Grab a Buddha’s Hand

Grab a Buddha’s Hand

Fragrant Asian citrus can be candied, tossed in salads or stir-fried Sightings of a bizarre new citrus flew through the local Twitter-verse last month. What to make of the Buddha’s Hand with its lemon-yellow fingers, some downright creepy, beckoning from the produce section? After an initial batch from Colombia, the current crop of Buddha’s Hand … Continue reading

A passion for persimmons

A passion for persimmons

Sweet persimmon earns its ‘fruit of the gods’ nickname ’Tis the season for fresh persimmons. The most famous varieties are the acorn-shaped hachiya with the pointed end and the squat, tomato-shaped fuyu or Sharon fruit. With shiny orange skin that’s baby-bottom smooth, both varieties glow from supermarket displays. But the similarities end there. While you can … Continue reading

Meet one Smart Cookie!

Meet one Smart Cookie!

I haven’t met Maya Liberman yet, but I can tell you she’s one smart cookie! Along with earning an MBA, this busy Oakville mom spent 10 years in the packaged goods industry and five years working in product development for Loblaws. For the past two years, she’s used her experience as a professional product developer … Continue reading

Demystifying Jerusalem artichokes

Demystifying Jerusalem artichokes

Fresh Bites: Jerusalem artichokes   Tubers have a hint of artichoke flavour that shines in soups, roasts, gratins and other recipes. My husband dreads opening the fridge this time of year. Inside, he knows he’ll find bagfuls of knobby Jerusalem artichokes, caked in mud, harvested from our narrow back-lane garden. The sturdy stalks with sad, … Continue reading

Quintessential Quince

Quintessential Quince

I bought my first quince with low expectations. Hard and green with no scent, the lumpy-looking pear with the stubby neck hardly seemed worth $2. Where was the golden orb I’d read about that perfumed a room? What inspired poet Edward Lear to have his Owl and Pussycat dine on mince and slices of quince … Continue reading

Give beets a chance

Give beets a chance

Check out my first Toronto Star cooking video at http://bit.ly/19mOdm7 If you’ve never eaten beets, or were forced to eat one too many canned or pickled beets as a child, Caroll Collins has a message for you: Give beets a chance! Collins, co-owner of Collins Farm Produce in Puslinch, between Hamilton and Guelph, probably introduced more … Continue reading

High-rise dates

High-rise dates

I’m home from the harvest, after a two-day date with the king of dates in Yuma, Arizona. Day 2 of our Medjool Bloggers Summit began with a Date 101 session over breakfast. Then it was off to the Bard Valley, a strip of desert in the extreme southwest corner of California, 20 minutes from where we sat. … Continue reading

Take the 1:45 to Yuma

Take the 1:45 to Yuma

I left green T.O. at 9 this morning and landed at 6 p.m. (3 p.m. Arizona time) in the desert. It feels like another planet … spiky brown hills rising in the distance out of what looks from the air like an ancient seabed, dry and cracked. We stepped off the plane into a wall … Continue reading

Meet our Mighty Mato!

Meet our Mighty Mato!

When I heard a lot of people have been disappointed with their grafted tomatoes from President’s Choice, new this year, I figured I’d better weigh in with this bruiser of a brandywine from our back-lane garden. No, it’s not the least bit round, but it was delicious!

Awash in squash!

Awash in squash!

Bill Boot is awash in squash, and he couldn’t be happier. Five days a week for more than 30 years, Boot has arrived at the Ontario Food Terminal at midnight from his farm in Scotland, an hour and a half west of Toronto. By dawn his outdoor stall is a work of art, with 17 … Continue reading