What do you do on a weekend when its too cold to go out? Make a bunch of things for future meals and snacks! Saskatoon often has January weekends where the only acceptable outdoor activity is scurrying through the grocery store parking lot to get things for the week. The first weekend back after Christmas was just such an occasion!
We might get a few chances to do this this winter, which has been very cold so far. The good news is the deck is consistently cold enough to be a freezer extension.
On the fermentation side of things, we made a batch of usual kim chi, but also got a batch of kombucha which was fermenting while we were in BC. (The SCOBY was a December gift from a friend.) Mom gave me a mandolin for Christmas, so I used that along with fermentation airlocks and this book from Bridget to make my first batch of sauerkraut. Another week or so and we’ll test it.
Ever since I visited Korea a few years ago, I have been a fan of Kim Chi. I made kim chi bipimbab while camping with Erica, and have made lots of Kim Chi pancakes. I always meant to make Kim Chi myself, but never got around to it. This January I made two batches, and it is way easier than I expected. Advice: rinse the salt off more than you think you need to, and taste the su choy to make sure you rinsed it enough. Crazy salty kim chi is not as nice. I also recommend fermenting it in the sink, my second batch was so active that it popped off the lid and sprayed kim chi juice like a shaken can of coke.
Kim chi is good on rice, as an accompaniment to stirfry, or in soup. This week we had it mixed into tuna burgers. Forget all that, the best thing to do with kim chi is kim chi pancake:
1 cup chopped kim chi
sliced red pepper
chopped su choy
chopped green onions
enough tapioca flour to help it hold together
Fry these babies up in coconut oil and serve with sauce made of:
Elizabeth’s boyfriend Erik runs a coffee shop in Victoria called Township Coffee. It is awesome! It is bright and modern and sunny, with warm wood and high ceilings. The ambiance is A+.
The food is super awesome, they have sandwiches and baked goods made in their kitchen. They also have gluten-free items from a local gluten-free bakery. I had a vegan carrot cake with coconut cream icing and it was fantastic. They also make island farms soft serve ice cream, which you can get with a shot of espresso or matcha over top. Fuck yeah!
Erik is a super host. He was a bit shy on picture day so no photos of him – but he has imbued the place with a great vibe. The Sunday we were there peeps were lining up out the door and just kept coming – and then a college kid with her parents, and then 5 distance road biking guys, and then a mom with a stroller, etc etc. It is the happening spot in the Gorden Head neighbourhood.
When I first got back from holidays, there was cold weather and not a lot of outdoor activities were happening. Since then we’ve had some great weather, including some good skiing, and even paddling last weekend. Now we are back to <-20 C cold and I am recovering from an epic skiing crash, so I have time to blog about cooking day.
Edith was looking for a cabbage roll buddy, and I was looking for a tamale buddy. She made the cabbage roll filling, I made the tamale filling, and then we put it all together. Graham helped too, and the also made powerbars as his contribution to cooking day. We now have a freezer full-to-overflowing.
Before Christmas I went to stay with my mom for a few days to do some Christmas baking. It was lots of fun and now I want to do it every year! It was a productive little work bee, turning out literally hundreds of cookies and treats. Here are some crummy phone photos of the fruits of our labours.
Great weather meant lots of time outside, but maybe a little less time doing typically fall things. Now that cold weather has come back, there will be more inside time to do culinary activities. Good thing too, since the farmer’s market has been going nuts and I am loathe to turn down a good deal on produce. I have lots of apples to dry, but I’m sure I’ll also make some apple sauce, apple crumble, apple butter, etc. I am a natural competitior, and keen to win the race against the fruit flies.
Saturday Graham and I walked to the winterfest festival on Broadway to see a sled dog show (so Saskatchewan!) and dropped in on a local latin food/etc store. I had a tip that they sell guava paste, and they had 3 kinds! We bought some, and some coconut pucks, and also some dried corn husks for making tamales. Tamales are a fantastic winter comfort food: dense, spicy, and when made a head they heat up fast for a quick dinner after sikiing (or walking home over the bridge and wussing out on skiing).
Most recipes I have found were for pork, but since buying some masa for plantain cakes in December, I have made some soft tacos and a few batches of spicy black bean mash. I felt Like I could handle some veggie tamale filling. We got a bag of ancho peppers to give some mexi-flavour.
There were a few mis-steps in filling and forming the first tamles, but mostly they worked really well and they tasted great! We ate 6 the first night, but 2 is probably a meal and I think we have 30 left. Freezer full of future dinners! It was a good weekend in the kitchen; we also made lentil banana muffins, southwest sweet potato burgers, chili sauce, and oatmeal molasses bread.
I don’t think I have ever posted a recipe, but I have had enough requests for this one that it makes sense. Thanks dehydrator!
2 big bunches of kale
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tamari (or soy sauce if you don’t care about gluten)
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic
1 tpsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp siracha (more if you are cool)
Rinse, de-rib, and rough tear the kale into a giant bowl.
Put all of the other ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix until smooth or use a hand blender
Pour the mixture over the kale, and mix, massaging to coat.
Dehydrate on a medium-low setting for 6 hours or so.
Another weekend, another trip to the farmer’s market. Graham and I spent another weekend in the kitchen making and storing.
I got an awesome slow bread recipe from my mom. I rises 3 times for a total of 20 hours, but it is super delicious.
At the farmers market we bought dill, beets, potatoes, and cabbage. In Saskatoon, this combination can only mean one thing: borscht!
Not everything we made was old-fashioned; we also made some nouveau-hippy snacks and picked some ultra-trend berries. We have so far got seabuckthorn saft (juice syrup) and frozen juice cubes, and tonnes in the freezer for smoothies.