meal to the field #6

 I feel undesired… not by the farmer… I feel sufficiently desired by him…  just realizing that I’m at an age where the older men that used to creepily check me out no longer do… I’m too old now to make it fun for the creepers…  and I’m not quite old enough to be a Cougar yet… getting there but not quite… so I’m in ‘no-man’s land’… literally… no man wanting this…  other than the farmer of course…

so this leads to me getting a tad ‘sloppy’ with my look once in awhile… it is freeing knowing that no one is looking at you… it also means you might wake up and not actually look in the mirror until you are driving and see a glimpse of yourself in the rear-view mirror and think ‘I look tired’… or you might get sloppy with the shaving of the legs or the curling of the hair or the general hygiene desired women  attend to…

recently I had an appointment to get my knee, which I partially tore my MCL in, looked at by a doctor to decide what to do about a brace and physio…  It is a 2 hour drive for me to get into the doctor and I decided that morning to get a few more minutes of sleep instead of getting up to shave my legs…  didn’t really think anything of it as the last three doctor’s I had visited with regards to my knee it would not have bothered me to have them cut their hands on my leg hair…

sure enough, I get there… slightly late, sweating, hairy… with my three kids… the daughter wearing long white gloves and a crown and the boy’s looking like they had made special effort to find the worst outfit combinations possible for the big outing to the doctor’s office…  I see my doctor and I start to sweat more…  he is young, good looking and I know he’s going to have to touch my leg…

turns out he touched both my legs… had to check the ‘good knee’ to see how it compared to the bad one… both of my legs were hairy…  and my back was drenched with sweat and I was trying to make small talk hoping he wouldn’t notice his hands were bleeding…

I get home and tell my farmer about this… about how it’s like when you clean your house and no one comes over but sure enough when it’s dirty you get three visitors that day… he felt bad for me I think… he also mentioned something about how he liked it when I shaved my legs and maybe I could just do it for him and not some stranger doctor guy that I will never see again…

this was the meal I took out that night… I hope you can’t sense all my anxiety and frustration through the pictures of my cooking… but it was there…

no recipe for this salad as you can see all the ingredients that are in it! but it is yummy and easy…

I’ve wanted to make sourdough bread ever since the farmer and I went to San Francisco a few years ago and we could not get enough of it…  this is a easy way to start with making it and I am going to learn the ‘over-night’ version at some point…  but this was good for on a day you didn’t have time shave your legs but you did have time to start dough fermenting…

Quick Sourdough Bread


  • 6 cups all purpose flour or best for bread flour
  • 3 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 3 1/4 cup plain unsweetened yogurt containing active cultures


  • in a Bosch dough machine or a mixer with a dough hook, mix all ingredients on medium speed until the dough comes together
  • if dough is too dry (it should be sticky) add another tbsp of yogurt
  • cut the dough in half to form two balls and put each dough ball into a greased bowl to rise
  • cover the bowl and let ferment at room temperature for 6-10 hours (6 is the minimum)
  • the dough should almost double in size
  • dust the counter with flour and dump the dough out
  • fold it over on itself, turning it as you do, but not crushing the air out of it
  • form into a ball and put onto a piece of parchment paper
  • do this with the other ball as well and let proof for 1-2 hours
  • it should almost double in size but be firm to the touch
  • 30 minutes before dough is ready to be cooked, put two heavy bottomed pots with lids into a 450 degree oven to warm up
  • add the dough by lifting up the parchment paper and setting into the pot
  • cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes
  • then remove the lid and let bake until crust is golden brown
  • take out and cool on a rack for 20 minutes before cutting
  • butter and wrap in tin foil for the field

Beef Stew


  • 1.8 kg Costco stew meat, cut up into small bite size chunks
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 3 cups beef broth, hot
  • 2 large onions, cut into chunks
  • 5 regular red potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 2 lbs carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 head garlic, smashed and minced
  • 4 bay leaves


  • in two or three batches, take stew meat, drop into flour with the salt and pepper and paprika and then shake excess flour off
  • brown the meat at medium/high heat in the olive oil and butter
  • set aside in a pot that you will cook it all in or a crockpot
  • in the drippings, add balsamic vinegar, tomato paste and beef broth
  • pour over the stew meat
  • add to the stew meat the onions, potatoes, carrots and garlic
  • put bay leaves in and cook at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hours

my mom told me that when she had given birth to me in the hospital, a lady had made her a Homemade Angel Food cake… and that she ate the entire thing and did not share it with anyone… not even me… her new-born baby looking all hungry…

Homemade Angel Food Cake


  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites (12 eggs)
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp table salt (fine salt)


  • mix the icing sugar and flour
  • beat room temperature egg whites with cream of tartar on medium speed until slightly foamy
  • add sugar 1/4 cup at a time and then add vanilla, almond extract and salt
  • beat until stiff and smooth
  • sprinkle the icing sugar and flour into the meringue and fold in, 1/2 cup at a time
  • gently spread the batter into an angel food cake pan that is clean and dry
  • bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes
  • cake is done when the cracks in the cake feel dry and the top springs back when touched
  • turn the pan upside down on three cups around the edge of it and let cool for 2 hours
  • this cake is great to make ahead, cut up and put in container and freeze for when you need it

Rhubarb Sauce


  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar


  • in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, stir all ingredients together
  • let come to a boil and then turn down and simmer until rhubarb is slightly broken down, 10-15 minutes
  • remove from pan and let cool
  • this sauce stores well in the fridge

meal to the field #5

disclaimer… this meal is not very healthy… unless you are a pro-athlete and burning insane amounts of calories per day you should not eat like this all the time… but it’s harvest time… the time of year that farmer’s finally make money and gain weight… (or this year just gain weight) and we get to eat dessert at home – that is if there is enough… I for instance have gained 5 pounds so far… I feel like it is an instinct from way back when the settlers (and I’m purely imagining all of this… no homeschooling going on around here) would try to gain weight and a layer of body fat for protection from the harsh Canadian winters… I am just instinctively following suit… it can’t be controlled when it is your heritage… 

the salad is decent for you…  if you want to stay away from the pasta… the gluten… the energy… then just omit the pasta and put it on romain lettuce instead…

Greek Pasta Salad


For the Dressing:

  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 2 tbsp minced red onion
  • 1 tbsp minced red pepper
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic clove
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup crisco oil

For the Salad:

  • 1, 500 g bag Garofalo Gemelli Pasta, boiled
  • 2 containers cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 cucumbers, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 500 g Feta cheese, cubed
  • 2 red peppers, diced
  • 2 yellow peppers, diced
  • 2 cans black olives, drained and chopped


  • in a salad dressing shaker, add all the ingredients for the salad dressing and shake well
  • in a large bowl add all of the salad ingredients
  • pour dressing overtop and chill for at least 3 hours before serving

now we move on to the good stuff…  true story… when the farmer and I were first married… at the ripe old age of 20… we would split a pan of these breadsticks (I have doubled this recipe but you can imagine it’s more than two breadsticks each) while watching Ally McBeal and think we were living the dream… found out it was the dream… in your 20’s eating whatever you want and your body just being like ‘keep it coming… eat more… good idea… I can handle it’ …. then your 30’s hit and you have to eat half of one breadstick and run 4 miles to keep the muffin top at bay…  not sure what 40’s will have to offer but at this rate I’ll only be able to smell the food…

Golden Italian Breadsticks


  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp instant rise yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup Golden Italian Dressing
  • 1 bag or 320 g Italiano Grated Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmeson Cheese
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder


  • mix flour, sugar, salt and yeast till combined in a Bosch dough mixer or a mixer with a dough hook
  • add warm water and oil and mix for around 5-7 minutes until well combined
  • turn into a greased bowl and cover with a tea towel and let rise till it has doubled it’s size, around 45 minutes
  • line a 18×12 baking sheet with parchment paper
  • dump dough out onto baking sheet and press out with hands to the edges of the pan
  • spread with a spatula the golden Italian dressing over the dough
  • sprinkle the grated cheese
  • top with the seasonings
  • bake at 425 degrees for 16 minutes or until golden brown
  • let cool and slice into breadsticks
  • wrap in tin foil to put in supper bags

I made this casserole so many times… have it ready for after a football game, take to a potluck or after a long day at an initiation hockey tournament …

Perogy Casserole with Deer Sausage


  • 2 packages perogies (Baba’s Homestyle Perogies 3 kg)
  • 5 yellow onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 green or red peppers, sliced (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% milk
  • 3 cans mushroom soup
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 packages deer sausage (I used 1 package cheddar smokies & 1 package hot Italian smokies), cut up 1” thick


  • turn oven to 350 degrees and grease two 9×13 pans
  • drop frozen perigees into boiling water and remove with a strainer when they float – I did one package at a time
  • put into greased pans
  • saute onions and peppers in butter and then pour over the perogies
  • whisk soup and milk together and pour over perogies
  • put sausage in with the perogies and then sprinkle with cheddar cheese
  • bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling


hint for serving this cake… small portion size as it is dense, sweet and could send a farmer into a slumber that might cause a combine to be driven into a slough…

Chocolate Zucchini Coconut Cake

  • Servings: 1 9x13 cake
  • Print


For the Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 3 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the Icing:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut, to sprinkle on top of cake


  • preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a 9×13 pan
  • whisk dry ingredients for cake
  • in a mixer add butter, coconut oil and sugar and beat until smooth
  • add eggs and vanilla and beat, then add yogurt
  • mix in the dry ingredients
  • fold in zucchini, coconut and chocolate chips
  • pour into the pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean
  • for the icing, beat butter until smooth and then add icing sugar
  • add the coconut extract and beat until smooth
  • spread the icing and sprinkle the cake with the toasted coconut

meal to the field #4

 we combined red lentils the night I took this supper out…  saskatchewan is a huge producer of red lentils and a side note is my daughter loves to eat them in the combine… in fact when she is out there riding with her dad she drinks a pepsi and eats lentils… I figure once less mouth to feed…

sometimes you’ve got to be organized… thus me making the shell and the filling for the lemon meringue pie in the evening and then plastic wrapping it up, putting it in the fridge and then completing the meringue the next day – it actually worked very well…

I do wish there was a before and after for this pie going out to the field… let’s just say I saw what the farmer had to see and it was more of a ‘soup’ pie…  so as much as I love this pie, it is not a great one to survive the trip in the supper bag out to the field…  just eat it at home…

Grandma Swan's Lemon Meringue Pie


For the 2 baked pie shells:

  • Crisco Pie Shell Recipe
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup crisco, cold
  • 11 tbsp cold water (1 tbsp less than 3/4 cup)

For the filling:

  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 8 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 6 egg yolks, beaten
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 4 tsp grated lemon zest

For the meringue:

  • 8 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 8 tbsp sugar


  • for the pie shell, mix flour and salt together
  • add cubes of cold crisco and then add water
  • using a pastry blender, blend together dough and dump out onto counter
  • form into a ball and then cut into two
  • wrap the two balls of dough in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours
  • roll the dough out and place in pie plates
  • bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until browned and then let cool
  • for the filling, combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, butter and egg yolks in a pot
  • add the boiling water and bring mixture to a boil
  • when thickened, cool and pour into shells
  • for the meringue, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed in mixer
  • add 1 tbsp of sugar at a time until it is blended and stiff peaks appear
  • place on cooled lemon pies and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until meringue gets browned

corn on the cob is easy to wrap up in foil and take to the field…  it keeps warm and with some garlic butter is fantastic!

Corn on the Cob with Garlic Butter


  • 12 cobs of corn, husked
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cup Becel margarine
  • 3 tbsp Johnny’s Garlic Spread & Seasoning


  • boil corn for 8-10 minutes at a slow boil in water with salt added
  • remove corn and set aside on plate to drain some of the liquid
  • mix 1 cup margarine with the garlic seasoning
  • place corn on tin foil with 1 tbsp of margarine spread and wrap up

I love coleslaw…  not the KFC coleslaw as they’ve changed the recipe now and it is disgusting… but homemade coleslaw….  even in a pinch I like store bought coleslaw with tomatoes and mushrooms added to it…  and it screams ‘picnic’… which also screams ‘meal to the field’… 

these are the Hutterite chickens that I get… I try to only use meat that to my knowledge has had a good life…  as far as I know Hutterite’s treat their chicken’s well…  so I like to get eggs and chicken’s from them whenever they drive into my yard selling them to me…  I did become a vegetarian for just over a month last fall…  it was after harvest and I went hunting with the farmer (mostly to get away from the kid’s) and I thought it was more of a ‘window shopping’ type of hunting trip…  turns out I spotted a beautiful white tail deer (buck) and he shot it… I cried while three other hunters helped him take the inside of the deer out and tag it and load it…  it didn’t help that I had watched the documentary ‘Black Fish’ that day… so I said if I couldn’t take seeing an animal die I had no right to eat an animal…  just over a month later I was getting the mail and a new purse came in the mail for me… my curly haired boy ‘Meat’ quietly pointed out “what is that purse made out of mom?”….  then added “so you can’t eat animals but you can wear them?”…  this is when I realized the the vegan lifestyle was not going to fit into my farming/fashion/hunting life very well…  but I still like to know that the animal that I am eating has had a good go at life… enjoyed it as well as possible… and we do have meatless Monday’s in tribute to eating less meat…  

Hutterite Chicken Sandwiches with Coleslaw


For the Chicken:

  • 2 fryer chickens, defrosted
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 2 heads garlic, chopped
  • 1 bottle bbq sauce

For the Coleslaw:

  • 1 head cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 head purple cabbage, sliced thin
  • 4 large carrots, sliced thin
  • 10-15 radishes, sliced thin
  • 1 cup half/half milk
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 block, Meddo Belle Dutch Mild Gouda
  • 12 buns


  • for the coleslaw, slice the cabbage, carrots and radishes and place in a large bowl
  • mix up the dressing (without the cilantro) and add to salad
  • put in fridge for a few hours
  • for the chicken, pour the butter over the chickens and then sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • cook in oven at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hours or longer depending on the size of the chickens
  • cut up and set chicken aside
  • put olive oil in pan and at medium heat put in onions and garlic
  • cook for 5 minutes and then add BBQ sauce
  • add chicken to mixture and bring to a heat
  • for sandwiches, put meat, gouda cheese sliced and coleslaw and wrap in tin foil
  • option is: put coleslaw separate and put meat, gouda cheese and ranch dressing on bun and wrap in tin foil… then put the buns to warm in a 300 degree oven and when done pack up in supper bags

farmer’s like football

these are my pride and joy… the first one is a 13 year old that can’t remember a single thing…  I was warned this happens to your boy when they turn 13 and then they never recover fully from losing half their brain…  poor guy still doesn’t realize that he got hit with the ‘stupid stamp’ because he answers every question and will argue every issue with you and tell you where to turn when you are driving… all the while being wrong and senseless all at once…

the other one with the curly hair is nicknamed ‘meat’…  and lives in his own little imaginary world…  where he is the star of everything and he re-enacts this out on our lawn or in the living room alone for hours… whether it is football, baseball or hockey he will spend a few hours a day caught up in the drama of his making… and no one else is invited to join…


they have a sister… poor thing with these to ‘blazing the trail’ ahead of her doesn’t really have a firm grasp on reality…  maybe that’s good? 

I met the farmer I married when we were at Bible College…  I was basically ‘coerced’ into going there and the farmer was on the hunt for a wife I’ve come to realize…  but the glue that brought us together was our love for football…  I was a Green Bay Packer’s fan (Brett Favre era) and he was a Pittsburgh Steelers fan…  and we’ve been anxiously awaiting the day our boys would play on the same football team… that time is finally here…  the oldest is in his last year of Junior Football and the youngest is a rookie to it…  and it is everything we thought it would be…  this was a picture of the first night they got their equipment… when we got home from practice they went out to the yard and tackled each other for around 45 minutes…  it makes me understand men more raising two boys… the simplicity of them… the desire to dig holes in dirt, hit something, conquer land or people, see who is the strongest… and the bond men have with each other…  because they don’t want to feel silly in their pursuits of nonsense so they band together to encourage each other to out-do the other’s stupidity…  it is adorable/sad to watch… but it is what it is… and I love football so my son’s can be encouraged in the hitting, grunting and tackling that they so desire to do…

meal to the field #3 

my days are spent with mundane chores that I try to value and appreciate… making lunches, organizing plans for the day, making beds, cleaning bathrooms…. and then I get to cook…  now I didn’t always love it… but when you have to do something – you make a choice – love it or get through it…  I have found it to be my artistic get-a-way from the ordinary of life…  and the fact that it is my job is really nice…  

Amie Chalmer’s gave me this recipe for 9 Grain Bread many years ago… I was so horrible at making bread that I have not attempted it until this harvest…  and even though it wasn’t well crafted it tasted great!

Amie's 9 Grain Bread


– 1/2 cup lukewarm water

– 1 tsphoney

– 2 tbsp dry active yeast

– 3 1/2 cups warm water

– 1/4 cup honey

– 1/2 cup canola oil

– 2 tbsp lemon juice (around 1 lemon)

– 4 tsp salt

– 2 cups Roger’s 9 Grain flour

– 10 cups Roger’s all purpose flour (more if needed)


– dissolve yeast and 1 tsp of honey in water and let stand 10 minutes

– in mixing bowl, add water, honey, oil, lemon juice and salt and mix

– add yeast mixture and mix

– add about half the flour and mix with dough hook

– add remaining flour (up to the 9 cups of all purpose) and mix until it is just together

– turn out onto floured surface and knead by hand and form into a ball

– grease a bowl and place ball of dough in it and grease top of dough

– cover and let rise for 50 minutes

– punch down and shape into 8 round balls

– place on a baking sheet (greased or parchment paper lined)

– cover with tea towel and let rise 45 minutes

– bake at 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until bread is done

– cool on a wire rack

this salad is very easy to get together and is a staple around our house – nothing to do with our love affair with bacon – but it is very yummy…

Tossed Salad with Bacon, Tomatoes, Croutons and Ranch Dressing


– 1-2 bags mixed green lettuce

– Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

– 2 pkg bacon, cooked and cut up

– 1/3 block of cheddar cheese, grated

– 1 container grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half

– croutons or peanuts or pecans chopped


– assemble salads in individual containers in the order of ingredients listed

– keep in fridge until ready to pack up

I have made this cake just about every harvest… partly because my mom would bring out peaches from BC that I would use instead of nectarines… partly because cake and fruit is the perfect combination

Nectarine Upside Down Cake with Whipped Cream


For Cake:

– 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

– 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

– 4 cups nectarines, cut into 1 inch chunks (around 6 nectarines)

– 3 cups all purpose flour

– 3 tsp baking powder

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 1 tsp kosher salt

– 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

– 1 1/4 cup sugar

– 4 large eggs, room temperature

– 2 tsp vanilla extract

– 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

For Whipped Cream:

– 500 mL whipping cream

– 1 pkg Whip It


– preheat oven to 325 degrees

– place 1/4 cup butter into 9 inch round cake pan 2 inches deep

– melt in oven, remove and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the butter

– arrange fruit over the brown sugar mixture in pan

– in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt

– beat butter with sugar and then beat in eggs one at a time

– beat in vanilla and then dry ingredients

– with a spatula, spread the cake mixture over the nectarines

– bake until cake is dark golden brown and toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean…  1 hour 10 minutes

– let cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes

– run an knife around the edge and invert cake onto serving plate

– cut and scoop into containers

– for Whipped Cream, chill beater and bowl in freezer if possible

– pour whipping cream in bowl and the package of Whip It and beat on med/high until it forms soft peaks

– put a large dollop on room temperature dessert in container

main course… again a classic to take the the field…  if you have time make your own meatballs… if you don’t, buy them from a good meat store and it saves you a lot of time…

Meatballs with Peppers & Pineapple and Rice


– 2 1/2 ground beef

– 1 whole onion, diced very finely

– 2 whole eggs

– 1 cup Panko bread crumbs

– 2 tsp kosher salt

– ground pepper

– 1 tsp crushed red pepper

– 1/2 cup all purpose flour

– canola oil, for frying

– 6 green bell peppers, diced large

– 3 cups fresh pineapple chunks (or 2 cans of pineapple chunks and juice)

– (I used a whole plastic container from Costco of pineapple)

– 3 cups beef broth

– 4 tbsp soy sauce

– 1 cup white wine vinegar

– 2/3 cup sugar

– 3 tbsp cornstarch

– kosher salt

– Basanti Rice


– combine beef, onion, egg, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, and red pepper flakes

– mix in a large bowl with hands

– roll into small balls and put on a cookie sheet

– freeze for 15 minutes or longer (they are fine totally frozen)

– (in a pinch, use frozen store bought meatballs)

– pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

– cook meatballs in two 9×13 pan for 20 minutes

– strain the meatballs

– add half of the peppers and pineapple chunks to the bottom of the pan

– place half cooked meatballs on them and then the remaining peppers and pineapple chunks

– add sauce and return to oven for another 20 min

– serve on cooked rice

 and there goes the farmers…  I quickly hand them and the truckers and grain cart drivers their suppers that I have so carefully packed… only to see a few of them swinging them around like they are trying to hook them through a peg to help them get back up into their combine… or hear that a trucker didn’t eat his until 4 hours later…  but I tried… I gave it my best attempt and do with your supper as you see fit…

meal to the field #2

when I took this meal my kid’s were still at home on summer holidays… which means two things… I can make them work for me but I also have to put up with them… toss up… 

let us begin with the layered salad… in my mind it is the best salad to take out to the men because it keeps so well and resists the urge to get soggy… and it has bacon…

Layered Salad


For the Salad:

– 2 heads Romain Lettuce

– 1 small box of baby Spinach

– 12 whole hard boiled eggs, chopped

– kosher salt and ground pepper to taste

– 1 10 oz bag frozen peas

– 2 cans water chestnuts, sliced (227 mL cans)

– 4 whole tomatoes, chopped

– 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced (green and white parts)

– 1/2 block cheddar cheese, grated (300 g)

– 2 packages thick cut bacon, cooked and chopped

For the Dressing:

– 1 cup Mayonnaise

– 1 cup Sour Cream

– 2 tbsp sugar

– 1 tsp dried dill


– in each container you are doing, layer the ingredients in the order they appear, but put the dressing layer in the middle so it does not stick to the lid of the container

– put them in the fridge until ready to pack suppers up

next up is Homemade Naan Bread…  and it is a bit time consuming to make up but if you have the time it is so much more delicious homemade than bought… and not a difficult dough to work with…

Naan Bread


– 2 tbsp sugar

– 1/2 cup hot water (not boiling)

– 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

– 4 cups all purpose flour

– 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

– 1 tsp kosher salt

– 3 tsp baking powder

– 2 tsp baking soda

– 1 1/2 cups warm milk

– 2 cup greek yogurt, room temperature

– melted butter for brushing

– fresh cilantro for garnish


– dissolve the sugar in the water and add the yeast in a large measuring bowl… let sit for 10 minutes

– in a mixing bowl, add flour, salt,  baking soda and baking powder

– add the warm milk and yogurt to the yeast mixture

– pour the wet ingredients into the dry and begin mixing together gently

– use your hands to finish mixing it together

– it should be sticky but should be able to form a ball

– cover with a damp tea towel and let rise 1 hour in a warm place

– when ready to use divide it into 2 and divide those two sections into 8 each… keep these balls covered with a damp tea towel

– roll the ball into an oval shape, about 6 inches long and 1/4 inch thick

– brush the dough with butter and place in a frying pan on med/high heat and cover with a lid for 1 minute or until you see bubbles begin to form

– flip and cook for 1-2 minutes more until it looks toasted

– brush with a little bit more butter and sprinkle with kosher salt and cilantro

– place in a 9×13 tea towel lined dish and cover with a tea towel until you have completed cooking all of them

the Teriyaki Chicken is shown with rice and no bean spouts because I live in the middle of no-where and sometimes can’t get the ingredients I envision for my meals…  seriously in the middle of no-where…  I’m nestled in between two towns and neither of them have a paved street… there was one summer where the kid’s and I got all excited because we thought they were paving main street in the one town… only to find out they were just ‘oiling’ it down to keep the dust at bay (and because there is so much oil around here we can afford to just spread oil over anything we feel like spreading it over)

Teriyaki Chicken with Peppers, Bok Choy, Green Onions & Bean Sprouts on Udon Noodles


– 12 Teriyaki Chicken Breast, unthawed and sliced

– 1/4 cup olive oil

– 2 Green Peppers, sliced

– 2 Red Peppers, sliced

– 2 Yellow or Orange Peppers, sliced

– 2 Red Onions, sliced

– 2 bags of Bok Choy, bottomed removed and sliced

– 1 bunch Green Onions, sliced (include white and green parts)

– 1 pound Bean Sprouts

– 2 jars VH Japanese Teriyaki Sauce (355 mL)

– 3 packages of Udon Noodles

– 4-6 limes


– in a large frying pan on med/high heat, fry up chicken in batches

– fry up the peppers, onions and bok choy

– combine chicken and veggies until they are coated together with sauce

– in boiling water, add Udon noodles and cook until just done

– in each dish place noodles, chicken/veggie mixture and then green onions and bean sprouts

– add a wedge of lime to each dish and serve

and here is the best birthday cake you will ever get on your birthday… ever…  the farmer I feed has a Grandmother that is the best cook I have ever seen… live… not including on tv…  and she would buy German Chocolate when she went to Phoenix because we can’t get it in Canada and freeze it just for when she would make this cake…  American’s don’t know how sweet they have it being able to buy german chocolate any old day of the week they want to… I had to use milk chocolate just because I didn’t have any of the imported german chocolate in my freezer… but I am going to get my hands on some…

Grandma Swan's German Chocolate Cake


For the Cake:

– 4 oz pkg Baker’s German chocolate

– 1/2 cup boiling water

– 1 cup butter

– 2 cups sugar

– 4 eggs, separated and at room temperature

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 1/2 tsp kosher salt

– 1 cup buttermilk

For the Coconut Pecan Frosting:

– 12 ounce can evaporated milk

– 1 1/2 cups sugar

– 4 slight beaten egg yolks, room temperature

– 3/4 cup butter

– 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

– 2 cups unsweetened coconut

– 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans


– melt chocolate in water and cool

– beat butter and sugar, then add egg yolks

– stir in vanilla and chocolate

– mix the flour, baking soda and salt together

– add dry ingredients and buttermilk to the sugar mixture

– set aside

– whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold into the batter

– pour into three 9 inch layer pans lined on the bottom with waxed paper

– bake at 350 degree oven for 30 minutes

– cool for 15 min on wire racks

– for the frosting, combine the evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla in a saucepan on medium heat

– remove from the heat and stir in the coconut and pecans

– when cool spread between the cake layers and around the cake to serve


meal to the field #1

 the first meal to the field is always a little ‘hairy’…  not sure when to cook things, when to pack them up…  when to cry because I’m overwhelmed…

the first meal plan was:

  • Hot Corned Beef Sandwiches
  • Tammy’s Buns
  • Garlic Roasted Potatoes
  • Fresh Corn Casserole
  • Macaroni Salad
  • Saskatoon Berry Crumble Cake

the other wrinkle thrown into my plans was a 2 hour wait in a doctor’s office to get my knee looked at… during this time I left my children (child labourers) to tend to the cooking and packing…  

I had made this Saskatoon Berry Crumble Cake earlier on in the morning… I made it in a square baking pan and realized as it was flowing over the sides and making a mess of the oven that a 9×13 is a better idea…  I like to learn by mistake – every time – only way I learn anything

Saskatoon Berry Crumble Cake


For the Cake:

– 2 cups all purpose flour

– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 1/2 tsp kosher salt

– 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

– 1 cup white sugar

– zest of 1 large lemon

– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

– 2 large eggs, at room temperature

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

– 2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

For the Streusel Topping:

– 1/2 cup all purpose flour

– 1/2 cup brown sugar

– 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

– 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed


– preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 9×13 pan

– whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon

– cream the sugar, lemon zest and butter

– add eggs and beat until smooth

– add vanilla and Greek yogurt and mix until combined

– add dry ingredients and mix until just combined

– fold in blueberries with a spatula

– for the streusel topping, combine ingredients and work it until the mixture resembles oatmeal

– pour the cake in the pan and top with the streusel

– bake until golden and toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean

(approx. 40 min)

this Macaroni Salad is delish…  I remember being in Oahu and my farmer went out to pick up a cheap supper so we didn’t break the bank on a meal out with our kid’s whom neither of us enjoy a meal out with anyways…  so we were left watching ‘River Monsters’ and he came back with ribs, rice and macaroni salad…  this is when I discovered that Hawaiians loved macaroni salad as much as people that like to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken…

Macaroni Salad


– 4 cups dry elbow macaroni

– 3 roasted red peppers, chopped

– 1/2 cup (200 mL can) black olives, chopped

– 1/2 cup dill pickles, chopped

– 6 green onions, sliced (1/2 cup)

– 1/2 cup radishes, sliced

– 1/2 cup mayonnaise

– 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

– 3 tsp sugar

– 1/2 tsp kosher salt

– freshly ground black pepper

– 1/4 cup milk

– small splash of pickle juice


– cook macaroni in lightly salted water, drain and set aside

– to roast the red peppers, put whole peppers on a sheet pan in the oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes

– cover with tin foil and let sit for 30 minutes

– cut the top off and remove charred skin and seeds

– mix mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper

– add enough milk to make it pourable

– splash in the pickle juice for extra flavour

– mix macaroni and dressing

– stir in olives, roasted red peppers, pickles, green onions and radishes

– chill for at least 2 hours before serving

the potatoes are curtesy of my garden… and the boys made them for me while I was at the knee appointment…  they even blanched them first, then paper towel dried them off and then coated them in the olive oil and spices and then lade them out on the pan individually… I informed them later that it was awesome they did that but didn’t need to go to that much work!

Garlic Roasted Potatoes


– 5 pounds red potatoes (sliced into wedges and enough for 2 sheet pans)

– 1/2 cup olive oil

– 2 tsp kosher salt

– 1 tsp ground pepper

– 2 tbsp minced garlic (around 6 cloves)

– 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley (or 1tbsp dried parsley)


– boil salted water and put half of the wedges in for 3 minutes or until water is back to a boil to blanch them

– remove with a strainer and put immediately into a ice water or cold water bath (I put mine into the sink filled with cold water)

– repeat with the other half of potatoes

– dry potatoes wedges on a tea towel

– toss the potatoes with the olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic

– transfer onto a sheet pan with parchment paper lining it

– roast in oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crisp

– flip once while roasting

– remove from oven and add parsley

we also went to the garden for some corn on the cob and made it into Garden Corn Casserole…  it is one of my favourite ways to take corn to the field…

Garden Corn Casserole


– 12 ears of corn (still in the husk – 10 cups after cut off)

– 1 1/3 cups heavy cream (half & half works)

– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

– 2 tsp kosher salt

– ground pepper


– remove corn from husks

– in a large deep bowl, slice off the kernels of corn

– with the dull side of the knife, press and scrape out the creamy milk of the rest of the cob

– add butter, heavy cream, salt and pepper

– put into a 9×13 baking dish

– bake at 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes

 lastly…  the Hot Corned Beef Sandwiches… I bought the corned beef at Prairie Meats in Saskatoon, SK…  and it was excellent…  this is my oldest boy’s hand in the picture… my other boy is taking the picture with his phone… they learn from their mom pretty quickly that everyone likes to see every move you make documented on Instagram…   they had to make and wrap in tin foil all 20 sandwiches…  for boy’s that spent most of August playing Clash of Clans this is quite the undertaking… but they pulled it off!

Hot Corned Beef Sandwiches


– Tammy’s Buns (see following recipe)

– Corned Beef (I bought seasoned at Prairie Meats)

– 1 pound Provolone cheese

– 1/2 cup mayonnaise

– 6 tbsp grated onion

– 1 tbsp poppy seeds

– 2 tbsp spicy mustard

– 1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce


– cook corned beef at 325 degree oven with beef broth and apple cider vinegar in the pan for 3 hours

– slice the corned beef thinly

– slice buns

– mix mayo and other ingredients

– spread the dressing on both the top and bottom of bun

– place meat and cheese slices in

– wrap each sandwich in foil and either put in fridge to heat up later or bake right away

– 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes

Tammy's Buns


– 3 cups warm water

– 1/2 cup sugar

– 6 tbsp (90 mL) crisco oil

– 1 tsp salt

– 2 tbsp Fermipan instant rise yeast

– 2 eggs, room temperature, beaten

– 8 3/4 cups all purpose flour


– in a Bosch dough mixer (or any mixer with a dough hook) add all ingredients except for flour and mix

– add half of the flour, mix and then the other half and mix

– beat for 7 minutes

– let rise in a warm place, covered with a tea towel and punch down 3 times every 15 minutes

– form buns and allow them to rise for 45 minutes covered

– bake at 350 for 17 minutes

gardening 101 – ish

it all starts in the garden…  which in Saskatchewan the garden faces many set backs…

the first being sin entering the world and creating weeds in the garden… darn you Eve… darn you…

then this year it was two frosts in May… oh and recently one here in late August…  makes for a small growing season… (mosquitoes can live through all of that easily… in fact they thrive on it)

then you have no rain for 2 months… then 4 1/2 inches all at once (we began building an ark… as you can see by the intelligence of my workers we didn’t get very far)…

then the wind… i grew up near Calgary where you’d get these nice ‘chinook’ winds go through… here in Saskatchewan they are called ‘there goes the trampoline again’ winds…

i am grateful for the people that engineer and manufacture seeds that are able to actually grow and produce in this climate… perhaps they have ‘GMO’s’  in them… and when i use that term i want you to know i have no idea what i am referring to…  (i don’t homeschool my kid’s so i don’t have to learn new things myself)

my garden consists of the same things every year – because I know they will grow.. beets, carrots,garlic, onions, potatoes, corn, asparagus, zucchini, spagetti squash

this year we did two different varieties of beets (long and skinny vs short and round), potatoes (red vs yellow), and corn (tall and skinny vs short and stubby)…

so far the short, round, stubby and red things are tasting better…  i’m not sure if this is something one can transfer to everything in life or if it just applies to potatoes, beets and corn…

any other veggies that you’d normally see in a garden i purchase from the Hutterites… who come by regularly to sell their goods and have done a far better job than i could ever dream of doing with the shelling, picking and shucking of vegetables…

i also know they are taking over the world… or just southern Alberta… and then the world…

as far as eating from a garden… everything tastes so good… i believe this is because the sugars in the veggies have not had the time to break down into starches and you get the goodness of sugary tasting veggies!!!  (this might not be true at all and i might have seen Jessica Alba post something to do with this on Instagram and I assume everything she says is the truth – due to her ‘Honest’ company and the fact that she has the same middle name as me)

so… get a garden…  good ingredients make good food…  or just go to the Hutterites or Costco…  also good…

pitchfork bacon

i usually cook for the farmer…  but on occasion he cooks for me.

this is basically the only thing he knows how to cook… but if there is only one thing you know how to cook, it might as well be bacon on a pitchfork over a fire…

something about how the grease from the bacon drips onto the fire is mesmerizing

thick cut cherry bacon is the best