Jillian Ewaschuk

Jillian had been a vegetarian for 10 years when she began to experience strong cravings for seafood. Eventually, she gave in and tried eating some and it proved to be delicious. It turned out that she had become gluten-sensitive and the seafood cravings were her body's way of trying to get more of the vitamins and minerals her system was no longer absorbing properly. Since then, she has become intensely interested in nutrients and increasingly baffled by the "food" industry.

Jillian not only has a flare for writing but also works at perfecting it, never settling for the easy phrase. Considering how many food blogs there are, she still manages to come up with a variety of intriguing subjects on a topic of great import to her, with her food allergies. Jillian's interview with the owner of a gelato shop in Ottawa South is excellent: a strong intro, not putting herself into the story more than necessary, and asking smart questions of the subject that led to strong answers. – Peggy Berkowitz

Frugal Foodie

A gluten-free pescetarian explores eating well on a budget.

Friday
Apr132012

Fun with Fruit

With daytime temperatures creeping towards the twenty degree mark and the end of the semester just around the corner, summer is letting us know that it will be here soon. While I’m not the biggest fan of the humid heat we get here in Ottawa, I do enjoy wearing sandals, not wearing a coat, and occasionally visiting a patio.

What screams summer to me, though, is fruit. Most of my family lives in St. Catharines, Ontario which is surrounded by orchards, vineyards, and greenhouses. When I used to visit my grandmother during the summer, she would put me to work helping her can peaches, cherries, tomatoes, or whatever was in season. Let me tell you, there is a world of difference between a fresh, ripe, local peach and a peach grown in another country, and picked before its prime. Every summer, I keep an eye out for the baskets of Niagara Freestone peaches in the grocery store.

Fresh peaches don’t last very long, though, so whenever I buy a basket I’m constantly trying to find ways to use them up (other than simply eating them out of hand, of course). Sangria is a nice way to use peaches or almost any kind of fruit; and it’s the perfect sipping beverage to have outside in the summer.

Sangria is generally a combination of wine, sparkling water and fruit and it allows for endless experimentation with flavours. You could also make it without the wine as a fancy fruit drink for kids or for a gathering. When I have company, I like to make a pitcher of ice water with cucumber slices and mint leaves in it.

Peach Sangria

In a pitcher, combine:

2 large or 3 small peaches, diced

Half a pink grapefruit, diced

3 or 4 large Basil leaves, bruised

1 bottle of fruity white wine

2 cups Club Soda

1 tray of ice cubes

Allow the pitcher to chill in the fridge for at least an hour (two would be better) to allow the flavours to combine.

I know it’s not peach season yet, but there are many kinds of fruit available that you could use: pears, plums, citrus fruits, dragon fruits or pineapples would all work well.

For more ideas, check out TasteSpotting and LifeHack.

Sunday
Mar252012

Feature: Passion, Rome, and gelato

In a world of faceless conglomerates, it’s nice to know that some people still take pride in doing things the old way. Stella Luna Gelato Café, in Old Ottawa South, is the realization of a dream for owners Tammy and Alessandro Giuliani. Gelato has been their passion since they met – and immediately fell in love – in Rome. Busy since opening day, and open less than a year, Stella Luna has quickly become an important part of the community. Located on Bank St. near Sunnyside, this slice of Rome invites people to relax and to sample Tammy’s artisanal gelato, European coffees, and panini. During an unseasonably warm week in March, Tammy could only talk with me in the morning, before everything got rolling. And so, I found myself on a bus – watching the sun rise on what would become another record-breakingly warm day – looking forward to speaking with the creator of the best gelato in Ottawa.

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Sunday
Mar182012

Column: PC goes posh

Ever since the 1920’s, advertisers have been using Bernays’ and Freud’s psychological theories to exploit unconscious desires and manipulate people into buying the things they want, instead of the things they need. (Take a look at Adam Curtis’ documentary The Century of the Self for more on this; it’s worth it.) Consumerism has become the driving force of the economy, but what’s the next step? How do you make people keep buying in a culture already saturated with stuff? By letting them play make-believe and selling them luxury items.

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Friday
Mar162012

Sweet treats

When I found out that I was sensitive to gluten, I spent a long time missing the things I could no longer eat (toasted bread and bagels were at the top of my list). I am under the impression that most people who discover that they have a food sensitivity or allergy go through a similar mourning period. It would get particularly bad for me when I wanted to bake cookies. I’ve never been a dedicated baker, but I was pretty good at producing a tasty batch of cookies when the mood struck.

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Sunday
Mar042012

Review: The Shallows by Nicholas Carr

“The Net seizes our attention only to scatter it.” – Nicholas Carr

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