Not the best photo, but this was delicious homemade split pea soup. Homemade chicken stock, homemade ham from the pig slaughter this fall, and homemade crackers with local flour from Castor River Farm. The ham we made was from the back leg, brined for about ten days in a mixture of salt, brown sugar, beer, bay leaves, juniper berries and black pepper. We then hung it in our garage for a few weeks before soaking it, boiling it and baking it. We ate the ham for weeks before using the last of the meat and the bone to make this soup. Best pea soup we’ve ever had! Take that Habitant!

Last weekend we roasted a herb brined chicken on an open fire. We needed a stand to set up the spit, so my boyfriend made one out of a left-behind satellite dish. This was the most delicious chicken we had ever cooked! Brining the chicken for about 12 hours in a 3-4% salt brine, infused with herbs, garlic scapes and citrus kept the chicken extremely tender and flavourful. Cooking it rotisserie-style also help baste it constantly as the melting fat dripped back onto itself as it spun around. To top it all off, the fire gave it a hint of smoky flavour!

I’ve found that a lot of people are afraid to touch food, and this always takes me aback, because our hands are our most important tool. Touching food is good. It brings you closer to the food itself and gives you results impossible to achieve when you’re using long metal utensils. The closer you are to the food, the more control you have. Learn to handle food in your hands- don’t be afraid you’re going to get burned laying a fillet into hot oil. When you have better control of the food, you can work closer to the heat.

Thomas Keller- Ad Hoc at Home: Family-Style Recipes

Changing People’s Minds

A question I was asked yesterday driving home from the farmer’s market: What do you think are the best ways to educate and encourage and change people’s minds about their food choices? A tough question to answer, but one I think about all the time. There are a few factors to …