Archive | October, 2006

Relish It

31 Oct

By Stephanie Dickison

Sometimes I worry about my love of food. At times it seems almost unnatural – like no one can love baby Hubbard squash that much.

But then I see things like The Condiment Museum online and I know that at least for another day, I am just a normal chick that has a penchant for Butter Pecan Catfish, guacamole and curried corn on the cob.

TCM is a part of our food history and while it might seem slightly obsessional, it is fascinating to walk through the “aisles” and see what we’ve been eating all of these years.

It makes dressing your hot dog at the ballgame a whole new thing now, doesn’t it?

Putting Words in Your Mouth

30 Oct
By Stephanie Dickison
Remember when magnetic poetry first came on the scene?

Everyone was creating sultry, come-hither invitations that had to removed when one’s parents were visiting.

Now the same can be done with food words. This has been a long time coming, I think, because nothing makes one drool like aroma, simmering and silky. Mmm… I am composing stanzas and recipes all at once.

Get your own kit and get the kitchen party started.

October Is National Chili Month (Among Other Things)

24 Oct

We here at pan love our chili! We like it mild, spicy, vegetarian or with ground turkey. And stewing beef infused with Guiness and chocolate is good too. What’s your favourite chili? Submit your favourite chili recipes to and we’ll post them here.

I’m off to test some recipes and I’ll get back to you with the results. In the meantime, Happy Chili Month!

– Stephanie

Why do I love food in the fall? Let me count the ways…

20 Oct

By Chris Garbutt

1. Apples everywhere! Pie, crumble, or just biting into a hard, crisp Macintosh.

2. In summer, I live in fear of using my oven. Now I can roast and bake and broil without turning my kitchen into a living hell.

3. Soups, stews and chilis. Nothing better to me than heating up a bowl of something comforting.

4. Butternut squash. Well, all of those late-season squashes. So much more satisfying than zucchini!

5. Thanksgiving. I love that holiday so much, I’m thinking of celebrating the American version as well!

Other people’s recipes

16 Oct

While reviewing this blog, I decided, in a moment of procrastination, to hit the “next blog” link. Check out the recipes that popped up!

Fall is my favourite food season, and any new ideas for squash are most welcome!


Season of the bird

13 Oct

By Chris Garbutt

Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. It’s the one holiday of the year that is primarily about food. Dinner is what Thanksgiving is all about.

For the first time in years, I hosted dinner for everyone, and, much to my surprise, with relatively little stress. I got myself a 14-pound turkey from Fresh From The Farm, and followed the recipe from Bonnie Stern’s HeartSmart Cooking for Family and Friends. I also used Bonnie’s recipe for Butternut Squash with Pears and Dried Cranberries, which is amazing, although I have found it takes much longer to cook than she suggests. Throw some potatoes and yams in the oven, heat up some corn, and get my mom to bring her famous apple and pumpkin pies, and my family is happy.

Hooray for autumn!

Cooking school

6 Oct

By Chris Garbutt

I work full time at the University of Toronto, where I run a program designed for first-year students. Lately I’ve done a couple of cooking workshops for students who are away from home for the first time. One group had about 15 people and the other had close to 60. It made me realize how much I had learned over the years, and how much I took for granted.

Take, for instance, cutting an onion. We were making a soup, but I wanted to make sure as many students as possible got into the act, so I would ask for volunteers from the audience. As with most soups — most dishes for that matter — the first thing to do was chop onions. The first volunteer took a knife in one hand, the onion in the other, and looked blankly at me. Clearly, he had no idea what to do. Do you cut off the ends first? Cut it in half? Peel it? How much of the skin do you take off? These were questions that I realized I didn’t know the answer to until I set out on my own so many years ago.

When I had 60 students, I felt like a rock star. I was standing on a stage, behind a table with a hot plate on it. Flanking my table were two other tables, each with two cutting boards. When a volunteer finished his or her job, we would all applaud and cheer, even if all they did was open and drain a can of chick peas. With the group of 15, I shared the workshop with a colleague, and we were more like parents — “Yes, that looks good”, “No, don’t peel the potatoes”, “What do you think, more salt?”. It’s a blessing of my job that I get to share my love for cooking, and even more of a blessing that I get to share the food. The soup was delicious.

Here’s the recipe:


4 cups Water, Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock
2 cloves garlic
2 medium Onions
1 tsp each Dried Herbs (such as Thyme, Oregano, Marjoram, Summer Savory, Rosemary)
2 ribs Celery
4 large Carrots
2 large Potatoes
Any other vegetables you like: eg. Broccoli, Zucchini, Frozen or fresh Peas and Corn
1 can (19 oz) Chick Peas or Kidney Beans
Fresh parsley, curly or flat-leaved, chopped (optional)

Put the water or stock in a large pot and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, chop the onions into small pieces, about 1/4 inch square. Mince the garlic by chopping very finely or using a garlic press,. Chop all the other vegetables into bite-size pieces. When the water is boiling, throw in the onion and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium or medium-high, so the soup is simmering rather than fully boiling, and begin to add the herbs, then the chopped vegetables, depending on how long it takes to cook them (celery, potatoes and carrots take 10-15 minutes, broccoli and zucchini about 5 minutes, frozen veggies take just a couple). Add more water or stock if the soup seems too chunky. Open the can of chick peas and drain it in a colander. Rinse well. Add chick peas to soup, and cook until they’re heated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle the parsley over the bowl. Enjoy with bread, and to be really nutritious, have a salad on the side!

For a thicker broth, before you ladle the soup into the bowls, try putting 1/4 to 1/2 of the soup in a blender, pureeing until smooth and adding it back to the pot. Mix thoroughly and serve.

If you make enough, this soup can last you for days. If you puree all of it in the blender, it will freeze really well and makes a great quick meal heated up on a cold winter day.

Other possibilities:

– Try adding a can of whole or diced tomatoes after the chick peas for a deeper flavour.
– Throw in leftover cooked meat (chicken, beef, sausage, lamb etc.) if you want to be a carnivore!
– Experiment with ingredients (eg. Try cumin, or soya sauce for flavouring). The great thing about soup is it’s a part of every culture, so use vegetables, herbs and spices that you liked when you were growing up.

Write for us!

3 Oct

Don’t forget we’re looking for submissions on all kinds of food topics. Our writer’s guidelines are here:

Pan Magazine is an online journal of food-related articles written for Canadians and anyone else who loves food.

We are interested in articles about good food, interesting people and places related to food, and things that have a good story behind them, from a kitchen gadget to a recipe. Our interest is in the experience of food, from the moment a seed is planted in the ground to the second that tomato goes in your mouth.

We are looking for stories infused with passion and that envelop the reader. While we will accept reviews and other “standard” food magazine fare for our blog, we are striving to bring the personal essay back to the magazine.

There should always be a person attached to each story. This can be personal to the writer, or it can tell someone else’s story.

Articles can be 150 words or more. There is no maximum, though most of the articles we publish will be on the shorter end of the spectrum. They will fall into the following sections:

More specifically, we’re looking for:

Chronology: This is the history of something like Swiss Chard or Julia Child or Kensington Market.

Place: A profile on a place, which can mean town, country, restaurant, anything that connotes place – Restaurants, farmer’s markets, yes, but also unusual places where something interesting around food is happening, like little towns with something cool where some unusual food product is being made.

Ingredient: This is a profile about one item – say Fennel. And it can be anything about this one thing. Anything, as long as it engages us.

Dish: Say you have a thing for Eggs Benedict or Chicken Cacciatore or you want to write about Baked Alaska – It would go under this category.

Folk: This is about a person or persons in the food business. This can be anyone from the waiter at the Swan to the guy that picked your apples this morning.

Bite: It’s our column by food writer Stephanie Dickison.

Guide: This is where we discuss gadgets, books, recipes, websites and anything else that doesn’t fall into the categories above..

And most of all, Stories: We’re not as interested in reviews and recipes per se, as much as the story behind something. If we do a recipe, where did it come from? If we talk about a restaurant, how did it start? What’s unique about it? What is the human story behind the food story. This can take the form of a personal history, an interview or anything else that tells the story. We therefore prefer a narrative form of writing to a journalistic one, but we’re open to reading anything.

If you’re idea doesn’t fall into the categories above, don’t fret. We are also going to have ongoing blog entries, so if you have a piece or an idea for an article that doesn’t fit into any of these sections, please query Editor Stephanie Dickison at We are always looking for interesting work.

Our reward for writing is sharing our love of food. This a site we are doing for fun, so there is no payment involved at this time. The good news is that you retain full rights to your piece, and that we will even consider pre-published work – but please let us know if what you’re submitting has been published somewhere else.

To submit articles, please send them to and include your name, e-mail address and telephone number. E-mail submissions only, please.

Website progress…

2 Oct

We’re moving forward with our website, and hope to have a full issue ready in a couple of months. For now check us out and have a look inside some of your neighbour’s fridges.

The most interesting thing about this article to me is that a full fridge does not necessarily indicate an avid cook. I love to cook, and I love eating, but I’ll often have a fridge full of nothing but condiments, and that’s when I know it’s time to go shopping. I’d like to say it’s because I’m not wasteful, but I have been known to throw out bags of carrots with tears in my eyes.