Grew up in Quebec, live in Saskatchewan, heading - some day! - to BC. Love to cook, love to read about food although I'm trying to not have quite so many food blogs. I do have an actual job that needs doing!

  • Location: Saskatchewan
  • Favorite foods: Turkey Pie. Fudge, if I've made it (sorry, but I make great fudge), scallops, done just about any way you care to make them.
  • Last bite on earth: Peameal Bacon...because it would kill me, but it's the only preserved thing I haven't been able to find without the nitrates/nitrites. If I'm gonna die anyway....

Romance and Tiramisu

Thank you all - I think I will go with the home made ladyfingers, with store ones from the deli on hand, just in case!

Do you have food allergies?

Sodium nitrites/nitrates. Lethal. I always smile when I hear someone say "I would die for some bacon right now". No, no you wouldn't! Luckily I've found bacon and ham that I can eat. Unluckly, the new stuff (Naturals, etc) that uses celery juice concentrate is still not safe for me. It is a natural nitrite and at the concentration used still just as deadly.

It does mean I know what I'll do if I have access to any food and not many minutes to live. Peameal bacon and eggs.

Our Secret List of Banned Words

I'll likely get yelled at, but what is EVOO? What does it mean, or stand for or whatever?

to season or not to season beer biscuits

Salt was a given, and in the end I didn't add anything extra. I would next time, or cut the beer factor. They were super light, which was nice, but VERY strongly beer-like in flavour.

Your last meal

Pea meal bacon, but only RIGHT before. Can't it eat now, because it'll kill me. But if I'm dying anyway...yum. Along with a host of other things, but the bacon front and centre. Some day, one of the places that makes regular bacon without nitrites/nitrates will make pea meal bacon that I can have. Some day.

Good recipes for someone with no sense of taste (literally)

A relative, sadly has this permanently after a head injury from a car accident. The only dessert things she ever eats are things with lemon and/or dark chocolate. Other than that she also feels like she eating sand.

I wish to be the boss of the office microwave.

Glad that some of you realized that I didn't mean I would ever actually ban people from eating whatever they want; just a frustrating day of yet more almost rotten hot fish smells making me crazy!

I wish to be the boss of the office microwave.

The unbearableness of it isn't that the microwave's that the whole lunchroom does. And the hall. And the office next to the lunchroom. Everything else you can only tell if you're right next to the microwave - but the frozen fish guy, his lunch permeates the office.

Kitchen Heirlooms

My great-grandmother's bean pot. It may be even older, but for sure great grandmother's. I broke one of the handles (I felt terrible, all those years and I am the first to damage it), but I still use it. I haven't glued the handle back on - I don't trust any glue enough to risk the whole thing crashing to the ground because a glued handle came off.

What mini-cakes/cookies/tarts would you make?

I'm going to make little pyramid shaped truffles. Because just thinking of chocolate pyramids makes me happy. Good suggestion Annie!

What is everyone making for valentines day?

The husband of one of my good customers asked her if they could have tourtiere fir Valentine's, the same as they had for Christmas eve. She asked...and an order is an order. So - likely for the first time in my life! - I am making tourtiere on a date other than December 24th!

What mini-cakes/cookies/tarts would you make?

I hated an early model silicone bread pan I had; the sides were so soft that the dough pushed them out and I ended up with short fat loaves. I put it in a yard sale. Then I bought one years after and it was much much better. So maybe with time they've fixed weaknesses? Although I would still always any silicone anything on a cookie sheet just to make getting them in and out of the oven easier.

Too much bottled lemon juice

and seriously...a gallon of dressing?

Too much bottled lemon juice

See? Knew there would be help here! Am going to go with margancain and make me some lemon ginger syrup. Merci everyone.

Too much bottled lemon juice

I was thinking pitch too. I just had this dream where some alchemist on SE had a way to turn it into culinary gold.

Gluten phobia--are that many people celiac afflicted?

Wheat, which has been genetically altered to make it many things (more productive, more tolerant to poor weather etc) has different gluten than it's predecessor. So yes, there are more people allergic to gluten than there used to be. Also..the plants themselves are shorter, so the next time a senior citizen says that in their day wheat fields were taller (the wheat, not the field!) they're not imagining things!

DIY vs. Buy: Should I Make My Own Creme de Menthe?

I made my own two summers ago, there being a limit to how much mint jelly one can actually use. It's great, except...I wasn't wearing my glasses when I added food colouring. And I grabbed my daughter's neon box of food colouring instead of the regular box. It makes a great grasshopper, but it looks like some crazy lab experiment in a glass!

What do you call this cookie?

Cinnamon Sandies.

Meyer Lemons - Worth The Cost?

I wonder if we'll get them here. Never have, and I've always read that they don't ship well and you can only buy them where they grow. But if they can make to the east coast, they can get here. Will check Costco!

What to put in a first-in-ages pastrami sandwich?

Leo_G - good to mention, for those not familiar. I was so happy when I saw a commercial for sliced meats with no nitrite, but I contacted the company. They use concentrated celery juice (nitrates in celery, lettuce etc are normal), but they use it to such an extreme that there is more nitrate in the meat than if they'd just used the chemical. If you want to avoid lab chemicals this is fine, if nitrite kills you...not so fine.

I have found three different places: Hertel's, from Port Alberni for Bacon, McLeans from Vancouver for hotdogs and turkey Kielbasa, and Woodstown for all sorts of things. I've had hot dogs, Chorizo, pepperoni and now pastrami. There is also some applewood smoked bacon from a place in Vancouver that someone brought home for me, but I'd have to look at the label again to get the name.

Recipes using Corn Flour (NOT corn starch)

oooh, cornflour cakes! And a new bread recipe, thanks Ketherian. Thanks also to mentioning the rancid issue Les ah. I'm make sure to be careful with it and keep it in the freezer fridge if it is still good. If not...40 pounds of cornflour to the compost bin!

Recipes using Corn Flour (NOT corn starch)

Canada. Knew about the UK issue, made the title clear about what I was looking for. Good to mention though. I had to look it up a while ago because I was very confused reading a recipe from a British cookbook!

Food you were denied as a kid and crave now

I had the opposite experience like so many of you seemed to. What I rarely had as a child I can't stand. We only had pop if we were all out at a restaurant, and that was not a common occurrence. Consequently I never really acquired a taste for it. Now, when I have the occasional coke or root beer, it burns so horribly on the way down I worry about the people that drink it in great quantities every day!

Gloom, despair... How's your garden?

South Central Saskatchewan - very late planting due to flooding, and lots of rain made for more flooding. Lots of potatoes; apparently they really do like it cool and wet. My tomatoes are just now flowering. I don't know if I'll get any fruit, given our short season. I don't think they'll have time to do anything. Onions are great, carrots moderate, not a single parsnip germinated. Stupid parsnip, never liked you anyway! My daughter planted peppers, but nowhere near enough sun. Not even one flower yet, and now not likely to have any before it gets too cold. Peas were ok...until one of the hail storms flattened the whole set up!

How many cookbooks do YOU have? (Have, not how many do you need!

Wow. I don't feel as bad as I did before I posted this! And now I have to go find out what :Eat Your Books" is.

Romance and Tiramisu

I keep seeing people say Tiramisu is passe, or something equally silly. I think silly, at any rate. I don't, as it happens, have a recipe. I've searched and found many - my favourite being the one that said that if you'd made coffee to dip the biscuits in to drink it, and make espresso - but who does one trust? And what if one's love life hinged - maybe - on making it brilliantly?

I trust you guys, of course. Well, most of you! If you have a recipe for real Tiramisu (none of this coffee and ricotta stuff) post. Please!

to season or not to season beer biscuits

I am making biscuits using beer as the liquid. I'm thinking leave it at that, so the beer flavour is obvious. Perhaps, though, I should look at adding some seasoning to the batter as well. The dish they are going with is chicken and onions in cider, if that helps with suggestions!

I wish to be the boss of the office microwave.

No, I don't want to be the only one who uses it. Nor to I wish to make (if nuking even counts as making) everyone's lunch.

No, what I want is the power to say what can and cannot be nuked. F'rinstance: I happen to love curries. So nuke away, the only drawback is my lunch may not seem as yummy anymore, now that I'm thinking of curry.

Not so good? The damn fish that one co-worker has every day. Nearly every day. Frozen fish filets, and it never smells fresh. I have been told that flash frozen on a processing ship makes for really fresh fish. Not what he gets. Or maybe microwaving makes it seem - or at least smell - like way past best before date fish.

What mini-cakes/cookies/tarts would you make?

I occasionally - despite just moving into an apartment and SWEARING not to buy more kitchen gear - buy some gadget or other to add to my collection.

I just got (hooray for parcels arriving at the office!) two things: a mini-financier pan, because...well, I want to make actual financiers. And since I was buying the one, and the shipping cost seemed high for one thing I also got a mini-pyramid mould pan too. Silicone, both of them.

What would you make in the pyramid one, to test them out?

Too much bottled lemon juice

I got a gift (?) at Christmas of a litre bottle of lemon juice. I MUCH prefer to use actual lemons for lemon juice, but have resorted to the little lemon shaped bottle on occasion. But a litre? What on earth do I do with that? Bleach my hair? Clean something?

How many minutes per pound in a rotisserie?

I have a Cuisinart rotisserie oven. They booklet has recipes, but no simple chart of x minutes per pound for beef, chicken, etc. I hate guessing, as I've overcooked one porc roast and undercooked a second. The latter went back on, but that lost a lot of the juiciness of the roast. I did email the company, but never heard back. Anyone out there perfected general times?

What to put in a first-in-ages pastrami sandwich?

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I have an allergy to sodium nitrite/nitrate. Makes for interesting conversations to overhear, as my kids talk about death bacon and non-death bacon. But on to the question:

For the first time since the allergy was diagnosed* I have found non-lethal pastrami. I'm very excited, particularly as two of my best selling breads are rye. It used to make me a little sad when it was baking, thinking about how yummy deli sandwiches are. Unless they kill you. Which would not make them any less yummy, I guess, just lest desirable!

The problem is....I can't remember what my favourite Montreal deli put on its pastrami on rye (yes, you can want a change from Montreal smoked beef, particularly if you live where its always available). I haven't had their sandwich since I left Quebec in 1979, and no pastrami in any form since 1987.

What would you put on/in your first pastrami sandwich in decades?

*at the same time diagnosed same problem with...pickled herring. Not such a big deal, yes? I don't like it anyway, and I don't think I've ever asked "so, any pickled herring in that chili?".

Recipes using Corn Flour (NOT corn starch)

I have a friend with Celiac's. A friend of her decided (despite my friend being famous for not baking at all, ever) that a helpful gift would be a 40 pound bag of corn flour. Yup, forty pounds. Not four, forty.

I've been searching for recipes - I don't think she'd want me to however many tortillas 40 pounds would make - to make things for her. I'm having a real struggle, even with the vast interwebs as so many of the recipes I've found are talking about corn starch, which is not what I'm looking for.

But you guys...betcha there are tons of recipes that y'all know about. Am I right? Are there?

Sites for hard-to-find ingredients online shopping

I live in a city (Regina, SK, Canada) but it is a city with a number of limitations when it comes to buying unusual ingredients. Anything Asian or Indian I'm covered. Even Middle Eastern is not too bad - although I still can't get pomegranate molasses at either of the two stores we have!

Do you have a favourite site you go to to buy things online? Would prefer a Canadian site, but American works if they'll ship here. I used to get things from Rancho Gordo, but the last order they couldn't ship so they're out for now.

I'm looking for posole and lucuma at the moment, although there always seems to be something I'm missing. There must be lots of people that don't live in or near places with endless choices. Where do you go to shop online?

If Jiffy an American thing only?

I keep seeing recipes (like that raspberry muffin mix, and corn bread something) that use products from Jiffy. Only in the states? Or in Canada, but not where I live (Saskatchewan)?

I'm used to having to buy certain things in other provinces, like nitrite free ham and bacon, and Ghirardelli chocolate chips. Maybe I can find Jiffy in BC or somewhere else too? And in the end, does it matter? It's a mix, after all.

How many cookbooks do YOU have? (Have, not how many do you need!

Many months ago, knowing that a house move was coming up (moving from house to apartment) I reviewed my cookbook shelves. Two shelves only, so I figured I had an average amount of cookbooks.

I decided to arrange a cookbook exchange. Everyone in all the offices brought me cookbooks they didn't want. At the next staff meeting, during the break everyone went through them, took what they wanted and at the end of the day I took the sad forgotten books to Value Village. Turns out lots of people had books to get rid of! I - unlike most - managed to get rid of my extras and NOT pick up anything new.

In July, we had a garage sale; moving date was August first-ish. As I cleared out the kitchen deciding what to keep and what to sell (and THAT'S a heartbreak and a half let me tell you!) I ended up with two fruit boxes full of cookbooks for the garage sale.

You'd think, then, that I'd have a few trusty cookbooks left to move to the new place. Particularly since looking over at my shelf here in the office I can see the cooking magazines that seemed worth keeping and half a dozen or so books. Nevertheless....

I ended up with three bankers boxes of cookbooks to move! But...but there were only two shelves to start with. Oh yeah...some in the bedroom...and a few in the living room...and in unexpected places in the kitchen. But still. I really didn't think I had that many.

Other crazy cookbook stories out there? People with enough books to build a small fort?

What is your favourite Indian cookbook?

Just spent a fortune...again...taking myself, my son and a friend of his to supper at a local Indian (Northern) restaurant. I really need to learn to cook at home, and not just slinging stuff from a bottle onto cubed meat, either! What books do you have, or have used that your would recommend a beginner (at this cuisine, not at cooking in general) start with?

Dutch Oven Question Update

Thanks to everyone who helped convinced me that I not only wanted a D.O., but needed one. I had also asked friends the same question, and as it of them had a couple of her own, one inherited from her mother and gained another when she got married as he had one. And when they got married? Someone gave them a Kitchen Aid D.O. as a gift. And it was, as it happened, still sitting unwrapped in its dusty box. So I got to barter baking for cooking implement. Yeah me!

Are you happy to own a Dutch Oven?

I don't own a Dutch oven. I'm thinking of getting one, but then again...I've made do with a large lidded sauce pan and a good cast iron skillet. Do I really need a Dutch oven too?

So what about you? Do you have one and love it? Have one and never use is? Don't have one and don't feel the need? Looking for thoughts before I shell out the money.

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