Mustard, in its many forms, has been a staple in the civilizations of the world for thousands of years, for medicinal purposes as well as cuisine It has been used for good, (hot dogs) for evil (mustard gas), and is featured in religious and cultural idioms ranging from the parables of The Buddha and Jesus Christ to the suspicious and bellicose antics of Colonel Mustard. Gold, it is said, is the eternal element, and mustard, it seems, is the eternal plant.
Bloor Street, Toronto, decked out for winter with evergreens.
When I was younger, I don’t recall Toronto’s sidewalks coming alive both summer and winter with planters brimming with life and colour. In the bad old days, they really didn’t; but, more and more nowadays, it’s heartening that many Toronto neighbourhoods and shared spaces are made more liveable and beautiful with large-sized mixed planters. Hurrah! Someone is paying attention to the fact that city dwellers crave more to look at than concrete and traffic lights on our way to wherever we’re going: forget the flu shot, carefully designed street planters with massed greenery inject a needed dose of urban sanity. And since winter is a bit of a marathon season in Canada, I’m grateful for local businesses and community associations coming together to foot the cost and trouble of keeping winter sidewalk planters festive and green. Cut mixed greenery, twigs and branches arranged in a planter last the entire winter, cheering our winter days whether they’re slushy or bright.
One of the best things about making preserves is not only getting to enjoy them throughout the winter but also getting to trade with other preservers to round out your pantry. Maybe you only put down fruit preserves this year and have an overwhelming amount of jams and jellies– a preserves swap is a great way to trade some of that sweet surplus for savoury sauces or piquant pickles. Continue »
In this second video on Lowcountry cuisine we head to a potluck supper in Charleston where local chefs have brought traditional dishes to share. They include ingredients typical to that region — benne seeds, Ossabaw pork, sorghum, grits and pink eyed peas.