Photos from Tessa Kiros’ Falling Cloudberries.
Today I am thinking about my children and missing them. Sometimes when I am missing my kids I like to think about how they remind me of myself and yet are each there own unique selves. I am trying to arrange a visit to all three of my children in the near future and so today I began with a FaceTime call to my oldest daughter. She is about a 12 hour drive away from me and I have not seen her since July.
I have always loved to bake. As a child my busy Mom took the time to show me a thing or two about baking. I remember her Sunbeam Mixer and how she showed me the basic Cookie Method and Cake Method to follow out of the cookbook that came with the purchase of a mixer. I felt so grown up when I could use it alone without any assistance. I also remember being shown how to use the potato peeler properly and how to stuff a mason jar full of peaches or pears in preparation for canning. I worked along side my Mom while she canned, kneaded bread and made lasagna. At first she would allow me to be her helper, sprinkling flour on the counter or screwing the lids on jars of fruit about to be processed. Eventually I was allowed to go solo.
My mom was a bit of a neat and tidy sergeant so in order that I could graduate and use the kitchen alone I had to follow her one golden rule, “a good cook always does her dishes.” These were the days before dishwashers so I had to have all the dishes washed, dried and put away as well as all the counters washed and the floors swept. I have never forgotten that rule and I think I may have used it a time or two on my own children.
My oldest daughter is like me in many ways. She loves to socialize and be busy. She is an avid snowboarder, wake-boarder and gym member. She takes part in X-fit classes on a regular basis, hikes, hunts, is captain of her hockey team and runs on and off. She is a going concern. She also like to to eat well, most of the time. I am not so social as I once was but I still enjoy moving my body and fuelling it with delicious, good food.
When she was young she was a competitive swimmer, an avid snowskier and waterskier. She loved to join as many things as I would allow and she never felt too busy. I think she probably comes by that trait fairly honestly. She also loved her food. When she was little she would come home for lunch from school and at first she like dishes such as chicken noodle soup and macaroni and cheese, but as I got better and more adventurous with cooking so did her palette. Soon she was requesting, risotto, polenta, gnocchi and spaetzle for lunch. At 7 years old she had the taste buds of an international traveller. I used to love standing at the stove stirring a creamy pan of risotto or standing at the counter meticulously rolling snakes to cut into perfect little gnocchi. I don’t make these comforting dishes very often anymore. I wonder why? Perhaps the process comforted me while the product comforted my daughter. I think when I go to visit her we should cook these dishes together.
Lately, Regan has taken to being a follower of Clean Eating and Gwyneth Paltrow, It’s All Good. Two of her favourite ingredients are quinoa and chickpeas. I thought I would use this opportunity to share two of my favourite recipes using these two ingredients.
Quinoa Cakes with Yogurt, Lemon, Dill Dressing
3/4 cup Balkan Style Plain Yogurt
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1Tsp. dried dill
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
2 cups cooked quinoa
5 Tsp. flour
1/2 cup gluten free cornflake crumbs
1/4 diced red pepper
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 Tbsp. olive oil ( for frying)
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Using hands, form patties and place in a medium high heated frying pan, coated with olive oil. Cook both sides until well browned. Remove from pan and place on serving tray. Serve with dressing on the side.
Chickpea, Feta and Coriander Salad
This is a recipe I have adapted from Tessa Kiros’ book, Falling Cloudberries. I love this cookbook. The ingredients are the same but I do not cook the onion, garlic and pepper flakes, I simply mix everything together and let it sit for about an hour before I am going to serve it. This salad keeps well overnight in the fridge as well.
Serves 6 as a side dish.
14 oz. can chickpeas
1 cup olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 or 2 red chillies, finely chopped
1 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
4 spring onions, green part only, chopped
1/2 cup coriander (cilantro)
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
juice of 1 lemon
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place in a bowl and add all other ingredients except the feta cheese . Stir until well blended. Add the feta and toss. Let stand at room temperature for about an hour or place in the fridge overnight.
I like to serve this with chicken that has been roasted in a thick tomato sauce and a great baguette or crusty bread for soaking up the olive oil and sauce.