|Far too nutritious and versatile to be reserved solely for Thanksgiving and Halloween pumpkins deserve to be added to your culinary repertoire.
The Good Neighbours’ Food Market
The Church of The Messiah in partnership with the Residents of 250 Davenport, Toronto Community Housing Corporation, and Food Share bring you a weekly market featuring fresh vegetables and fruit at an affordable price. Unlike most traditional farmers’ markets, our food comes from a non-profit food-access programme called FoodShare. FoodShare only changes us a very slight markup from wholesale cost, and we pass those savings on to you! These are super-fresh vegetables coming from the same suppliers as the grocery store, but the price is the difference.
See Why Good is the New Super!
Our vision is enrich the life of the parish and surrounding community by providing a venue of fair exchange. As a contemporary Christian community we believe it is critical to respond to the needs of our community, and the number one concern raised to us after several months of research was “food security.” Simply put, many of our neighbours simply can’t afford to shop at the local boutique and high-end grocers. The Good Neighbour’s Food Market fixes that problem. Our goal is to create a market that attracts all kinds of people as we branch out to include small farms, artisans, and vendors in our effort. The market takes place on the lawn in front of 250 Davenport (Northwest corner of Avenue Road and Davenport) rain or shine from 4pm until 8pm. We plan to move the market indoors once the winter comes. We have big plans for the market. We want to start doing things like movie nights and cooking demonstrations. We also want to provide services like a monthly legal clinic, a tax clinic, and others. If you have a passion for community, contact us and let us know how you can help. Support for the project has been very positive from a variety of areas, including the office of city Councillor Adam Vaughan (before he was elected), the local BIA, and small business owners in the neighbourhood. We are happy for any input from the community, especially with regard to recruiting potential vendors. We are also looking for volunteers to help set-up, run, and clean-up the market. If you want to sponsor the market financially your help will be essential to making this endeavor sustainable into the future. Potential vendors are welcome! Please contact email@example.com for more information or call 416.922.4371 and leave a message!
The Weekly Bread Newsletter
Each week we publish a newletter focusing on one particular item of produce (our “Feature”) with lots of recipes and ideas. The Weekly Bread also include cook book reviews, articles about spirituality, and other information designed to help you live your best possible life in the corner of the Annex. Click on the covers below to view the PDF edition of the newsletter.
by Nasreen Zahida
- 2 bunches of leek
- 1 lbs. of kingfish (mackerel); whole or cut cross wise
- 1 tsp. garlic paste or powder
- 3 or 4 tsp. mustard powder
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1 tbs. lemon juice; fresh or commercial
- Pinch chili powder
- Aluminium foil, banana leaf, pumpkin leaves or long gourd leaves
- 2 tbs. cooking oil (better mustard oil).
- Clean the fish or pieces of the fish thoroughly with little salt and vinegar
- Chop the onion finely or better blend it
- Finely chop the leeks, wash and drain the water in a colander
- Mix onion, garlic, mustard powder, turmeric powder, chili powder, oil and lemon juice with the fish and chopped leek
- Place 2 suitable pieces of Aluminium foils crosswise. The pieces should be large enough to over wrap
- Place the mix of fish, leek and spices on the foil and wrap from all sides so that no leaking will happen
- Bake in a oven or toaster oven for 20 minutes and at 400 degree F
- After 20 minutes turn the pack upside down with the help of oven gloves
- Bake for another 20 minutes at the same temperature
- 10. Remove from the oven, open the wrap from the top and keep in air until cool
- If the dish looks too juicy, keep open at the same temperature for 5 to 10 minutes
- If any kind of leaf is used, it should be cleaned thoroughly and water drained
- Pumpkin leaves and long gourd leaved are edible and delicious
- Any kind of fish or fish fillet can be cooked this way
by Nasreen Zahida
- 1/2 lbs. of leek
- 1 small onion
- 2 tsp. oil
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds (optional)
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1/4 lbs. sweet pea, soaked yellow chick pea etc. (optional)
- Cut the leek for edible portions
- Clean and drain the water
- Steam on high heat for 15/20 minutes or until tender
- Blend in a food processor
- Chop the onion finely
- Pour 2 tsp. of oil on a skillet on medium heat
- Add the mustard seeds (optional)
- Fry the onion until light brown
- Pour the blended leek and saute until all the water is gone
- Enjoy with bread, pita bread or rice
- If use tomatoes, chop it and fry it before adding the leek pest
- If use yellow chick pea, it should be soaked in cold water for at least 6 hours
Easy to grow, tasty, and nutritious this symbol of Welsh culture can, and should, be a part of everyone’s culinary repertoire.
text by David Roth
The leek, in addition to being a widely used member of the onion family, is one of the most iconic of Wales’ national symbols. There are numerous references throughout history and literature to the Welsh custom of adorning oneself with a leek. Though it may seem a strange practice to those unfamiliar with british folklore and mythology, it is a tradition of deep and abiding cultural significance to the Welsh people. The association of leeks with Saint David, patron saint of Wales, goes back a long way and is alluded to by many notable authors. The early seventeenth century poet Michael Drayton recounted the apocryphal legend in which St. David advised troops of Britons to wear leeks in their helms in order to distinguish themselves from an invading force of pagan Saxons in a battle which took place in a field of leeks. William Shakespeare, in Henry V, refers to this “ancient tradition”. In this historical drama the bard of Avon portrays both the Welsh captain Fluellen and the monarch Henry V himself sporting the vegetable device in honour of St. David’s day, celebrated now as then on March the first. Unsurprisingly leeks feature prominently in Welsh cuisine, but they are also a staple the world over. Easy to grow, tasty, and nutritious leeks can, and should, be a part of everyone’s culinary repertoire.
Leeks are part of the genus Allium, along with onions and garlic, of the subfamily Allioidae in the family Amaryllidaceae. Whereas most Alliums, shallots, for example, are bulbs, leeks grow above ground, pushing soil out from themselves as they grow in a process commonly called trenching. Often mistakenly referred to as stalky vegetables leeks are in fact tight bundles of leaves beginning at the root base. They are easy to grow, either directly from seed, or from seedlings, and are relatively free from the ravages of pests and disease. Generally leeks are allowed to mature well into Autumn before being harvested, but can be picked and eaten throughout their growing cycle.
Along with other Alliums there is compelling research implicating leeks as a heart healthy food. Though it should be noted that organizations such as the FDA have advised against making definitive claims about specific health benefits associated with naturally occurring compounds, there is a mounting body of evidence which suggests that onions, garlic, and leeks may have numerous and positive effects on cardiovascular health. Not least among the potential benefits of leeks are the presence of flavonoid antioxidants, which aid in the prevention of premature cell deterioration, and allicin, which is believed by many to help to inhibit the production of cholesterol and to lower blood pressure by keeping the lining of blood vessels soft and malleable through stimulating the release of nitric oxide. In addition to these potential benefits leeks are good sources of many nutrients essential to the maintenance of good health such as vitamins A and C, folic acid, and both soluble and insoluble fibre.
Cooking with Leeks
In cooking leeks can be used anywhere you would use onions; as a base for sauces, soups, or stews, raw in salads, or even lightly steamed and stuffed, a popular preparation in Turkish cuisine. Because of the way they grow leeks can be quite sandy and need to be washed thoroughly, but this is easily done and a small price to pay for such a delicious vegetable. Typically the edible parts of leeks include the lower, white portion along with the light green mid portion. The upper, darker green leaves tend to be tough and disregarded by many, but they can add a tremendous amount of flavour to stocks and soups, despite their seemingly unappetizing nature. Though few would care to choke down the tough upper leaves of a leek they can be kept whole and added to a dish while simmering to extract flavour and then easily be fished or strained out of the finished product before serving.
An easy, yet intensely satisfying preparation of leeks is the classical French soup, Potage Parmentier, named after the French explorer who brought, among other things, potatoes back to Europe from the New World. Commonly referred to by the unexciting but descriptive title, leek and potato soup, this dish requires very little effort to prepare but offers a tasty and wholesome payoff. Making leek and potato soup can be as simple as sauteing roughly chopped leeks in butter, adding potatoes and chicken or vegetable stock, simmering until the potatoes are tender, pureeing with a little cream and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve chilled and flavoured with lemon and dill and you have Vichyssoise, a light but satisfying summer favourite. Caramelised leek and brie tarts are easily made but will add an air of sophistication and prestige to a cocktail party that will impress friends and family.
Leeks are grown throughout the world and recipes, as diverse and as numerous as the people who use them, abound. Ask a friend, visit your library, or go online and you’re sure to discover new and interesting reasons to add leeks to your weekly grocery list. They are delicious, healthful, and inexpensive, a great choice at all times and this week’s feature vegetable. Leeks, more than simply an effective tactical ploy to repel an invading force of hostile Saxons, they’re what’s for dinner.
If you happened to travel back in time several thousand years ago and visited the forests on the slopes the Tian Shan mountains which form the modern border between China and Kavzakhastan you will find the wild ancestor of the domisticated apple: Malus sieversii. This is the long lost and only recently re-discovered great-great-grandfather tree for all varieties of apple we enjoy today.
But wild apples were not as plentuous nor as easy to grow as we have today. No one knows for certain which peoples first cultivated the apple and developed it over hundreds of successive generations, but it is certain that the popularity of apples swept quickly across Asia and Europe. By the 13th century BCE, Ramses II ordered cultivated varieties of apples planted in the Nile delta. By 25 CE at least 37 different types (varieties) of apples were known to Pliny the Elder, a Roman writer. In 1640 the count was 60. After that the types of apples being grown exploded: 643 by 1866 and several thousand today.
Why did growers develop so many different types of apples? Because they could. Each variety of apple has been developed for specific reasons, whether of taste (sweet versus tart, fleshy versus juicy) or commercial considerations (different climates, disease resistance, productivity).
The first apple orchard in North America was planted by the Reverend William Blaxton in 1625 in Boston. A form of a crab apple was native to the colonies already, but the domesticated (sweet) apple quickly spread through trade with Native Americans and American farmers eager to grow this hearty, nutrious fruit.
One of the most useful properties of the apple is that it can easily be stored through the winter in near-freezing temperatures or in liquid form (hard apple cider).
In the Colonial era hard cider was a much more popular drink than beer due to the common availability of the only important ingredient: apples. All a farmer had to do to make hard cider was press the juice of the apples and storing them in a barrel. The naturally occurring yeast in the apples would ferment the sweet liquid and leave behind a less sweet, mildly alcoholic beverage that could easily be stored for months. Other strategies for preserving apples included canning, preserving, dehydrating, and barreling.
Applejack was more concentrated form of hard cider created by leaving the fermented liquid outside in below freezing temperatures. Pure water freezes and forms a cap of ice on top. It can then be scooped up and discarded, leaving the concentrated apple goodness behind. This is called “fractional distilling.”
Apples were commonly packed into barrels, and one “bad apple” could literally spoil the whole bunch when the lid was opened several weeks or months later.
John Chapman, nicknamed “Johnny Appleseed” was born in 1774 in Massachussets and became a legend in his own lifetime due to his leadership in conservation, unique lifestyle, and the development of apple nurseries and orchards. He did not, in fact, plant seeds randomly or haphazardly, but in nursieres where they could develop until they were sold to settlers. The apples he grew were primarily of varieties used for producing apple cider and apple jack, not for eating raw.
John Chapman was also famous for his missionary zeal and Christian simplicity. He walked everwhere barefoot and took opportunities to preach the Gospel to adults and children alike. “We can hear him read now, just as he did that summer day, when we were busy quilting upstairs, and he lay near the door, his voice rising denunciatory and thrillin—strong and loud as the roar of wind and waves, then soft and soothing as the balmy airs that quivered the morning-glory leaves about his gray beard. His was a strange eloquence at times, and he was undoubtedly a man of genius,” reported a woman who knew him.
His fame extended deep into the territories of the Native Americans, who admired him and left him alone even in periods of frontier hostility.
John Chapman had a deep reverence for all life. In one well known story he extinguished a campfire rather than allow mosquitoes to fly into it. He frequently purchased horses that were to be put down and nursed them back to health. He eventually became a vegetarian.
Picking and Storing a Good Apple
The first key to selecting an apple is understanding your varieties. Red and Golden delicious are among the sweetest (good for eating raw). Braeburn and Fuji apples are slightly tart, and Gravenstein, Pippin, and Granny Smith apples are the most tart, but retain their texture best during cooking.
Good weather has meant an excellent 2014 apple crop for Ontario farmers. “Taste and colour are great and there is going to be lots of apples available this year,” said Ontario Apple Growers spokeswoman Kelly Ciceran. We are currently entering into peak apple harvesting season in Ontario.
Apples should be firm and rich in colour (whether red, yellow, or green). Avoid fruit with bruises or soft spots. Keep your apples in the refrigerator for 3-4 months. If possible, make your storage area for apples moist with a frequently-changed moist towel. Apples will gradualy lose some of their nutrional value over time, but only very slowly. Keep in mind that damaged (bruised) apples will release natural gasses that will cause other apples to go bad, so if you drop an apple its best to eat it immediately rather than put it back into the crisper where it could damage the rest of your fruit.
Tips for Eating
Apple skins are packed with nutrients, but should be washed thoroughly before cooking or eating. Prevent sliced pieces from going brown by dipping them in a solution of water and lemon juice. Sliced apples can be frozen and used in recipes later.
Apples can, of course, be enjoyed raw: consider adding them to salads or paired with cheese or other fruits. However, there are thousands of recipes of both the sweet and savory variety to take advantage of the apple’s versatility. When baked the sugar in the apple can caramelize (turn brown) which adds a whole new dimension to the apple’s appeal.
Whether your favourite apple is the tart Granny Smith or the sweet Jonathan, we are sure you can find something to your liking from this venerable autumn mainstay.
(from Robert Farrar Capon’s book, The Supper of the Lamb).
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who gave a dinner party. To it he invited, among others, a handsome widow and an eligible bachelor. His purpose was to combine a little matchmaking with his wining and dining; but his friends, on hearing the candidates in action, questioned his wisdom.
The widow spent the evening complaining that her family was tired of eating nothing but beef, lamb, pork, veal and poultry. She claimed that menu-planning was about to drive her out of her mind unless someone came along quickly and invented a new animal.
The bachelor, however, was a gentleman of a progressive turn of mind and took off after this remark in a burst of quasi-scientific argument. He pointed out that nature, far from being insufficiently bountiful, was entirely too lavish to suit anyone with a taste for technology and efficiency. He stated flatly that if he had had anything to do with the creation of the natural order, he would have insisted on something a good deal less splashy than this uneconomical riot of flora and fauna that now passes for a world. He would have contented himself with the invention of a single species of animal, perhaps, and of one kind of vegetation—just to keep the carbon dioxide cycle going. Beyond that, however, only the most burdensome necessities could have led him to create more.
To the guests at the table, it seemed as if their host had taken leave of his senses: Two more unsuitable candidates for matrimony would be hard to find. Everyone was surprised, therefore, when, immediately after dessert, the pair rose, excused themselves and left the party together—apparently deeply engrossed in each other. The host simply smiled. On being questioned, he explained the attraction in the following way.
What they had in common was a total lack of what he called the sensus lusus, or playful spirit—the sense by which the ordinary person is glad that veal is not beef, and that the world does not require us to choose between chicken and duck; the sense, in short, by which we relish the elegant superfluity, the unnecessary variety of the world. The host had anticipated (correctly) that under their apparent differences of opinion, they would be the first to sense the deep and abiding mirthlessness which united them. He had no doubt but that they would shortly marry and live efficiently ever after.
He pointed out, however, that public as well as private benefits would stem from his matchmaking. The union between them would, he felt, prove so satisfying that all normal human converse would seem light and frivolous. He looked forward confidently to the day when they would voluntarily withdraw themselves from circulation, and decline dinner invitations altogether. He expected that they would soon become nutrition faddists of the first water, who would stay at home and live on instant breakfasts and pills. At that point, he hoped, his friends would be duly grateful. The Creator, of course, had seen to it that they were born too late to get their sticky fingers into the pie of creation, but he was responsible for keeping them away from other people’s dinner tables.
As it turned out, his friends had more cause for gratitude than anyone then suspected. They did indeed marry, and they devoted themselves to the development of a nutrition pill, which, if taken once a day, obviated the necessity of any attention to food at all. Their pill is of course a menace, but only to the equally mirthless and mad; for the sane, the mercy is complete: The wretched couple don’t give dinner parties either. Anyone with an ounce of playfulness is sure to be spared the anguish of their company.
|Somewhere between onions and garlic in the delicious leek, a healthy and cheap addition to your pantry. Use them in any recipe that calls for onion for a change of pace or try one of our great recipes.
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