Category Archives: Food

Modern Gleaners

You are probably familiar with this famous painting by Jean-Francois Millet called The Gleaners.  Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been harvested.  In the Bible, it is recommended as a way to help the poor.

The sign on The Gleaners building  we visited says Using Ontario’s Surplus Produce to Reduce Global Hunger

This past week we saw the modern version of gleaning in Leamington Ontario.  Both my brother-in-law Paul and my sister-in-law Shirley volunteer their time at the Southwestern Ontario Gleaners.

Paul and Shirley took us to see what they do as volunteers.  We arrived just at coffee break time so the work crew wasn’t on the floor when we there but it was still interesting to check out the operation. 

Dave and his brother Paul with some of the donated produce

Local fruit and vegetable growers donate unmarketable produce to The Gleaners and then a crew of volunteers turns it into nutritious packaged food mixes that are distributed to needy people locally, nationally and internationally.  

Behind Dave and Paul is one of the big dehydration machines

Donated produce is cleaned, sorted, diced, dried and dehydrated.

Shirley explains how the assembly line works for packaging products. 

The Gleaners make a number of different products 

The mixes are measured, labeled and packaged.  The volunteers can package 36,000 servings of soup in just one hour. Last year they diverted more than a million pounds of produce from landfills. 

Everything is put into boxes

These boxes are ready to leave the building to go worldwide including northern remote parts of Canada. Each year the Gleaners area of influence gets bigger as they send more products to more destinations. 

Instead of food being thrown away it is gleaned and repurposed and helps people who need it most. This sign I saw on the chalkboard at the Southwestern Ontario Gleaners explains their philosophy. The day we visited there must have been nearly thirty people lending a hand to the important mission of The Gleaners. Thanks, Paul and Shirley for showing us around.  The work you are doing is important and inspirational. 

Other posts…………

Mending What We Can

 

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Burger Week 2019- You Win Some- You Lose Some

We were driving to the Toronto airport from Leamington Ontario on Wednesday when we got a text from our friends Ed and Millie. Did we want to do a Burger Week evening with them?  Our plane was landing in Winnipeg a little after four so we thought a six-thirty get together would work out just fine. We suggested they come to our place for a drink on our rooftop and then we’d head out on the streets around our house. One hundred and twenty -four restaurants are part of Burger Week and at least twenty or more are within easy walking distance of our condo.

First, we went to Old Bailey’s because their burger sounded interesting and neither couple had been to the place in ages. What an inspired choice! Their feature burger The Aztec Mexican Chili Burger was great. It consisted of a ground beef patty, jalapeno jack cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, green leaf lettuce, chipotle mayo, all smothered with Mexican chili between an onion bun topped with Cheddar cheese bites. We shared two burgers. The service was friendly, the atmosphere cozy and we had a great time.

Next, we wanted to try out the Krabby Patty Burger at Chosabi’s. Sadly the restaurant was closed. Dave had heard a great review of the Amsterdam Tea Rooms’ Royale with Cheeseburger. Unfortunately, they were all sold out of the two hundred burgers they’d had on hand for the night. What about The King Mac at the King and Bannatyne establishment?  Two fellows on the patio told us the burger was fantastic but the line up was very long and we were hungry. So we headed over to the Kings Head Pub for their Ragin Cajun Burger. It consisted of a beef patty broiled in spicy cajun sauce with cajun mayo, lettuce, tomato, and onions on a glazed bun sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. It was fine but came in a pale second to the burger at Old Bailey’s.

We had thought of hitting three establishments but by now we were stuffed and it was after 10 o’clock. Time for everyone to head home. We hadn’t seen the Hildebrands for a while so it was great to catch up. We will have to do Burger Week again next year.

Other posts…….

Burger Week 2018

Burger Week 2017

The Great Assiniboine River Canoeing Adventure

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Filed under Food, Winnipeg

The Tale of the Traveling Pineapple Crisp

I told my friend Lucille I would bring a pineapple crisp for dessert when we came over for supper on Sunday. I had never made pineapple crisp before.

My husband is easily lured into spontaneous purchases especially when things are ‘on sale’. He had come home from a shopping trip to Costco earlier in the week with more pineapple than the two of us could ever eat. I decided I’d use some of it for a pineapple crisp. 

Our friends Darrel and Lucille live about thirteen kilometers away so Dave suggested we should cycle there in order to get in a little training run for our upcoming bike trip in Croatia. I thought that was a great idea. But how would we transport the pineapple crisp I had already made? It didn’t fit in our saddlebags or my bike’s wicker basket. Dave came up with an ingenious solution. We put the crisp into a plastic bag and he tied it to the back of his bike, securing it tightly in place with some duct tape. I’ll admit I was skeptical. I expected that crisp to go flying off the bike at any moment.  But there it sat as we bounced over railroad tracks, hit potholes in the pavement, made abrupt turns to avoid red lights, and were buffeted by gusts created by huge passing trucks.  The crisp arrived at Darrell and Lucille’s in perfect condition and served as a nice finale to the delicious meal our hosts had prepared for us and another couple. The bike ride home with a now-empty pineapple crisp dish was a little less nerve-wracking and provided a good way to work off any damage done to our waistline by eating the crisp.

Other posts……..

Homegrown in Newfoundland

Breakfast in Florida

Biking on Boblo Island

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Dave’s Tomatoes- A New Plan

You may remember that last year my husband Dave in an attempt to relive his childhood on a tomato farm in Leamington Ontario planted tomatoes in an outdoor garden box near our home. His plants were lush and fruitful but he didn’t get to eat any of its products because our neighbors, workers in nearby offices, and Exchange District visitors kept picking them before he could. This year he came up with a new idea. He would plant two plants outside and have two plants in pots in our condo just in front of our sunny livingroom window. Both his outside and inside plants are loaded with lovely tomatoes and we have been eating the ones on the indoor plants. Dave has already spotted a few of the tomatoes from his outdoor plants ripening on the window ledges in offices nearby.  It seems Dave’s new plan is a winner! We get tomatoes and so do other tomato lovers in our neighborhood. 

Other posts……..

Checking Up on the  Guerilla Gardener

I’m Married to a Guerilla

Finally a Ripe Tomato

 

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Filed under Food, Nature, Winnipeg

My Friend Is A Food Artist

We had dinner at our friends’ home on Saturday night. While Terry served as the barbeque chef, Audrey prepared our meal for the grill and she was the artist who skillfully arranged the beautiful platters of food we ate. I was telling Audrey about the Netflix series Chef’s Table. The artfully presented dishes of the award-winning chefs profiled make for stunning cinematography. The time Audrey spent creating the artistic platters and lovely dessert plates for our meal reminded me of that. dessertAustrian born chef Wolfgang Puck said “preparing a meal is like creating a painting.”  If that’s true our meal on Saturday night was a masterpiece.

Other posts………

Chef’s Table

Talk About Presentation

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Trying Something New

This week I did something I’ve never done before.  I bought my groceries online and had them delivered to my door.  We are a one car family and because of the fact my husband’s part-time work, many athletic endeavors, and hobbies require him to have a vehicle, I rarely have access to ours.  

This week Dave’s busy schedule left absolutely no time for me to go to the grocery store.  Since the nearest one is several kilometers away I was going to bike there and fill up my saddle bags with groceries.  But some unseasonably cold weather deterred me. I had often seen the Save On Foods van outside the door of my building so I figured some of my fellow condo dwellers were having groceries delivered, and thought maybe I should give it a try too. 

save on foodsIt couldn’t have been easier. I registered online, found the things I needed and put them in my ‘shopping cart.’  Then I picked a delivery time.  I noted that if you chose less popular delivery times the cost of delivery was as low as $4.95.  What a bargain! Someone would pick out my groceries for me in the store, bag them and deliver them right to my door for $4.95?  If I figured out my time shopping, gas for the car and monetized the effort spent hauling the groceries from my parking garage up to my condo I was even going to be ahead financially.  I also found I stuck to my list better shopping online and wasn’t enticed by other ‘deals’ I might have succumbed to shopping in the actual store so my weekly total was quite a bit lower than usual. 

Then I had the loveliest chat with the young man who delivered my groceries and realized I was helping to provide a much-needed job for him.  What a win/win situation. 

I’ve already started my grocery list for next week. I may never go to a grocery store again!

Other posts……….

Galileo’s Grocery List

To Market, To Market

 

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Filed under Food, Winnipeg

A Night at De Luca’s- You Have to Talk About the Food

dinner at de lucasThursday night I attended a cooking class at De Luca’s restaurant with my sister and two of her friends. tony our hostOur affable host Tony welcomed us to his well-known family establishment which opened in 1968chef mikeand introduced us to Chef Mike who would show us how each dish was prepared. tomato soup First up was a tomato soup served along with three kinds of fresh bread. owner de lucasTony was on hand to answer any questions we might have about ingredients or cooking methods. Television screens at key spots in the room allowed us to see the chef’s hands in action. He prepared a mouth- watering mushroom gnocchi next.  There was time in between each course for us to talk about travel adventures, work, our families and of course the delicious food. A chicken breast arrived next complete with pine nuts, a sweet potato sauce and kale. Just when we thought we couldn’t eat another bite the tiramisu was delivered to our table , too decadent and delicious to refuse.

It was interesting to hear the chef talk about the food, our host talk about the food, and to talk about the food with each other.  Kurt Vonnegut was right when he said………..

You can’t just eat good food. You’ve got to talk about it too.”   

Other posts………..

A Chocolate Evening with Beatriz

Cooking Up A Storm in the Yucatan

Home Grown in Newfoundland

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Filed under Food, Restaurants