Swiss Chard with fruit & nuts

We grew up next door to an elderly couple, the Coles.  Mr. Cole had converted most of his very large back yard into a year round producing garden.  I think they realized that although we were a big active family with “always room for one more”, that our parents needed to be very thrifty to keep it all afloat.  We were the oft recipients of armfuls of produce.  1# tomatoes, lettuce, beans, cucumbers, corn, lettuce, squash and chard would all make their way to our table.  He also gave us heaps of kale, which I’m no longer very fond of.  Kale is the new super food.  Just to let you know, it was a super food in the 50’s, too.

Swiss chard was one of my favourite veg to grow, as it is beautiful in a garden.  The multi-coloured stalks with its deep green, glossy leaves make a fabulous backdrop for other plants.  Now I buy it from the farmers market.  In bundles!  This is my version of a basic French recipe.  It will make enough for 2 – 4 servings, depending on how big you want the servings! Continue reading

Farmhouse Granola

In 1970, my parents were in their early 40’s and were actually cool.  Dad was finding his woodcraft roots in building a boat, and Mom was in a midi vest with her hair in a French roll, making healthy foods.  I can remember so well shopping at Galloway’s on Robson, and at International Foods.  Not every thing Mom made was wonderful, but she was going out there, trying.  We had one of her high school textbooks from Home Economics, and believe me, trying anything new was a big step, comparatively.

We would look through the burlap bags sitting on the floor at Galloway’s, filled with nuts, seeds and other interesting ingredients.  International Foods would fill your olfactory senses with strange exotic scents from burgeoning countries.  About this time, Granola became a mainstay in our society’s food cache.  It has changed over the years, but here’s what I remember.  Mixed grains, nuts & seeds, sweetened with honey and dried fruits.  I no longer remember exactly how we made it, but here’s the version I now make for our family and friends. Continue reading