La cuisine en camping – Cooking and camping

Steaks and potatoes over the campfire and a pan of asparagus

Cuisiner avec le feu de camp. Campfire cooking

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Il y a quelques semaines, je suis allé camper au parc provincial Pinery, à Grand Bend. Pendant mon court séjour à proximité des berges du lac Huron, je me suis lancé un défi: celui de cuisiner, uniquement à l’aide du feu de camp.

Ce défi et quelques conseils de la part d’Alexandra Leduc, diététiste et auteure du livre Cuisine camping publié aux édition Modus Vivendi ont inspiré une chronique. Vous pouvez l’écouter sur les site de l’émission Matins sans frontières de Radio-Canada Windsor.

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Nonna’s Fried Zucchini Flowers

Closeup photo of zucchini flowers

Zucchini flowers: a sure sign of summer.

It’s that time of year again! That moment, where bright orangey-yellow flowers on zucchini plants are in full bloom. It was also about at this time of year that these same flowers prompted a summer inspired blog post.

Seeing them at Vicki’s Veggies’ kiosk at the Stop Farmer’s Market at Wychwood Barns struck a chord. It brought me back my Nonna’s back yard where countless amounts of zucchini flowers, tomato plants, herbs and vegetables could be found. During the summer months she’d always serve some fried zucchini flowers as a nice savoury snack.

Needless to say, I had to emulate this childhood memory by preparing a batch. I had previously asked her for the recipe, but since it has been about two years since the last time I had prepared them, I was a little rusty. The best way to know how it’s done is to go directly to the source. So I called up Nonna. continue reading

Tasting the Past – Myrtle A.’s Date Bread

Myrtle A.'s Date Bread.

Myrtle A.’s Date Bread.

Fresh out of the wooden box… another dessert. I went for this recipe this week based on simplicity. Also, I had all of the ingredients in the pantry and in the fridge. In other words, it’s a simple recipe to prepare on a weekday.

Two things in this recipe took me by surprise. First, all the prep for the bread is done in a single bowl. Dry and wet ingredients are often mixed separately before being combined. In this case, after hydrating the chopped dates, everything was thrown into the bowl. Second, the bread is cooked in two phases. The date bread is initially set to bake at 325°F for 40 minutes. The heat is then turned down to 275°F for an hour and 20 minutes. continue reading

Rediscovering Banana Bread

Ila's Canadian Banana Bread.

Ila’s Canadian Banana Bread.

Banana bread had always made an appearance in the kitchen over the years. However, I can’t say I ever was a diehard fan of it though. Recipes tried over the years always yielded decent results without necessarily being memorable.

That recently changed when I was flipping through the pages of Heirloom Cooking with the Brass Sisters. I stumbled by chance upon Ila’s Canadian Banana Bread. The authors state that this recipe apparently dates back from the 1920s and had a note stating “ a Canadian receipt”. Let me tell you that Ila D. Berry found the secret to the perfect banana bread. It is simply delicious… So good that my friends Hélène and Isabelle wanted the recipe (hence this blog post sharing this tasty recipe).

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Tasting the Past : Product 19 Crispy Peanut Butter Cookies.

Ready to served Product 19Crispy  Peanut Butter Cookies.

Ready to served Product 19Crispy Peanut Butter Cookies.

This first recipe was one of the first I stumbled upon while scoping out the selection in the wooden box. The Product 19 Crispy Peanut Butter Cookies immediately intrigued me. I researched this mysterious “Product 19” online to find out it was Kellogg’s cereal that was had been launched back in 1967. A potential clue that can indicate the age of the Recipe Box.

This corn, oat and rice cereal has developed a cult following. Seems also that it’s difficult to come by. Some have even taken to social media to demand wider distribution of this Kellogg’s cereal. A Facebook page has been created where people share info on how to get their Product 19 fix.

Since I’ve never seen this product on the shelves of any Canadian grocery store, a substitute was needed for the recipe. Based on the ingredients, more specifically the grains, I opted to use Vector.

À la cuisine!

Product 19 Crispy Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of Kellogg’s Product 19 (in this case replaced by Vector)
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. of baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup of butter or margarine softened
  • 1 cup of peanut butter
  • ¾ cup of granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup of brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla

Method

  • Preheat oven at 350°F.
  • In large bowl, crush cereal; add flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside
  • In another bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs to the butter. Beat until smooth.
  • Stir in dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  • Drop a teaspoon onto baking sheets. Using the back of fork press cookie dough flat making a cross.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
First recipe out of the box: Product 19 Crispy Peanut Butter Cookies.

First recipe out of the box: Product 19 Crispy Peanut Butter Cookies.

Tasting the Past: a weekly rendezvous

Tasting the Past: uncovering old-school recipes. Photo: Eric Rados.

Tasting the Past: uncovering old-school recipes. Photo: Eric Rados.

Over Christmas, I received one of the most thoughtful gifts. Well aware of my desire to blog more consistently, my partner offered me a gift in which I am sure to find a great deal of inspiration. He offered me a wooden box filled with old-school recipes.

This 4×6” wooden box is like a culinary treasure chest. From Ruth’s rhubarb coffee cake to Edna’s Russian chow mein, reading each carefully hand-written recipe or clipping is like taking a trip back in time. I intend on sharing this journey right here with you. Once a week, I’ll be tackling a recipe from this mysterious vintage box. I’ve decided to call this endeavour “Tasting the Past”.

I’m looking forward to taking on this culinary challenge, one recipe card at a time. Let’s see how it goes!

 

This 4x6" wooden box is rich in recipes. Photo: Eric Rados.

This 4×6″ wooden box is rich in recipes. Photo: Eric Rados.

Baked Eggs in Crusty Bread

 

Baked eggs in crusty bread.

Baked eggs in crusty bread.

I recently discovered The Simple Things magazine thanks to my partner. This british lifestyle publication is thoroughly an enjoyable read from cover to cover. Each edition is divided in three parts: dawn, day and dusk and presents various recipes, shops destinations and people. Their philosophy is simple.  “It’s about slowing down, enjoying what you have, making the most of where you live, enjoying the company of friends and family, and making simple food for friendly gatherings.”

I stumbled upon French-Canadian chef, Serge Dansereau’s baked eggs in crusty bread recipe in issue 02. I knew right away that this would come in handy; especially with my family over for the holidays. These baked eggs in crusty bread make for an elegant presentation. Served up with a tasty sweet potato hash and breakfast sausages made for a delicious Christmas morning brunch.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs per roll
  • Crusty bread rolls
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs of your choice

 Method

  • Preheat the oven at 350°F.
  • Cut the tops off the buns and scoop out most of the soft bread. Brush the inside with butter.
  • Set rolls in baking tray and crack in 2 eggs in each roll.
  • Season with salt, pepper and fresh herbs of your choice. For this meal, I used fresh chives. Place a bit of butter of butter over the eggs to prevent them from burning.
  • Bake in oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the egg whites are firm.

Variation
You can also add sautéed, mushrooms, spinach or slices of ham and cheese at the bottom of the roll for additional flavour.

Christmas morning brunch: baked eggs in crusty bread served with sweet potato has and breakfast sausage.

Christmas morning brunch: baked eggs in crusty bread served with sweet potato has and breakfast sausage.