My hubbie was cooking up a storm in the kitchen this afternoon. We are counting down the days till we leave for our winter holiday and so final preparations are underway. That includes stocking the kitchen for our house and dog sitter.
She takes good care of “the troops”, so we like to take good care of her. The room is full of the smells of fresh baking and buns are rising on the counter.
I will not lie; the house sitter is not the only one to benefit from this effort. I plan to enjoy a spectacular breakfast tomorrow, and I will be returning home from holidays knowing there are goodies in the freezer.
I shall dream of a hot cup of fresh coffee and a gooey sticky bun with a few morsels of blue cheese. Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference.
It’s harvest season in the Okanagan and apples are the feature at the moment. I asked my husband Martin to weigh in this week, as he is a chef and a big fan of apples. He even offers his recipe for apple compote, which he calls “goop”. Please feel free to offer your two cents in comments with a favourite apple recipe or variety!
Apples are a symbol of so many things – certainly autumn, as they fill the fruit stands by the bin and taste of the fresh crisp fall air; also good health, being the quintessential simple nutritious food that could “keep the doctor away”. They have become a symbol of technology too – Steve Jobs apparently liked the apple because of its simplicity and beauty. Maybe there is a lesson in all that symbolism, that life itself can be simply enjoyed.
Apples are one of the first foods ever recorded, being a symbol for not only knowledge but also temptation. Did you know that as far as the 17th century, all fruit and even some vegetables were referred to as a kind of apple? Tomatoes were “love apples”, and cucumbers were “earth apples”. Apples have been at the centre of many tales in history, both true and fictional… Snow White succumbed to an apple from the evil witch, Sir Isaac Newton is said to have come upon the idea of gravitational forces and apples abound in religious and mythological stories from Norway to Greece to Wales. They certainly seem to have an impact on our lives, so I think it behooves us not to make sure we enjoy them.
If you can’t think of anything better, perhaps a bit of apple bobbing is in order for Hallowe’en? At least a candy or a caramel apple seems appropriate this time of year. If you want festivities, check out your local events calendar for fall fairs and farmers’ markets. The Kelowna Farmers and Crafters Market happens outside through the end of October. There are lots of great vendors featuring local products, including my friends from Westbank Harvest who have a delicious apple cider they only produce in the fall. The Family Pumpkin Fest is on at Davison Orchards in Vernon this weekend, and they have very tasty caramel and candy apples 🙂
Well, believe it or not the summer is over and apple time is back. Most orchards are just picking the last fruit off the trees and soon will be closing their doors until next summer.
My daughter is now 20 years old and like most kids that age, hanging out with dad at a fruit stand is not as much fun as it used to be. The good news is that I did that many times with her when she was younger so my hope now is that she passes it on to my grandchildren one day. Food values are not something that comes naturally to our children like many other values, we as the parents need to educate, show by example and even push upon them that eating one apple a day is still a good idea. Eating something that grew on a tree has to be more important to them, more so than eating any old thing – like frozen pizza pockets flushed down with a Red Bull.
Food values come to children just the same way as if you tell your children eat broccoli and don’t eat soap. Early on in their lives, you decide what is good for them and what isn’t and later on you hope that these short lessons stuck with them so that as they grow older they make the right choices. Guess what, eating dinner, sitting down at a table the whole family together is still the best place for those lessons.
If you are having a hard time selling this to your kids, try showing them the IPOD, or IPAD or even a MAC computer… and show them the logo… “yes honey, it’s an apple, and guess what there’re a bit missing in the apple to show you that apples are good for you, honey!”
Make Apple Goop with your kids this Sunday and show them that cooking is simple and good for them.
When I was young and in a hurry to get out the door, I thought there were more important things than eating breakfast before I left. My Dad thought otherwise, and he made sure my brother and I always had breakfast to start the day. Now I am grateful for that; breakfast is a ritual that I enjoy and on days when I can make the most of it I feel like I am spoiled.
Last week my husband and I took a day away and went on the road to just enjoy each other’s company and spend some quality time together. We didn’t have breakfast at home but felt sure we could find something fun on the road. We were right.
We stopped at a place I had seen many times from the highway but never had the chance to stop and check out. We took that right turn and wandered into the Lake Country Coffee House. The service was friendly, the menu looked appetizing, the art on the walls was very cool, and the chai latte warmed the cockles of my heart. The lemon poppyseed loaf and raspberry muffin we ate in the car as we continued on the road were fresh and delectable, full of flavour. My insides were humming.
We had a fun day in Salmon Arm, lounging around and visiting with friends. The next morning we got up early to check out the local farmer’s market so breakfast started with fresh organic cherries and strawberries from one of the stands. We licked our sticky fingers and headed out to our next stop, Gorts Gouda Cheese Farm. Coffee with fresh farm cream is like a whole new experience, I have to tell you. And their aged gouda will be fun to match with a wine – perhaps a Riesling, or maybe a Merlot? I’ll have fun sampling with the piece I bought. We petted a few super-soft calf noses and then we headed off down the road.
Just to make sure we wouldn’t be lacking in energy later in the day, we decided to check out a local spot for something more substantial. The Blue Canoe Bakery & Cafe makes a mean breakfast sandwich, with a fried egg that leaks out the side, fresh tomatoes and toast that is crisp but not burnt. We sat and solved the problems of the world as we munched.
The rest of our day was a roaring success, more great memories and relaxing time together, all fueled by a good breakfast. I know ordinary days often don’t have the time that days away do, but at least a good breakfast puts you in the right frame of mind. I highly recommend it.