Saturday is Canada Parks Day!

 

Banff National Park, Alberta

Banff National Park, Alberta

 

It’s July 15 and the kids have been out of school for a fortnight now. So how are you holding up? Trying to get the kids enthused about outdoor activities may be a little trying these days, but luckily there are lots of options out there for you to spend quality time with the brood, across the province, across the country and across the street. Saturday, July 16 is Canada Parks Day, so what better time to get thinking about getting in a little fresh air and fun in the great outdoors? Continue »



The Original lemon: the Citron

 

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Perhaps you have seen a certain large, oblong fruit that looks like a big lemon, laying about in the shelves of our produce section. And maybe you have wondered, “What is that, a mutant lemon? What do I do with it?”

The fruit in question is called a citron, and it is indeed, the granddaddy of lemons, the original lemon from which many other, more familiar cultivars have been developed through the centuries, either through mother nature’s natural selection or through the tinkering of botanists. It’s name, the citron, may be a little confusing to us as we know that in French, citron means lemon, so this fruit is also known as the cédrat, and just to keep you on your toes, we will use both names when discussing it. Continue »



Frisée

 

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Frisée, sometimes called Curly Endive, as it is a member of the edive/chicory family, is one of our favourite greens in the summer. It can be grilled, wilted, sautéed, and torn into pieces to add volume and depth of flavour to fresh salads. Its lightly bitter notes balance well with a number of other flavour profiles making it a great counterpoint to the sourness and acid of citrus, sweet fruits like strawberry, pear, peaches and pomegranate, and it holds its own next to salty anchovies, hard boiled eggs and pungent cheeses. Frisée’s curly leaf is also attractive to look at; bright green at its tips, where it is most tender and its bitter notes are the strongest, it fades in colour and intensity to a creamy yellow and white base, that is milder and almost sweet in flavour with a little added crunch. Continue »



Thank You Very Matcha

 

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Have you tried matcha yet? Health enthusiasts everywhere are extolling the virtues of this fine powder tea, adding it to smoothies, making desserts and ice cream from it, and it even makes an appearance in Green Tea lattes at your favourite coffee joint.You can brew it thick or thin, and drink it hot or cold, mixed with milk and sugar, or add it to tempura batter. Matcha, it seems, as a drink or dessert or supplement is here to stay.Matcha is made from shade-grown green tea leaves; about 3 weeks before harvesting the buds, the plant is protected from the sun to stimulate the production of chlorophyll and amino acids. The dark green buds are laid out in the shade to dry, and the veins of the leaves and stems are removed. When totally dried, the buds are stone-ground into a bright, fine green powder. Continue »



Sunflowers

 

Sunflowers in Prince Edward County

Sunflowers in Prince Edward County

 

The storied sunflower is a truly incredible plant; tall and majestic, a few sunflowers make any garden a must –see. The centerpiece of any self respecting still-life it is prized and heavily cultivated for its seeds and oil and pastoral images of acres of sunflowers all with their heads held high toward the sun is an iconic image of late summer in many places throughout Ontario. Continue »