Archive for August, 2011

August 22, 2011

creamy garlic and purple kale spelt egg noodle pasta

I know when I need a hearty stick to your rib comfort food, I always turn to pasta, which is tricky in my house as the whitey noodles just don’t fly around here. When we eat pasta we stick to brown rice, buckwheat or corn verities, so when I saw organic spelt egg noodles from a local deli, I was well on my way to a creamy pasta diner.

To make this garlic béchamel sauce start by melting:

2 tbsp butter in a small pot along with

2 tbsp whole spelt flour

4 cloves of finely minced garlic

cook down and bubble and brown for about 4 minutes

add 2 cups whole farm fresh milk

2 tbsp grainy mustard

a pinch of nutmeg

a pinch of paprika

a pinch of garlic granules


Cook pasta to serve 4

In a small separate pan quickly sear off

6 large leafs f purple kale ribboned to about 1/2 “ strips,

with a drizzle of both olive oil and lemon juice,

finish with S+P and remove from heat after no more than 2 minutes.

Once your pasta is cooked and strained, combine kale and garlic sauce and finish with fresh chopped basil.

Curl up with a good book and enjoy this warming rich entre.

August 21, 2011

hibiscus flower jelly

My mother in law arrived for her second visit in the past month, and after making strawberry jam last time, she was ready to get back into the kitchen for another adventure in canning! We had planned to finally use up the grapes in the freezer from last years harvest.. but the thought of dripping and straining them left something to be desired at 8 pm, so we opted to make a batch of hibiscus jelly instead… and what a wonderful decision it was.

Start by boiling 14 cups of water and steeping

1 cup of hibiscus flowers in it, for about 20 minutes.

strain the flowers, and add about 1/2 cup lime juice.

We used pomona’s pectin again for this batch (it’s my new favourite) it has and added step of calcium water but makes for a lovely low sugar  pectin.

We used 12 tsp of pectin and calcium water (1 .5  boxes) to 2 cups of organic cane sugar

once boiled and skimmed, we processed the jars or 10 minutes in a steam canner, and yielded 14 jars of the prettiest pink jelly you ever did see!

It has a mild floral flavour and a not to sweet presence. It’s perfect for scones and shortbread, or simply to slather on a PB sandwhich.

In warm climates like Mexico and Jamaica hibiscus is drank often to keep you cool, as it’s flower help your body to cool naturally. In Morocco they call hibiscus the magical elixir of life. And those that drink it are energized and invigorated. The flower it self can be hard to come by, and you certainly want to ensure any your find is organic. often i brew this as a cold iced tea with some citris and cinnamon. And if you add a little tequila to a cold cup your well on your way…

August 20, 2011

garden garlic and potato soup


The best thing about this soup is that all the elements all came from my garden! It tasted divine and there wasn’t a drop left in the pot after everyone had seconds, thirds and even fourths! While I was away this week my family harvested a good portion of our potato patch, and my breezeway was overflowing with spuds.. so I put them to use here, and the fresh bright lightness of these little darlings made for a silky smooth soup texture… not chunky, not too thick, just perfect!

Start by browning in a heavy bottom pot:

a hearty amount of olive oil

2 dozen halved baby potatoes

1 large yellow onion

6 cloves of sweet red russian garlic

season with S+P (and garlic chili salt if you have it)

stir often and fry for about 10 minutes, before adding 6 cups of hot water.

reduce heat and simmer for about an hour along with the following herbs and flavors:

1 handful of fresh parsley

1 handful fresh oregano

1 handful of fresh dill

2 bay leafs


after an hour or two: remove bay leafs add:

3 tbsp grainy mustard

3 cups whole fresh milk (or almond milk for a vegan version)

2 tbsp miso

combine to a silky smooth consistency with a immersion blender.

garnish with fresh herbs and nasturtium for a peppery pretty finish.

August 8, 2011

purple potato picnic salad

This picture perfect purple salad makes a dreamy picnic dish, and will sit well for a few days in the fridge drinking up the dressing.

My girlfriend dropped off a bag of her pretty little purple potatoes and they look so lovely in this no mayo potato salad, I just had to take a picture and share the quick and easy recipe:

Start by boiling

10 small purple potatoes (don’t over cook them, remove when just fork-able)

In a large bowl mix together:

2 cups caluiflower florets

1 cup brocolli florets

1 cup diced pod on sugar peas

1 handful of finely chopped parsley

1 handful hemp seeds

1 handful of finely chopped chives

add and cube your cooled purple potato, skins removed.

toss with miso hemp dressing

garnish with purple pansies

and enjoy.

August 5, 2011

“HP sauce” the essential uk condiment and other garden gossip

I must be suffering from a little bit of bloggers guilt, busy busy, but no time to write about my adventures in food. So here is a quick summary of the past couple weeks in my kitchen and a recipe for divine fruity and bold HP sauce made with plums.

I have been harvesting and foraging like a mad woman. drying, preserving, freezing, and even tincturing. I have also been eyeing up my new flour mill and am eager to get grinding and baking, but the days are so hot, and the simplicity of passive drying is lovely… and much cooler than cracking up the oven.

Both my mother and my mother in law visited over the past two weeks, and I undertook some canning with both of them. Helen and I made strawberry jam from berries her and her son (my sweet guy) picked while I was marketing, then the other day my mom and I made plum HP sauce with the two huge bags of frozen  plums I put up from my monstrous plum harvest last year. As my freezer is bursting with this seasons berries, it was time to put those plums to use and make some space for the huckleberries we  just picked.

Meanwhile I have been picking “mosquitto mint” by the bushel-full, making tea (both hot and cold) and drying rack after rack of pristine mint leaves, to get my tea and mint sauce needs met for another year. Along with the mint I have dried ample oregano, as well as chamomile, and lots of red clover flower. I have purchased a wonderful huge 8 tier hanging drying rack, which works like a dream and I am trying my best to keep it full.

My new expanded chicken run now hosts a large saskatoon berry tree and the harvest this season is juicy, for both us and the chickens! The fruit is huge and sweet, with very little seeds… I have frozen a great amount of these tasty little gems (with the help of the moms) and plan to use up all of last years grapes and make a saskatoon grape jelly this weekend, with my daughter.

Oh and I harvested my first ever yield of garlic! I have a grand assortment of varieties of garlic drying and just this morning my daughter and I braided up 40 heads in to two large braids, it was our first time braiding garlic, and it wasn’t as easy as it sounds, as we grew hardneck garlic.. but we managed to make it look pretty and I am eager to hang it over my stove. I want to grow 10x this amount of garlic next year, as it is such a rewarding plant to grow; it’s beautiful and the mid summer scape bounus is a great kitchen treat.

Ok enough about my garden, lets get to the recipe; this is how my mom and I made HP sauce… which we both adore, as do most Brits who loveling refer to the stuff as “brown sauce”. It is a staple in the UK kitchen and cafe alike. I have always wanted to make my own, especially after realizing that these days HP is made mainly of corn and gmo corn by products with the just the right amount of seasoning.

My version is cross between HP fruity and HP bold, it has a good kick and a fruity underbelly, complete with hints of tamirind and ginger, garlic and vinegar. For those of you who can’t begin to understand what makes HP so specail, think of it as a fruit chutney that reeks of comfort food companionship for most everything; from eggs, sausage, potatoes, cheese and toast to roast beef, french fries, pierogis and pot pie. mmm…


In a large pot cook down:

20 cups of plum (half apple and half plum might be nice too)

1 cup water

2 onions diced

6 cloves of garlic crushed

2″ of fresh ginger root

simmer all of this down for about 20 minutes

now is time to spice it up! Add:

2 tbsp tamarind paste

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 tbsp all spice (or equal parts cinnamon, ginger and cloves)

2 tbsp nutmeg

2 tbsp cayane

1/4 cup course salt

1/4 cup worchestershire sauce

2 tbsp molasses

2 cups malt vinegar

4 cups apple cider vinegar

3 cups of organic cane sugar

After bubbling away for about 15 more minutes, hit the pot with a immersion blender and get the lot smooth and saucy.

Preserve in sterile jars, and process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath, or using a steam canner.

The recipe yields 6 Litres of yummy HP sauce.

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