Friday, June 22, 2012

Food, Family, Celebrating, Summer, & Food Trends #LMDConnector

I won't lie. Food is a MAJOR part of our family's life.  It brings people together.  It helps us unite in times of celebration, and even in times of mourning.  Our family philosophy in our home is when it comes to food, it has to nourish you, provide you nutrients and all that healthy stuff, and it also has to be something you enjoy and can be excited about!

Let's face it, food is a central part of any get-together, party, or event.  We've got birthdays, graduations, and lots of other special occasions. Even if there's no event, every day is something to celebrate. That, and I want our three year old to have a healthy relationship with food!

On our farm, we always have lots of visitors over. I love to host dinner parties, so we're always experimenting with new dishes, as well as including family favourites.  This season, I've seen quite bit of the following:

  •  Local produce, local meats, and locally produced & inspired dishes
  •  Artisanal cheese (spicy, smoked, and tropical)
  • Gluten-free dishes
  • Mini desserts
  • Ethnic inspired appetizers
  • Street food inspired appetizers
With all the gluten-free dishes and ingredients becoming increasingly popular, it's more of a health incentive. I do believe this is a movement that will continue in our dietary lifestyles and that will become part of every day life. I even picked Food Industry & Innovation Expert, Dana McCauley's brain about food trends (because I like to do my research and go to the best of the best!).

Dana reminded me that:
gluten free is part of an over arching consumer force toward wellness
Even our friends at General Mills Canada have come up with some gluten-free recipes like gluten-free Coconut Ginger Rice, Cannellini Bean & Tuna Salad, Layered Yogurt Fruit Salad, gluten-free Cornbread and more!

Local Food Trends
Where we live, an exciting food movement has been gaining more and more recognition.  People are trying to buy locally produced food. The farmers' markets are becoming increasingly popular (they have been part of Island life forever, but even tourists flock to them).

Another thing I found interesting is that many people are going back to basics. Simple foods are popular again.

Inspired by what we grow on our farm, I decided to make a
Rhubarb Custard Pie to share with you.  As a city kid, I hated rhubarb. Plus, being Asian, it was never really something common in our diet. It tasted too bitter and I just never acquired a taste for it...until now.

Rhubarb Custard Pie

2 c flour
2 tsp flour
1/3 c milk
2/3 c veg oil

4 Tbsp flour
3 eggs, beaten
4 c rhubarb (I cut them into 3/4 in. pieces)
2Tbsp butter
2 c sugar (I use certified organic Fair Trade raw organic cane sugar)
A wee speck of homemade vanilla

Crumble Topping (optional):
3/4 c oats
3/4 c flour
1 c organic cane sugar (or brown sugar if you wish)
1/2 c butter
1/4 tsp salt
* If you want to use this crumble recipe for an apple pie, add 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Mix together pie crust ingredients and roll out pie crust. This recipe makes two 9 in. pie crusts. 
  3. Mix sugar, flour, butter together. Add eggs and vanilla. Fold in rhubarb.
  4. Pour mixture into two pie crusts.
  5. Incorporate crumble ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Cut in butter and work with fork or in pastry blender until the mixture is "crumbly".
  6. Add crumble topping evenly on both pies. If you like a lot of crumble on top, you can increase the measurements.
  7. Bake 10 min in 450 degree oven. Reduce heat to 350 and continue to bake for another 30-35 min.
Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.


J at said...

Have you ever heard of pie plant? That's rhubarb. Funny, because it's SO bitter.

I heard an interview on NPR about a book called "Why Calories Count" that you might find interesting.

I'm generally not interested in such discussions...knowing my mother and my daughter's issues, you know why. But this was really interesting. I might get the book from the library. Most of it is the stuff you talk about. Don't eat much processed food. Exercise means a lot for health, but not much for weight. Interesting stuff. Nothing new or groundbreaking, but interesting nonetheless.

Christine said...

I'll have to check that out! Thanks for sharing. Oh, and I've never heard "pie plant" before! That's a new one! To be honest, I was never a fan of rhubarb! People here in the countryside use rhubarb a lot (it grows like crazy, there's lots of it, it's cheap to have because it grows in abundance). The only thing with rhubarb is that it's so bitter, you need LOTS of sugar if you're going to do anything with it!

Julia said...

This pie looks to die for! I have a bunch of Rhubarb frozen and am going to have to try this. Yum!

Christine said...

It's a great recipe for rhubarb! I've used frozen rhubarb before. Just make sure after you thaw it, to really wring out the excess water so your pie doesn't get soggy :)

P.S. Little One misses your little one!

Paula Schuck said...

That looks fabulous! I still have to post. Exciting campaign and I like Dana's. Take on it.


Christine said...

Me too! I couldn't think of a better person to chat with re: food trends! Dana is the food trends expert for a reason! :)

Torviewtoronto said...

pie looks wonderful

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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