Salted Radish and Mint Salad

This is the year I got my gardening act together!

Soil is tilled! Weeds are gone! Fertilizer? In! Seeds? You bet! And I’m watering every single day! Boom! And it’s already paying off! First crop is up. My sink is full of radishes!

I’m thinking the best way to use my very own home-grown, seed-to-sandwich produce is to keep it real simple. I’ll make a nice little salad with a bit of salt and the mint that’s also popping up in the herb pots finished with a squeeze of lime. (more…)

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Sesame-Pickled Burdock Root

New ingredients are like amphetamines for kitchen creativity. From the moment I get home from a farmer’s market or an afternoon of foraging or hell, just back from a regular ‘ol grocery shopping run I’m jacked up! What is this crazy looking-stuff? Where did it come from? How do I process it and what can I do with all the bits? My mind is vibrating in a million different directions at once!

Last week I got a hold of some burdock root at the market in Courtenay and had just such a moment. These rough-looking tubers looked more like something dug out of a cat box than anything I’d serve for dinner, but The lady I bought ‘em from was insistent that they were a delicious spring delicacy! So yeah, I got ‘em home, mind ablaze and immediately starting hunting through my cookbooks for more info. (more…)

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Cherry Blossoms!

Cherry Blossom 1

Cherry blossom petals
The wind carries them away
Taking me with them

Sean Condon, Vancouver, British Columbia (2014 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, Honourable Mention)

One of the more profound moments of my short time living in Vancouver occurred by accident on a frigid spring morning at the Burrard skytrain station. It was crazy early and I had my headphones on to blot out the world as much as possible. I exited the train amidst the rest of the rabble and had begun the long climb up the central staircase to the street when a teenage Japanese girl beside me squealed.

It wasn’t a terror squeal, or a “look, its Johnny Depp!” noise, but it was enough to make me look up just in time to see a massive cloud of cherry blossoms descend down the staircase towards us. All the sakura trees up top had dropped their collective payloads simultaneously to form a dense, beautiful and unnervingly slow-moving tsunami of pink petals.

Whoooosh! The station filled with flowers and everyone gasped. Children whooped and spun. Couples drew closer. Even the proto-hipster guy (who hadn’t looked up from his book, even while disembarking the train) acknowledged the moment with a “huh”. The spell lasted about four magical, luxurious minutes before reality resumed… And I’d realized that by tallying amongst the cherry blossoms I missed my bus and was going to be late for work. (more…)

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