Tag Archives: local food

Urban Homesteading / Preserving the Summer

4 Aug

What better way to spend a beautiful summer long weekend than indoors.


OK, well that doesn’t sound like the most appealing but eating locally can totally extend in the winter months!

Why not capture the summertime in summer veggies. Imagine a cold winter day and cracking open a jar of dill pickles you got fresh from 6 months ago!

Goodbye SAD!






Advice for first time preserving.. Make what you think you’ll eat in the winter! And don’t be afraid.. Pick up a book like the one above or check out any local workshops.. And preserve what’s around you!



Here’s a general recipe for pickling vegetables. Choose your culprit (usually a hard veg like carrot, cauliflower, cuke, beet, bean), get some mason jars and follow these simple steps! Most of the time you need is just to wait for the water to boil and wait a few days for the pickles to pickle!

Equipment: one very large pot, canning tongs, 4 1L mason jars, inert for pot to elevate jars (DIY canning kit)

Ingredients: 8 cups of veg your choice, vinegar, salt, sugar, pickling spices, additional flavours that compliment your chosen vegetable.

Step 1: Make yer brine!

All Purpose Brine

6 cups vinegar
3 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup salt

Boil in pot for 10min.

Step 2: Sterilize jars.

This is done by boiling your mason jars and your new lids (the two piece canning lids you get with them) fully submerged in water for at least 10 min. Cover the pot with a lid to prevent water from evaporating.

Step 3: Prepping and packing your vegetables.

Wash and cut your desired vegetable in any size. Ideally in a way that you can fit the most in your jar as possible. This way you need less brine per jar.

Remove jars and lids from the pot onto a towel.

To each jar add your desired seasoning. A general pickling spice blend is available at most health food stores and gives you that classic bread and butter pickle flavouring.

For more simple additions, think of what would go nicely with your vegetable. The following is per 1L jar.

Cucumber : 1 sprig of fresh dill (with flowers if possible for more concentrated flavour), 2 large cloves of garlic

Carrot spears: 1″ piece peeled ginger and 1 lemon wedge

Cauliflower: 1/2 tbsp pickling spice and small piece of beet to make them pink!

Step 4: Sealing your jars.

Once you’ve packed your jars, make sure there is an inch of space between the top of the jar and veggies. Pour the hot brine into your jars until it covers your vegetables.

*Important* Place a knife in each jar and move the vegetables around to unlock any bubbles that have been trapped between your veggies. This prevents bacteria from staying in the jar.

Carefully put the lids on and place back into your large pot of boiling water for 15min. This ensures further sterilization as well as it infuses the flavours of your brine into your vegetables.

Step 5: Eat

Your pickles will develop flavour between two days to two weeks. Experiment with what flavour you like best! Refrigerate after opening.

Unopened.. leave in a cool dry place out of sunlight and this should stay preserved for at least a year!


—more to come!—

Bluesfest Performance Photo Recap

2 Aug

Hey everyone!

As some of you may know, I love music! So much so that I took the time to check out some local bands at Bluesfest 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario and snapped a few. Well, Eva Bee’s Jamboree producer Luca Fiore did the photo taking. I did the festival food eating.


Steve Adamyk Band











Miss Polygamy





Roberta Bondar





Monkey Junk




RBC Bluesfest Day 7 & Osheaga 2013

12 Jul

This year’s Bluesfest has had some amazing shows. Two of which are also playing this year at Osheaga (August 2nd – 4th in Montreal, Quebec).

The first was Diamond Rings, whom I have seen twice before. The thing about the show at Bluesfest was the incredible stage presence the singer had! I was so into it I didn’t even think to go to another show and see an artist I hadn’t seen before. Try to check them out in Montreal August 2nd at Osheaga! That 90s dance vibe is really addictive.

The second show was A Tribe Called Red.

They do a beautiful fusion of First Nations music as well as heavy electro beats. Coupled with some amazing background visuals, I highly recommend checking them out at Osheaga.. I never thought that they’d be the perfect outdoor festival act but in Montreal it would make even more sense!

Finally, the thing about going to Osheaga (I know, I’m already thinking about other festivals before Bluesfest is over) is the incredible food scene. I’m looking forward to checking out Chuck Hughes‘ food truck – been there before, will be there this year! Mmm!

What more can I say.. Azealia Banks has been my new love this past year and Beach House + Hot Chip never disappoint.

Now, to Bluesfest!

RBC Bluesfest Day 1.

4 Jul

Eva Bee here fresh from editing our latest episode with The Balconies. Preparing for two weeks of music to come feels daunting but it will be full of in depth discovery on the connection between food and music – festival style!


Can $100 get me through 10 evenings of festivals??

This year’s Bluesfest has many Ottawa bands.. And food options! Keep coming back for updates on my festival food recommendations (gluten-free of course).

See you there!


Hydration and prep.

Seasonal // Grilled Asparagus Salad

9 May


It is time.
The happiest time.

The farmers markets have begun.

Asparagus is here. Here’s a tip: to tip them, just snap the ends and where they snap is what you should cook (except the ends, of course).

Here is a recipe:

Grilled Asparagus Salad

nom nom nom

Toss in a large bowl:
1 bunch asparagus, tipped
2 large red peppers
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tsp salt
pinch fresh ground pepper

Grill asparagus and red peppers on BBQ on Med-HI until tender and blackened (covered and flipped once half way through the cooking time; about 5min – asparagus; 10min – peppers)

Remove from BBQ and allow red peppers to cool,
then peel and slice.

Toss asparagus with:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano

Plate asparagus and top with:
pinch of sea salt
peeled, sliced roasted red peppers
1/4 cup crumbled feta

Events // Big Backyard Show complete with a How-To Dips Demo

12 Apr

If you’re just itchin’ for some summer vibes, you should check out Ottawa’s Big Backyard Show happening at the CE Centre this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This is an event for those who love drooling over patio sets and huge propane burners for BBQ’s while imagining wafts of chard goodness floating through their noses. This Friday will be extra special because my fellow Red Aproner, Robin Lavigne, will be doing a demo on our Ottawa-Famous dips!
If you’ve just never gotten hummus quite right, she’ll show you how to nail it (and also how to add spices and squash to make it extra special).

For an $8 entry fee, I think it’s well worth it!


Eating Local in the Winter

5 Mar

Check out this Ottawa Citizen feature Waiting Out Winter for ideas on
how to eat locally as we creep through the next few weeks.