TJ’s salsa simmers on the stove.  |  Joan Airey photo

Versatile tomato has a wide variety of uses

From salsa to mincemeat and juice to pizza sauce, there’s virtually no end to what can be done with this juicy vegetable

As a new bride decades ago, my neighbour shared a recipe with me for green tomato mincemeat, which I’ve made every fall since. Green tomato mincemeat 6 c. green tomatoes peeled and chopped 6 c. apples peeled and chopped 1 c. seedless raisins 2 c. seeded raisins 1 c. butter 3/4 c. vinegar 4 c. […] Read more

Sirloin steak sizzles on the barbecue.  |  Joan Airey photo

Cooking tips make barbecue season a success

Proper steak preparation is key when firing up the grill this summer, but make sure not to forget the fresh vegetables

I always look forward to barbecue season and a melt in your mouth barbecued steak. I’ve learned that it pays to plan ahead for a good barbecued steak, making sure the steaks are out of the freezer the night before and putting them in a marinade the next morning. This is the marinade I use […] Read more

Cranberry pork chops are a great recipe to cook on top of the stove when an oven isn’t available.   |  Joan Airey photo

Cooking with what’s on hand is important skill

It is also good to know what to do to keep the kitchen running and the meals flowing when the oven stops working

Just as COVID-19 hit Canada, my oven decided to crash. I didn’t feel shopping for a new stove was an option because health officials were asking us to stay home. So faced with many days ahead without an oven, I sought out my cookbooks and tried some new recipes. Cranberry pork chops are one of […] Read more


Gluten-free baking options include ginger snaps, no bake chocolate coconut cookies and apple crisp.  |  Joan Airey photo

Gluten-free cooking is not a daunting task

Many stores now carry a variety of gluten-free products, and lots of recipes are available on places such as Facebook

One of my granddaughters, who is in her teens, found out this spring that she cannot tolerate gluten. Changing her diet has been hard because she comes from a farm family that is used to eating lots of pasta and fresh, homemade bread. I read up everything the health facility provided her and joined a […] Read more

Cranberry chicken can be cooked all day while you are at work, which makes it a great harvest meal.  |  Joan Airey photo

Early planning eases harvest meal preparation

Whether its rhubarb crisp, round steak with dumplings or cranberry chicken, harvest meals don’t have to be boring

While making a rhubarb dessert for the spraying and reseeding crew, I decided if I froze rhubarb when it was picked, it would be available to make a rhubarb-apple-strawberry crisp for the harvest crew. I made the following recipe several times this spring but not always using the same fruit. The one today has blueberries […] Read more


Loaves of bread this size are made in four by 7.5 inch pans so that the slices fit nicely in a toaster. These pans are nearly 100 years old and were used by the author’s grandmother.  |  Joan Airey photo

Homemade bread always a popular option

Making your own bread reduces the amount of additives in the diet; plus, nothing beats the smell of a fresh-baked loaf

One bushel of wheat can be made into enough flour to make 42 loaves of bread. A farmer gets maybe $7 for that bushel of wheat, putting income into numerous people’s pocket before it reaches the consumer in a loaf of bread. Making homemade bread and buns for your family lessens the amount of additives […] Read more

This dish is called cheating pork and beans because it isn’t made from scratch.  |  Joan Airey photo

Cheating pork and beans is a crowd pleaser

Whether prepared with pineapple, in bundles or as a cold salad, there are lots of delicious ways to serve this staple food

I recently helped feed a crowd of people and had requests for the recipes we used for the pork and beans we served. Joyce Stewart shared this recipe with me years ago when she first own Harbourlights B & B in Vernon, B.C. Since then she has retired and has helped me put together three […] Read more

Carrot muffins are a nice light muffin.  |  Joan Airey photo

Muffins can be made for a variety of occasions

Muffins can be used for breakfast, desserts or a snack. I created this recipe to please one of my grandchildren’s tastes. Carrot muffins 4 cups flour 960 mL 2 ½ cups sugar 600 mL 4 tsp. baking soda 20 mL 4 tsp. cinnamon 20 mL 1 tsp. salt 5 mL 4 cups grated carrot 960 […] Read more


Lettuce grows in a long planter under lights.  It’s one of the ways that indoor gardeners can produce greens all year long. |  Joan Airey photo

Grow salad ingredients year round

Investing in commercial grow lights makes it possible to enjoy fresh radishes, lettuce and onions for almost the entire year

As long as I can remember, I wanted to grow things year round. Three years ago, I finally invested in commercial grow lights and my family and I now enjoy fresh radishes, lettuce and onions almost all year. At first, I grew the lettuce in long planters. This year, I’m growing it in individual pots […] Read more

This hearty vegetable soup is delicious when served with garlic bread.  |  Joan Airey photo

Hearty vegetable soup perfect winter remedy

It’s hard to go wrong with a pot of homemade soup on a cold winter day, and vegetable is one of the author’s favourites

Waking up to -28 C in the morning seems to be par for the course this year. Chilly days always seem like a great time to serve a pot of homemade soup for lunch. Hearty vegetable soup is one of my favourites. I cut this recipe in half when making it for just my family […] Read more