Favourite culinary podcasts | Simple Bites

12 Smart and Fun Culinary Podcasts

Fall, winter, spring, summer, I’m always into podcasts, particularly the food-related kind.

There is no show on Netflix I am currently hooked on and we haven’t had cable (or even TV) in years, which means when I’m not reading, podcasts are my favourite diversion. I’m a hard core multitasker, and podcasts are the perfect way to stay educated, entertained and up-to-date on the global culinary scene while still getting my laundry folded or step count in for the day.

And to be honest, they are are a decent substitute for adult conversation for a work at home mom with a houseful of kids. I’ve been known to listen in on a conversation between Molly and Matthew with a solitary ear bud, while simultaneously supervising three kids running around a sunny park.

Podcasts seem to come and go rather quickly. Two years ago you would have found me tuning into David Leite’s Talking with My Mouth Full or Joy the Baker’s We’re About to be Friends. Last year there was Alphabet Soup, among others, but for whatever reasons, many podcasts die out or take very long breaks. This snappy round-up is keeping hip and current by only including culinary podcasts that are updating on a regular basis.

Listening to one full episode of a particular podcast is usually enough to make a decision whether or not you want to continue. I hope you jump in and discover a few new favourites!

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West Coast culinary adventures

More West Coast Culinary Adventures

“Why don’t we meet up in Campbell River and we can provision together?” my older brother suggested via text, a few weeks before we were set to board a plane.

Provision. I rolled the word around in my mind, delighting in its quaint practicality, loving how Josh tossed it out there so casually, while I had never even heard of this noun being used as a verb. Provisions: supplies such as food and drinks, especially for a journey. Provision: rounding up and buying those supplies.

We were planning on how to feed our family of twenty during a reunion (and a wedding) on a remote British Columbia Island called Cortes. Josh is used to provisioning: for a hunting trip, a camping expedition, a mountain bike race across the Yukon. I supposed I provision all the time, too, stocking the pantry, visiting farm stands, putting up produce.

Still, this was different. Because Cortes is two ferry rides away from a city, grocery staples on the island are nearly doubled in price. We’d want to get our oatmeal and peanut butter before coming, but source plenty of local produce and seafood. As it turned out, we did very well on the latter, and this is the full report of such culinary adventures.

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Triple Berry Scones || Simple Bites #baking

Eat Seasonal: Triple Berry Scones

It is a known fact that things don’t always go according to plan, and that includes gardening, weather and the seasons.

By now, early August, we should be hauling in tomatoes and cucumbers by the pounds, but the lack of heat has slowed everything down. My garden feels about a month behind; it’s looking ‘filled in’ but not quite ‘exploded’.

That’s all okay; I’m in no rush for those Romas or striped zucchini, because local berries are still front and centre. U-picks up and down the lanes are broadcasting blueberries and raspberries for the harvesting, and Quebec strawberries abound in the markets. Seasonal eating for us right now means gorgeous, jewel-hued berries enjoyed every which way. From salads to focaccia, pancake syrups to pies — and these breakfast scones, enjoyed on a recent Sunday morning.

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A simple, rustic wedding cake with fresh fruit and blackberry sauce

An island rental kitchen and a wedding cake

Come with me, if you will, for an afternoon at a sprawling rental cottage on a remote Pacific Northwest island called Cortes. My extended family and I have gathered here for a reunion and the wedding of my younger sister; the last Wimbush sibling is to be married.

For the most part, this is to be a handmade wedding, made entirely possible by our family unit coming together out of love. (Well that, and pound after pound of strong coffee.) It’s the day before the wedding and everywhere you look, people are preparing. In a shady patio, under the weave of kiwi vines, my brother and elder sister are hand painting wedding signs on smooth lengths of driftwood. On a nearby table, the bride is arranging sweet peas and foxglove into simple bouquets, rounded out with wild ivy and purple yarrow.

Down on the beach, my brother-in-law is gathering pearly white oyster shells to lay for an aisle and the groom is flexing his muscles while moving driftwood aside for a path. Over by the blackberry bushes that frame our ocean view, Danny is picking berries for the cake, a task only for the brave of heart. He gathers me a great big bowlful, and I simmer the berries with brown sugar and butter into a dark, jammy sauce to serve alongside the cake.

My mother is slicing eggplant, browning lamb, and whisking a bechamel for her famous moussaka, a dish that will feed us all at the end of this busy day. In a back bedroom, tucked away from sight, my mother-in-law is ironing a long white dress with lace and an elegant linen suit. My father is showing a few guests his favourite haunts around the island, and thus doing his bit to keep them out of our hair until dinnertime.

On the balcony overlooking the sea, my sister-in-law is plucking away at a ukulele and rehearsing “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” for the intimate beach ceremony. A few children are hard at work on handmade cards for the bride and groom, and the rest are hovering around my workspace, hoping for a taste of cake batter. I’ve got some leftover, so I bake off ten cupcakes and hand them around, much to their delight. First taste of the wedding cake!

The spacious kitchen looks out over a calm ocean inlet, where a few fishing boats are anchored and the tide rises and falls to show off a world-class oyster bed. I’ve just beat a dozen pale blue and green eggs with sugar and vanilla bean, folded in the flour together with the buttermilk and placed 8 round cakes pans in the oven. I’ve crossed my fingers that they will bake evenly, and I am flapping my arms at the herd of children that want to run through the kitchen at top speed. “These cakes will fall with all this stomping!” I holler, and shoo them outdoors where they will climb trees for apples and play Duck, Duck Goose on the grounds.

Soon enough I join the cousins under the hot July sun, armed with a wide-brimmed hat and a sharp knife. I walk the gardens of our VRBO and discover enough fruit growing that I decided to garnish the wedding cake with the bounty. My sister and her fiancé are expecting a wee little one in January, and the fruit symbolizes that beautiful new life. [Read more…]

Muscavado Blueberry Plum Sorbet | Simple Bites #recipe #dessert

Muscavado Blueberry Plum Sorbet

Mid-summer wild blueberries and sweet plums tend to show up around the same time at the farm stands here, conveniently marketing themselves to be paired together in the kitchen.

I’ve long been a fan of the blueberry-plum flavour combination because it is a perfect balance of tart and sweet. These fruits also cook up into preserves and desserts of the most gorgeous purple hue that are hard to resist.

I’ve made a very successful fruit butter and pancake syrup with the two, now I’m marrying the berries and stone fruit into a vibrant sorbet perfect for summertime.

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