A Recipe to Eat Your Spinach

Ginger and Nutmeg have a lovely friend they met while hiking in France. She is a fascinating lady with a medical background. A nurse by training, she has a gift with languages and a sense of adventure that has led her to some interesting spots in the world. Just as G&N arrived back in Provence their friend broke the news that her family was off on another adventure. This one would take her back to the UK for a while. Before this delightful lady was allowed to leave Provence, a group of girlfriends (and one good sport – Ginger) had decided that a proper send-off luncheon was in order. provencal-seating Continue reading

French Recipe Favourites

Nutmeg has learned a few things about technology in the last couple months including:

  • It is a brilliant idea to keep back-up files
  • Software version updates can cause problems
  • The benefits of saving documents to a cloud

Luckily, there are a few loyal readers including CardaMOM, who prints everything.  Nutmeg has rebuilt the recipe database on this blog over the last few weeks, and she has been able to recover 99% of the recipes.  The new format is much better for printing.  Rather than make you search back through old posts for the French recipes, some of them are captured below (click the links) and enjoy!


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Master of the Kitchen in Provence

Who would not be inspired by this view?

Chateau D'Arnajon

Whether your passion is art, music, food or something else it would be hard not to feel the urge to be creative.  Ginger and Nutmeg were very fortunate to spend two days with Marc Heracle in his beautifully appointed kitchen at Chateau D’Arnajon. The Chateau is located in the village of Le Puy Sainte Reparade.  Marc’s focus is on traditional Provençal style cuisine.  Traditional methods pre-1900s did not include dairy, butter or refined flours.  The cooking methods of the time used olive oil, almonds, olives, citrus and spices that were (and still are) found in abundance in the region. Marc’s style is relaxed as he shares his knowledge and practical experience.  He encourages participation and is happy to share some stories.

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Lentils for Luck

Lentils for Luck

Nutmeg is not superstitious by nature.  That being said, she is not foolhardy either; there is no good reason to spend to much time with a black cat or walk under a ladder or generally tempt fate.

It is a tradition in Nutmeg’s family to eat lentils on January 1st every year.  In many nationalities, eating lentils on the first of the year is supposed to bring you prosperity through the coming months.  The round shape of the lentil is similar to a coin, and thus in theory the more you eat the more wealth you will gain.  Given the fact that Ginger and Nutmeg are living, eating and drinking in France without paychecks, a bit of prosperity would not hurt. Continue reading

Unearthing Root Vegetables in the Fall

Thanksgiving, it certainly feels like fall in Southern Alberta and in parts of France.  The mornings are crisp and more clothing layers are required for dog walks.  Nearby mountain peaks have some early season snow at the higher levels, and the leaves on the trees are starting to turn their autumn hues.  Nutmeg is not really a fall person, although she has many friends who embrace the transition season between summer (her favorite) and winter (skiing, second favorite). Continue reading

Summer Market Corn Salad Recipe

Ginger used to think Alberta Taber corn was pretty good, then he moved out east to work in the “big smoke” aka Toronto and realized he was mistaken.  He would often borrow Nutmeg’s car and drive to Buttonville airport for flying lessons.  On his way back home, he would stop at a farmer’s road side stand and load up with the freshest seasonal corn and tomatoes.  The corn (peaches and cream variety) was literally fresh picked that day and the tomatoes were to die for.  So dinner was easy…peel the corn cobs, boil until just right and serve with sliced tomatoes.  Yum! Continue reading

Beets Do you Love them too

Curry Murray loves beets and asked Nutmeg specifically for an article on beets.

So here are some of the facts right from Wikipedia:

The beet (Beta vulgaris) is a plant in the amaranth family. It is best known in its numerous cultivated varieties, the most well known of which is probably the red root vegetable known as the beetroot or garden beet. However, other cultivated varieties include the leaf vegetables chard and spinach beet, as well as the root vegetables sugar beet, which is important in the production of table sugar, and mangelwurzel, which is a fodder crop.

The beet has a long history of cultivation stretching back to the second millennium BC. The plant was probably domesticated somewhere along the Mediterranean, whence it was later spread to Babylonia by the 8th century BC and as far east as China by 850 AD. Available evidence, such as that provided by Aristotle and Theophrastus suggests that the leafy varieties of the beet were grown primarily for most of its history, though these lost much of their popularity much later following the introduction of spinach. The beet became highly commercially important in 19th century Europe following the development of the sugar beet in Germany and the discovery that sucrose could be extracted from them, providing an alternative to tropical sugar cane. It remains a widely cultivated commercial crop for producing table sugar.

Beets are good for you too:

  • The roots and leaves of the beet have been used in folk medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments.
  • The Romans used beetroot as a treatment for fevers and constipation, amongst other ailments. They also considered it an aphrodisiac.
  • Beet juice can help lower blood pressure.
  • Beets have been used as a treatment for cancer in Europe for several centuries.

They are easy to cook, you can simply wrap them in tin foil and bake in the oven until tender, the outer-skin will peel off very easily at that point.

Nutmeg loves beets in salad with either a soft goat cheese or something salty like a feta.  The other classic use for beets is in Borscht (beet and cabbage) soup, Nutmeg is on the hunt for a good recipe.

So do you love Beets?  Let us know.