I love cookbooks, and I won a cookbook called RealFood RealHealth the other day. It’s a local one, printed by Wayside Press in Vernon and written by physician Maureen Clement and Kathryn Hettler, an organic farmer and co-owner of Pilgrims’ Produce in the North Okanagan.
Maureen has contributed some excellent common-sense information about the basics of good health, including the admonition that eating ‘real food’ is a great beginning towards better health. In other words, eat food that’s still in its original package: the earth!
Kathryn has contributed information about preparing just about every fruit and vegetable, as well as some dairy, grains and meats grown in the Okanagan.
It’s all divided into categories and arranged in alphabetical order, so if you have fresh blueberries, for instance, you can easily find out how to handle and store them; serve them and make some dishes from them.
There’s even recipes for some wild food, like chokecherries and pin cherries, as well as saskatoons.
It’s available from the website at: www.pilgrimsproduce.com/book.html
And, there’s a guide to local growers at the back.
It’s a great little book crammed full of information, and it has some pretty good recipes in it, two of which I’ve shared here.
There are are lots of seasonal recipes for produce available fresh here in the Okanagan in my book too. It’s called Jude’s Kitchen and it’s available wherever books are sold, including wine shops.
Incidentally, outdoor patios at local wineries are beginning to open for the summer, with Mission Hill Family Estate’s Terrace Restaurant already open for the season for lunch and dinner, and CedarCreek’s Vineyard Terrace opening on the weekend for lunch daily and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
Both feature fabulous food with excellent wines and panoramic views out over vineyards and Okanagan Lake.
I have not made this, but it looks scrumptious, and is another sample of the sort of recipe you can expect to find in this book.
1/2 c. (125 ml) butter
2 c. (500 ml) flour
2 tbsp. (30 ml) sugar
5 c. (1 l) chopped rhubarb
5 egg yolks
1 1/2 c. (375 ml) sugar
1/4 c. (60 ml) flour
1 c. (250 ml) milk or cream
5 egg whites
1/2 c. (125 ml) sugar
2 tsp. (10 ml) vanilla
finely chopped nuts
Melt butter and combine with flour and sugar for first layer. You may substitute half whole wheat flour. Press into a 9×13-inch pan.
Bake 10 minutes at 350 F.
For the second layer, combine the rhubarb, beaten egg yolks, sugar, flour and milk or cream for the custard. Pour over the baked crust.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes at 350 F.
Beat egg whites, gradually adding sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
Spoon over rhubarb custard.
Chop nuts such as walnuts or hazelnuts and sprinkle over the top.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 350 F.
Simplest Swiss Chard Pie
This is absolutely delicious and I’ve tried it both with chard and with kale, hot and cold. I’m sure it would also be terrific with spinach.
12 c. (3 l) chard leaves
1/2 large onion
1 c. (250 ml) grated cheese
salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
Wash the chard leaves, or kale or spinach, and chop roughly.
Chop the onion, beat the eggs in a small bowl and grate the cheese. I used Swiss with a little fresh parmesan, but any cheese would be good.
I also boiled the kale for about a minute, but that wouldn’t be necessary for other greens, and may not have been needed with the kale.
Drizzle a little oil in a large pan over medium heat and soften the onions in it. Add the chopped greens and stir around until they become limp, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
Put into a greased nine or 10-inch pie pan. Pour the beaten eggs over it, mix them in a bit and sprinkle with the cheese.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese bubbles.
Serves 4 to 6.