Food brings people together.
Raised eating dinner around a table with my family, meals were an opportunity to catch up on the day and how everyone was doing. It was a stopping point. A place to say hello, solve problems, or celebrate milestones.
My favourite dinner table was my Grandma’s. Much of my childhood was filled with her famous pancakes and all the comfort food she could pile into our mouths. Although nearly all of it was ridiculously unhealthy, it still holds a special place in my heart (and thighs). I miss that lady with a unequivocal fierceness.
Recipes are like that. They have a simple nature of digging their way into our souls and helping to define our lives. Pictures fade faster than our recipes leave us. I still have to stop myself from dropping a spoonful of bacon grease in my green beans (let’s just say Missouri cooking can be an acquired taste).
Whatever your recipes, whether it’s a salad or a complex casserole, there is a power in sharing that feeling with others. You are passing along a legacy you’ve held tight.
But how do you go about reaching others and sharing your cooking wisdom?
This is where The Garden of Eating — Niagara comes in.
The Garden of Eating — Niagara is a residential fruit picking program that organizes teams of volunteers to harvest fruit and vegetables and share them with local social organizations. Their goal is to do away with forbidden fruit that would otherwise go to waste.
Growth has been slow and steady; every year they seem to pick more and more. The hope is to be able to turn The Garden of Eating — Niagara into something bigger. With growth comes increased operations costs and, as a non-profit, funds can be difficult to acquire.
Enter the idea for a community cookbook.
Tiffany Mayer, Founder, has put a call out to members of the Niagara community to share their recipes. As a professed recipe-lover herself, she is hoping the Niagara community will rise to the challenge. Already with an arsenal of a couple dozen recipes, Tiffany is hoping to possess a total of 60 before declaring the book ready.
She wants people to know that this is an easy cause to get involved with. A recipe is not a financial or large time commitment. It’s a great way to help out a local community organization that needs it!
This is one of the many reasons I love Niagara. Tiffany took a look at the fruit falling off the trees in neighbourhoods, rotting on the ground and ending up as compost. She focused on a solution that would help feed the communities hunger while keeping food from going to waste.
The best part about the cookbook is she isn’t just wanting your recipes, she also wants to help you pass on your legacy. People can submit stories about their recipe, why they chose it and why it’s significant. Tiffany wants to know why the recipe is so important to you, not just what is tasty (but that helps too). Photos are also encouraged and full credit will be given to contributors.
As far as requirements go, the ingredients have to be easily found in Niagara. Local chefs, farmers, and people from all walks of life are welcome to contribute. This cookbook is meant to be representative of Niagara as a community.
How do you send her your recipe? That’s the easy part! To be part of the Garden of Eating — Niagara cookbook, send your original recipe to firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name, your city/town/hamlet and a few lines about why you chose the particular recipe you did, and your contact information.
To kick things off, Tiffany is sharing a recipe with all of you!
SOPA DE AJO (SERVES 2)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
5 medium cloves of garlic plus one 1 clove
3 cups of vegetable broth
1 pinch paprika, sweet or hot
2 thick slices crusty bread (de la terries’ Pelham sourdough is perfect for this)
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat one tablespoon oil in soup pot over medium heat. Smash or finely slice five cloves of garlic and saute in oil until softened and lightly browned. If using smashed garlic, break apart with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
Add paprika, stirring a few seconds to mix with garlic. Add broth and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, slice the bread into inch-thick slices. Cut remaining garlic clove in half and rub onto bread. Heat remaining oil in a pan, adding bread and browning on both sides. When browned, place each piece into the bottom of a soup bowl.
Next, beat the eggs and add to the soup slowly, pouring a little bit at a time through the tines of a fork into the hot liquid, creating a ribbon effect with the eggs. Gently whisk a fork through the soup to break up any large pieces of egg.
Ladle hot soup into bowls on top of bread and enjoy.
The Garden of Eating – Niagara is a residential fruit picking program that organizes teams of volunteers to harvest fruit and vegetables and share them with local social organizations.
At The Garden of Eating — Niagara, we believe in sharing and enjoying the bounty of fruit grown in our own backyards with our neighbours.
The Garden of Eating — Niagara wants to do away with forbidden fruit and start a residential fruit-picking program where members and volunteers pick and share fruit that would otherwise go to waste.
If you have a tree producing too many cherries for your family to eat, how about sharing them with others in your neighbourhood?
Want to hear directly from Tiffany about this cookbook?
Read her article here