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Picnic recipes


Park It Outside A delicious picnic menu that’s sure to please By Jennie Drent & Shima Zonneveld Picnics are fun, but it does take a lot of planning: finding a free day, finding the perfect picnic spot, prepping all the food and drink, and hoping for good weather. We offer you a helping hand with …Read More
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Park It Outside

A delicious picnic menu that’s sure to please

By Jennie Drent & Shima Zonneveld

Picnics are fun, but it does take a lot of planning: finding a free day, finding the perfect picnic spot, prepping all the food and drink, and hoping for good weather. We offer you a helping hand with at least the food by giving you some recipes that are quick and easy to make. This means you’ll have more time to enjoy the leisurely day with family and friends.

Picnic Spritzer

This recipe can be a kid-friendly picnic drink, or an adult tipple with a few amendments. Either way, it’s a refreshing way to keep cool at your picnic.
  • 1/2 cup lemon-flavoured Italian soda, or any flavour you prefer
  • 1/4 cup peach nectar
  • 1 tsp grenadine
  • Fresh berries for garnish
Fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Pour in the grenadine, peach nectar and fill the rest of the glass with the Italian soda. Garnish with your favourite berries. If you’re making a pitcher, just triple the recipe and adjust the ingredients to taste. For a more adult drink, add an ounce of vodka, or try a twist on sangria by adding approximately ½ cup of muscato. . .

Mild Curry Dip

This recipe will be a veggie-tray staple for future barbeques and patio or picnic parties. If you want a bit more heat in this dip, add a little horseradish.
  • 1/2 cup Miracle Whip (or 1/4 cup each mayonnaise and sour cream)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp mild curry powder (more to taste)
Put all the ingredients in a medium-size bowl and mix well with a whisk. The dip will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in a tightly sealed container. . .

Marinated Flank Steak

Flank steak is a flavourful cut of meat, and this citrus-based marinade brings out its best qualities.
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1.5 lb flank steak
Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl or re-sealable bag. Place the steak in the bag or bowl, and marinate for 45 minutes at room temperature. Don’t extend the marinating time because the citrus acids will start to cook the meat. Pre-heat your grill to medium-high 30 minutes before the meat has finished marinating. Place the steak on the grill and turn only once during cooking, approximately 4 minutes per side. You can turn one burner down to low, leaving the other on medium-high and transfer the meat to the low side to allow it to cook without drying out. Cook the steak to how you like it—rare, medium-rare or well-done—then let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. . .

Cold Noodle Salad

This salad will look impressive, but it’s easier-than-pie to make.
For the Thai Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
  • 3 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup tepid water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
For the Salad:
  • 1 1/2 cups of brown rice ramen noodles, cooked and rinsed with cold water
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced (orange, red or yellow)
  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped sugar snap peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
For the dressing, mix all the ingredients in a blender for 15 to 20 seconds. For the salad, combine all the ingredients in a bowl, pour the dressing over the salad and toss until well coated. The salad is best served at room temperature. If you don’t have brown rice ramen noodles, any Asian-style noodle will do. . .

Espresso Blondies

Blondies are a fun twist on the traditional brownie recipe, but make a double batch because they won’t last the trip to the picnic site.
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup of cold butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp brewed espresso or strong coffee
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line a 9-by-7-inch baking pan with parchment paper that’s been cut larger than the pan so you can easily lift out the baked blondies. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Melt the butter and both sugars in a saucepan over medium heat. When everything has melted, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the espresso. Let this mixture cool then whisk in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and stir until combined. Gently stir in the almonds and chocolate chips. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges have pulled away from the pan and its golden brown on top. Let the blondies cool completely in the pan before lifting them out, then cut to your preferred size and keep in a tightly sealed container. If you want a peanut butter hit, swap out half of the chocolate chips for peanut butter chips, or swirl peanut butter on the top before baking. n [post_title] => Picnic recipes [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => picnic-recipes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-05-31 18:28:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-06-01 00:28:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.summercity.ca/?p=9032 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [ID] => 0 [filter] => raw [_excerpt] => Park It Outside A delicious picnic menu that’s sure to please By Jennie Drent & Shima Zonneveld Picnics are fun, but it does take a lot of planning: finding a free day, finding the perfect picnic spot, prepping all the food and drink, and hoping for good weather. We offer you a helping hand with … ) 1

URBAN FORAGING


A growing movement toward wild-harvested food has no trouble seeing the forest for the trees. “Production right now is relatively minor, but in two or three years we’re going to start seeing our first flush of fruit,” remarks Kenton Zerbin, permaculture teacher and consultant. Zerbin is referring to the St. Albert Community Food Forest across …Read More
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A growing movement toward wild-harvested food has no trouble seeing the forest for the trees.

“Production right now is relatively minor, but in two or three years we’re going to start seeing our first flush of fruit,” remarks Kenton Zerbin, permaculture teacher and consultant.

Zerbin is referring to the St. Albert Community Food Forest across from the grain elevators, the first of its kind in town.

Together with local urban agriculture enthusiasts, Zerbin designed this site using permaculture techniques, an approach to growing food that mimics the design of natural ecosystems for self-sufficiency. He estimates that in five-to-seven years the forest will reach its capacity, offering a safe nutritious source of edibles such as plums, red currants, gooseberries, haskap berries, saskatoons, comfrey, and more. And lots of it, by the sound of things—free for whoever wants it.

Ripe for the Picking

Food forestry and permaculture might be unfamiliar concepts to many, but they’re part of a growing realization that cities, like St. Albert, are chock full of potential when it comes to food. The free variety, that is. It’s literally all around us—in city parks, in the woods, alongside rivers and roadways. Numerous books detail the variety of edible fruit, plant, and mushroom species available in Central Alberta—much of it on public land, available to anyone with a bucket and a little know-how. [Editor’s note: It’s easy to mistake edible for poisonous mushrooms because they can look very similar. Best to leave this to the experts.]

The appeal of urban foraging is understandable, as any trip to the grocery store will uncover. Healthy food ain’t cheap. In 2013, the Edmonton Community Foundation reported that food costs had risen by more than double the overall inflation rate over the past 10 years. Food prices are notoriously volatile, and it’s worth noting that in 2012 the Edmonton Food Bank distributed more than $17,000,000 worth of food. In light of this, it’s easy to see why interest in food security and less expensive food options continue to run high. Add to this, the burgeoning interest in organic and locally grown produce, and free food forests make good sense.

A World of Foraging Possibilities

On paper, it seems there’s little stopping us from getting out there and taking advantage of the cornucopia of produce that’s growing wild all around us. But in practice, obstacles do exist. The first is knowing where to look. Cue the Internet, where maps have been popping up pinpointing the precise locations of fruit trees and other edible plants around the world. The St. Albert map came online last year, created by a local resident using Google Maps. It shows where people can get their fill of saskatoons, apples, crabapples, pears, Nanking cherries, hazelnuts, rhubarb, and more—all accessible to the public and free for the picking.

The biggest roadblock, however, is probably time and energy. Supermarket produce might be pricer, but it’s easy, and this is the likely cause of why so much backyard fruit goes to waste. Considering that an average apple tree can produce more than 100 kg of apples in a year, for some households even a single tree can be too much. And when you consider how many trees a city may have, both public and private, this adds up to a staggering amount of food that’s, unfortunately, for the birds.

Seeing an obvious need, fruit rescue organizations have emerged across the globe. Not Far From the Tree, a Toronto-based outfit, estimates their urban canopy produces 1.5 million pounds of fruit a year, and most of it goes unpicked. Likewise, Sweden’s Urban Fruit Initiative claims that although Swedish gardens boast more apples than commercial producers and imports combined, only 10 percent of garden apples are consumed.

Locally, Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton (OFRE) musters volunteers to harvest backyard trees of homeowners who are unable to use their fruit. Like other fruit rescues, the haul from each pick is divvied up, with roughly a quarter each going to the homeowner, the volunteers, OFRE, and a charity such as the Food Bank or Hope Mission.

Reshaping Cities and Attitudes

“I truly applaud these organizations,” says Zerbin, commenting on OFRE and similar groups. “But it doesn’t reduce in the slightest the call to action to put systems in place where people will use them, own them, and be proud of them.”

Zerbin is talking about the original St. Albert Community Food Forest and others like it in the St. Albert and Edmonton regions. In addition to the first St. Albert food forest, Zerbin has done consulting and installations with homeowners and at schools, including one this past spring at Brander Gardens School in South Edmonton.

In downtown Edmonton, a food forest has sprung up on public land along the River Valley—in the MacKinnon Ravine, just west of downtown. The MacKinnon Food Forest began in 2014 as part of Root for Trees, an initiative by the City to plant trees, with a minimum target of 16,000 a year in order to increase Edmonton’s canopy cover from 10 to 20 percent. (St. Albert’s canopy cover is 13 percent, according to the 2017 Urban Forest Management Plan, and there’s hope to also increase this to 20 percent.)

The MacKinnon Food Forest bears highbush cranberries, currants, beaked hazelnuts, saskatoons, chokecherries, pin cherries, raspberries, elderberries, and strawberries. All are native plants, as designer Dustin Bajer points out.

“That was one of the ways we were able to do something like this,” Bajer says. “I don’t think the City would’ve been onboard had it been non-native species.”

That these forests are being funded at all means the benefits of wild-harvested food is clear and something to be encouraged. And St. Albert’s forest plan recognizes this, too. But while the plan doesn’t offer any concrete ideas for building more, it does list the food forest as one of several examples in the city of “treed environments optimized for functionality.” The plan also notes that the demand for food-growing space from residents who lack gardens and yards still outstrips the supply. In other words, we could be seeing more food forests sooner than later as the city goes greener (and woodier).

Building a Food Forest 101

Yet, it was conversations among local urban agriculture enthusiasts, rather than any municipal initiative, that brought about the first food forest in St. Albert. Regular meetings brought like-minded people together who arranged for information sessions, City funding, supplies, plant donations from local retailers, and volunteers. And Zerbin designed the forest following the tenets of permaculture.

To recap, permaculture aims to re-create ecosystems that not only produce food, but are also self-sustaining. Fortunately,
Mother Nature gives us a pretty good model to riff on. Forests are made up of layers, from the canopy and understory to the ground cover and roots—and each has a function.Canopies provide shade and protection so lower plants can thrive; meanwhile, perennials in the herbaceous layer die each year, feeding essential nutrients back into the soil. It’s this interplay between layers that makes a forest more than the sum of its parts, and it’s an incredibly efficient and resilient system that sustains many species of plants and animals in a small area.

As such, a good food forest design optimizes available sunlight, water, and soil through the careful arrangement of elements. For instance, plants can be ‘stacked’ so each one gets the appropriate amount of sunlight, while swales (low moist tracks of land) can retain or redirect water to where it’s needed. Installation of the St. Albert Community Food Forest began in 2016
through what Zerbin calls “perma-blitzes,” with volunteers planting and building earthworks, such as swales. Now with the building and planting done, much of the work is maintenance. “We try to plan at least one blitz a year for upkeep,” Zerbin says. Beyond that, the forest is more or less left to its own devices.

Looking Forward

But will people use it? It’s not a question Zerbin seems to be sweating. He’s only onsite now and then, but he often runs into locals checking it out because they heard about it through word of mouth.

“I actually think there’s going to be more of these popping up,” Zerbin says. “It’s a growing movement. People can see that these spaces are possible, that they can be beautiful, and that they can produce a lot of food without a lot of work.”

Bajer is equally positive. “The cultural narrative we tell ourselves, consciously or not, is that humans make nature worse.” He explains that this pessimistic sentiment doesn’t give us a roadmap for the future. However, he believes that food forests are turning this around through the optimism associated with them, and with the message that with a little creativity, cities can coexist with nature and harvest abundant rewards. t8n

Foraging Etiquette

Keep these tips in mind so you don’t inadvertently vex other foragers, or the law. Or karma.

  • Always remember Rule Number One: If you’re not 100 percent sure what it is, don’t eat it. Invest in a guidebook to identify plants so you don’t accidentally gather endangered species or worse—poisonous lookalikes.
  • Learn when certain produce are in season and forage accordingly.
  • Only take what you need, and leave some behind for others (including forest critters).
  • Ensure that your foraging is on public land, or seek out the landowner’s permission.
  • Be careful not to collect food that’s been contaminated by pesticide or fertilizer (not to mention dog pee). Wash foods thoroughly before you eat.
  • Minimize damage to these environments: stay on the trails as much as possible, and leave nature as you found it.
  • Share your knowledge with others interested in this fun and healthy pastime.
[post_title] => URBAN FORAGING [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => urban-foraging [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-05-31 18:22:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-06-01 00:22:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.summercity.ca/?p=9296 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [_excerpt] => A growing movement toward wild-harvested food has no trouble seeing the forest for the trees. “Production right now is relatively minor, but in two or three years we’re going to start seeing our first flush of fruit,” remarks Kenton Zerbin, permaculture teacher and consultant. Zerbin is referring to the St. Albert Community Food Forest across … ) 1

Steaks


Sizzling Summer Steaks It’s Time to Fire Up the Grill & Get Ready for Summer Nothing beats a superbly cooked, flame-grilled steak on a perfect summer evening, in the company of great friends. We reached out to SYSCO Edmonton’s Corporate Chef Michael Brown for his top three favourite steak dishes, and here they are! Besides …Read More

Popsicles, Gelato and more


A Lick & a Promise. Chilling out just got tastier Certain things just taste better in the sunshine. Near the top of that list are ice cream and popsicles. Besides being simple to make, the flavour combinations are endless. We made some of ours with yogourt, others with puréed fruit and, of course, a few …Read More
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A Lick & a Promise. Chilling out just got tastier

Certain things just taste better in the sunshine. Near the top of that list are ice cream and popsicles. Besides being simple to make, the flavour combinations are endless. We made some of ours with yogourt, others with puréed fruit and, of course, a few with tequila. And our gelato recipes? Bring on the sunshine!  

Dragon Fruit Honeydew Pops

These are worth making for the colour alone. The recipe also doubles as a base for margaritas.
  • 1/4 cup very hot water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 dragon fruit, scooped out and puréed
  • 1 cup honeydew juice
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 3 tbsp tequila or gin (optional)
Combine the hot water and sugar in a pitcher, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lime juice, and set aside. To make the honeydew juice, purée 3 cups of honeydew in a food processor, and strain it through a sieve. Add the juice and tequila to the pitcher, and stir. Pour into popsicle moulds, insert sticks and freeze until solid. __

Coconut Lime-Berry Pops

If you can imagine breakfast as a popsicle, this is it. A great treat morning, noon or night.
  • 2 cups frozen mixed berries, thawed and puréed in a food processor
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • 2 to 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut-flavoured Greek yogourt
In medium bowl, combine the puréed berries with the lime juice and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour alternating layers of yogourt and berries into your popsicle moulds, creating 4 or 5 layers. With a wooden skewer, swirl the layers together in an up-and-down motion. Insert the popsicle sticks, and freeze until solid. __

Banana Split Pops

If you love banana cream pudding, give these a try. The base is simple to make, and the finished pop is adorable. Cue the oohs and aahs.
  • 135g pkg. instant banana-cream pudding
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp cream
  • 1 bowl of colourful sprinkles (for dipping)
  • 1 can whipped cream
  • Maraschino cherries
Cook the instant pudding according to the package directions. Pour the cooked pudding into your popsicle moulds, and insert the sticks. Freeze until solid. In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the butter and cream in a tall glass. When the chocolate is smooth and glossy, unmould the frozen pops and, one at a time, dip them halfway into the melted chocolate. Hold the pops upright, allowing the chocolate to drip down their sides, and then roll the tips in sprinkles. Pipe each with a swirl of whipped cream, and top with a cherry. __

Tequila Watermelon Popsicles

Is there really more that needs saying? You’ll definitely want to double this one.
  • 1/4 cup very hot water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup watermelon juice
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 3 tbsp tequila (or gin)
Combine the hot water and sugar in a pitcher, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the zest and lime juice, and set aside. To make the watermelon juice, purée 3 or 4 cups of watermelon in a food processor, and strain it through a sieve. Add the juice and tequila to the pitcher, and stir. Pour into popsicle moulds, insert sticks and freeze until solid. __

Pink Grapefruit & Rosemary Popsicles

Oh yeah, these are good. Bright, refreshing and just elegant enough to call dessert. Give them a try.
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
  • 5 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp chopped rosemary
Pour the grapefruit juice into a pitcher, and set aside. In small pot, combine the sugar, water and rosemary, and while stirring, bring it to a boil over medium heat. Let boil for 30 seconds, and then remove the pot from the heat and let the syrup cool for 30 minutes. When cooled, strain the syrup into the pitcher of grapefruit juice, and stir. Pour into popsicle moulds, insert sticks and freeze until solid. __

Chocolate Gelato

Creamy, chocolatey and did we mention creamy? Two cups’ worth! This gelato’s definitely an indulgence but so worth it.
  • 2 cups cream
  • 300 mL can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 6 Baci chocolates (optional)
Add the cream, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla to a large mixing bowl, and whip with an electric mixer until soft peaks form (don’t overbeat). Add the cocoa powder, and whip it in. If desired, fold in some chopped nuts, cookies or chocolate bars. Spoon into a freezer-safe dish, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until solid (about 6 hours). __

Pinot Noir Blackberry Pops

Simple, delicious and customizable. The hardest decision is how many to eat.
  • 4 cups blackberries, puréed in a food processor
  • 5 tbsp white sugar
  • 5 oz Pinot Noir
In medium bowl combine the puréed berries with the sugar and Pinot Noir. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Taste the mixture, and add more sugar or Pinot Noir if desired. Pour into moulds, add sticks and freeze until solid. __

Raspberry Mango Gelato

This recipe will accommodate just about any fruit combination. Just keep it to the sour side to offset the overall sweetness.
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted and cubed
  • The zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups cream
  • 300 mL can of sweetened condensed milk
Purée the raspberries and mango in a food processor, stir in the lemon zest and set aside. Add the cream and sweetened condensed milk to a large mixing bowl, and whip with an electric mixer until soft peaks form (don’t overbeat). Fold in the fruit purée, and pour into a freezer-safe dish. Cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until solid (about 6 hours). n Images by: Brenda Lakeman Photography Food styling by: Little Fire Creative [post_title] => Popsicles, Gelato and more [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => popsicles-gelato-and-more [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-06-02 20:09:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-06-03 02:09:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.summercity.ca/?p=5751 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [_excerpt] => A Lick & a Promise. Chilling out just got tastier Certain things just taste better in the sunshine. Near the top of that list are ice cream and popsicles. Besides being simple to make, the flavour combinations are endless. We made some of ours with yogourt, others with puréed fruit and, of course, a few … ) 1

Volcanic Wine


Volcanic Vino – Making wine from the ashes Like all wine and winemaking traditions, volcanic wines combine a bit of the old with the new. People have long made wine from grapes grown in volcanic soil, but only recently have the distinctive attributes of these wines gained appreciation. Just as no two volcanoes are the …Read More

Tasty Summer Cocktails


Let There Be Cocktails!  Ready, set, sip! It’s finally here. Patio season. And there’s only one rule to play by: if you live where summer’s short, make cocktail hour long. To help inspire that mandate, we’re sharing a few recipes to raise your glasses to. Some are impeccable classics, a few are modern mixes and …Read More
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Let There Be Cocktails!  Ready, set, sip!

It’s finally here. Patio season. And there’s only one rule to play by: if you live where summer’s short, make cocktail hour long. To help inspire that mandate, we’re sharing a few recipes to raise your glasses to. Some are impeccable classics, a few are modern mixes and one’s an excuse to eat popsicles. Enjoy responsibly. ___

Pisco Sour

If you’ve never tasted a pisco sour, you’re just in time for its comeback. Smooth brandy meets fragrant lime and a silky foam froth.
  • 3 oz pisco
  • 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup
  • 1 impeccably fresh egg white
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
To a cocktail shaker, add the pisco, lime juice, simple syrup and egg white. Secure the lid, and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Remove the lid, fill the shaker with ice, return the lid and shake again for another 15 or 20 seconds. Strain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass, add a dash or two of bitters atop the foam, and enjoy. ___

Limoncello Collins

Quite possibly the perfect summer cocktail. Make them one at a time or in batches by the pitcher.
  • 1 oz Limoncello, chilled
  • 1 oz gin
  • 4 oz clementine soda (or club soda), chilled
  • Fresh raspberries and mint (to garnish)
Add the Limoncello, gin and soda to a stemless wine glass, and stir. Garnish with raspberries and mint, and serve. ____

Green-tea Strawberry Lemonade

Classic lemonade is hard to beat, but green tea and strawberries add a nice twist.
  • 10 cups of water
  • 4 bags of green tea
  • 6 large lemons, juiced
  • 10-oz container of frozen sliced strawberries in syrup, thawed
In a large pitcher, place 10 cups of cold water and 4 bags of green tea. Place in the fridge to brew for 8 hours (or overnight). Remove the teabags from the brewed tea, and stir in the lemon juice. Next, press the thawed strawberries and syrup through a sieve or food mill, and add the juices to the pitcher. Stir, adjust the sugar and lemon to your liking and serve. ____

Rhubarb Sour

Make no mistake. This cocktail’s got kick! Flirty, refreshing and perfect for ushering in summer.
  • 2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1 1/2 oz rhubarb syrup
  • 2 dashes rhubarb bitters
  • Lime slices and strawberries (to garnish)
  • A splash of tonic water or sparkling wine (optional)
To make the rhubarb syrup, place 2 cups of chopped rhubarb in a small pot with 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of white sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer 20 minutes. Strain well, and store the syrup in the refrigerator. To a cocktail shaker, add the gin, lemon juice, lime juice, rhubarb syrup and bitters. Fill the shaker with ice, secure the lid and shake until chilled. Strain into a glass with ice, and garnish with lime and strawberries. For a sour with a little less kick, add a splash of tonic water or sparkling wine. ____

Peach Bourbon Smash

Peaches and thyme are always a nice pairing. The addition of bourbon makes it a party. Enjoy responsibly!
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz ginger-thyme syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz peach nectar
  • Ginger ale (to taste)
  • Slice of peach and sprig of thyme (to garnish)
  • For the ginger-thyme syrup
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
Combine all the syrup ingredients in a small pot, and bring it to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool completely. To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the bourbon, lemon juice, ginger-lime syrup and peach nectar. Secure the lid, shake vigorously, and strain into a tumbler filled with ice. Top with a splash of ginger ale, and garnish with a slice of peach and a sprig of thyme. ____ ___

Sparkling Wine-sicles

Popsicles and wine, together at last! Meet your new summer cocktail. Assorted popsicles or frozen fruit bars Sparkling wine, chilled Simply place a popsicle or frozen fruit bar in a chilled wine glass, and top with bubbly. To up the elegance, replace the popsicle with a scoop of orange sorbet to create a mimosa float. Images by, Brenda Lakeman Photography Food styling by, Little Fire Creative [post_title] => Tasty Summer Cocktails [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => cocktails [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-06-02 20:07:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-06-03 02:07:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.summercity.ca/?p=5741 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [_excerpt] => Let There Be Cocktails!  Ready, set, sip! It’s finally here. Patio season. And there’s only one rule to play by: if you live where summer’s short, make cocktail hour long. To help inspire that mandate, we’re sharing a few recipes to raise your glasses to. Some are impeccable classics, a few are modern mixes and … ) 1

Strathcona Spirits


They’ve got Spirits Yes They Do! Edmonton’s first distillery success story If you were looking to taste some locally produced spirits a year ago, you’d have been out of luck. This year, you’ve got options. Lots of that credit goes to Adam Smith. Over the past four years, he’s been hard at work setting up …Read More

Edmonton’s Bread Scene


Bread Winners – Butter up to Edmonton’s bread scene Edmonton has privilege to a wealth of bakeries that have been making waves in the local food scene. But while pastries and baked desserts have been enjoying their well-deserved moment, the spotlight on bread has been a little dim. That, however, is starting to change, as …Read More
Models\Post Object ( [_post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 5733 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2017-05-26 15:01:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-26 15:01:02 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_5734" align="alignnone" width="442"] Delicious freshly baked bread on wooden background[/caption]

Bread Winners - Butter up to Edmonton’s bread scene

Edmonton has privilege to a wealth of bakeries that have been making waves in the local food scene. But while pastries and baked desserts have been enjoying their well-deserved moment, the spotlight on bread has been a little dim. That, however, is starting to change, as food lovers embrace a return to artisan bread and the bakeries that have quietly served our communities for decades. Carb-counters, look away. Bread is back!  --

Boulangerie Bonjour Bakery

Location: 8608 - 99 Street, Edmonton Specialty: Strathcona’s Boulangerie Bonjour is deeply rooted in the traditions of European baking, and they take their artisanal status very seriously. Their ingredients are locally sourced, their grain is milled on location in the bakery and their bread is baked fresh every day. Achieving the perfect loaf of bread takes patience, and father-son duo Yvan and Kenny Chartrand are willing to take the extra time to ensure that they’re delivering a quality product to their customers. Boulangerie Bonjour has dozens of different loaves to choose from, and with their modest prices, you’ll always find yourself craving a taste of their latest creation. Price point: $5 to $7 per loaf ____ Canova Pasticcerie Location: 12667 - 125 Street, Edmonton Specialty: Canova Pasticceria is a family-run bakery from top to bottom. Owners Carla Roppo-Owczarek and Kris Owczarek, along with their three sons, have been creating Italian-style baked treats for the last five years. In 2016, however, they expanded their business from biscotti to a full assortment of breads and other pastries, including traditional Italian favourites such as panettone fruit loaves. Canova exports its bread to grocery stores across Edmonton and around the province, but if you’re having trouble tracking down your favourite treat, you’re always welcome to stop by the store itself. Carla and Kris are happy to help you find what you’re looking for. Price point: $8 to $10 per loaf __ Chartier Location: 5012 - 50 Street, Beaumont Specialty: Chartier is famous throughout the region, both for its delicious French-Canadian cuisine and for being the most successful crowd-funded restaurant in Canada. While you may have heard of the restaurant, you may not have heard of Chartier’s signature bread window. Owners Darren and Sylvia Cheverie want to change the way we think about food by adding a human element to the interaction. Every weekend, Chartier slides open its kitchen’s street-facing window to sell fresh bread to passersby, in the true style of a traditional French bakery. Through this window, you can watch the bakers work and even chat with them as they prepare your order. Even if you don’t find yourself in Beaumont often, it’s well worth the drive. Price point: $8 to $10 per loaf ___ Panaderia Latina Bakery Location: 5716 - 19A Avenue, Edmonton Specialty: Panaderia Latina is the best place in the city to get your fix of Latin-American style breads. Founded in 1993 by Chilean-Canadian couple Jose and Alicia Sanchez, this self-described “mom and pop” bakery has been a long-time favourite of the Mill Woods community. In addition to offering a wide array of baked goods, Panaderia acts as a social hub for Latin American residents of Edmonton. It is a place where they can meet and talk while getting a small taste of home. But even if you didn’t grow up eating Chilean breads and pastries, one taste of Jose and Alicia’s artisanal loaves will turn you into a repeat customer. Price point: $5 to $7 per loaf ___ Portuguese Canadian Bakery Location: 5304 - 118 Avenue, Edmonton Specialty: Vaso and Madelina Matias opened the Portuguese Canadian Bakery in 1996, and it’s been a local favourite ever since. As soon as you walk through the doors, you’ll feel the community spirit that they’ve spent the last 20 years building. The bakery serves up pastries and cakes of all kinds, but their specialty is their selection of traditional Portuguese breads. These loaves can be purchased to take home or sliced up at their deli counter to make a variety of delicious sandwiches. Just make sure you get there early in the day; their stock sells out quickly. Price point: $7 to $10 per loaf ___ Zwick’s Pretzels Location: 12415 - 107 Avenue, Edmonton Specialty: Pretzels may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of bakeries, but one trip to Zwick’s Pretzels will change that. After running a successful catering business for five years, Zwick’s owners Darren Zwicker and Maria Chau have expanded their business to include a storefront that serves up just about any kind of pretzel you can imagine. Whether you prefer your pretzels big, small, savory or sweet, Zwick’s has something to match your tastes. Thanks to their full assortment of homemade cheese dips, mustards and sauces, you could stop in for a lunchtime pretzel every day this summer without exhausting the delicious combinations of flavours. Price point: $2 to $3 per pretzel, $22 to $33 per dozen What Makes Bread Artisanal? It’s not just a fancy label. Artisanal bread is handmade by an experienced baker and uses high-quality, natural ingredients. [post_title] => Edmonton's Bread Scene [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bread [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-05-26 20:36:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-05-27 02:36:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.summercity.ca/?p=5733 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [_excerpt] => Bread Winners – Butter up to Edmonton’s bread scene Edmonton has privilege to a wealth of bakeries that have been making waves in the local food scene. But while pastries and baked desserts have been enjoying their well-deserved moment, the spotlight on bread has been a little dim. That, however, is starting to change, as … ) 1

Pickling & Flavours alike


Bragging Rights in a Jar – A showoff’s guide to making condiments So you’ve mastered your signature Caesar and are known for your epic BBQ parties, so what’s next? How about more bragging rights? Perhaps a homemade pickled bean to garnish your already righteous Caesar or some bourbon mustard that you “just whipped up.” With …Read More
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Bragging Rights in a Jar - A showoff’s guide to making condiments

So you’ve mastered your signature Caesar and are known for your epic BBQ parties, so what’s next? How about more bragging rights? Perhaps a homemade pickled bean to garnish your already righteous Caesar or some bourbon mustard that you “just whipped up.” With gardens and market stands brimming over, there’s no better time to seal summer in a jar. And we’ve got the recipes to inspire: pickled ginger and beans, baby dills, homemade mustard—even Thai sweet chili sauce. Intimidated? Don’t be. This is one jarring experience you’re gonna like.

 

Bourbon & Brown Sugar Mustard

This truly might be the grainy mustard of champions. But don’t just save it for hot dogs. Add it to BBQ sauces, or use it as a glaze on grilled pork or chicken. 3/4 cup bourbon 3/4 cup water 1 cup brown mustard seeds 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 5 tbsp dry mustard powder 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1 tsp salt (or more to taste) In a small mixing bowl, combine the bourbon, water and mustard seeds. Cover with plastic wrap, and allow to steep and absorb the liquid for 5 hours or overnight. Place the soaked seeds in a food processor, and pulse to the consistency you like. Add the vinegar, dry mustard, sugar and salt, and pulse to mix. Transfer the mixture to a medium pot, and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Simmer to thicken (3 to 5 minutes), then taste and adjust the salt to your liking. Transfer to jars, add the lids and store in the fridge for up to 3 months. __

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

Sweet and sticky with just the right kick. The perfect plunge for a salad roll or glaze for grilled chicken wings. 1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro stems 2 cups water 2 Thai bird’s eye chilies, seeded and coarsely chopped (wear gloves) 3 tbsp chopped garlic 1/8 tsp salt 2 cups white vinegar 1 1/3 cups sugar 1/2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water Place the chopped cilantro and water in a small pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let steep 15 minutes. Strain out the coriander, reserving the liquid. Add the chilies, garlic and salt to a food processor, and pulse until coarsely puréed. Spoon the mixture into a medium-sized pot, and add the vinegar, sugar, cornstarch slurry and 1 1/2 cups of the reserved cilantro water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and let simmer until reduced by half. Pour into a jar, and let cool uncovered. Add the lid, and store in the fridge. __

Easy Dill Counter Pickles

A farmhouse favourite, these delicious baby dills require no processing. As for restraint… good luck with that. 10 cups water 1/2 cup pickling salt 1/4 cup pickling vinegar 5 cloves garlic, peeled 1 handful of fresh dill, not chopped Enough baby cukes and carrots to fill a gallon jar Add the water and vinegar to a very large pot, and stir in the pickling salt until dissolved. Place the pot over high heat, bring it to a boil and remove from heat. Place the dill and garlic in the bottom of a freshly washed gallon jar that has a lid (we used a glass cookie jar). Scrub the cukes, peel and trim the carrots and pack them in the jar. Carefully pour in the hot brine to cover. Pop on the lid, and place the jar on the counter (out of direct sun) for 1 week. Remove the lid, and taste. If you’d like a more sour pickle, leave the jar on the counter an extra week. If perfect, place in the fridge and enjoy. __

Pickled Ginger

Bragging rights, anyone? They’re all but guaranteed with this perfectly pickled ginger. 2 hands of young ginger with papery skin (old, woody ginger won’t turn pink) 6 tbsp white sugar 1 1/2 tbsp salt 10 tbsp unseasoned Japanese rice vinegar 3-by-3-cm square of dried kombu (kelp) Peel the ginger, and slice it into see-through coins with a mandolin (about 1 1/2 cups). Place the ginger in a bowl, and toss it with 1 tbsp of sugar and all of the salt. Let sit 1 hour. Next, blanch the ginger in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, and strain into a sieve to drain. Pack the drained ginger in a glass jar, and set aside. In a small pot, bring the sugar, vinegar and kombu to a boil (mixing to dissolve). Then pour the brine over the ginger to cover, and let cool 10 minutes before securing the lid. Let the jar finish cooling, then pop it in the fridge to pickle for 5 days. Store in the fridge for up to 3 months. ___

Dilly Pickled Beans

If you’ve got a weak spot for Caesars, you probably know your way around a pickled bean. These are downright delicious. 2 cups pickling vinegar 2 cups white wine vinegar 4 cups water 1/4 cup pickling salt 1 tbsp white sugar 6 cloves garlic, peeled 10 large sprigs fresh dill 8 peppercorns 2 medium yellow peppers, seeded and sliced into spears 1 heaping ice cream bucket of fresh green beans, ends trimmed Add the water and vinegars to a large pot, and stir in the pickling salt and sugar until dissolved. Place the pot over high heat, bring it to a boil and remove from the heat. Divide the garlic, dill and peppercorns evenly between 2 freshly washed quart jars. Pack the beans and pepper spears upright in the jars. Carefully pour the hot brine over the vegetables to cover. Pop on the lids, allow the jars to cool and refrigerate for 4 days before serving. Store in the fridge for up to 2 months. n Images by, Brenda Lakeman Photography Food styling by, Little Fire Creative [post_title] => Pickling & Flavours alike [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => pickling [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-05-26 20:24:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-05-27 02:24:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.summercity.ca/?p=5723 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [_excerpt] => Bragging Rights in a Jar – A showoff’s guide to making condiments So you’ve mastered your signature Caesar and are known for your epic BBQ parties, so what’s next? How about more bragging rights? Perhaps a homemade pickled bean to garnish your already righteous Caesar or some bourbon mustard that you “just whipped up.” With … ) 1

BEEKEEPING


An ancient craft in your own backyard One of our oldest professions, the ancient practice of beekeeping, is experiencing something of a renaissance. In 2015, a record number of colonies—just over 721,000—were in operation across Canada, with almost 300,000 of those in Alberta alone. When you look at the big picture, it’s no wonder. Besides producing …Read More
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An ancient craft in your own backyard

One of our oldest professions, the ancient practice of beekeeping, is experiencing something of a renaissance. In 2015, a record number of colonies—just over 721,000—were in operation across Canada, with almost 300,000 of those in Alberta alone. When you look at the big picture, it’s no wonder. Besides producing honey and beeswax, bee colonies bring many other benefits, both to the people who care for them and to the communities where they are located.

Cheap & Easy

As far as hobbies go, keeping a backyard hive (or two) is neither exhausting nor expensive. Much of what you’ll need to spend, in time and money, will come early on as you’re getting into it. For starters, you’ll need to do some research. Find out what bylaws regulate beekeeping in your area and how to register your hives. Figure out what equipment you’ll need and how to use and maintain it. Also, learn about the different kinds of bees so that you can choose one that’s appropriate for you (subtle hint: don’t start with an aggressive strain). You’ll also need to buy a few things: hives, hive stands, protective clothing, smokers, feed, other tools and supplies, and, of course, bees—all of which will probably set you back a few hundred dollars.

Once your beehive is up and running, the rest will be fairly straightforward. It’ll take a year before you can start harvesting honey, but rest assured, your bees will do all the hard work—which they’re sort of known for—meaning all that’s expected of you is some regular maintenance and, eventually, a honey harvest.

A Little Pocket Money

For many, beekeeping is a labour of love. But it doesn’t hurt if your hobby can provide you with extra pocket money. Once your first hive is a success, you can set up additional hives (provided you have the room). Extra honey means extra honey you can sell, perhaps at farmers’ markets, from your home or in local stores. You’ll also have excess beeswax that can be made into candles, lip balm, hand lotion and so on. There’s even a viable market for renting out bee colonies to farms to help pollinate crops. In Alberta, thousands of hives are rented each year just for this purpose. According to the Canadian Honey Council, the average rental fee for a hive is $120, depending on the crop that needs to be pollinated.

Stress? What Stress?

Urban beekeepers often talk about the stress-busting power of beekeeping. Like bird watching, gardening or watching cat videos, there’s something calming about keeping bees. Plus, there’s a whole social aspect to apiculture. As the activity spreads across the country, many cities and towns now have beekeeping clubs. Newbies can easily join a passionate community of fellow beekeepers, where they can get advice and start new friendships.

Better Gardens

Even if they’re not actively beekeeping themselves, urban gardeners benefit from having bees in the neighbourhood. The reason is simple: most flowering plants reproduce through cross-pollination. This requires an animal pollinator to move pollen from one flower to another, and bees are the best known and most efficient pollinators nature has to offer. Bees visit flowers to gather nectar and pollen, their main sources of energy, fat and protein. As they move about, they inevitably carry pollen grains to the flowers they visit, allowing cross-fertilization to happen. So, the benefit is mutual—gardens feed bees, and bees help gardens thrive, promoting biodiversity and ecological stability in urban areas.

Saving Bees

As you likely know, beekeeping may actually contribute to helping save the world’s bee populations, which have been in decline for some time now. In Canada, a combination of pesticide use, habitat loss, poor nutrition, disease, mites and severe winters has been blamed for colony losses. The good news? The rate of loss has slowed over the last decade, according to data from the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists. At the same time, the number of honeybee colonies across the country has increased by 22.4 percent. t8n

Fun Fact

When it’s properly sealed, honey may be the only food that never spoils in its edible form.
This is due to unique antibacterial properties, such as high acidity and an absence of water, which prevent many microorganisms from growing in it. Archaeologists have found (and apparently tasted!) preserved, millennia-old pots of honey while excavating Egyptian royal tombs.

[post_title] => BEEKEEPING [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => beekeeping [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-05-26 19:58:59 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-05-27 01:58:59 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.summercity.ca/?p=9286 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [_excerpt] => An ancient craft in your own backyard One of our oldest professions, the ancient practice of beekeeping, is experiencing something of a renaissance. In 2015, a record number of colonies—just over 721,000—were in operation across Canada, with almost 300,000 of those in Alberta alone. When you look at the big picture, it’s no wonder. Besides producing … ) 1