Monday, October 27, 2014

Back to hunting...

After an absence from hunting of about 6 years, I finally accepted an invitation by Kevin Kossowan and Jeff Senger to join them in Southern Alberta for a few days of shotgun swinging and bowstring pulling. What an amazing time I had and something funny happened on the way to the field.

I've hunted for most of my life. For whatever reason, since I can remember, I have wanted to hunt things and eat them. Some of my fondest memories of childhood include wandering the nearby forests with bow in hand and a folded section of tin foil in my pocket. The hope was to be able to get an arrow into some form of small game and then cook it up.

Over the years, my hunting evolved into something different. Evolved is perhaps the wrong word, for it evokes a sense of improvement or development in a positive direction. That is simply not the case though as I discovered on my most recent trip with food minded hunter friends Kevin and Jeff. For whatever reason, my hunting over the years had morphed away from food and became strictly trophy based. The meat became almost an inconvenience, something that had to be dealt with by law so as not to be wasted. I eventually became both disconnected and disappointed with my hunting activities. Switching from efficient compound bows in the mid-90's to more and more primitive weapons kept things interesting for sure. But the hunting became a chore, something that kept me from my family and made unsuccessful trips all the more unacceptable. Eventually, I quit hunting altogether.

Enter this most recent trip. Traditional bow in hand, the joy of good friends and laughing. A chance to get away from a hard Fall season of business and harvest. But most importantly...a chance to make some food! Back to my youthful feeling of the joy of the field with the prospect of getting to eat something I had a hand in harvesting from the wild. But the bow, an heirloom Bear Kodiak from 1956, while beautiful and easy shooting, was viewed by one particular friend as "pretentious". What?! Me pretentious? While the comment was made in the most friendly of contexts, it really hit home. Here I was with only 3 days available and desperately wanting to make some ingredients for charcuterie with a weapon in my hand that made it ever more difficult to achieve my goal.

Kevin Kossowan's Photo

The day after I arrived home from such a great trip, the laptop opened Ebay. Within two more days I had purchased my first modern compound bow since more than 20 years ago. I look forward already to enjoying next year's hunting season with a much more efficient weapon and a greater chance at putting something in the charcuterie cabinet...and friends that find me ever so slightly less pretentious.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Winter Cooking Classes - #1 Indian Cuisine

I am proud to introduce the first in our series of winter cooking classes. On Sunday, November 2, 2014 we happily introduce you to Michelle Peter-Jones and Addie Raghaven. Michelle and Addie are both passionate foodies and expert cooks. It also helps that they are both of Indian origin and both have studied Indian cuisine during long stays in exotic India! You will learn the art of Indian cooking from two true experts on the subject. You will also enjoy learning about India and it's amazing culture of flavour.

The classes will be held in the warm and cozy kitchen of our Strawbale Farm House. A gentle fire rolling in the wood stove will make you feel right at home. The kitchen not large, so class sizes are limited to 8 participants. We will also utilize the outdoor cob oven for much of the menu...the taste of wood-fired dishes are beyond compare.

The day begins at noon and will run until we are finished enjoying the days cooking. Fine refreshments are included, the food will be amazing and the things you learn will be with you always.

To register for the class RSVP to goldforestgrains@yahoo.ca 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

GFG's Ultimate Peanut Butter Cookies

This is a family favourite on our farm. I like them crispy for dunking in my afternoon coffee. This instantly brings me back to when I was a kid on Nana and Papa's farm where the same ritual was played out 40 years ago. Cindy and the kids like them a little more chewy and with Chocolate Chips. So, take your pick how you like your peanut butter cookie. Either way, they're pretty darn good.

1/2 cup butter - room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter - It has to be crunchy peanut butter or it's not a peanut butter cookie.
1-1/2 cup GFG Park or Red Fife flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1 - Cream the butter and sugars
2 - Add egg, vanilla and peanut butter and beat well
3 - In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients
3 - Add dry to wet and mix until incorporated

Drop suitable spoon fulls of dough onto a cookie sheet and make a criss cross pattern with a fork. Again, if you don't do this...it's not a peanut butter cookie.

In the meantime, you will have pre-heated your oven to 400 degrees. Once the oven is ready, bake your cookies. This is the tricky part. The cookies go from chewy to crispy really quick. So if you like chewy cookies they will cook in about 8 mins. Once they just start to turn colour around the edges. Leave them to colour fully for another 2 minutes or so and they will be crunchy when they cool, ready for coffee.