Thursday, March 11, 2010

Welcome to our first post!

~karen hunter
Looking at this picture taken in the deep of last summer, I find myself longing for not only the taste of these fine fruits, but more the anticipation of them being of good enough size to pick, and the satisfying, yet troubling moment of removing the food from the plant itself. People say gardening helps to establish the connection between people and their food. Rightly so, but I do find the statement somewhat unspecific. In my recent experience, it is the exact moment of harvest, of sacrifice, of both the plant and the harvester that makes the food-person bond the strongest. It is the moment of receiving a reward after quite a lot of giving, and the quietness that notes the movement of the season towards inevitable winter with the removal of each reward. Ho-Hum. Thankfully spring is here!

Recipe Talk
For now I'm concentrating on using the last of the frozen summer squash from last season. I've been trying to avoid making a cake. Why, you ask? Well, it's because I discovered chocolate beet cake and have had quite a lot of that lately (I use frozen beets for that as well but I'll share that recipte another time soon). For now, frozen, soggy zucchinni is what I'm left with and cake is out of the question.

I had a brocoli soup flavoured lightly with cilantro not long ago at Mon Petit Chou ( It was delightful and I bet some cilantro would be a nice combination with summer squash and bringten up my frozen soggy squashy mess. Here's the recipe I'm going to try, adapted from Curtis Aikens. I'll let you know how it turns out.

* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 1/4 pounds zucchini, crookneck or pattypan squash, roughly chopped
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 6 cups Vegetable Stock
* 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
* 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
* 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
* Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
* Sour cream or plain yogurt as an accompaniment


Heat the butter in a large saucepan or stockpot, add zucchini and onion. Saute for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Then add stock, bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat and partially cover and cook for 15 minutes. Add cilantro during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Mix the butter and flour together into a paste. Remove 1 cup of simmering stock and whisk in butter mixture until smooth. Add back into soup, stir until thickened. Remove soup from heat to a blender and puree until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt (Island Farms is local).

Local Food for Nanaimo is a volunteer group that works in the Nanaimo community to promote local foods. Our mission is to provide help and access to local foods information combined with cooking skills. We host a market stall at the Bowen Road Farmer's Market every Wednesday between May and October. We also teach cooking classes using local ingredients in the spring and fall with the city of Nanaimo (look for Local Cuisine under the Cooking section).

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