The ultimate cool-weather beverage gets a lift from soothing chai tea and aromatic ginger in a picnic-perfect hot apple cider.
6 cups (1.5 L) apple cider
2 chai tea bags (regular or decaffeinated)
1 in (2.5 cm) slice of fresh ginger, peeled and left whole
In small saucepan, bring 1 cup (250 mL) apple cider to a boil; add chai tea bags and ginger. Remove from heat, cover, and steep for 45 minutes.
Fill 1 large or 2 medium thermal containers with boiling water to preheat for transporting hot cider. Set aside.
In large saucepan, combine remaining 5 cups (1.25 L) apple cider with prepared 1 cup (250 mL) chai tea-infused cider. Bring to a gentle boil. Remove from heat. Carefully transfer cider to thermal container(s) for transporting to picnic, along with 6 small ceramic mugs for serving.
Each serving contains: 120 calories; 0 g protein; 0 g total fat; 30 g total carbohydrates (27 g sugars, 3 g fibre); 60 g sodium
source: "Picnic of Plenty", alive #384, October 2014
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.