I must admit, I’ve loved the unpredictable nature of September weather here in Edmonton. It’s the time of year where the warmth of long Summer days intertwines with the cooler calm of Autumn. Monday brings a breeze so crisp it finds its way beneath my long sleeved cardigan, leading me to pull the collar of my jacket up just a little higher towards my ears; while Tuesday brings warm rays of sunshine in through the window and I just know a pair of comfy jeans and my favourite tee is all I’ll need to enjoy a relaxing stroll outdoors. But there’s no denying it, September is winding down and October 1st is on the horizon, it’s hard to believe, isn’t it?
With Autumn in full swing, as I drive to work at Localize I’m treated to the sheer beauty along Edmonton’s city streets, where the trees are painted brilliant shades of orange, ruby and gold.
The cooler nature and transition outdoors invites a shift to cozy comfort foods in the kitchen. It is the perfect time of year to pull out your slow cooker. I’m proud to sport a 20-year-old hand-me-down which still yields some of the most delicious creations to come out of my kitchen.
It’s also that time of year where root vegetables begin to stand out in the grocery store, from pumpkins to beets to potatoes and an abundant variety of winter squash are now in season. These hearty vegetables are ideal for savory recipes from Shepherd’s pie to slow roasted dishes, but they can also satiate a sweet tooth with traditional favorites like good ol’ pumpkin pie.
Blanching, canning and baking fill more of my free evenings and afternoons as I get creative with the last of the garden’s harvest, and I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking ahead to Thanksgiving, the next festive gathering just around the corner. It brings its own array of delicious foods to be enjoyed from turkey and cranberry sauce to stuffing and roasted baby potatoes…
I love how the festive season brings people together – good conversation, stories and laughter shared over the rich flavours of hearty home-made dishes. These past couple of weeks at Localize we’ve connected with local and regional food producers to bring you a collection of festive recipes perfect for a laid-back Sunday dinner in October, an elegant Thanksgiving spread, a spooky Halloween party, and (dare we say already? Christmas too!) You’ll have no shortage of ideas when it comes to meal planning for the upcoming season of festivities, and as an added bonus they will be intertwined with regional stories behind local food producers and the products they make.
I think Elysia Vandenhurk from Three Farmers hit it right on when she said,
“As in life, every experience is enhanced when there is a story and truth behind it; why would this be any different with our food?“
“Three Farmers” is a trio of Saskatchewan farmers passionate about growing natural, healthy food and dedicated to providing a personal connection between producers and consumers. Find out more about Three Farmers Camelina Oil, visit: threefarmers.ca
To kick off our blog series of festive recipes, I want to share a personal favourite made with freshly harvested gold and violet beets. Enjoy!
ORANGE GLAZED BEETS
- 12 beets (2lb/1kg)
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 tsp grated orange rind
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tbsp Three Farmers Camelina Oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- Peel your beets if they are large, or have a thick skin, (I often skip this step with smaller beets, about the size of large plums, the skins soften with slow cooking and leaving them on does not impact the finished dish). Quarter or chop your beets into 1/2 inch pieces and add to your slow cooker. Add in garlic, orange rind, juice, oil, salt, pepper, and coriander. Stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. To shorten the cooking time, cook on medium high for 1-2 hours, and turn to low for the last hour.
- Toss gently and spinkle with green onions before serving. Add a dash of salt and pepper (optional).