart, no work for the filling. As mom says, it's not like I really baked, this is only a jam tart. Tough, chewy, messy if jam bubbles out.

Without bothering to make pie dough, I still wanted to make tarts for Louise, so turned to an alternative. Wonton wrappers! I had half a pack, thawed in the fridge. Here's the method -- too simple to call it a recipe.
Peel off individual wonton wrappers, and tuck them into muffin cups so the ends point up and the wrapper makes a little bowl. Bake in 350 F oven for five to eight minutes -- my landlady's oven has a few quirks, yours may too -- just bake until the points are starting to brown and the whole wrapper has crisped up. Remove from oven.
Tuck about 3/4 teaspoon of jam or jelly into each of these hot wrapper/bowl/tart shells. (Can use less, say 1/2 tsp if you want less of a very rich jam or want people to be able to eat it without a drippy gush of juice.) Return pan to oven for one to two minutes, just till jam has melted. Remove from oven, let cool slightly before eating as hot filling will burn your mouth.

The best thing about these jam tarts is that they're very basic and adaptable. You can put the filling in the raw shells before baking, if you want to be simpler, and the points will be crisper than the bottom of the tarts. If you've got a scrooch gun or a pastry bag or an icing syringe you can squeeze various kinds of filling in instead of just jam. How about adding a dab of softened cream cheese? Or a bit of lemon snow?

I've made these with bits of filo and they were terrific.
Of course, that batch started because I dropped my brand-new box of filo and broke those lovely rolled sheets into pieces about the size of a wonton wrapper. That day I learned to make these neat little rolls with a bit of barbecued salmon tip, a bit of feta cheese and a bit of avocado rolled in two layers of filo. And for dessert -- jam tarts. Two layers of filo that's been cut into squares about 1/6 the size of a sheet. Tuck the little pieces of filo into muffin cups. Don't bother to brush them with butter unless you really want to, they crisp up anyways. Tuck in 1/2 tsp of jam or jelly, bake for five to eight minutes, remove from oven and let cool.

Green your Campbell Dollars

I thought this was the best contest I've seen yet!! I've spent my $100 already, I purchased a stainless steel water bottle from MEC and the rest went to food.

Check this out

I voted for the Madrona Farm, a productive, biologically diverse urban farm on Blenkinsop Road in Victoria, under strong development pressure.

Saving green space, contributing to food security and sustainability, the environment.

Place your vote!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Seriously hooked on Serious Coffee Granola Bars

There is a Serious Coffee outside the front door of the new apartment building. Thought I would have a break one day after taking a few boxes over. Good coffee, and I got a scratch card which won me a free brioche. Went back, no free brioche available so was allowed to choose another treat. Went for the Granola Bar.

A few days later went for a coffee break, had a Chai tea latte and a granola bar.

Friday, coffee and two granola bars, one I ate there, one I kept for later.

No recipe online. Seriously have to figure out how to make those bars. I dare you to try them without getting hooked...

Thursday, 3 July 2008

City Harvest

I salute Paula and Martin for their SPIN farming! This month's EAT magazine for an article on SPIN farming featuring Paula Sobie from City Harvest. Paula will also be at this year's Organic Festival

It has been wonderful to note that more stores are carrying local produce. We use to grow most of our food on this island and ship in very little. In 50 years this has changed and we really need to change back. From a simple search on Google I have noted there is a lot of people on a small scale growing crops, making cider/wine or even raising bison.

Check out: