Stocking Up


Bill Jones is an author, chef and food consultant
Image Salmon Chowder courtesy Bill Jones

It seems like a good time to talk about ways to stock up with local food meals. We all love to get out and search the Valley for great ingredients, but sometimes you have to look to the freezer and your produce bins to put together something for the gang. You will also find that it pays to have a meal ready to defrost or reheat when you really need it. A good healthy meal is also a positive way to take your mind off the day’s distractions. 

For meat lovers, a good stew would be high on my list, followed by chili and perhaps meat sauce for pasta. Vegetarians would enjoy a bowl of chickpea, garlic and kale soup, sometimes boosted with cooked pasta or even chunks of stale bread. These dishes are found in many parts of the world and are very rustic comforting foods. Many soups are fantastic way to build several days worth of meals. We recently chopped up a squash (saved from last Fall)  into wedges and roasted it until soft. I then made a stock of water, miso paste and lots of garlic. Into this I added the squash and pureed it until smooth. After finishing with a little sea salt is was simply amazing.

Perhaps you have a chunk of salmon in the freezer, turn that into a series of excellent meals by making a salmon chowder with milk, potatoes, carrots and onions. Get a little creative if you want, turn that base into a spicy bowlful, add spices, ginger and herbs to make it something of your own. And before you ask, you don’t really need a recipe for these dishes. They are of the “throw it in the pot” and cook until tender variety of recipe. We Canadians have been making these dishes around a campfire for many generations. And don’t forget about snacks and desserts. It is always a good time to make a batch of cookies, granola bars, or make a truly happy ending to a meal with a more elaborate treat like a cake.

Remember, homemade food can be love, food can be nurturing; and we might as well pass a little around the table.