Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pearl Lantz Schofield's Pumpkin Pie recipe, made from scratch

Today we used my Nana's recipe to make pumpkin pie from a wonderful Riverbend Gardens pumpkin that was a gift from my friend Owen. It was scrumptious, although probably not special to anyone outside my family. Here's her recipe:

spice mix:
cinnamon 1 tsp
nutmeg 1/2 tsp
ginger 1/2 tsp
allspice 1/2 tsp
dash of salt

1 egg

1 cup pumpkin (fresh* or canned)

1 cup milk/cream blend
1/4 cup sugar (this amount seems low, don't you think?)
or, substitute 1 cup sweetened condensed milk for milk-sugar mix

Whisk all ingredients together and pour into a pastry pie shell. Bake 375F for 45-60 min, until the filling is firm.

*To prepare a fresh pie pumpkin: cut in half, scoop out the seeds, roast the flesh 350F for 1h, let cool, and puree. For more details (and a delicious-looking fancier alternate recipe!) check this terrific post out. 1 pie pumpkin (the little smooth ones) will usually yield enough for two pies.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fall 2013 Slow News Summary

I'm back to regular life, and gradually catching up on all the writing I've been putting off! I'd like to thank my friends and followers who stuck by me through my foray into covering the municipal election for the Local Good, which we did on the principle that engagement with local politics is consistent with locavorism. I know my twitter and Facebook feeds were pretty #yegvote-heavy from August through October, and I'm sure anyone not in Edmonton who is still following me was muting the hashtag by the end. Here's a summary of what I learned in the process. It was pretty interesting, but I'm delighted to be taking my other interests off the back burner. Speaking of...

On sustainability and environment:

Let's start with the bad news. Arctic sea ice is not recovering. Ice on Arctic islands is melting for the first time in 44000 yearsOver 80% of terrestrial ecosystems are at risk from climate change, and ocean acidification likely means all ocean ecosystems are also at risk - and many marine species are already under intolerable pressure from overfishing and plastic pollution. The global food supply is also at risk from climate change, and National Geographic's interactive sea rise map demonstates that unless we can turn things around, many of the world's coastal cities will eventually end up underwater. The most recent IPCC report (even with revisions) is very clear that climate change is anthropogenic and only drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions can prevent unprecedented consequences. The somber tone and stark language being used by scientists trained to speak conservatively with lots of caveats is striking; it brings to mind cold-war-era language around the possibility of triggering a nuclear winter.

So, we have an enormous challenge ahead of us, an enormous responsibility to bear - and an enormous opportunity. The solutions we create as we build our cities and live our lives and move toward a zero-carbon-emissions future will need to be innovative and exciting. Let's do this thing.

An augmented-reality sundial bench by Joshua Barnes, shown at London Design Festival 2013, via designboom. An app allows users to record memories associated with the shadow cast by the dial.
On slow design, slow making, and slow home:

Balmaseda ‘Tafoni jacket’ at the ‘Art of Slow Fashion’ event in New York (photo by Abigail Doan, from her wonderful LOST IN FIBER Tumblr)
On slow fashion:
On slow food:
On slow travel:
On slow living, slow parenting, slow money, and so forth:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Harvesting and Preserving: Green Tomato Mincemeat

This post is part of the Canadian Food Experience project (also on Facebook) proposed by my friend Valerie Lugonja, who is a board member of Slow Food Edmonton. The project began June 7th, 2013. As we (participants) share our collective stories across the vastness of our Canadian landscape through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity through the cadence of our concerted Canadian voice. Please join us. 

My October was bananas, thanks to municipal election madness over at the Local Good's blog, so this month you'll get a two-fer: my preserving post and my harvest post, all in one. A childhood harvest memory that I cherish, and hope to recreate next year here in Edmonton, is having such a bounty of tomatoes from my mother's garden that we couldn't possibly eat them all. Usually, Mom planted three different varieties: a cherry tomato for salads, a plum tomato, and one other. I remember the flavours but not the names - I'll have to ask her which cultivars they were (update: Mom says she planted the Beefeater and Scotia cultivars). There would be big brown paper bags of them lined up on the windowsill over the sink, to induce them to ripen, but inevitably we'd need to use them up before they all had a chance to get red. So, it was always my maternal grandmother's Green Tomato Mincemeat recipe to the rescue. It makes a wonderful pie filling, and since there is no actual meat in it, it's suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Photo via Rhubarb & Honey who shares a very similar recipe!
Pearl's Green Tomato Mincemeat

3 pounds (10 cups) green tomatoes
3.5 pounds apples (Gravenstein apples would have been used)
2 cups brown sugar
1 pound seeded raisins
1 pound seedless raisins
1 tbsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup apple juice
2.5 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp cloves
1 tbsp nutmeg
2 lemons, grated and juiced

Cut tomatoes in quarters and blend; drain.
Add chopped apples (not peeled!) and other ingredients except lemon juice.
Cook slowly 2-3 hours adding apple juice as required.
Add lemon juice just before bottling.
Can be frozen or canned.

(Sorry, no photo - I haven't had a chance to make this yet! I'll edit this post to add photos as soon as I can, but I wanted to share the recipe right away.)

PS: Oooh, look, Valerie posted her green tomato mincemeat recipe too, with the most mouthwatering photos. Her proportions and spices (candied ginger!) are a bit different from my Nana's, be sure to compare them!