Household Notes July-August 2017

Real fast foods for summer
    We are offering some not-too-labour-intensive foods and tips this issue. It’s summer and we should be outside doing things or not doing anything. Soak up that healing summer sun and air while we have it. Any of the great fresh food available now that you can put in a crock, or freeze for later processing – do it. And for the rest, eat fresh fruits, berries, and vegetables. There are so many great foods at farmers’ markets, farm stands, your own back yards, and even at a few local stores. Enjoy the bounty.

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Household Notes June 2017

Here an egg, there an egg

    We asked, and you answered. Wow, a great response to our request for egg help. Thank you everyone for your recipes and ideas for storing eggs now for use when our hens are taking their annual vacation. Some of these ideas are new to me. I love Bruce Blakemore’s suggestion of freezing eggs in sets of two. Having two eggs makes good sense when you thaw them for use later. And Juanita Hewey’s technique of storing fresh eggs in salt is a new one. I used isinglass for several years to keep my extra eggs for later use. The eggs were fine, but I found the slippery texture of the isinglass was off-putting.
    Now for my next question. What do you do with soft summer fruits and berries to put them aside for winter? Blueberries are great from the freezer; but how to keep strawberries and raspberries?

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Household Notes May 2017

Baked, fried, souped, and waffled
    Lots of vegetables, a few sweet treats, and some help cleaning up the kitchen. Who could ask for more? Well, I could. Anyone with hens will be finding more golden eggs from now on. Or white, or green, or even pink.  And those who don’t have eggs will have easier access to farm fresh orbs at farmers’ markets and from neighbours with their “fresh eggs for sale” sign at the end of the driveway. 
    What do you do when the egg count is high? Do you eat scrambled eggs twice a day? Sandwiches? Salads? Do you preserve them? Please let us know in the next couple weeks so we can share your egg solution with our readers.

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Household Notes April 2017

The old, the new, and the well preserved
    Our theme this issue seems to be making do. Whether it’s getting another use out of a shirt or a pair of mittens, preserving some fruit for a later use, or finding a way to get a favorite bread at home, we all do it. Often without thought of doing “the right thing.” We make, change, prepare, preserve because that’s how we get the product we want. The commercial products available, if and where they are outside the denser-populated (or should that be densely?) areas are too often not quite what we had in mind, or inferior to the thing we have used up and need to replace. 

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Household Notes March 2017

What’s in your pantry?
    There’s a storm brewing today. The sky is getting darker and the wind is rising. It’s a soup day. And since we are supposed to get heavy snow overnight, maybe it will be a big pot that can simmer on the wood stove. We have two soups this issue, and both use ingredients that are usually on hand. That’s a selling point this time of year. And since pancake day is almost upon us, we’ve added a couple recipes to help you clean out your pantry in preparation for Lent.

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Household Notes Jan-Feb 2017

Foods to warm you inside and out

    Snow, and rain, and freezing, and melting. Must be winter. No matter, there is always tomorrow. The sun may shine or we could get hail. We still need to put food on the table and find ways to keep home and hearth from falling into chaos around us. We have a grain-based salad that comes together easily and will bring a spark of colour and a zip of citrus to a dismal winter day. Oh, and a lovely potato vindaloo to fill your kitchen and your tummy with warmth. Plus a delicious bread to slather with butter and cheese and eat curled up by the fire with a big mug of coffee or tea. 

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Household Notes December 2016

Oh bring us no figgy pudding
    We have received some great holiday recipes, and more, for this issue. Thank you to everyone who took the time to gather their favourites for us. Judging by what you sent, our readers have wonderful Christmas traditions. We are delighted you have shared with us.
    No figgy pudding? No, none at all. Not everyone in the DvL office family is a fig fan, so we offer special thanks that no readers sent us any figgy recipes.
    Enjoy some or all of these treats over the next month. Whatever you celebrate between now and the new year when we connect again, do it joyously.  

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Household Notes November 2016

Getting ready for the cold and festive season
    We have this month several recipes in response to requests from readers and a few responding to our queries. Everything here looks yummy and well worth sharing with family and friends. And all these recipes are easy enough to whip up when an unexpected guest or event pops up.
    In response to our request for tips to keep food costs down, we received the following note from Jennifer Burbidge, Lawrencetown, N.S.

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Household Notes October 2016

Dry beans and late season greens
We have an oat salad, a soup made of greens, and a handful of sauces to serve with your gingerbread. These cool evenings make me think gingerbread season might be just around the corner. It’s still pickle season, however, with some vegetables and fruits available in abundance. Take a bit of time and prepare a few jars of your favorite to stash for those cold dark days. Homemade pickles, jams, preserves, and chutneys are a real pleasure to make and to serve when fresh local food is mostly a memory. Every bite will taste like summer.

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Household Notes September 2016

And abracadabra: this jar of milk becomes . . .
We have yogurt, yogurt, and more yogurt recipes and suggestions this issue. I’m glad to see our readers are making and using their own. I followed Bruce and Catherine’s suggestion this week and combined several half-eaten containers of plain yogurt in a cheesecloth bag and made a delicious soft cheese that I combined with lots of garlic and onion tops and have been serving on toast, on pasta, and on steamed vegetables all week. Yum. And as Bruce points out, at a fraction of the cost.  My use of the whey falls between Bruce’s and Catherine’s; I feed it to my chickens. Protein to protein.

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Household Notes June2016

They say it’s your birthday…

    It’s June, and along with celebrating sweet local strawberries, fresh greens wild and cultivated, it’s Rural Delivery’s birthday. Makes me want to pull out the White Album, well, maybe YouTube. The chocolate cake recipe we offer would look good full of candles, and taste just as good. But maybe a bowl of yogurt with a biscuit holding a candle is more your style. Whatever makes you feel like celebrating, raise a glass to RD and eat well.

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Household Notes May 2016

    Once again, this month we are not devoted to any one course, or ingredient, or style of preparation. Maybe my love of hodge-podge is reflected in my enjoyment of the variety of recipes you send.
    Now the weather is changing and days are longer and there are better places to be than indoors. Please send us some quick and easy ideas for feeding a few or a group with good local ingredients.
    In response to Mary LeBlanc’s request for sausage recipes, we received this recipe and suggestions from Merrill and Claribel Sarty. 

CREAMY SQUASH SOUP
Allison Greenway, Toronto, Ont.

4 cups winter squash
2 cups vegetable stock
1 small onion
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 cup plain soymilk

    Chop enough winter squash to make four cups. Chop the onion. Combine all the ingredients except the soymilk and cook over medium heat until the squash is tender. Pour everything into a blender and blend until smooth. Return the mixture to the pot and cook over low heat. Stir in the soymilk and heat gently, but do not boil.

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Household Notes March 2016

A little bit of . . . .
    We are looking for some “clean out the freezer or cold room” recipes for next issue. How do you make the best of the last of last year’s larder? We have a start this month with a few recipes that use those winter vegetables, along with cheese rinds, and other staples. I agree with Beatrice about being drawn in by the name of this soup. I like the orange peel and Parmesan rind additions. They give it depth and add, the umami maybe? I’m humming Lou Bega’s “Mambo No. 5” as I work through these recipes. It takes the chill off the day!

 

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Household Notes Jan-Feb 2016

We have a lovely selection of soups this issue. Our readers pulled out their favorite recipes, and we’re delighted to be able to share them. There are common elements in several of these recipes, but each has its own twist. On a day like this when we’re dealing with an indefinite power outage, the smell and sight of a pot of soup simmering on the wood stove provides a welcome pleasure. 

 

 

INDIAN BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Maggie Rice, Bridgetown, N.S.

    “Here is a soup recipe which I saw in the Halifax paper in the fall. I adapted it a little, not wanting to infringe copyright! I find cumin and coriander to be a bit addictive, so I have made it several times. Having a hand blender is a boon for soups.”

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Household Notes December 2015

We wish you a merry December
And a happy New Year

December seems to arrive faster than any other month. There’s so much to do in autumn that I’m still working on my fall chores when winter lands with a wallop. And that wallop usually includes not just snow and ice, but the madness that passes for Christmas in any urban area. I lean into the garish and loud stores much as I lean into the north blasts of wind and snow. Keep my head down and try not to fall over from the buffeting. But there is always the quiet and the glittering lights brightening the long dark evenings as we drive away from the madness and head home. The rural communities and the (extended) family time are the welcome parts of the month. Here are some recipes for you, our readers, from our readers. It’s a small sampling of the things we are happily preparing in our kitchens to share with family and friends. Enjoy the holidays, whatever you celebrate. By the time we put together our next issue, the days will be getting longer, and we’ll be thinking about spring and seeds, and still huddling from the odd northern blast. Stay warm, and take care of each other. 

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Household Notes October 2015

Old time (pickle) religion
As I look at recipes we have on file, my eye is most often drawn to old-style recipes and ingredients. I am not a strict adherent to the four ingredient limit, but I like the timelessness of few ingredients, whole products, and simple preparation.  I enjoy a jar of pickles with lots of different little morsels floating around in the sauce, but I rarely use those recipes at home. 

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Household Notes September 2015

Slow bread and pickle time
    Pickles and fresh bread. Sounds to me like a good autumn lunch. Here are a few recipes for you to try, and hopefully add to your selection of favorites.
    Jeannie Furlong sent us a couple pickle recipes with the following note:
    “These are recipes I use every year. They are in a hand written scribbler that my mother saved for all her favorite recipes. They turn out well every time and my kids and now my grandkids love them.”

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Household Notes July-August 2015

This little goat went to market . . .

We have a couple goat cheese recipes this issue. We’ll start with a salad and end with a cake. Bookended goat cheese, yum. 

STRAWBERRY GOAT CHEESE SALAD
Liz MacLeod, Sydney River, N.S.
    “A nice change from plain green salad. I had this at my son’s preschool parents’ appreciation lunch last year.”

2 cups salad greens 
1/4 red onion 
12 strawberries 
1 avocado
1/2 cup walnuts 
1/2 cup goat cheese 
Dressing:
6 strawberries 
4 tablespoons olive oil 
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
1 teaspoon lemon juice 
pinch salt 

    In a dry frying pan, toast the walnuts for about five minutes, stirring constantly. Watch closely so the walnuts don’t burn. Slice the onion and the avocado, and quarter the strawberries. Chop the walnuts and crumble the cheese. Mix the ingredients together gently over the greens.
    Chop the six strawberries for the dressing. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving.

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