Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Writing Home

I'm back Down Under, after two long-yet-too-short weeks over in rainy-then-finally-sunny Canada. We ended up with some blissful weather whilst staying at the family cottage in Quebec, lounging lakeside and soaking up the Vitamin D. The weather wasn't a big deal to the Aussies in our company, so we delighted in watching panicked Canadians setting up Emergency Cooling Stations in downtown Ottawa in order to survive the scorching 33 degree heat! Bwahahahahaa...

I don't have an in-depth report to make on Canadian farming practices and whatnot since my plans to visit Dobson's Grass-Fed Beef farm fell through, and when we arrived at Bearbrook Game Meats, we were greeted with a bunch of freezers and a cashier who clearly had little idea about the food she was selling. So much for the contact I had arranged via email. I still bought up a range of products to sample, but overall it was over-priced and not terribly fresh. Dobson's beef was pretty good, equal to the standard of grass-fed beef I get from Farmer Dan. I also tried some lamb from Canreg Station Farm & Pasture Dairy via their stand at the Landsdowne Market in Ottawa, but it really wasn't impressive. It also cost the same amount as a family meal deal from a pizza restaurant I saw advertised on TV whilst I was eating the lamb chop for breakfast. Not nice. But hey - at least Ottawa is heading in the right direction. If only the majority of stand operators at the market would lose their smug holier-than-thou attitudes and learn some actual customer service skills - but I guess that's what you can get away with when you're one of only a few suppliers feeding a growing demand.

Photo time!

Some of the colourful haul after the market in Ottawa and the trip to Bearbrook Game Meats:

I took over the kitchen a couple of times to make some delicious primal meals. My famous curry made an appearance, as well as a frittata (shown here before being topped with whipped up eggs and baked)

and some almond-crusted salmon fillets with an improvised Spinach & Cashew Pesto sauce (yum!!), served with a sauteed salad with chorizo slices.

I tried frogs legs for the first time - meh.

The view on the way into Bearbrook Game Meats:

We popped over to Vancouver for the last couple of days of our holiday, spending time with family on Bowen Island. Gorgeous weather, and gorgeous people - I've missed small town living! Before leaving the mainland I stopped in at Capers Whole Foods Market - I am in love! I think I could live in Vancouver - it is just like Melbourne, after all! I just might have to fly back to Australia when it started getting too cold though...

Back in chilly Melbourne (though we managed to neatly avoided the longest 'cold snap' in Melbourne's history - yay!), school has resumed, I'm trying to normalise my body clock, and I'm doing yoga twice a week to make up for the missed sessions (though I was moved out of the beginner's room and into the main studio last night, and now I am SORE! Their Sun Saluation regime is intense - I was sweating in under 2 minutes - and to whichever yogi thought up 'The Archer' seated series: my buttocks want to punch you in your beatific face).

I have a lot of reading to catch up on, although it seems like most of it is based on the latest debunking of The China Study, as though any of us were still paying attention to the biased report on epidemiological studies from the past... But hey, if it helps bring more attention to the dangers of wheat, at least, then that's not going to hurt anyone. I'm still sharing any articles I think everyone should read, so if you do subscribe to my shares, there's a flood of stuff coming your way!

A recipe for my Spinach & Cashew Pesto Sauce will be coming your way when I get a chance to make it again, since my photos sucked (bloody iPhone) and I've forgotten the proportions I used of each ingredient. Any excuse to make it again, huh?

And now that I've been thinking about salmon, I'm going to have to make some sashimi for dinner... Good night!


Anonymous said...

I live in Ottawa and I have to say, I love Dobson's beef! I've also picked it up from the farm, and the farm is great - they have lots of sustainable practices and the cows were roaming so peacefully on the horizon ... but getting high quality animal products is very expensive in Ottawa. When I read about the prices other people are paying on American blogs, I can barely belive that they are possible!

Kat said...

I am pretty happy with what's available around Ottawa, but yes it is very expensive. I'm curious now to visit Melbourne and try all the food there, if it's even better than what I have tasted in Ottawa!

I loved the little heat wave we had. Last year I don't think it even got above 30C the entire summer.

Anonymous said...

I want that spinach and cashew pesto recipe. YOur food looks great. I currently live in Canada and I must say that the food here is pretty shocking!! At least where I am. I don't think North Americans know what good food is. I think the food from 'down under' is much much better quality and of course all grass fed. But then I thought NZ food was a step above ozzie food too. But that could just be my bias:)

Jezwyn said...

Anon & Kat - I agree that Ottawa has got a few good farms and hopefully this is a growing trend, but I doubt that will occur if the prices remain exploitative. There's no way that the farmers need to charge such high prices to cover their expenses. Comparing the price of Dobson's Beef when buying in bulk vs the similar manner of purchase from Farmer Dan shocked me. Fingers crossed that more farmers get their act together and help make prices competitive. Maybe someone will replace all those corn and canola fields with crops that should actually be consumed by mammals... ;)

I'd be very surprised if there's any difference at all between Aussie and NZ meats, given the similarity of farming conditions and breeds. As for bias, most
Kiwis vote that NZ should become part of Australia, so hey... ;)

JP@PrimalJournal said...

Oh, now I wish I could get the meat I bought from our farm... Just need to wait a few weeks.

Looks like you will have some great meals coming up!