Tag Archives: Abundant Acres

Farm to Plate to Heart

Sunset in Paradise

Few of us are lucky to enough to know exactly where our food comes from. I’m not talking about saying “Oh yah, this carrot was grown in Vancouver somewhere…” I’m talking, pulling it out of the ground, pulling it off a vine, picking it off a tree, washing it and making something spectacular out of it….

Today, I was the luckiest person on earth. I finally got to visit Abundant Acres Farm out here in Nova Scotia. It’s the place I’ve mentioned in this post, the amazing farm that supplies the fantastic produce packs I had the pleasure of receiving this Summer. I’m not going to lie, I’m very sad that the packs have come to an end for the season…where am I going to get my fresh produce from?! NOTHING will ever taste the same…ever. I guess I’ll survive somehow, but to put it simply: it’s going to suck. SUCK!
I am in awe at how welcoming, kind, and warm Jen, Dave, Bruce and Dylan are; I can’t put into words how happy today made me, so hopefully these photos(in slideshow format, oooh!) taken by my lovely twin, Kim (found here) can sort of show how fulfilling and soul-soothing connecting with your food, and the people who grow it, truly is.

Dave, Jen, Bruce and Dylan; thank you SO much for opening your home, your hearts, and my eyes to what is possible when amazing people do amazing things.

Cheers.

*Recipe for Chana Masala (curried chickpeas) will be posted tomorrow*

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Summer Reading, Beautiful Art, and Why I’ll Never buy Produce from the Supermarket Again

There are a lot of things that make me happy

Dogs
Rainbows
Sleeping in past noon (hah!)
Waking up to the rain

Blah blah blah

I also love a great mug, a good book (or two, or three…) and fresh produce.

Is it just me, or does coffee (or tea, for all of you that aren’t bound by the crippling clutches of a caffeine addiction) just taste better in a gorgeous piece of pottery?  I used to work up at MacDonald House out in Lawrencetown; at a great little spot called Fancy Lucky Vintage you can find the wonderful shop here and here.  FLV was up on the top floor of this amazing house, and on the main floor is a wonderful art gallery owned by FLV’s mom, she carries some of the most beautiful pieces of pottery (amongst other things) that I have ever seen; my favourite pieces are by Seastar Pottery, you can find them here.  I hope to add to my collection soon, but for the time being I’ll just enjoy the two I have.

Jellyfish mug from Seastar Pottery

Sea Urchin mug from Seastar Pottery

In addition to my coffee addiction that I can’t seem to shake, I have an addiction to cookbooks, and the evil that is Amazon and Chapters. EVIL!  I feel that I pay off my credit card *yay!* only just to rack it up again with book purchases.

Sigh

My latest book buying spree has left me a giddy mess, I picked up ‘Garde Manger’ by my main man Chuck Hughes http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Garde-Manger-Chuck-Hughes/9781443413268-item.html?ikwid=garde+manger&ikwsec=Home

And the amazing ‘The Foodie Handbook. The (almost) Definitive Guide to Gastronomy’ by Pim Techamuanvivit of www.ChezPim.com
http://www.amazon.ca/Foodie-Handbook-Almost-Definitive-Gastronomy/dp/0811868532/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347041204&sr=8-1

Both of these books are slowly changing my life.  I haven’t had the chance to try any recipes yes (damn you show prep!) but, I have tried Pim’s recipe for Pad Thai, ages ago, and it’s true, it really IS the best Pad Thai I’ve ever had. EVER.
If you ever have a chance, head out and grab these two books, you won’t be sorry; I promise.

Excerpt from ‘The Foodie Handbook.’

I eat a lot.  6 times a day, to be precise.  Every meal that I eat has a vegetable portion…EVERY MEAL. So you can understand why I insist that my produce be fresh, organic when I can afford it, and delicious.  Show prep is hard enough, I don’t need crappy, and unnecessarily overpriced food to make it any harder.  I have checked out the farmer’s market out here in Halifax, and it’s nice, but I wasn’t too thrilled with paying almost 7 dollars for a bunch of carrots (WHAT THE F*C*!).  Which is why I was so happy to have discovered that I can eat fresh produce every week through a local CSA produce pack.
When I say that things changed my life, I usually really mean it.  I like to feel that I have gained something while spending my hard earned money, or my time, really, on whatever it is that I’m doing.  The two abovementioned books really are changing my life, my eating life; I love to create with food, and I love to create with food for the people that I care about.  So, that being said, my recent investment in a CSA produce pack is right up where with one of the smartest, healthiest things I’ve done to date.  It has helped me stay on track with my show prep ‘diet’ (I hate that word) and it has allowed me to try out things I normally wouldn’t have purchased at the grocery store; case and point: fresh fennel.  I love that stuff, I can’t get enough of it!  If you’re in Nova Scotia, I highly encourage you to check out Abundant Acres you can find them here and here.  I pay about the same as I did at my local produce place, but the quality of the food far surpasses what I find at the store.  When I say ‘fresh produce’ I mean, picked that morning; not picked last week and driven to the store only to have it rot in my fridge after a day or so.  I’ll be heading over to Jen and Dave’s farm this weekend, so I’ll post about the amazingness that I’m sure to find there.  If you are not in the Nova Scotia area, find out how to benefit from CSA in your area. Seriously, do it.

We ate most of the blueberries on the ride home!