Posts made in May, 2011

Summer

Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

Atlantic Canada doesn’t really get a spring. Usually we have a very late winter, lasting well through April and sometimes into May. This May, we literally have had rain every day until today. Today was, summarily, a summer’s day. The sun was bright and warm, birds were singing, people walked down the street in shorts and musicians played in the parks. It was a summer’s day in which anything seemed possible. One of my lines in the poem, “creation/appearing/from midair/something/from nothing” exactly describes my thought process as the poem formed in my mind. Thoughts crossed my mind rapidly, so I wrote the poem in a deliberately rapid-fire manner. I also deliberately put only two words per line. I wanted to capture the essence of what I felt, which was the swirling chaos of summer life becoming a magical whirlwind of brightness, colour, and vibrant, happy people. I like to experiment with form from time to time, so in this particular poem I set up 5 columns. It is read from top to bottom, left to right. By this I mean you read the first column from top to bottom, then move onto the next column on the right and continue. This is far from a polished masterpiece, but it certainly describes how I felt at the time of writing it. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. summer musicians somewheregrass between my toespunctuated by dandelionsand mesomewherewalkingbreathing insong on my lips sun-baked breezecars revvingshorts skirtsand fountainsfeet dancing along traintracksmoving asidelet the train passall peaceful smoke curlingfrom a balconya sidewalka terracedrinkspeople talkingsmiles and laughtermemoriesfading into existence summer ismagiccreationappearingfrom midairsomething from nothingshared momentsbecomepossibilitiesromanceflower scenton airreal not imagineddaybecomes nightpatio lanternsfirefliesbonfiresmake trailsof sparksand finallyrealisationthatanythingis possible Please follow and like...

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Feisty Fiddlehead Soup

Posted by on May 16, 2011 in What Katie Cooks | 0 comments

The other day, I taught you a method to clean and cook fiddleheads that results in some tender, tasty little greens. Today I’m going to make use of that method to make a colourful soup with a creamy potato base. This dish takes awhile to make, so keep that in mind when you decide to cook it. You’ll want to start it early in the afternoon in order to have it ready for supper. Prep time: 1 hourServes: 2-4 peopleCooking time: 2-3 hoursDifficulty: ModerateCost: Under $20 Ingredients -3 or 4 large potatoes, chopped-1 carrot, finely chopped-1-2 cups fiddleheads-3 green onions or mild leeks-4 cloves garlic-2 cups (soy) milk-5 cups water-salt, pepper and spices to taste-1 tbsp. cooking oil of choice-1 tbsp. butter or margarine-2 bay leaves-1 stalk celery, finely chopped Start by washing the potatoes and peeling them (if you wish. I didn’t peel mine because potato skin is very nutritious and will add texture to the soup), then chopping them and boiling them. While the potatoes are boiling, prepare your fiddleheads using the method I suggested last time. Proceed to cook them as I described also. TIP: Make sure they are fully cooked but don’t over-cook, or you’ll risk losing flavor! Finely chop the garlic cloves and saute them in oil in a frying pan until they are just brown. When the potatoes have finished boiling, mash them and add some milk and butter/margarine. When the garlic has been sauteed, add it to the mashed potatoes. Transfer potatoes to a large pot. Chop the leek/green onions and add them to the mashed potatoes. Finely chop the carrots and celery as well and add them, too. Pour the water, milk, and add spices into the pot with the mashed potato mixture. Stir well. Simmer over medium heat and add fiddleheads. Cover and leave to simmer, careful not to boil. Continue to add herbs and spices to taste. This should result in a creamy and flavorful soup. TIP: If the soup is not quite as thick as you’d like, try adding some instant mashed potatoes as the soup is cooking. Please follow and like...

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Fantastic Fiddleheads

Posted by on May 13, 2011 in What Katie Cooks | 0 comments

Fantastic Fiddleheads

Spring time is one of the most highly-anticipated times of year for dwellers of eastern Canada. The melting of the snow and longer days give way to thoughts of summertime, and eliminate the depression of the short, cold days of winter. In addition to that, it’s also the time to harvest fiddleheads. Fiddleheads are a wild vegetable that grows, typically, in the east. New Brunswick, where I’m from, is full of them, and Quebec and the eastern United States also find the little green coils springing up come May. The fiddlehead is a vegetable that is the youngest part of various species of fern, and produces a tender yet savory flavour. Fiddleheads are considered a popular seasonal option for vegetarians, vegans and carnivores alike because they are a fitting accompaniment to any meal and go especially well with potatoes. They can become a flavourful base for soups, creating a meal on its own. They are also high in nutrients, such as vitamins A and C, potassium, folate, iron and fibre. In addition, they have antioxidant activity and are a source of Omega 3 and 6. Cooking them properly is very important, as they are wild vegetables that grow close to the ground and do tend to have dirt caught up in their coils. Cleaning them properly is also important. I’m going to go over how best to clean them and one, very basic, way to cook them, in this post. Considering I just cooked half my bag and have another half waiting, I may have another recipe surfacing over the next couple of days. For now, though, we’ll go with this. This recipe is going based on 1 lb. of fiddleheads, which should produce a fair serving for up to 4 people. I paid $4 for a pound, which is reasonable for a side dish so rich in vitamins and minerals. It seems like I will get 2 meals out of it, too, so that’s a bonus! The best thing about fiddleheads is that they are naturally grown and rarely cultivated, so you can go for a walk in the woods and may find a bunch of them. Picking them is a whole other animal, so I won’t get into it here (though here is a great site for tips on picking fiddleheads), but keep in mind that picking them will make them a FREE FEED for you. What’s better than free food when on a budget?! Prep time: 30-45 minutesServes: 2-4 peopleCooking time: 20-30 minutes (depending on whether you boil them and have that be all, or if you saute them afterward)Difficulty: ModerateCost: roughly $5/lb… free if you pick your own! Start by cleaning the fiddleheads. You should remove any yellow or brown parts and trim the stems, especially if the fronds are not freshly picked. Place them in a bowl and leave them to soak for about 10 minutes. I went the extra mile and changed the water to leave them to soak a little longer. After they are cleaned to your satisfaction, boil them on high for about 10 minutes. Change the water, then bring them to a boil once more for another 10. After this, you may strain them and serve them with some butter. Try adding hollandaise sauce if you’re in the mood for something a little richer. After they’ve been steamed, you can also saute them in a pan with some butter and a splash of lemon juice. I did this and they were fantastic! Add a little salt and a small amount of vinegar to give the fiddleheads some zing. And there you have it! A delicious, healthy side dish that is even a little rare due to its short harvesting time. Use fiddleheads you picked to give your meal the illusion of being a fancy, expensive dish, or to impress friends from out of town. EDIT: Enjoy watching this inane video of me cooking some fiddleheads. Please follow and like...

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