Truly March is the most frustrating month. It brings sunny warm days that cause you to cast away the wool scarf and haul out sneakers from the back of the closet, and then slams the door in your face with its plunging temperatures and occasional snowfalls. Still, I admit that I give in to its games and occasionally allow myself to believe that it is spring. My hope was validated today by the discovery of some very brave rhubarb poking its little heads up in the garden.
"This is what's cruel about springtime: no matter how it treats you, you can't stop loving it."Barbara Kingsolver
Consider this a warning that I will probably begin blathering about seedlings, compost and my garden in future posts and won't let up until about mid-October or so. It's almost gardening time!!
* * *Interview with Aimée
Mother of three and food blogger, Kate of A Merrier World, has decided it's high time to discover the stories behind some of her favourite food blogs and guess who she picked to go first? Yep, in the very first installment of her fascinating Edible Lives series, you can read all about Under the High Chair's humble beginnings and the journey to what we are today. Curious as to how everything began? Head on over to the interview for a trip down memory lane and also discover which popular blogger she'll be interviewing next!!
Thank you for this opportunity, Kate!
* * *Raw Pet Diet
Alright, so after the last fiasco with our cat, Cassis, I decided to put him on a raw diet to avoid going through anything like that again. Correction, I didn't really 'decide', more like I was told to by my little sister, resident family pet expert and B.A.R.F pioneer (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) around these parts. Note that I don't usually take commands from a sibling seven years my junior, but believe me when I tell you, if Miranda strongly suggests something pet related, I know I'd better listen up.
If you want to find out what is involved in committing to a raw diet for your pet or how to transition, my sister outlines the process at her informative, easy-to-understand blog My Mini Zoo. You can also follow her on Twitter.
Raw pet diets are not for the faint-of-heart, let me just say that! There's nothing quite like hacking up chicken carcasses (bone shards flying everywhere and the baby trying to eat them off the floor), mincing chicken hearts & livers, tossing in a raw egg, serving it to your cat--and then sitting down to your own dinner. They don't call it B.A.R.F for nothin'. Just saying.
* * *Making Baby Food 101
From cat food to baby food, the lovely Cheryl from Backseat Gourmet has two articles on making your own baby food that I wanted to recommend to all my mommy readers out there. I've always made all my own baby food, but never got it together to post a how-to on the subject, even though more than a few of you have asked. (Sorry!)
Cheryl lays out the steps simply and smartly, without lecturing or sounding 'preachy', so if you're expecting a little one or about to transition your baby to solids, be sure to check out Step 1: Purees and Step 2: Textures.
* * *
So, it's only right that I share what has been both an inspiration and a kick in the pants these last few weeks (not to mention a darn good read). Barbara Kingsolver's book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life"
Written as both a love letter to the land and a wake-up call to the consumer, I haven't been able to put this book down. Even my Tweets are suffering. Her ode to asparagus alone had me weak at the knees.
Suffice it to say, this book is a must-read for any gardener, cook, environmentalist or the like.
* * *Sugar Shacks
Lastly, I guess my last two posts about sugar shacks got you all fired up about sugaring off season and now you have a hankering for all things maple. Just so you know, I've considered all your requests and am now giving my recommendations! Unfortunately, I am not aware of any places that collect sap in the traditional method and allow you to participate as I did (lucky me! OK, now you just want to smack me). However, here are two places that allow you to get out of the city, admire the tall maples and feast to your hearts content.
- For families, you won't regret a visit to Cabane à Sucre Bouvrette, which we visited last spring. If the amazing pea soup and tire d'érable don't do it for your little Johnny or Jane, the tidy petting zoo and old fashioned train ride will.
- For grown-ups, gourmands and anyone who has $45 to spend very wisely, get yourself to Martin Picard's sugar shack: Cabane à sucre: Au Pied du Cochon. Be sure to make reservations ahead of time to ensure there is some maple-poached lobster left for you.