The Mindful Merchant

Shop – Eat – Live – Mindfully

A tribute to the Cob August 16, 2009

Filed under: healthy,organic farming,Ottawa,recipes,shop local,vegetarian — MindfulMerchant @ 3:22 pm
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a79aa99855f1e824[1] Ontario summer corn is such a treat. My favourite childhood meals involve buying it from the side of the highway on the way to the cottage. Freshly picked…sweet and juicy…a bit of butter, perhaps some salt and pepper. Perfection.

I was patiently waiting to buy a dozen at our local farmers market when the gentleman that grew the corn started raising his voice. “25 minutes – are you crazy?!”  Then someone piped in “Aren’t you supposed to cook it for 15 minutes?!” The farmer feigned a collapse clutching his chest.  What can I say? The man loves his corn. “Listen up people” he began and we all moved in closer to hear his wise words.  Now I will share them with you.

    How to boil corn

Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the freshly peeled cobs of corn, NOTHING else. No salt. (makes corn tough) No sugar. (makes it mushy) Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes depending on the size. 5 minutes MAX.

I know, I know, it is not how your Mom cooked corn. I have polled my friends and it is not how we have been cooking corn too. It took all my concentration to follow his instructions. Usually I forget about it on the stove, answer the phone, set the table, cook something else and remember it when the kitchen window sweats. After trying Farmer Andy’s method I will always set the timer to 5 minutes. It is perfect every time. You will be a superstar when you serve up the BEST tasting corn your family has ever eaten. Enjoy!




Cow farts and the Successful BBQ August 13, 2009

Filed under: climate change,healthy,vegetarian — MindfulMerchant @ 9:55 am
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natureburgerbox[1] There is so much in the media today encouraging us to cut down on our consumption of meat.   Studies that prove increasing fruit and vegetables in your diet reduces the risk of cancer are persuasive. The most shocking headline I have read recently is how the stomachs of the world’s 1.4 billion cows account for 15% of the global emissions of methane.  Apparently, their farts are more than just offensive. How frightening!  It seems more and more people agree that cutting back on meat consumption is not only better for our health but for the planet too.

I have many friends and family members who are vegetarians (love you!).  I tend to get crampy when I think about having them over for a meal.  They must grow weary of the tried and true Vegetarian Lasagne, or the classic Pasta Primavera.   I have never asked them their thoughts on those dishes only because I am certain they want to beat their heads against the wall when they see me serving this for the 200th time.   “Yum, Primavera again!”

Now that summer is here and BBQ season is in full force, I would like to share a tip for vegetarians and carnivores alike.  I am about to suggest a vegetarian burger that is a winner.   Hey, do not run away!   I know there are very “interesting” simulated meat products out there trying to masquerade as hot dogs, cold cuts, and even a holiday turkey.  Since I refuse to write a negative review about any product, let me just say that I have tried countless brands and find there is consistently..shall we say….a texture problem.    Not so with these burgers.  The first time I tried a Nature Burger from a restaurant called Licks I  took a bite and ran back to the counter to tell them they made a big mistake. ”Oh no, you gave me a meat hamburger!”  To my surprise, I was actually eating a vegetarian product.  Totally fooled. My friend Karen was there, you could ask her.

You can buy Licks Nature Burgers in major grocery stores across Canada or in their restaurants.  I encourage you to try them.  Next time your vegetarian loved ones come over for a little “Q”, slap these on the grill and feel good about serving it to everyone.  My husband eats them and has no idea its soy.   I guess he does now…

Anyway, it’s a tasty idea help cut down your meat consumption…baby steps, baby steps.