It’s been a long hot summer and though it’s officially fall, summer weather isn’t over yet. In August and September the Lower Mainland of B.C. and Vancouver Island broke a 119 year dry-spell record. We had only 5 mm of precipitation in September and 2.9 mm in August. The woods are tinder dry and we are all on forest fire watch, as we enter this Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend, which promises to hold even more sunshine for us.
I guess you could say I’m a fair weather girl. My body doesn’t ache when the sun shines and that means my temperament is sunnier too. Summer means gardening, canning, and other seasonal yard work I like to do. Living on a forested island surrounded with lovely beaches means our business gets a boost from tourists. To top that off we get summer visitors because this where my friends vacation.
and a sense of fullness of time
preservation and storing
and a sense of running out of time
At the Farmers’ Market
Food deserts are areas where 20% of the population lives in poverty and 33% have difficulty accessing a grocery store. Did you know that living in a “food desert” area without access to healthy food raises a person’s chance of diet-related diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart problems by 46 percent?
Fortunately, where I live an abundance of locally produced food is available and shopping for it is both easy and fun. For many years I worked at the Farmers’ Market every week but now I’m a regular customer. My neighbors are busy canning and filling their pantry shelves for the winter days to come, so business is brisk for vendors whose crops are coming on strong.
Top Reasons to Visit Your Farmers’ Market:
- Locally produced foods, purchased in season are fresher and more flavorful than those in supermarkets.
- Organic foods produced with fewer chemicals are better for your health and the environment.
- Buying food locally reduces carbon dioxide emissions.
- Buying food locally supports your local economy by keeping money and jobs in your community.
- Prices are usually lower than supermarket prices.
- Get details on how your food was produced, cooking tips and recipes direct from the producers.
- Support the future of family farms and local food security.
- Support retention of heritage species and encourage cultivation of new species.
- Connect with your neighbors and community.
- Have fun!
Thanksgiving Day in Canada has been a national holiday celebrated on the second Monday of October since 1957. However, the origin of the first Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to Martin Frobisher, an explorer searching for the Northwest passage, who celebrated surviving after a long and difficult trip from England in 1578.
Canadian Thanksgiving is an opportunity to give thanks for a good harvest and other fortunes in the past year. It’s not surprising to find that many Canadians, myself among them, consider Thanksgiving weekend to be their favorite holiday of the year.
As I type this article I’m keenly aware I have much to be thankful for this year, not the least of which is the readers who have supported me through this grief filled less than stellar summer. I hope you will try the recipes I have posted below and think of me when you serve them to those you love.
Leek and Carrot Creamed Soup
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 12 cups chopped leeks, (about 5) white and light green parts only
- 3 cups chopped carrots, (about 6 carrots)
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 7 cups water
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
- 1 cup 18% cream
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp pepper
In Dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the oil over medium heat; fry leeks, carrots, celery, garlic and bay leaves, stirring occasionally and without letting vegetables colour, until tender-crisp, about 10 minutes. Add water and bring to boil; reduce heat to medium low and simmer until fork-tender, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in blender, puree chives with remaining oil until bright green. Strain through coffee filter into bowl. Set aside. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.)
Discard bay leaves from soup. In blender, puree soup, in batches, until smooth. Strain into pot and heat over medium heat; whisk in cream, salt and pepper. (Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until cold; cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.) Reheat; ladle into bowls and drizzle with reserved chive oil.
Blackberry Sour Cream Cake
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups wild blackberries
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla
To make the crust, blend flour and sugar with the baking powder and butter in a mixing bowl. Once blended, add the egg and vanilla and mix until it can be worked with a roller. Roll out the crust and place it in the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan. Add the blueberries.
In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. Pour this mixture over the blueberries. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes at 350 F or until cake is set in the middle. Allow the cake to fully cool before cutting into it. (Note: To make in a 10-inch spring-form pan, use 4 cups of blackberries and bake for an extra 12 minutes.)