Feeding Bodies and Minds since 2008

Category: Old Hippie Cookin’ (Page 1 of 2)

On this page you’ll find a lot of my adventures in the kitchen and out, all somehow food related.

Bread to cookies; beer to lard — if I make it, you’ll find it here.

Life is too short to eat dull food!

In Praise of Bannock

It’s been a busy few months. There. Now you understand why I’ve not posted much.

The Canadians in the audience know about bannock (probably they know at least three different KINDS of bannock). Everybody else is in the dark. Not for much longer — but you know I’m gonna digress. First, however, here’s the basic and expanded recipe stuff, so you can dive right in (or print it out and move on) if you’re not into reading an old hippie’s rambles. Besides, a ramble goes down good with some fresh hot bannock! Continue reading

Adventures in Rendering

I’m gonna file this one under Old Hippie Cookin’. Lately I’ve been thinking about fat. Fat is an important part of our diet. It gives us energy, taste, and vital nutrients. Without it babies don’t develop healthy brains, and our brains don’t stay healthy. But as Mother used to say, “All things in moderation.” (I always add Lazarus Long’s comment, “Including moderation.”) Getting too much fat is bad for us, too. Continue reading

All-Rye Sourdough Bread

Didja notice the sunlight lately? It’s getting that “golden days of autumn” colour to it. That makes me start thinking about fall and winter — and there’s still so much to come in from the gardens, so much to preserve (can, freeze, pickle, dry, etc.) so that we can eat until next harvest! Continue reading


One of my students, of Norwegian heritage, admitted in class the other day that she knew about lefse. “Every time my dad makes it,” she said, “I have to eat a little piece. It’s OK but it’s not my favourite.” Another student chimed in and said, “If you don’t like your dad’s lefse, he’s using the wrong recipe.” Continue reading

600 Bread

This recipe will make three loaves of bread. Toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, bread with soup for supper — you’ll eat three loaves inside two weeks. I make this every two weeks, year-round. It’s adapted from a recipe in The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book. I grind my own whole wheat flour, but you don’t have to do that. Regular whole wheat from the store is coarse-ground, so mix it half and half with enriched white flour to keep the bread smooth. Continue reading

Bread and Tuition

Lately I’ve been thinking about how many of our students are struggling — harder in some ways than I did when I was a starving student. I know what it’s like to be hungry and to have to make the choice for every dollar between paying for my education, paying for a place to sleep or paying for something to eat. There are two big differences I see: students are paying more now for their educations, and they apparently don’t know the skills of cooking for themselves. Continue reading

Grandma’s Sugar Cookies

Not everything that gets in here is sweet stuff, but this is. As you might suspect, there’s some back story:

My paternal grandmother, Emma Jane Hays, used to make these cookies for her family. As you will see from the original recipe, it used ingredients produced on a large farm operation in Illinois. I think these were very likely my Dad’s favourite cookie. Quite by accident one time, my mother told me the story. When she and Dad got married in 1943 they had a pretty traditional set of roles in the union. Although my dad was unusually strong for women’s rights and civil rights for blacks, and mom was highly educated and had a career as a laboratory scientist — inside their marriage they played things pretty straight for the times. I’m not sure why, maybe they thought it was a grand joke on the universe. Continue reading

Favourite Fruitcake

OK, suck it up. Stop yer whining about fruitcake. It’s like kickin’ yer sister — too easy.

I was raised to respect fruitcake. Oddly enough, lots of Canadians appreciate Christmas cakes and puddings courtesy of our European and UK heritage. Americans, not so much. To me it’s good food. I have somewhere around a hundred recipes for different kinds of fruitcakes. I think what I like about them is that they’re dense, sweet, chewy — they satisfy when you bite them, instead of just deflating and leaving you with royal icing in your teeth. Continue reading

Flat Sandwich Buns

A couple of years ago my wife and I were driving to Winnipeg from Kamloops. When we’re on the road, we usually stop in some town around lunch time and buy buns, sandwich supplies, fruit, and a package of cookies or something. Neither one of us likes to take too much time off the road when we’re traveling, and besides, eating restaurant food twice a day is bad enough. Continue reading

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