Chicpea Flour Pan Bread (Farinata/Socca)

I recently did a talk at Berwick about the history, biology and nutritional value of legumes and wanted to punctuate the talk with a snack made entirely of Fabaceae. Not willing to subject the residents to a black bean slider or yet another variety of hummus I opted to buy a bag of chicpea flour (Besan) from the local Mega-Lo-Mart and set to researching a dosa or roti recipe to accompany my talk.


What I ended up on wasn’t Indian at all but a recipe from the Ligurian Coast of Italy called Farinata or alternatively Socca depending on which end of the boot you’re on. It’s incredibly simple to make and the chicpea batter adapts it’s neutral, somewhat nutty flavour to many types of seasoning from fresh rosemary to chilies to (my favourite) a bit of Lebanese Za’atar.

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5 BC Beers That Got Us Through 2020

I don’t need to tell anyone 2020 was challenging year, we all felt it in one way or another. People got sick, whole countries burned both literally and metaphorically, our industry got trashed, lots of things went wrong. The subconscious weirdness of the year weighed on everyone and by early fall I was becoming as much a psychiatrist to my crew as I was a chef.. Life on the front lines.

Amidst this chaos my wife and I bought a house. We’d been planning it for years and the perfect fit just happened to pop up. The final months of Armageddon included packing, moving, screaming cats and learning all about house insurance. Oh, and the holidays, lots of fun.

I drank a lot of beer last year. I think a lot of people drank a lot last year. It’s not the best tag line for a post, but here we all are. I tried to do my best to keep my pandemic imbibing under control, and I think I did a pretty good job. I did make friends with a handful of new beers that are worth discussing.

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My Brother’s BBQ

After nearly a decade and a half of constant use, it was with a heavy heart that at the end of this accursed summer I retired my trusty and now very rusty charcoal BBQ. Night after night of white hot coals had eroded The bottom of the barrel to a wafer thin bit of carbon. Another couple of grill sessions and I could easily see the whole burning payload dropping through the bottom and setting our back yard alight… And so, it was time to say goodbye.

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Fresh Mexican Chorizo

I think just about every household has a “default sausage”. You know, the one you or your loved one buys from the store every couple of weeks. The one type everyone can agree on. It’s usually some mild Italian-job that’s just innocuous enough to sneak into both omelettes and pasta sauce. I know some people who swear by the little breakfast patties as their go-to… Weirdos.

Our default sausage has always been chorizo, and I don’t really know why. Neither my wife or I were ever spice fiends and it’s sometimes hard to get a really good fresh chorizo in Canada. Regardless, we hunted the bright red, coarsely ground and piercingly spicy/smokey tubes of meat wherever we could and stocked up whenever we hit Victoria or the little artisan markets around Coombs.

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