Fresh Bites

Profiles of Kerala

Photo credit: S. Dunk

The screen door creaks a quiet complaint as I ease it shut and slide into a rattan chair.  Beneath the low-thatched eaves of my cottage, I ponder the trees emerging from the morning mist and warm my hands gratefully on my coffee glass.  According to the card on my nightstand, the brew is podi kappi, “the traditional black coffee of the local people in the High Range area”.  I only know it is hot and dark and redolent with cardamom, cumin, and fenugreek.  As caffeine and sun make inroads on my hazy dawn, a soft hoot emerges from the canopy: an unseen langur monkey alerts his family to my presence.

Read the full story here and in the Spring Issue of Taste & Travel International magazine.

 

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Privileged Travel

Kids in a Syrian refugee camp
Kids in a Syrian refugee camp (Used under Creative Commons License: Muhammed Muhelsen)

I have a special privilege when I travel.

I get to take home for granted.

I choose when to leave it.  It’s always there when I want to come back.

In a world where one in every 113 people have been forced to flee their homes because of war or persecution, that’s a rare privilege indeed.

Today on World Refugee Day, we recognize and celebrate the resilience and strength of those living in refugee camps and those struggling to create a new life in their adoptive countries.

While politicians and policy-makers wrangle about the best ways to address (or ignore) the refugee crisis, we can take time to understand the issues better.

Check out this video as you turn to FIFA World Cup today.

Check out these popular books by Canadian authors to supplement your summer reading.

Check out UNHCR Canada  for the full picture on refugees in the world today.  (Prepare to be overwhelmed).

And check out these stories and video clips (Soap and Starbucks) to find out what refugees are doing in Calgary, Victoria, and Surrey, BC.  (Prepare to be inspired).

#WithRefugees

It’s Back! Can you spell F-R-E-E —- L-U-N-C-H?

Feed the 5000 Calgary logoLast year’s inaugural Feeding the 5000 event in Calgary was such a huge success that it’s back for a second year.

Volunteers prepare vegetables
Volunteers prepare vegetables

For those who missed it, Feeding the 5000 (#f5kyyc) sees local chefs, producers, food retailers, community organizations and a legion of volunteers come together to prepare a delicious lunch for five thousand people, using food that would otherwise be thrown away.

Think winter-stored potatoes, ugly onions, shelf-weary fruit, day-old bread…

That’s just a small part of the 1/3 of world food production that never makes it into people’s bellies – and that we Calgarians discard daily.  By turning donated leftovers into lunch instead of compost, SAIT Chef Andrew Hewson and his team will not only be rescuing edible food, but also saving from waste all the resources to grow, ship, and produce that food.

Greek salad – F5KYYC 2017

This year’s draft menu looks AMAZING:  potato salad with Brassica mustard vinaigrette; white bean salad with kale and herb pesto; rescued-fruit lemonade; and chocolate chip cookies made of spent grain from a local craft brewer.

The bread pudding with yogurt sauce that drew a long line of fans at last year’s event will be making an encore appearance.

F5KYYC bread pudding
Lining up for bread pudding – F5KYYC 2017

And that’s just for starters.  There are always surprises when the food trucks roll in – who knows what else will appear?

So leave your brown bag at home and your debit card in your pocket this Thursday, June 14, and come on down to Olympic Plaza between 10:30 am and 2 pm to taste what a little creativity (and a lot of hands) can do.

Chickpea salad - F5KYYC 2017
Chickpea salad – F5KYYC 2017

Check out the partner booths. Watch a food demo or two. Take away some new recipes for tackling your own food waste at home.

Last year’s event served 6,750 portions of a nutritious free lunch and diverted 1,025 kg of food from the landfill.  This year Feeding the 5000 Calgary is looking to beat that – so come early.  The event ends when the food runs out.

Feeding the 5000 Calgary

June 14, 2018

10:30 am to 2 pm

Olympic Plaza

Follow the event on Facebook,

 #f5kyyc and @f5kyyc.

Supported by The City of Calgary Waste and Recycling Services,

Leftovers Calgary, and the Recycling Council of Alberta 

with funding from Alberta Ecotrust.

 

Text and photos © 2018 Catherine Van Brunschot

A Calgary Kind of Craving

Peace Bridge, Calgary
Photo credit – D. Mulligan (via Creative Commons license)

You’d be forgiven if you didn’t know that Calgary is a great food town.  It’s kind of a well-kept secret.

Except to those who’ve been paying attention…

If Calgary hasn’t been on your radar for awhile, find out what you’ve been missing – and the best ways to (re)discover it – in my piece “A Calgary Kind of Craving” in the new issue of Taste & Travel International.

You can read the full story here – or check out the complete Spring Issue of Taste & Travel on Zinio, Pocket Mags, Flipster, PressReader (free from your local library), or with the new T&T app (available on iTunes and GooglePlay).

Snapshots of Croatia

Dubrovnik at nightStunning Dubrovnik – with its old city walls jutting into the Adriatic Sea and its evocative Game of Thrones settings – is Croatia’s brightest calling card for good reason. Our early morning walk atop its ramparts brings heart-stirring angles across the red-tiled roofs. A gondola ride up Mt. Srd provides even more great photos – plus an opportunity to peruse the passionate exhibit “Dubrovnik During the Homeland War” housed in the Napoleonic fortress.

But it’s the evenings, when the cruise-ship day-trippers have disappeared and the sun shines rosy on the tiled streets, that the Old Town is most magical…

 

Come along for the ride as I collect “Snapshots of Croatia” from tip to tip of the country’s Adriatic coast – then check out Calgary’s best sources for Croatian food and libations.  You’ll find it all in the current issue of Calgary’s City Palate.

Passion for Perigord

Chefs Fudge and Meret depart Château Montastru
Photo credit – Steve Dunk

It’s 9:30 am and I’m elbow-deep in foie gras in a château in southwest France.  Not literally to the elbows, mind you, but I’m as up-close-and-personal as I’m likely to get, thrilled and terrified in equal measure as I tease vascular tissue free from the prized duck liver.  Despite the cooling armour of the castle’s thick walls, the foie gras seems to be melting under my fingers and I’m beginning to sweat.  My mentor, Chef Thierry Meret, reassures me with his usual bonhomie – and a shot of plum brandy.

Read the full story in the Winter 2018 Issue of Taste & Travel International magazine.

Leftovers Black Box Challenge – Week 4: The Excuse

Calgary Farmers' Market produce

I had great plans for this week.  Multiple leftovers challenges to address in my fridge.

But in the same way that life can derail even the best-laid plans to use up all the food we bring home, life has conspired to take me away from my kitchen.

It’s family commitments that are calling – both delightful and less so.  But the upshot is that I have to take an early hiatus from this blog series.   I’m not quite sure when I’ll return.

Hit the FOLLOW button on the sidebar if you want to get a notice when I’m back.

DO keep sending me your leftovers conundrums, questions, and tips.  I love to hear about your challenges and triumphs with your own Black Box.

Cheers ’til later,

Catherine

Text and photos © 2018 Catherine Van Brunschot

Black box