John Bil’s Oyster Mignonette
Jan22

John Bil’s Oyster Mignonette

The late John Bil was Canada’s oyster shucking champion in 2006 and one of the most knowledgeable (and modest) seafood experts we’ve seen. “The first 20,000 are the hardest.” he quipped. But Bil is also very serious. “Oysters are the essence of the ocean…and they are environmentally very sensitive. So if there are any chemicals around, they die.” He shucked Malepeque, the branded oyster of Prince Edward Island which he called...

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Summer Strawberry Pavlova
Jun01

Summer Strawberry Pavlova

A Strawberry Pavlova is one of summer’s great desserts! Crisp and snowy on the outside and marshmallow-like on the inside, the topping is lightly sweetened whipped cream and fresh local strawberries. Because the berries are left whole and unsweetened, the flavours are the purest you’ll ever taste, layered with cream and soft meringue. When it is inverted and the parchment is removed, the Pavlova will fall a bit and it becomes a cinch...

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Chilled Sour Cream-laced Cucumber Soup
May15

Chilled Sour Cream-laced Cucumber Soup

A perfect summer soup, served chilled or just as tasty when it’s warm. English or ‘seedless’ cucumbers are one of Canada’s most prolific greenhouse crops 2 English cucumbers 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter 1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil 1 small onion, minced. 2 tbsps (30 mL) all purpose flour 3 cups (750 mL) chicken or vegetable stock Salt and white pepper, to taste 1 cup (250 mL) sour cream or buttermilk 1 garlic clove,...

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Glencoe Mills Oatcakes
Apr20

Glencoe Mills Oatcakes

Deep in the rolling hills near Glencoe Mills, Cape Breton, Elizabeth “Mrs. Angus” Beaton bakes utterly amazing oatcakes. They are so good that she packs them with great care and ships them to her daughter, entrepreneur-extraordinaire, Janice, who once shared them with her lucky customers in her two upscale cheese shops, Janice Beaton Fine Cheeses. Made with two kinds of oats, one a grainy one that Elizabeth buys from Speerville Mills...

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Pulla (Finnish Coffee Bread)
Apr06

Pulla (Finnish Coffee Bread)

This recipe comes from the Finnish community of Sointula on Malcolm Island in north coastal B.C.  The Finns settled there to build a ‘place of harmony’ in the early part of the last century. Tuula Lewis, one of the community’s beloved matriarchs, often provided many loaves of this delicious sweet bread for the local museum. When I visited the museum, before I was even allowed into the collection of Malcolm Island...

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Madeleines
Feb18

Madeleines

Good eggs and butter are really the basis for the classic French pastries called Madeleines. Sift the flour, then measure it. If you don’t have a sifter, a large sieve will suffice.  The molds are available at kitchen supply stores or on line.  1 ¾ cups (425 mL) sifted cake flour 1 cup granulated sugar ½ tsp (2 mL) salt Grated zest of two lemons 4 eggs, well beaten 6 tbsps (90 mL) butter, melted and cooled Butter the Madeleine molds...

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