Tag Archives: ottawa

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




Bluesfest day 8 in retrospect.

13 Jul

Day 8 was a ball..
Got to see Matthew Good! The significance of that is he was my first Bluesfest show about 10 years ago!


It was super nostalgic..


Finally, we saw locals TJ Wheeler and then Balkan Beat Box.

TJ was a nice reminder of when Bluesfest was blues. It was also a nice break from all the packed shows on the main stages.


I know I’ve said a lot about who my favorite acts were – Balkan Beat Box were amazing! It was the most dance friendly and intimate show of the whole festival so far.


They had incredible energy live! Below is a video I found on YouTube that demonstrates why they were one of my favourites of the festival!

The evening ended with a dance circle amongst friends and a wood-fired rib break.


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 4

7 Jul

A cloudy day here at the festival but Steve Adamyk Band and Fevers are getting me out to play. Oh and also the other amazing artists – Wu Tang, Lily Frost, Diamond Rings..




I’m a tad under the weather today so warm and spicy food is what I’m needing.

I was disappointed that Green Papaya didn’t have warm dishes that were gluten free. I appreciated how knowledgeable they were about what had gluten and what didn’t.


I wish I had these summer rolls on a hotter day. The lemongrass iced tea was amazing though. A little too sweet for me but it hit the spot after I scarfed down the rolls with a ton of chili sauce.

The best meal I’ve had so far is the Indian tandoori chicken with lentils and the butter chicken.




The tandoori chicken is the most affordable full meal at the festival and the healthiest. The only issue is that you have to eat it sitting down. This ain’t no burger and fries.

RBC Bluesfest Day 3

6 Jul

Today is my first day ‘reporting’ – if you will – and it’s a HOT sunny day!


As lovely as I’m sure the festival food is, being gluten intolerant poses some problems. Just to be sure I’ll have something to eat (and to be kind to my pocket), I’m packing myself a lunch of dinner leftovers made into a sandwich on home made bread.

Pictured is my garam masala seared tofu with homemade mustard, lettuce and kosher pickles.

One trick to beat the heat is to eat cooling crisp veggies.. So think cucumber, lettuce and fresh green herbs such as parsley and cilantro. Others may find that eating spicy food may help! It all depends on your body type.

Local bands today are The Gallop, NDMA and Camp Radio.



Camp Radio




Baringer rose and Amadou & Miriam


Fitz and the Tantrums



$5 cookie and coffee break between acts.

See you there!!

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.