Getting Back to Basics in Cumberland

I recently had the pleasure of attending some food skills programming at Maggie’s Place Family Resource Centre in Amherst. Starting in early October, Maggie’s Place has been running a series of weekly food skills workshops focusing on cooking fundamentals. Everything … Continue reading

K is for Kombucha

I recently attended a ‘Fermentation Basics’ workshop with about 8 others in Amherst and had such a blast, that I am compelled to write about it. The workshop was sponsored by the Ecology Action Centre and the Cumberland Food Action … Continue reading

Summer Harvest Cooking Class

The only thing more fun than Preserving the Harvest is Cooking the Harvest, and so we’re offering a one-off summer harvest cooking class on Tuesday, August 30!

The chefs over at Local Source have put together a fantastic harvest menu and we’re proud to have them as instructors for this class. Chef Jason Brault and Assistant Chef Gillian Earl will be teaching us how to make Fresh Tomato and Cucumber salad, Roasted Chicken with Fresh Thyme and Lemon, and Ratatouille. For dessert we’ll make a Classic Crème Brulee with Berries and Carmelized sugar.

In addition to learning how to make the dishes for our meal, our professional chefs will be giving a lot of tips and advice on cooking techniques and kitchen organization that will be helpful to anybody, regardless of your current level of cooking confidence.  This class is sure to be popular, so get your registration info to us soon!

Location: Local Source Market, 5783 Charles Street, Halifax

When: Tuesday, August 30, 6:00-8:30 pm

Cost: $25

To register, please complete the information below and contact Alison at alison@ecologyaction.ca.

Registration Form

Name:

Daytime phone:

Email:

Address:

Do you have any food allergies?

Are you interested in car pooling?

If yes, from which area of town are you traveling? __ Driver __ Passenger __ Either

Please Note: The #7, 42, 80 and 81 buses have stops along Robie Street and the #2, 4 and 52 buses have stops along North Street. We will also attempt to match participants interested in car pooling if possible.

Method of payment and Cancellation Policy: Participants must pay upon registering for the class. We can accept cash, cheque or credit card. We require a credit card number or payment to secure your spot. Please note that we can only refund your registration fee if you cancel a minimum of two business days prior to the class. If you are unable to attend, you are welcome to invite a friend to come in your place. (Please be conscious of allergies and dietary needs).

Seasonal Cooking Class Series: Promises of Spring

Three evenings of terrific instruction, delicious food and spring planning.

Dates:  Monday, March 14th, 21st and 28th, 6:00-8:30 pm
Location: Local Source Market, 5783 Charles Street, Halifax
Cost: $15-25 per night (sliding scale)

*Participants are asked to commit to all three classes so that we can build on lessons learned in previous classes as well as cover a variety of foods, techniques and topics.

*We are striving to make the course accessible to a range of income levels.  By paying $15 per class, we are able to cover our ingredient costs as well as our kitchen rental fees.  If you are willing and able to pay more, please know that the money will help support the Food Action Committee of the EAC.

To tantalize and tease your taste buds, here is a sneak peak at some of what is on the menu: carrot and ginger soup, homemade pasta, chickpeas, lentil soup, pesto, tomato sauce, Italian sausage, homemade maple ice cream and dessert featuring apples and winter pears. All classes will be vegetarian-friendly.

To tease, tantalize and challenge your mind, we’ll have a special guest join us for supper each night. In time for spring planning, planting, and daydreaming, we’ll talk about food – growing it, buying it and eating it!

To register, contact Keltie at 442-1077 or via email at keltie@ecologyaction.ca.

Lessons Learned: Tips from the Fall Seasonal Cooking Class Series

Well I must admit that it has taken quite some time to put this list together. Oh the other hand, I have been putting these tips to good use in my own kitchen!

TOP FIVE TIPS

#1. The RIGHT way to boil an egg (who knew there was a right way?!): Using an appropriate size pot (according to the number of eggs you are boiling), add eggs and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil. When the water reaches a boil, turn off the burner and put a lid on the pot. Leave the pot covered for 3 minutes if you like a soft egg, 5 minutes if you like a medium egg, and 7 minutes if you like a hard boiled egg. Ta da! The perfect boiled egg!

#2. The standard food prep order: Begin by preparing dessert. Dessert often needs to bake, set or cool before serving. Next, tackle the entrée. Finally, prep your appetizer. Most appetizers are designed to be made and served immediately.

#3. To boil or not to boil: When boiling vegetable on the stovetop, remember that all root vegetables can be added to your pot from the start – meaning you don’t have to wait for your water to boil before adding the vegetables. On the other hand, green veggies should be added to a pot of boiling water.

#4. The many challenges of a pie crust: While pastry tends to cause trouble for even seasoned foodies, this tip is foolproof. Once you have made your dough and rolled it out, it’s time to place it gently into the pie plate – NOT as easy as it sounds. Well, place two pieces of wax paper on your counter surface and roll out your pastry between them. Remove the top piece of wax paper and lift your pastry by placing one hand under the bottom piece of wax paper. Gently flip the pastry over and lay it into the pie plate. Finally, remove the second piece of wax paper which is now on top of the pastry. This tip has completely changed my opinion on pie!

#5. A few tricks for peeling beets: (First, accept and embrace that your hands will soon be purple!) Boil your beets with the skins on – no need to scrub but do trim the top and bottom of the beet slightly. [As noted above (tip #3), bring your water to a boil with the beets already in the pot.] Once your beets are cooked (approx. 40 minutes), drain off the water. Now submerge your beets in cold water. Rub your fingers over the skin of the beets and the peel will simply fall off. Easy!

Okay, I know I said five but I have one more useful tip to share!

#6. Cutting techniques: This tip is not easy to share in text format but it is a good one so I’ll try my best to explain. When slicing your vegetables – especially when slicing things into small pieces—use your knuckles to guide your knife and protect your fingers. Take a look:

There are a number of local food workshops coming up. Check out the Ecology Action Centre website (www.ecologyaction.ca) for information on upcoming classes, including a Valentine’s Day class and a pizza and bread making workshop.

Yours in food, Keltie

Lovers Love Local: An Evening of Local Aphrodisiacs

In love with local?
Why not spend Valentine’s Day in the kitchen?

Lovers Love Local: An evening of local aphrodisiacs

What: A cooking class inspired by our love for local food and taught by Elisabeth Bailey, a food writer from the South shore.

When: 6-8:30pm Monday February 14th

Where: Local Source Market (5783 Charles Street, Halifax)

Cost: $20 per person

Menu:  arugula salad with rosehip vinaigrette; grass-fed beef in a red wine sauce with saffron mashed potatoes & carrots with honey and parsley; chocolate love with raspberry vanilla coulis.

To Register: contact Keltie at 442-1077 or
keltie@ecologyaction.ca.
Registration Form
Please email to Keltie at keltie@ecologyaction.ca

Name:
Daytime phone:
Email:
Address:

Do you have any food allergies?

Are you interested in car pooling?  If yes, from which area of town are you traveling?
__ Driver   __ Passenger  __ Either
Please Note: The #7, 42, 80 and 81 buses have stops along Robie Street.  While #2, 4 and 52 buses have stops along North Street.  We will also attempt to match participants interested in car pooling if possible.

Method of payment: We can accept cash, cheque or credit card.  We require a credit card number or payment to secure your spot.