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Good

Fogo Island cod • Oats & toasts • Victory Meats

G R A C I O U S

L I V I N G

Fall/Winter 2019

O N

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E A S T

C O A S T

Compliments of

Cookie fiesta! One recipe, six cookies

Local gadgets:

great kitchen gifts

In a pickle

A new book on fermenting foods


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Offer available until January 8, 2020

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Good

Fogo Island cod • Oats & toasts • Victory Meats

Contents

G R A C I O U S

L I V I N G

Fall/Winter 2019

O N

T H E

E A S T

C O A S T

Compliments of

Cookie fiesta! One recipe, six cookies

Local gadgets:

great kitchen gifts

In a pickle

A new book on fermenting foods

Steve Smith/Visionfire

On our cover: Get a jump on your holiday baking with a recipe that yields six different cookies from one batch of dough. Photo by Steve Smith/VisionFire.

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Out & about

Victory Meats, Fredericton, NB by Alain Bossé

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One Dough, Six Cookies

18 Gadgets

Just in time for the cookie exchange

Great gadgets for gift giving

by Alain Bossé

by Alain Bossé

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Journey to success

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Fancy Pokket pitas and naan breads make entertaining easy by Alain Bossé

Some good!

Fresh cod, Fogo Island style by Alain Bossé

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Oats and toasts

Winter comfort with a flare (but check those ingredient labels carefully) by Maureen Tilley, PDt.

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Book review

The joys of fermenting

fire ith/Vision

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Local hot spot

Sharon’s Place, Pictou, NS

Steve Sm

Steve Smith/Visionfire

by Jodi DeLong

Good Taste is a special insert in Saltscapes magazine, published by Metro Guide Publishing, 2882 Gottingen Street, Halifax, NS B3K 3E2. Tel: 902- 464-7258, Sales Toll Free: 1-877-311-5877 Contents copyright 2019/2020. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent of the publisher. PRINTED IN CANADA.

by Alain Bossé

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DOWNHOME RECIPES

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One dough, 6 cookies Just in time for the recipe exchange by Alain Bossé photography Steve Smith/VisionFire

W

ith the holiday season just around the corner, so too come the usual frantic pursuits often associated with the season: the search for the perfect gifts; the search to find the perfect outfits for the kids’ Christmas concert, your husband’s office party and the annual family Christmas card; trying to fit in all the holiday parties… And then there’s the baking. We place so much emphasis on the baking. So many of us have the image of the perfect Christmas table in our minds— which often mimics those found in magazines and on Instagram—we sometimes get so caught in focusing on the end result that we don’t take time to stop and enjoy the actual process.

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In our house, it seems that we put extra expectations on ourselves. Because we’re in the food industry, we often feel that people expect to see a certain quality of food offered; when in reality, we need to realize that our friends and family are there for us and not the offerings on our dining table. Since we’re so busy at this time of year catering to other people’s holiday festivities, ours often end up lacking. This year we decided that we would try and simplify the process; at least in the baking department. We thought if we came up with one basic cookie dough that was very tasty yet not overly dominant in any one particular flavour, we could use that as a base for several different cookies. This way we’d be able to quickly put together an impressive sweet tray in a matter of hours rather than days. We felt that a basic sugar cookie recipe might be the best starting point. Many people make their sugar cookies with vanilla extract, but we added a bit of almond just for that little extra something special. The next step was to put on some

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Above: Finger cookies. Right: The basic recipe with a chocolate hazelnut topping.


Christmas music to get us into the spirit; we poured a glass of wine and then we simply relaxed and enjoyed the process. Within about a two-hour period we were able to create six distinct cookies from one batch of cookie dough We mixed up our sugar cookie ingredients, then we rolled the dough and cut basic rounds. Some were rolled out using an embossed rolling pin that gave us a fancy finish, and others were decorated using a stencil and some decorating powder. Easy peasy. For the second variation we rolled the dough and used a rectangular cutter to give us a finger cookie; we dipped half of each in dark chocolate and sprinkled some Christmas candy over top of the chocolate. They looked quite elegant. Staying with the chocolate theme, we melted some milk chocolate and stirred in some crushed hazelnuts, then poured it into a round cookie cutter that we had placed on parchment paper; we let it cool

Above: Decorating powder and a stencil makes cookies worthy of a church tea. Left: Snowflake cookies with a stained-glass appearance thanks to melted Jolly Rancher candies.

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Ultimate Sugar Cookie Makes 6 dozen cookies The following is the base recipe that we used; all cookies were baked at 350ºF (180ºC) for 9 minutes other than the savoury batch—because they were rolled a bit thicker we baked them for 11 minutes. 2 cups (500 mL) 2 cups (500 mL) 2 1 tbsp (15 mL) 2 tsp (10 mL) 4 tsp (20 mL) 6 cups (1500 mL)

butter white sugar eggs vanilla extract almond extract baking powder all-purpose flour

Right: Spice up your cookies with a bit of crushed pink or red peppercorns and fennel seed plus a little sea salt on top. Below: Linzer cookies are sandwiched together with raspberry filling.

Cream together butter and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add eggs and extracts and mix well. Sift together baking powder and flour; add to the creamed mixture in thirds. Turn mixture out onto a floured surface and lightly knead to form a soft, smooth dough; use immediately or refrigerate until needed. Allow dough to come to room temperature before attempting to roll.

in the fridge and then placed it on top of our sugar cookie after we had removed it from the pan and set it on the cooling rack. This one was a bit trickier because if you add your chocolate too soon it will melt and if you don’t add it soon enough it will not stick. We found that as soon as the cookies were just warm to the touch we were good to go. The fourth variation was quite possibly the most fun. We cut out snowflake shapes then used a smaller cutter to take out the center; we found that removing the centre after we had placed the cookie on the parchment lined baking sheet work best, as removing the centre left us with a bit of a flimsy cookie that was tricky to move from counter to pan. We then took some Jolly Rancher candies and broke

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them up, leaving them quite coarse. We sprinkled those into the middle and baked them. The candies melted and gave us a beautiful window pane effect. The fifth variation was our Linzerinspired cookie. We simply cut a top and a bottom, adding a window to our top piece. After baking, we filled the cookie with some raspberry jam, put the two sides together and sprinkled them with a dusting of powdered sugar. Our last variation was probably the most challenging. We wanted to come up with a savoury cookie; the dilemma was turning sweet dough into a savoury one without actually altering the ingredients in the original recipe. We knew that if we added a bit of heat, the sweetness would act as a nice counterbalance. We decided

to use crushed red pepper corns and some crushed fennel for a bit of greenery and as a complimentary flavor to the pepper. We sprinkled sea salt on top and popped them into the oven. Our original recipe made close to 72 cookies. Depending on the size of your cookie cutters you may end up with a few more or a few less. The whole process was very relaxing and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. We feel that this is the ideal way to prepare for a cookie exchange, not only was it quick, cleanup was minimal compared to making six variations from six different base recipes. In fact, we saw no downside to this process whatsoever! Johanne and Alain Bossé Happy Holidays!


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Journey to success Fancy Pokket makes entertaining easy By Alain Bossé photography by Steve Smith/VisionFire

PRODUCER TO PLATE

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recently read a quote (author unknown) that said that “Canadians are born all over the world, but some just haven’t found their way home yet.” Mike Timani did find his way home and his journey has been incredible. For Mike, leaping into the unknown seemed far less daunting than staying in his home country of Lebanon while civil war raged within its borders. In 1976, at the age of 20, he boarded a flight to Toronto, all alone and with nothing but his luggage and a single contact; his cousin. After spending hours with customs agents, Mike emerged from Toronto Pearson to a sight he could scarcely believe, a taxi driver with a familiar face—one he thought he knew from home. Thinking it had to be a coincidence, he called out the man’s name and to Mike’s surprise, he answered. This simple quirk of fate provided Mike with a tremendous sense of well-being and comfort.

When Mike left Lebanon, his goal was to get settled in his new home country and then pursue a degree in engineering. However, as often happens, life threw a curveball in Mike’s direction in the form of a clause in his immigration status that prohibited him from attending school. As a result, Mike found himself back at the airport; not as a passenger this time, but as a bellboy at the Airport Hilton. Surprisingly, Mike thoroughly enjoyed working in the hotel, and eventually when he was able to attend university, it wasn’t an engineering degree that he pursued, but rather one in hotel management. In time, his work with Hilton took him to Saint John, New Brunswick, to help open a new hotel. The province agreed with him and after six years he decided to make it his permanent home. He also decided to make another life change and left Hilton to open his own restaurant and bakery in Moncton, both called Fancy Pokket. There was, however, one significant hurdle: pita bread was not well known in the region, so Mike set out to introduce Moncton and pita bread to one another. The product was so well received that in 1995, Mike was able to sell the restaurant and focus all his attention on supplying the demand that he had created. As pita bread became more recognized and the demand grew, so too did the Fancy Pokket Bakery.

Opposite page: Fancy Pokket appetizers make holiday entertaining easy and delicious. G R A C I O U S

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Brie and tomato relish make a tasty appetizer on mini naan bread.

In the past 25 years the facility has grown from 1,000 sq. feet to 45, 000 sq. feet. The product line has expanded as well and the production numbers are staggering; the traditional Lebanese style pita line produces 12,000 pita/hour, 45,000 sandwich naan per hour and 140,000 mini naans; tortillas come in at 21,000 per hour and each hour 12,000 bagels are made. But that’s not all: the various lines also yield 6,000 gluten-free loaves per hour; 18,500 gluten-free muffins per hour; 25,000 cookies and 22,600 hotdog and hamburger buns! Not all items are produced in Moncton however; the company has expanded into the US, where it owns the largest bakery dedicated to gluten-free products in North America. Due to state-of-the-art freezers, the company is able to move products

from one factory to the other so that the gluten-free products are available in Canada as well. Despite Mike’s major success, awards, and the satisfaction of seeing a son join the family business, he has never forgotten the feeling of stepping off that plane with no more than the hope of a better future. Several years ago, when approximately 900 Syrian refugees arrived in New Brunswick, Mike provided them with a taste of home: they were all generously given a two-month supply of pita bread, but more importantly, Mike shared his story and showed them that in Canada anything is possible. Have fun entertaining for the holidays with these amazing mini and square naan breads. Let your imagination run wild: we have a few ideas to get you started.

Mini naan topped with pesto, lobster and parmesan.

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Fancy Pokket Mini Naan with Lobster & Pesto Makes 1 serving Take mini naan bread, spread pesto (recipe below) and top with 1 oz (28 g) of lobster meat. Top with grated fresh parmesan cheese and finish with a turn of the pepper mill.

SLEEK STYLE. SEAMLESS INTEGRATION.

Basil & Pumpkin Seed Pesto Makes 1 cup (250 mL) 1 cup (250 mL) 2 ¼ cup (50 mL) ½ cup (125 mL) ½ cup (125 mL) Juice 1 small lime 1 tsp (5 mL)

basil cloves of garlic pumpkin seeds grated parmesan olive oil sea salt

Place basil, pumpkin seeds, lime, garlic, and parmesan in the bowl of a food processor; process until well combined. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until desired consistency is reached. Add salt. Chill.

Mini Naan with Cream Brie & Tomato Relish Makes 1 naan On mini naan bread, spread cream brie (available in cheese section of your grocery store) top with 1 oz (28 g) of Tomato Relish (recipe follows) then top with mini greens.

Country Magic Sweet and Savoury Tomato Relish Makes 2 cups (500 mL) 2 cups (500 mL) grape tomatoes diced 2 cups (500 mL) yellow onions diced 1 jalapeno pepper deseeded and chopped 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter ¾ cup (175 mL) red wine vinegar 1 tsp (5 mL) grainy mustard ½ cup (125 mL) brown sugar ½ cup (125 mL) maple syrup In large sauté pan melt butter, then add onions, jalapeno pepper, and tomatoes. Sauté for 3 minutes, deglaze the pan with red wine vinegar and Dijon grainy mustard for few more minutes than add brown sugar and maple and let simmer for 30 or 35 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally until it reaches jam consistency.

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Davidson Food Equipment 1245 Hanwell Rd. Fredericton, NB (506) 450-4994 ross@davidsonfoodequipment.com

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Cool thenPokket place in 4a jar refrigerate.e Fancy x 4andNaan Steak

Horseradish Mayo

and

Makes 4 naan Take 4 naan breads, top with your favourite greens; then add 2 oz (57 g) slices of steak cooked to your liking. Top with 1 tbsp (15 mL) Horseradish Mayo (recipe follows) and garnish with chopped shallots. Fold, and use toothpick to hold together.

Horseradish Mayo Makes 1 cup (250 mL) ¾ cup (175 mL) mayonnaise ¼ cup (50 mL) thick sour cream 2 tbsp (30 mL) horseradish 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice 1 tbsp (15 mL) shallots, fine dice 1 tbsp (15 mL) green onions, fine dice Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a medium size bowl and mix together till nice and smooth, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for all the flavours to meld.

“Mike shared his story and showed them that in Canada anything is possible”

Fancy Pokket 4 x 4 Naan Atlantic Salmon & Tzatziki Sauce Makes 4 naan Take 4 x 4 Naan Bread cut in triangles then spread with Tzatziki Sauce (recipe follows) and top with 2 oz (57 g) cooked Atlantic salmon portions, add a dollop of Tzatziki sauce and garnish with chopped tomatoes, black olives, and sprig of fresh dill.

Tzatziki Sauce Makes 2 cups (500 mL) 1 2 cups (500 mL) 1 tbsp (15 mL) 2 cloves Pinch 2 tbsp (30 mL) Sea salt to taste.

English cucumber Greek plain yogurt lemon juice garlic, fine dice cayenne pepper fresh dill, chopped

Grate English cucumber into a strainer, sprinkle with ½ tsp sea salt and let sit for 10 minutes. Squeeze to remove excess liquid. Add drained cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, pinch of cayenne and fresh dill to yogurt. Mix together. Add salt to taste. Store in fridge. GT 14


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Local hot spot: Sharon’s Place, Pictou, NS Story and photography by Alain Bossé

PANTRY

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e’ve shared a lot of hot spots in local communities all across Atlantic Canada and I thought it might be time to share one from my hometown of Pictou, NS. People always ask me if I still feel like cooking every night since I work with food so much, and I always reply “Oh no, Sharon usually cooks for me.” “Sharon” is Sharon Stewart, and she and her husband John own and operate our local diner, Sharon’s Place. Sharon is one of the hardest working women I know. The restaurant is hugely popular, and it isn’t unusual to see every booth filled and a line up at the door! You might think that Sharon would be kicking back and enjoying life but instead on any given day you can find her on the line cooking, or out front serving tables. I particularly enjoy it when Sharon is out front interacting with customers. Others obviously feel the same way, since there are always familiar faces in the restaurant—although I don’t know their actual names because the guy in the

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booth beside me is always referred to as “doll” and the woman at the counter is “hun.” That’s how Sharon is, genuine and warm. The restaurant closes at 7pm but I promise if you show up at ten minutes to Sharon will still greet you with a genuine, “Come in and have a seat, darlin!” But no matter how wonderful the staff, (and at Sharon’s, they all are terrific) you need good food to back it up and here you will not be disappointed. I will stake my reputation on Sharon’s fish and chips. They are some of the best in the province, more fish than batter and always flakey and fresh. Her liver

and onions is a favourite mainly because you have to hunt to find the liver under mounds of perfectly caramelized onions. Her meatloaf is a big hit; so much so that I’ve only had it once in the last three years, it sells out that quickly! When I’m feeling nostalgic, a Big Boah burger (named after her son) and strawberry milkshake is perfect. Her portions are generous, and everything is from scratch. The prices are more than fair, and everyone can get the seniors portion if they choose. But then… there is Sharon’s carrot cake. I could do a whole story just on that carrot cake: it’s super moist and the ratio of cream cheese frosting to cake is just right. If carrot cake isn’t your thing, there is always a selection of three pies available along with a dessert of the day. This is one hot spot that shouldn’t be missed; and when you stop be sure to tell them that Al sent you. Sharon’s is open 7 days a week from 6am to 7pm and is located at 12 Front Street in Pictou.


Out and about: Victory Meats, Fredericton, NB Story and photography by Alain Bossé

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was recently in Fredericton, NB, walking down King Street, when a neon sign brought me back to a past life when this quaint city was home and the Victory Meat and Produce Market was a regular stop. The Victory Meat and Produce Market is one of those landmark locations that every city has; it’s ingrained into the landscape and it changes just enough to stay current, but still feels as if you may have stepped into a piece of history. Founded 80 years ago by Simon Chippin, the business has remained in the hands of family members through the years and is presently run by the founder’s grandson, Seth Chippin. The Victory Meat Market doesn’t just exist within the city of Fredericton; it supports the city and lifts it up. The products carried come from near and far, but the Victory is a huge proponent of supporting local whenever possible—they make sure that the local vendors, farmers and small businesses stand out by placing a visible tag on their products to highlight their local items. The business also supports the military, seniors, students and local health care workers, with each group getting a discount on revolving days. Their website also lists the non-profits that they support and calls for others to reach out if they need help. The store itself isn’t overly large but it carries a lot of choices within its square footage. The meat counter offers a large selection with a nice variety of cuts being offered. Produce is fresh and reminds me more of a farm market selection than a grocer’s. The Victory also has a beautiful selection of imported items from around the world: oils, vinegars, dried dates and figs all caught my eye, but the cheese selection stopped me in my tracks. Anyone

who knows me knows that charcuterie boards are my favourite way to entertain and the Victory could easily be a one-stop shop for building a stunning board. Because we arrived in Fredericton later in the evening on our most recent trip, we had resigned ourselves to the fact that we wouldn’t be indulging in any of Fredericton’s famous samosas, as they are mostly found only at the farmers market. Once again the Victory came through. They carry an extensive variety of samosas from two of the market vendors, they were fresh with perfectly flaky pastry; we chose mild beef and hot chicken, and they didn’t disappoint. It’s funny how something can slip your

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mind and when it comes back to you, you wonder how you let it get away, but you know you won’t let it go again. Finding the Victory again was a bit like that; in the past a stop in Fredericton has always been about the farm market, but now we have a second stop to make as well. The Victory Meat and Produce Market is located at 344 King Street and is open from 9am to 9pm six days a week (8am to 9pm on Saturdays). See their website at victorymeatmarket.ca.

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The really local Christmas gadgets

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Great gift ideas for your foodie—or for yourself By Alain Bossé photography Steve Smith/VisionFire GADGETS

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any years ago I decided that I would only have items in my home that had been made by someone’s hands—no mass produced items, nothing from big box stores. I very quickly realized that was quite impractical for several reasons. Some of the items I require for day to day living are simply not produced locally in any quantities, if at all. And secondly, buying items made by artisans at that point in my life wasn’t always affordable. Happily, things have changed; more and more people are starting to really value handmade items, not only for their aesthetics but also because they don’t leave a large environmental footprint like mass-produced items do. Thanks to farm markets, artisan co-ops, and social media, we’re now more aware of what’s available to us. I’ve connected with so many fabulous artisans through the Saltscapes Expos over the years and I’m thrilled to not only support them in their work but to enjoy their incredible wares in my own home every day. So, in the spirit of celebrating all things locally made, this year’s gadgets focus on items that are made right here with passion and with pride. Some are items that could possibly become heirloom treasures; items that are not

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8 only practical but beautiful. Most of these can be found in my own kitchen and I feel confident that anyone on my Christmas list—or yours—would be thrilled to receive any one of them!

#10 Beezy Wrap Say goodbye to foil and plastic wrap and say hello to Beezy Wrap; the envirofriendly reusable beeswax. These 100 per cent cotton wraps are infused with local beeswax, organic oils, pine tree resin and cinnamon essential oil. They are selfadhesive and will easily mould to any dish as a cover; or simply use them to wrap snacks, vegetables or cheese. Beezy Wraps are washable and antibacterial. With proper care, Beezy Wraps will last for months; and you can also purchase small cakes of the protective beeswax product to refresh your wraps. Each package contains 1 large, 1 medium and 1 small wrap. $15.99 www.beezywrap.ca.

#9 Grohmann Knives Grohmann Knives has always had two offerings when it comes to kitchen knives; their stunningly beautiful wood-handled knives and their extremely serviceable but not as pretty poly-handles knives. Don’t get me wrong; these poly knives are the work horse of every commercial kitchen

because the handles can be submerged in water; but they aren’t the knives that I have on display. However, they are shaking things up at the Grohmann Factory in Pictou. They now have an “M Series Limited Edition” handle. Like the poly knives, they are dishwasher safe but there’s nothing plain Jane about them; they are stunning! I mean, seriously beautiful, the handle colours are vibrant greens, blues, and red; they are made of resin and are modern and funky! These are definitely on my wish list. Carving Set $240 www.grohmannknives.com.

#8 Aspinall Pottery A beautiful meal deserves a beautiful vessel and this bowl from Denise Aspinall Pottery in Canning, NS is just about as beautiful as it gets. This porcelain bowl is fully functional and is hand-painted using liquid colours of soft blues, greens and brown and then clear glazed. One of the unique features of this bowl and all Denise’s pieces is that it is decorated in free-form brushwork, leaving owners to their own interpretation of plant, animal, sea or sky. $50 9842 Main Street, Canning, NS.

#7 Banjo Oyster Shucking Knife Made in PEI by oyster shucking champion Jason Woodside, this oyster shucker


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7 is the perfect example of a piece that is both beautiful and functional. The hardwood handle fits perfectly in your hand and makes the twisting motion used in shucking feel very comfortable and controlled. With regular oiling, the handle will develop a rich deep patina and last for many years to come. $20 Banjo Oyster Knives banjoknife@gmail.com.

#6 Ashwurks Garlic Smash Boards These sweet little boards are meant for smashing and chopping garlic, saving your other cutting boards from garlic’s pungent scent. The boards are individually created from Canadian white ash and no two are alike. These end-grain boards will become lifetime boards if properly cared for. Simply wash under warm water with mild dish soap and treat with food grade oil when needed. $25 www.ashwurks.ca.

#5 Basic Spirits Pewter We’ve long been fans of pewter because of the warmth that it brings to our kitchen and we think that these measuring spoons are fabulous. Whether you prefer cooking or baking you will eventually need a good set of measuring spoons and if they can look this good, why would you settle for plastic? Crafted by Basic Spirts from Pugwash, NS, a company that uses

traditional methods of pewter-smithing to produce high quality products. With true Atlantic Canadian generosity, 10 per cent of profits are allocated back to philanthropic projects. $50 basicspirit.ca.

#4 Wooden Utensils The Spoonery Woodenware and Needful Things is located in Debert, NS and is the source for beautiful wooden utensils of all shapes and sizes. From ladles to tasting spoons, salad tongs to wooden scoops—in fact there are more than 60 types of utensils available, all crafted from Nova Scotia hardwoods. Anything and everything that you could need is made by owner Matt Dondale and I can say from experience that if you need something and Matt doesn’t have it already, he will do his best to make it. Assorted prices. Contact The Spoonery at 902-641-2194.

#3 Larchwood charcuterie or appetizer board Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve long been a fan of Larchwood cutting boards. The quality of these boards is outstanding and the fact that they come in so many various shapes and sizes makes them perfect for entertaining as well. This one in particular makes a fabulous charcuterie board, or perhaps for serving

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canapes at your upcoming New Year’s Eve bash. $130 www.larchwoodcanada.com.

#2 Spurtle The spurtle originated in Scotland during the 15th century and was typically associated with oatmeal; however we find that it works very well with soups and stews as well. The shape is meant to keep the food from sticking to it or the pot. This beautiful spurtle was hand-crafted by cabinetmaker Brent Rourke from Bloomfield, NB; it has a traditional Scottish thistle on top and would be a beautiful addition to any kitchen. Just remember that tradition states that it be stirred in a clockwise direction with the right hand. $13 Available at The Barn in Bloomfield, Bloomfield, NB.

#1 Salt Pig Salt pigs are not new; they’ve been used to store and serve salt for centuries. A salt pig is basically an earthenware vessel meant to keep salt dry; the outside is often glazed but the unglazed interior is the key to keeping the salt dry. Its mouth is often wide so that the salt can be easily pinched. These beautiful salt pigs were created by Sara Bonnyman of Sara Bonnyman Pottery, located in Tatamagouche NS. www.sarabonnymanpottery.com. C O A S T

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Barrett & Mackay/Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

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Some good! Fresh cod Fogo Island style Story by Jennifer Bain

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s soon as my line hits the bottom of the North Atlantic, something starts yanking on it. Something insistent; heavy; hungry. I let out some slack and throw the wooden holder into the bottom of the boat to free up my hands to jig. As the fish toys with my line, Randy Snow quietly pulls up the first cod of the day. “Not real big,” the Fogo Islander says apologetically. Well, it sure looks big to me, and within 10 fairly chaotic minutes, four more fish follow— one-third of our boat limit of 15. This is shaping up to be the shortest, albeit most successful, fishing trip of my life, except hand-line fishing is not that easy. There are no rods, just thick green polyester line wrapped around a rectangle of wood (technically called wooden hand-line reels), with a heavy silver lure attached to a single hook and a red-and-yellow wisp of plastic that looks like a sea worm. GT 20

“So just reel it out and let it drop?” my husband Rick asks Snow. “Now if I feel a bite, I just wind it?” “You’ll feel a bite,” Snow assures him. “You’ve got to let it hit the bottom,” chimes in Tom Earl, a chef who owns Tilting Harbour B&B and is eager to get a feed of fresh fish, plus heads and bodies to make stock. It takes some coaching, but Rick gets the first fish of his life off the coast of Fogo Island, my kids have a formative fishing experience on blessedly calm seas and we quickly catch our limit in what the government calls the “Newfoundland and Labrador Recreational Groundfish


Start a deep dive into cod at the Fogo Island Marine Interpretation Centre, nicknamed the F.U. because it still bears the Fishermen’s Union sign. Learn about the Fishermen’s Union Trading Co., Fogo Process and Fogo Island Shipbuilders Co-operative, and tour a former cod liver oil factory. If you’ve seen Fogo Island cod on menus across Canada, thank Tony Cobb and Janice Thomson. With Fogo Island Fish, they pay fishers double the market rate to hand-line cod for top chefs and restaurants. The fishers use day-boats and the traditional method that we used of “one line, one hook, hauled up by hand, resulting in zero by-catch.” The sustainably caught fish is bled and washed at sea, kept

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Jennifer Bain

Fishery”—or, what the people call “the food fishery.” Over a pan-fried cod dinner, I think about 1497 when explorer John Cabot arrived, saw waters teeming with fish and helped spark the birth of an enormous new commercial fishery. By 1992, the Canadian government declared a moratorium on the northern cod fishery to combat decades of over-fishing and depleted cod stocks. The economic repercussions are still being felt—but Atlantic cod is still king here. This year, the government allowed 39 days between late June and September for the food fishery. It also controls a small commercial cod fishery mainly with an inshore fixed-gear fleet that uses long lines, gillnets and hand lines. Snow, a commercial fisher, takes us out on the weekend in his boat, docked near the Fogo Island Co-operative Society, which has three seafood processing plants on the island and was formed in 1967 when the province tried to force islanders to resettle on the mainland or come up with ideas for a long-term, sustainable economy. In something dubbed the Fogo Process, the people decided to stay, and the co-op took over processing facilities abandoned by private enterprise. Now it harvests and processes North Atlantic snow crab, coldwater shrimp, Greenland halibut (turbot), cod and other groundfish, pelagic species like mackerel, herring and capelin, and sea cucumbers (which, as their name implies, are insane looking marine animals). When Newfoundlanders and Labradorians say they’re eating “fish” they mean cod.

Above, left: The Fogo Island Marine Interpretation Centre (the FU); above: Jennifer Bain's husband Rick MacKenzie and his first cod.

WINERY BREWERY RESTAURANT “A Little Piece of Italy in the Avon Valley”

OPEN YEAR ROUND 4499 Highway 14, Windsor, NS 902-472-2212 www.bentridgewinery.ca

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Jennifer Bain Jennifer Bain

on ice and flash frozen at the wharf. “Fish when the fish are fat” is the group’s motto, so they fish in the fall when the cod are heavy from eating baitfish all summer. Cobb wants us to eat only Canadian fish in a water-to-table movement that rivals the successful farm-to-table movement. That means saying no to supermarket, fishmonger and restaurant cod quietly imported from places like Iceland, Norway and Russia. On Fogo, chefs get creative with cod. The Fogo Island Inn, the brainchild of Cobb’s sister Zita, routinely showcases cod. At his bed-and-breakfast, Earl makes the occasional dinner for guests and loves the simplicity of baked or barbecued cod over greens from Winston Osmond’s garden at Herring Cove Art Gallery & Studio. “The best cod to use is the cod you catch yourself,” pronounces Earl. Ask around during the food fishery and you’ll quickly find someone to take you out. At Bangbelly Café, chef Ian Sheridan has created “the perfect cod sandwich” that pairs fresh and smoked fish with crunchy red cabbage and radish on a homemade milk bun. He puts smoked cod on toast, bakes cod with a barbecue miso glaze, and has a popular seafood roll with local cod and shrimp. “Cod is a vessel—a source of protein,” says Sheridan. “It’s

Fogo Island Cod au Gratin.

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a plain white fish and so you can make anything a star and that in turn makes cod the star.” Scoff restaurant chef Bryce Degner sometimes pan-fries fresh cod with scrunchions (fried bits of cured salt pork), but really loves salt cod, which locals dry on clotheslines and fishing stages every fall. Degner makes salt cod perogies inspired by his dad’s mammoth perogies, and the Newfoundland dish fish and brewis made with salt cod, scrunchions and hardtack (hard bread). The place to go to learn about salt cod is the historic Dwyer Premises in Tilting, which boasts a wooden house, store (shed), flakes (cod-drying platform) and stage used for a family-based inshore fishery. This is where writer/commercial fisherman Roy Dwyer cleans cod on a traditional splitting table, salts it and dries it. “When I’m at the stage, the doors are open. Definitely Newfoundlanders know what you are doing, but tourists ask a lot of questions so you have to explain the process.” His wife Christine works some of their salt cod into fish cakes, which are frozen and pulled out and cooked as needed. “You know what the Irish called Newfoundland?” Dwyer asks, launching into the tale of the people who came over on early fishing vessels and gave the province the Gaelic nickname Talamh an Éisc. “The land of the fish.”

Fogo Island Cod Au Gratin Makes about 6 servings (From Scoff restaurant chef and co-owner Bryce Degner.) Serve in bowls with white rolls for dipping. Dice the fish fairly small so it cooks quickly and melts into the sauce. 2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil 1 large yellow onion, halved, thinly sliced 1 large potato, halved, thinly sliced 21/2 cups (625 mL) whole milk 1 cup (250 mL) coarsely grated orange cheddar 1 cup (250 mL) coarsely grated white cheddar ¾ cup (185 mL) finely grated Parmesan 1 tsp (5 mL) fresh lemon juice 11/2 tsp (7 mL) kosher salt 1 tsp (5 mL) black pepper ¼ tsp (1 mL) nutmeg 11/2 lb (675 g) cod, patted dry, diced Topping: 1 cup (250 mL) panko (Japanese dried breadcrumbs) 2 tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter, melted 1 tbsp (15 mL) dried savoury or 3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh, chopped savoury

In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring, until translucent but not browning, six minutes. Add potatoes and milk. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until potatoes are falling apart, about 35 minutes.


Jennifer Bain

Fogo Island Roast Cod in a Pan.

Transfer to a food processor. Process 1 minute until smooth. Add two cheddars and Parmesan. Process until smooth. Add lemon, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Blend just to incorporate. Spread cod out in buttered 1.9L (2 quart) oval or round baking dish. Pour sauce over it. For topping, mix panko, butter and savoury in a small bowl with a fork. Sprinkle over dish. Bake in preheated 350°F (180°C) oven 30 minutes or until bubbling and lightly browned. For a darker crust, quickly broil on top rack, about one minute.

Fogo Island Roast Cod in a Pan Makes 4 servings (From Tilting Harbour B&B innkeeper Tom Earl.) Greens: 2 bunches Swiss chard, rinsed 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil 1 leek, trimmed, halved, white and light green parts thinly sliced 3 large cloves garlic, minced ¼ tsp (1 mL) red chili flakes, or more to taste Kosher salt plus freshly ground black pepper A TOAST TO

Fish: 4 portions boneless, skinless cod (about 6 oz/170 g each), patted dry Olive oil Kosher salt plus freshly ground black pepper Finely grated zest of 1 lemon Leaves from 4 sprigs fresh thyme G R A C I O U S

Fresh, vibrant and versatile with signature notes of citrus.

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Bangbelly

LAMB RUB Barbecue-Miso Baked Cod

Chopped Herbs (Rosemary, and/ or thyme, basil, parsley) to taste or as available 3/4 cup (175 mL) olive or canola oil 1/4 cup (50 mL) lemon juice

PREPARATION: Crush garlic, mix with pepper, sugar, herbs, oil and lemon juice. Rub this mixture over lamb leg or use as a marinade for chops or kabobs. Cook as you normally would. Northumberland Lamb is available at your local Sobeys location and check out our website for other great recipe ideas.

Jennifer Bain

INGREDIENTS: 5-6 garlic cloves 1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt 1 teaspoon (5 mL) sugar 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) pepper

NORTHUMBERLAMB@GMAIL.COM

Barbecue-Miso Baked Cod.

Coffee & Tasting Room

Visit us in person @ 30 Court House Road Gagetown, NB Or Online @

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For the greens: separate chard leaves and stems. Thinly slice or chop leaves; set aside. Chop stems; set aside one cup (250 mL) for this recipe. (Keep remainder for another use.) In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add leeks, garlic and chili flakes. Cook, stirring, three minutes. Add reserved chard stems. Cook, stirring, five minutes. Add reserved chard leaves. Cook, stirring until wilted, five minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 9-inch by 13-inch (23-cm by 33-cm) baking dish. For the fish: lay cod over greens in baking dish. Drizzle cod with oil. Generously season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with lemon zest and thyme. Cut zested lemon in half and add to pan. Bake in preheated 375°F (190°C) oven until fish is medium to medium-well done, about 10 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness. Serve fish and greens drizzled with any pan juices. Pass lemons for squeezing.

Makes 4 servings (From Bangbelly chef and co-owner Ian Sheridan, who calls this Cod Save the Queen at the restaurant. Miso paste is in the refrigerated area of supermarkets.) Coconut Jasmine Rice: 1 cup (250 mL) ¾ cup (185 mL) ¾ cup (185 mL) 1 tbsp (15 mL) Pinch kosher salt

jasmine rice well-stirred, canned coconut milk water granulated sugar

Cod: 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature 2 tbsp (30 mL) white (shiro) miso paste 2 tbsp (30 mL) sweet barbecue sauce 4 portions boneless, skinless cod (about 6 oz/170 g each), patted dry

For rice, combine rice, coconut milk, water, sugar and salt in a rice cooker or saucepan. Cook as per manufacturer’s or package instructions. Meanwhile, for cod, place butter, miso and barbecue sauce in a food processor. Process until smooth. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Put a dollop of miso butter under each cod piece to prevent sticking. Using the back of a spoon, rub a liberal layer of miso butter over each piece of fish. (Refrigerate remaining miso butter for another use.) Bake in preheated 425°F (220°C) oven until medium to medium-well done, about six to eight minutes, depending on thickness. Serve cod on rice.


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HOLIDAY

CLASSIC TURKEY WITH O N I O N & SAG E ST U F F I N G PREP TIME 20 MIN. MAKES 1 STUFFED ROAST TURKEY

NUTRITION FACTS (4 oz/125 g turkey, ½ cup/125 mL stuffing): calories 310, fat 13 g, saturated fat 4.5 g, carbs 13 g, sugar 1 g, protein 34 g, cholesterol 130 mg, fibre 1 g, sodium: 600 mg

STUFFING 1/4 cup unsalted butter (60 mL) 2 celery stalks, finely diced 1 large onion, finely diced 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh sage (75 mL) 10 cups cubed day-old white bread (2.5 L) 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper (2 mL) 11/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (375 mL) TURKEY 1 fresh or frozen (thawed) turkey (see Step 5 on cooking assorted sizes) 2 tbsp olive oil (30 mL) 2 tsp salt (10 mL) 1 tsp pepper (5 mL)

1. A rule of thumb to determine turkey size required is to allow 1 lb (500 g) uncooked weight per serving, plus leftovers. 2. Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Position rack in lower third of oven. To make stuffing, melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Cook celery, onion, and sage 3 to 5 min. until softened. Cool completely. In large bowl, combine bread, onion mixture, salt and pepper. Stir in just enough broth to thoroughly moisten bread without sogginess. 3. Remove turkey giblets and neck, if there are any, from turkey cavity and place in roasting pan. Pat turkey dry with paper towel. Rub oil, salt and pepper on skin and inside cavity. Immediately prior to roasting, loosely fill turkey cavity with stuffing. Tie legs together with butcher’s twine. Tuck in wing tips. Also, put some stuffing in the neck cavity (there will be leftover stuffing). Pull over neck skin and use skewers to close up cavity. 4. Place turkey, breast-side up, in roasting pan fitted with rack. Place leftover stuffing in a covered baking dish or foil packet (a packet is easier to fit into a full oven); set aside. 5. To determine turkey’s roast time, allow 20 min. for every 1 lb (500 g). To check doneness for sizes up to 12 lb (5.5 kg), check internal temperatures regularly during last 45 min. of roasting. For larger turkeys, check regularly during last 1 ½ hr. Baste periodically with pan drippings for browner skin, if desired. The thickest part of inner thigh should register 85°C (185°F) and stuffing should reach 74°C (165°F). 6. Untie legs. Immediately remove stuffing from turkey; set aside. Transfer turkey to serving platter. Tent loosely with foil; let rest 30 min. Reserve pan drippings for gravy. While turkey is resting, place baking dish (or packet) of stuffing into oven. Bake about 30 min., or until hot. 7. Meanwhile, use pan drippings to make Herbed Turkey Gravy. When the baking-dish stuffing is ready, mix it with the stuffing from the turkey; transfer into a serving bowl. Carve turkey, serve with stuffing and gravy.


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Oats and toast

Winter comfort with a flare (but check those ingredient labels carefully) by Maureen Tilley, PDt.

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s the seasons change so do our eating habits. In the colder months, we’re drawn to heartier hot meals. At breakfast, we seek out hot cereals and warm toast to provide our bodies with the warmth and energy to step out into the elements. The traditional ways of preparing oats with sugar and toast with jam can lack variety in taste and in nutrition, but hold the potential to be so much more. Regardless of the season, a healthy breakfast provides an array of benefits by decreasing disease risk (heart disease, diabetes), helps control cravings and portions throughout the day, and kick starts your energy and your brain function. Skipping this meal also makes it difficult to meet your daily nutrient (fibre, vitamins/minerals) needs. Let’s discuss how to upgrade your oats and toast to keep your interest and your body nourished throughout the chilly months. Loaded and satisfying hot cereal: Call it gruel, oats, porridge, hot cereal, there’s a reason why this breakfast has been eaten forever. It’s affordable, hearty and healthy. Oats have been shown to

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decrease cholesterol, help manage diabetes, improve digestion and leave you feeling full longer. Many of its health benefits, especially related to lowering cholesterol, are due to a fibre called beta-glucan.


Oatmeal is your canvas with many options to make a tasty balanced breakfast. When we think of a balanced meal, aim for three food groups: oats is the grain; fruit/vegetable; and protein. As for proportions, aim for more than a decorative sprinkle of fruit on a large bowl of cereal. The ideal ratio would be more fruit than oats, but even equal amounts is good. Start with your base—your oats. Traditionally we think rolled oats, but there are more options with varying texture and taste. Nutritionally, oats in all forms make a healthy choice as they provide similar calories (per weight, not volume), fibre and protein although the difference is the degree of processing. Less processed has its benefits including keeping you full longer and typically a lower glycemic index meaning a slower increase in blood sugars and insulin. Here are your oat options from least to most processed. Whole oat groats is the kernel hulled from the cereal grain. It looks similar to rice and can be eaten as cereal or in grain salads, soups or as a side. Cook it on the stove for 40-50 minutes and enjoy the nutty flavour with a chewy, firmer texture. Steel cut oats (Irish) are the groats chopped with a steel blade into small pieces to reduce cooking time to about 15-20 minutes. The texture is creamy yet chewier than flakes. Large flaked rolled oats (old fashioned) are steamed and flattened groats. This keeps them fresh longer by decreasing the moisture, and reduces cooking time. You can prepare over a stovetop, by microwaving or just add boiling water (if you enjoy a firmer texture). Quick oats (instant) are steamed and flattened even longer to reduce cooking time. They take mere minutes to prepare by simply adding boiling water or milk.

Other cereals: Oat bran is the extracted bran from the outer part of the kernel. This cereal is highest in fibre. It’s similar in texture and taste to cream of wheat but has much higher in fibre as the bran and part of wheat germ are retained.

Oatmeal has been a staple for breakfasts for centuries.

Quinoa and quinoa flakes make a great cereal and provide a complete protein too. Quinoa flakes are similar to oats where they are steamed and rolled to reduce cooking time. This is a great option to use up leftover cooked quinoa. Flavoured packages (usually quick oats) are convenient but also come with a fair amount of sugar and salt. Making oatmeal from scratch can be also quick, cheaper and you control what goes in it. For convenience, cook up a large portion in advance, flavour it, refrigerate/freeze and reheat in the morning. Mason jars are perfect for individual servings for storage, transportation and re-heating. Many oats can also be prepared in the microwave, slow cooker/pressure cooker or soak overnight. Have your favourite topper mixture prepared in a shaker or container such as cinnamon, crushed nuts, flax seed. Cook oats by preferred method in milk or water. Add some cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or cocoa. Boost the fibre without altering the taste by adding two or more tablespoons wheat bran per serving. Optional: To enhance the flavour of oats, try toasting dry oats in a skillet over medium heat, while turning them often (they can burn quickly) until slightly browned with a nutty fragrance, about two minutes. Then cook in regular manner.

Fruit options: Add in healthy fat, fibre, protein (and crunch): seeds, nuts, peanut butter and/

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or granola. Top it with Greek yogurt for protein and creaminess. Add sweetness (if needed). White or brown sugar, honey, maple syrup are all sugar, regardless of the form. If it needs a little more, taste it first so you know just how much is needed. Try these comfort combos: Banana plus a dollop of peanut butter and jam; Blueberries plus cranberries plus yogurt plus slivered almonds; puréed pumpkin plus pecans plus dash of pumpkin pie spice; apple plus dash of cinnamon and granola; strawberries plus chopped dried apricots and pumpkin seed.

Toasty toast: From fancy breads to the endless toppings, everything about toast has been upgraded. Call it a hip version of an open-faced sandwich. This not only adds variety but also potential for an all-in-one balanced meal on toast. Whether you get on the hip toast train or keep it traditional, choosing the healthiest toppings and especially breads can be a confusing undertaking.

Choosing a bread: Choose whole grain—this means the grain is less processed, containing all three parts of the kernel—bran, germ, endosperm. Look for breads that state “100 per cent whole grain” or the first ingredient states “whole” followed by the type of grain i.e. whole grain corn, as well as, amaranth, spelt, barley, wheat germ, buckwheat, C O A S T

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quinoa, millet, bulgur, cracked wheat, brown rice. Whole wheat bread is a healthy choice but it’s healthiest when it states “whole grain whole wheat” otherwise, just “whole wheat” means it may only contain two parts of the grain. “Enriched” or “wheat” flours are the most refined (with white flour) as the bran and germ are removed, leaving little to no fibre, as well as a decrease in vitamins and minerals. Keep in mind, products that state “made with whole grains” do not receive an automatic health pass, as the amount of whole grain can vary from 1 to 100 per cent. Many products have a helpful whole grain stamp from the Whole Grain Council stating the amount of whole grain found in the product by percentage or grams. Visit wholegrainscouncil.org for more information. In addition to the whole grain content, it’s important to look at products as a whole for the sugar, sodium, and fat content—after all many sugary cereals are made with whole grains. Check your ingredient list and nutritional label to get the facts. Watch for added salt and sugar: these sneaky ingredients can be surprisingly high in breads. Believe it or not, most of the salt in our diet comes from bread! Many processed foods contain more salt per item but combine breads moderate salt content with the abundance we eat throughout a day, and it adds up. Check the nutrition label and choose the bread with the least amount of sugar and salt. Make sure to check the serving size—it can be listed per 1 or 2 slices.

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Dress your toast with whatever you enjoy for protein, including eggs, meat and other proteins.

Fibre: In addition to “whole grains”, check the fibre content for the highest amount per slice. As a general target, aim for at least two grams of fibre per slice.

Bread varieties: Sourdough bread uses a bacterial culture “starter” in place of yeast as the rising agent and gives it that distinct sour taste. This fermentation process can make it easier to digest for those with bread sensitivities and has a low glycemic index for better blood sugar and insulin control. Nutritionally, these breads are often made with refined flours, so look for one with whole grain flour. Rye is a tricky one—this dark bread looks whole grain but this could be due to added caramel colouring. Many rye breads contain (refined) rye flour and/or white flour as the top ingredients. Although most rye breads will have some refined flour, choose one with whole grain pumpernickel, whole grain rye flour or rye meal/kernel/ flakes as the first ingredient. Multigrain “multiple” grains just means it contains multiples of any sort. The added seeds give it the perception of a whole grain loaf so check the ingredient list. Sprout grains is made with whole grain flours but the seed is sprouted prior to making bread. Sprouting provides higher amount of nutrients including vitamin C, protein, zinc, magnesium, folate. This process makes the nutrients easier for

our bodies to absorb. For those who are sensitive to certain grains, sprouted grains can be easier to digest. Again, “sprouted grain” should be the first ingredient as products stating “made with sprouted grains” may contain very little.

Dressing your toast: Traditional toast with peanut butter and banana makes a balanced meal. If you prefer toast with butter and/or jam then pair it up with a side of fruit and egg or yogurt. If you’re looking for toast with a flare try these delicious combinations: Spread options—hummus, guacamole, mashed avocado, tzatziki or cottage cheese. Vegetables—sliced cucumber, radishes, beets, tomatoes, arugula, spinach, sprouts, sliced avocado, cooked sliced/diced sweet potato. Protein—egg (sliced/mashed hard boiled sliced, fried, egg salad), salmon (smoked/canned/fresh), tuna or chickpeas. Bringing it together (options are endless!)—Hummus plus sliced radishes plus cucumber plus sliced beet; Mashed avocado plus smoked salmon plus cucumber; Guacamole plus sliced tomato plus fried egg; Cottage cheese plus sliced avocado plus dash pepper plus arugula; Egg salad plus radishes plus sliced avocado. Stay warm, stay nourished over the winter—after all, if we can’t fight it, might as well embrace it.


EGG FARMERS of NOVA SCOTIA EGG FARMERS DID YOU KNOW? of NOVA SCOTIA Egg yolk colour is influenced by what the hen eats. In Eastern Canada, where hens are typically fed corn, yolks are usually darker in colour! Impress your guests this holiday season with this holiday must-have: Caramel Eggnog! Try this caramel version that can be enjoyed alcohol-free, or spiked with your favourite spirits!

To find this recipe and learn more visit nsegg.ca or find us on Facebook and Twitter

Thomas & Kacey DeLong DeLong Farms New Germany, NS

Melville Heights

Centennial Villa

Yarmouth Heights

Halifax (902) 477-3313

Amherst (902) 667-5330

Yarmouth (902) 881-5511

Keep living a full life. Forget about chores and enjoy the things that really matter. Discover GEM Retirement Living, upscale independent living for those who wish to maintain their active lifestyle without the worries that come with owning a home. Book your tour today!

1-800-820-7404 | gemretirementliving.com

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The joys of fermenting

A new book will be on many foodies’ Christmas lists this season Review by Jodi DeLong

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alk through any farmers market or local food emporium in Atlantic Canada, and you’ll see a variety of staples that most of us might not have even recognized a dozen years ago—Kimchi, Torshee, Kombucha. These nestle side by side with breads, sauerkraut, soft and hard cheeses, various cured meats, plus locally made ciders and beers. The unifying characteristics are that they are all fermented foods; they are all wildly popular; all delicious and, in many cases, easy to make at home, too. Author Philip Moscovitch has just completed an exhaustive, comprehensive and fascinating study of fermented foods with this new book, just out in time for the holidays. Subtitled “What I learned from Nova Scotia’s masters of fermented foods—craft beer, cider, cheese, sauerkraut and more” it’s not just a look at fermented foods—it encourages readers to try making many of them for ourselves. (A Mason jar full of cabbage and salt is working away on my counter even now.) Although the book’s subtitle refers to Nova Scotia, the same renaissance and exploration of fermented foods is going on all across our region, as people turn to time-honoured traditions as well as exploring new-to-us flavours. As Moscovitch notes, historically, people turned to fermentation of foods for one reason—to prolong their usefulness, avoiding waste as much as possible. Foods that might normally only be available fresh for a couple of weeks (think cucumbers) before they are gone for another year can thus be enjoyed as pickles. And while he notes that many vegetables and some fruits will store well for weeks, or even months, in many cases they can be preserved—and, he suggests, even improved—through fermentation. Making your own fermented foods at

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home is relatively easy and very safe, with one significant exception—curing meats. Here, there is no margin for error, no room to alter things like the concentration of salt in a brine. This particular side of fermentation requires some precision and specific equipment. It’s fascinating reading, and equally fascinating that Moscovitch addresses the whole concern (by some people) regarding nitrates and nitrites, which are used to kill botulism bacteria and significantly inhibit other bad bacteria. For those of you who think you’re eating “nitrite-free” cured meats, guess again. A significant part of Adventures in Bubbles and Brine is given over to the “adult” ferments: beer, cider, and wine. There is plenty of fascinating reading here, both in terms of the history of these beverages, and about the current growth in each industry. Moscovitch’s research has been fastidious, and he’s interviewed a significant number of local players, but along with the professional, branded brews, he’s talked to people like Brian Braganza, who has a yearly cider festival where the public gathers on his property to help him make juice for cider. And if you’re keen to try your hand at making your own cider or “country wine” there are recipes included in the book. There’s

Adventures in Bubbles and Brine by Philip Moscovitch

Formac Publishing, 208 pp $27.95

also a recipe for making kombucha, a nonalcoholic, fermented tea drink, for those who are fans of that particular beverage. For those of us who love homemade or “artisan” bread, the chapter on breads will likely be a favourite. Surely there isn’t a more commonly consumed product of all those fermented wonders found in the book, from the wonderful luskinigan or four-cent bread of the Mi’kmaq to cornmeal molasses anadama bread to sourdoughs in all shapes and sizes. There’s a recipe for making and keeping your own sourdough starter as well as a “Not Very Instagrammable Bread” recipe that Moscovitch uses. What goes well with wine, bread and pickles? Cheese, of course, and Atlantic Canada has some very fine cheese producers, from Willem van den Hoek of Economy, (aka That Dutchman), to the team at Blue Harbour cheeses in Halifax. Once again, the explanations about cheesemaking and a dash of history makes for fascinating reading. If, by mid-book, you’ve decided to try your hand at an assortment of ferment recipes, the chapter on what you’ll need for supplies will be crucial. But don’t skip to the back of the book—read and enjoy the entire volume. Especially if you’re hungry at the time.


Comes from a Good Place www.dairyisle.ca

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Good Taste Winter 2019/2020  

Good Taste Winter 2019/2020