Category Archives: local products

how it turned out

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While this is not the same recipe as I started with in my last baking post, this is my Red River Cereal bread that resulted in another late night baking session. I use organic cereals from my local farmers market. I am very pleased with how this loaf turned out.

Sorry for the picture quality, I do not have a digital camera and used my computer to take the picture (which is why you see my sofa in the back).

Red River Cereal bread (makes 2 large loaves)

1 cup Red River Cereal

3 cups boiling water

3 tbsp honey

2 tbsp lard

1 tbsp molasses

1 tbsp salt

2 packages of instant yeast or 2 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast

2 cups whole wheat flour

up to 4 cups all purpose flour

Combine cereal with boiling water and let sit until cereal has soften and temperature reduces to slightly above room temperature.

Add honey, lard, molasses into cooling mixture and let melt. Stir well.

In a mixer or large mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, salt, yeast, and 3 cups all purpose flour and mix thoroughly. Reserve the last cup of flour to add gradually to adjust the dough.

Add cereal mix to the flour and mix dough until it comes together adding extra flour if needed. Let rest in the bowl covered for 20 minutes before kneading further. After 20 minutes of rest, turn dough onto a floured surface and knead shortly, for about 4 – 5 minutes.

Let dough rise covered in an oiled bowl until doubled in size, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Gently punch down and let rest for 20 minutes, covered.

Divide dough into two equal portions and shape into loaves. Place in large loaf pans and let rise, covered until doubled in volume about 45min – 1 hour.

Bake in a 350°F oven for 35-40 minutes.

Remove from pans and let cool on wire racks. Brush tops with butter.


what really happened

Last post recorded my insecurities about making a cheesecake. That has come and gone, and produced a well-liked raspberry and chocolate cheesecake. Not the flavour I was initially going for, but when fresh raspberries from the family farm  arrive on your door step, how can one say no!

The centre was cream cheese and ricotta, with smashed fresh raspberries. I added a hint of cocoa powder and baked it, then glazed it with a dark chocolate ganache. The result was a dark chocolate outside, and a creamy pink and brown centre.

There was one crack, but was easily sealed up with hardened ganache. Very tasty!


food from the past

cbc radio document on native prairie food prepWhen you think of "Canadian cuisine" what comes to mind? Is it the famous poutine? Canadian back bacon? Perhaps maple syrup? These might be associated with Canada and some of its distinct and unique inhabitants, but it is not the original cuisine. The manyAnishinabee peoples, First Nations peoples, and so many more bands of Aboriginal people had been cooking and surviving on the land creating their own distinct "Canadian cuisine" long before cheese curds and gravy over fried potato made its way to this country!

I have come across this short radio documentary from the CBC where two Aboriginal elders are asked to share about their experiences of food made from the unique prairie offerings (the link to the documentary is on the picture).

This story is particularly well done as the two women not only share traditional foods and recipes for pemmican, bannock, wild rice, bison meat and more, they also talk about the methods of cooking and tools that they used such as a buffalo rib fashioned into a knife.

It is fascinating to find connections to the past especially through food. Perhaps it is why most of us will always carry an affinity for those recipes that are passed down from generation to generation.


the count down begins

June 24 – if you are anywhere near the southern part of Winnipeg you must mark this day on your calendar. June 24 is the opening day of the St. Norbert Farmers Market! I am blessed that the market is a 5 minute walk from my house.

Last year, some of my more regular purchases included a beautiful and bountiful supply of the most perfect green beans you can imagine, fresh stone ground whole wheat black olive focaccia bread, fresh beets and other produce. I had made it my tradition to pick up my weekly groceries for the week Saturday morning from the market when ever it would be possible.

There seems to be an endless supply of goodies for the adults and for the kids (and adults too I guess) there is a blacksmith on sight that creates things before your eyes. The market (while greatly shows off the Manitoba prairie farming traditions) is host to a fairly diverse crowd of producers. Aboriginal art and food are sold alongside of the some traditional Korean food made by local Korean families while their neighbouring booth sells local Manitoba Tomatoes and wild honey.
The market seems to be expanding each year and drawing bigger and bigger crowds. For us city slickers it is a great opportunity to connect and reflect on the work and effort that went in to producing the goods. It creates a sense of connection and wonderment to the produce of the land. What a great opportunity to build community with those who grow your beans and to say a personal “thank you” with your heart, not just you wallet! Happy growing!