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yesterday at the charlottetown farmers market, fresh island deli scallops – also known as blue-eyed scallops -  were on offer.

we sampled them. and, then, i sampled them again.

we picked up a two pound bag.

for the evening meal, my loved and loving paleoslave created a simple and sumptuous feed of scallops. oh yes yum!

scallops paleoslave’s way

ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup shallots, finely diced
  • 2 lrg garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely cut
  • 1 1/4 cup white wine (we used yali sauvignon blanc)
  • 2 pounds blue-eyed scallops

method

add olive oil to large, shallow pan. when heated add shallots and garlic. sautee until the shallots become golder. add rosemary and cook, stirring a minute or two, until the fresh herb gives up her oils and flavours.

add white wine, sufficient to provide a 1/4 inch depth in the pan. allow the mixture to come to a simmer.

add scallops. cover and steam until they open and then continue to cook another minute or two.

serve with wine and a side of steamed or seared veggies. add a generous pat of butter to those veggies.

a raw slaw would also plate well with these delights.

yesterday at the charlottetown farmers market, island taylored meats was promoting a new product – beef bacon. it looked a lot like montreal smoked meat, but i instantly went to carpaccio in my head.

so, working with what was on hand today, creative carpaccio was served for lunch. all the ingredients, except for the dressing ingredients and capers, were purchased through my organic veggie home delivery or at the local farmers market.

i just love fresh and local!

creative carpaccio & poached eggs

ingredients

  • 4 slices local beef bacon, rolled paper thin between sheets of plastic wrap
  • local salad greens
  • 1/2 sweet onion, sliced thin
  • lusciously ripe green german tomato, sliced (so good. i admit to eating a few slices that never made it to the plate. from weedy gardens.)
  • cumin gouda, shaved (light & flavourful. love the cheeses from avondale meadows farm…& margaret and allister who run the show)
  • tbsp capers
  • 4 eggs, poached
  • fresh pepper and sea salt to taste

dressing

  • 1/4c olive oil
  • 1/8c balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp whole grain dijon mustard

method

place greens on plate. lay beef on top, followed by onions, capers and green tomatoes.

whisk the dressing ingredients together in a bowl, until well incorporated.

sprinkle dressing over all. add salt and pepper to taste. top with shaved cheese.

plate with poached eggs.

wow good.

Finally.  Finally available at the Farmers Market (too long I’ve been feeling like one of Stuart MacLean’s producers…long suffering)…lovely, aromatic, sumptuous, alluring, eye-catching, pungent, seductive, crackly, powdered, nuanced…herbs & spices.

I could easily spend the morning, tea in hand, chatting, sniffing, floating, imagining.

Have you stopped by Kate’s bit of the market yet?  This woman not only has a most beguiling array of herbs & spices, she is warm, gregarious and lipstick cordial, eager to talk about her passion.  She is knowledgeable and willing to share. Wise and helpful.  And that folks, that is what it is all about.

What is not to love?

Kate's wares

Herself beguiled by the secret wonders of spices and the magical lives of herbs since a teenager, Kate has cooked, served, and dremelled glass on her way to vending her wares at the Charlottetown  and Queen Streets Farmers Markets.  She grows her own herbs and revels in the precious gifts of traveling friends and relatives. Chervil seeds? Not to be taken over the border! Jeezzzz!

I’ve made my own Ethiopian Berbere spice mix. It was amazing, but required a lot of work to round up the small bits of herbs and spices. Now, I can just pick up a few grams from Kate and put together a Lentil & Tomato Stew (doesn’t this look good!) or a Chicken Stew.

How about Garam Masala? You can get it at the grocer these days, but mass produced spice is not going to have the special appeal of hand mixed concoctions.  With garam masala at hand you can go Bengali any time you wish!

Cinnamon, rosemary, dried lemongrass, whole nutmegs (yum!), Hungarian paprika, Schezwan peppercorns, juniper berries, Thai red chili powder, lemon juice powder, brown cardamoms, dried mandarin orange peel, powdered galangal. Oh, so many possibilities, so much fun!

Seven kinds of salt! And, I like salt! Himalayan rock salt, Indian salt, Hawaiian black sea salt with alaea or with charcoal. I learned so much about salt yesterday, even solving a recipe mystery. A dear (spice) person in our life (collectively, we share one life), Bharti Vibhakar, sold us spiced cashews many times.  These most yum nuts had a special flavour, an egginess which made them always taste like more and which I have never been able to reproduce.  No wonder, but no more.  Kate carries an Indian salt, rich in sulfur – it smells exactly like those spiced cashews of years ago and now I know the missing ingredient! Bharti’s mischievous but approving smile floats before me.

We purchased several salts and peppercorns on yesterday’s visit to the market. We’ll be stopping by this booth regularly, developing a deeper relationship with Kate and her jars, filling our lives with rich herbal niceties and spicy implications.  You should too.

Sausage Minestra

soup ingredients

Ingredients:

  • olive oil, as needed
  • 2 lbs Italian Sausage, sliced into 1 inch thick pieces
  • 4 c onions, diced
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 8 c chicken broth
  • 4 c tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 c orzo
  • 5 oz spinach

Method

Add oil to a large soup pot, add sausage  and cook at medium – high until browned.

Add onion, garlic and seasonings. Cook until onion is soft.

Add wine and cook until almost all liquid is evaporated.

Add broth, tomatoes and orzo. Bring to a boil.  Reduce and simmer about 10 minutes.

Stir in spinach until wilted.

For croutons: Cut bagette into 1 inch cubes. Brown in olive oil in saucepan. Toss, while warm, in grated parmesan. Add croutons to soup upon serving.

This soup is easy to make, hearty and savoury, satisfying to the soul.  It is perfect for a winter’s lunch when the sun glints hard off the snow and icicles think they should loosen their grip on water molecules. I used mild Italian Sausage from the local Farmers Market. I’d have gone for the spicy ones but for the teen. The croutons can be skipped, but they add such a flair to the soup it is hard to imagine it without. February Mmmm.

Turkey & Apple Picadillo

Ingredients

  • 2tsp olive oil

    Larkin Bros ground turkey

  • 1/3c red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8oz of local lean ground turkey
  • 1/2tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2tsp dried oregano leaf
  • 1/4tsp sea salt
  • 1/4tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/8tsp ground cloves
  • 1tbsp tarragon white wine vinegar
  • 1 med tart green apple, peeled and chopped

    steaming hot in the pan

  • 1c tomato, chopped
  • 3tbsp green olives, chopped
  • 1/2tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4c scallion greens, sliced

Method

Heat oil in a large fry pan. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft.

Add turkey and cook, stirring to break up the ground meat, until the meat browns.

Stir in cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and cloves.  Cook for 3o seconds and add vinegar. Cook stirring.

Add apple, tomatoes, olives and Worcestershire. Reduce heat and simmer gently to reduce liquid, about 8 minutes.

Stir in scallion greens just before serving.

Truffle Oil Dressed Asparagus

Ingredients

  • a fistful of fresh asparagus, ends snapped off and lightly scraped if thick and woody
  • 1/8tsp sea salt
  • 1/2tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1 1/2tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2tsp truffle oil

Method

Preheat cast iron fry pan. When quite hot sear/grill the asparagus spears until bright green, still firm but cooked.

In  a large bowl whisk together remaining ingredients.

Add asparagus to large bowl and toss gently and serve.  These would be nice with some freshly grated parmesan dusted on top.

We served up the meal with a side of Blau Kraut he had made earlier in the week. The blau kraut is an excellent and tasty array of flavours, made even more delicious with organic blue (purple) cabbage from the market.  It is a recipe well worth trying if you have never. However, be warned that you should consume this stuff at carefully timed meals. It remains Űber  Farten Essen.

We picked up the ingredients for these at the Charlottetown Farmers Market yesterday morning.  We enjoyed them immensely while watching Cooking With Stella last evening.  The snack was superior to the movie, so I’m recommending one more than the other.

Swiss Chard Envelopes

Ingredients

  • 4 large swiss chard leaves
  • 1 large tomato cut into quarter inch slices
  • sea salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 4 thick slices cumin gouda
  • 1 tsp minced garlic

Method

Plunge chard leaves in a large pot of boiling water for about 12 to 15 seconds.  Immediately plunge the leaves in a bowl of ice water, leave for one minute then blot dry.

One at a time, place leaves face down.

In centre, place one tomato slice, sprinkle with salt and pepper, top with cheese and minced garlic.

Wrap leaf around the filling.

Spray the envelopes with nonstick spray and place in a preheated oven or on an oiled and preheated grill.  Allow to cook for 5 minutes.  Serve warm.

I managed to get in two barefoot runs this week, though I would have liked a third in there somewhere.

On Tuesday morning, after the 6:00am Boot Camp, I hustled to the studio to train a couple of clients -  such a pleasure working with these women!  With that completed, I headed back to Victoria Park.  It was a beautiful day and felt right for a bit of a run.

I parked along the front of Government House and ran the board walk to Brighton Road and back two times, for a total of approximately 4.9km.  The board walk was busy – power walkers, joggers, folks pushing strollers.  Everyone was friendly, loosened into a casual joyfulness by the great good weather, and willing to share a smile and a greeting.  One person mentioned recognizing me from the CBC Compass Five at 5  segment last week…

There was a city employee traveling on knees, with crowbar and hammer at hand, taking care of loose boards and lifted nail heads.  I stopped to tell him how much I appreciated his efforts and he thanked me for taking the time.  At the Brighton Road end of the board walk a road crew was busy resurfacing the parking lane.  Heat and tarry smells were pervasive, but brief.

This run felt so very, very good.  The breeze from the river and the soothing sun paired nicely with the give of the boards underfoot.  I kept thinking about lifting my feet and keeping my limbs loose; short steps with Turning Japanese playing in the background of my mind.  A nice sweat and back to the studio in time to teach a lunch time class.

Today I taught an 8:45am Kettlebell Class – eight back-to-back kettlebell tabatas.  Intense.  Everyone stepped up to it, stayed with it, and finished it strong.  Amazing effort, fine focus, sacred sweat!   I had to stay in town for an 11 o’clock meeting and I was traveling with my partner, so we headed to the Farmers’ Market for a coffee (okay, okay…coffee with one of those fabulous spelt walnut cranberry crunch squares) and a couple dozen free range eggs and then to campus.  He headed to his office; I peeled off my shoes for a short run.

I thought I would barefoot run loops through the network of pathways which are the arteries and veins of the campus – they pulse with the qi of campus during semester but are serene and deserted on a Saturday morning during intersession.  I ran into some challenges where there was construction on campus and stretches of open gravel or gravel-strewn walkways, so after a dodgy circuit through the corporeal campus, I headed to university circumferential.  A couple of loops around the outer edge of the campus gave me a bit of a thumping heart and a minimally sufficient lather.

I am loving barefoot running.  I experience absolutely none of the tibialis anterior issues I have when shod.  My knees and hips feels great and I really like the sensations along the soles of my feet.  Because I run without music, my barefootedness connects me even more deeply with the experience of running in the world.  It is a very present time.  It is good.

This week I received the Tribal Running car magnet, won in a mothers’ day draw.  I love that she is a barefoot runner.

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