WEFC Tofu & Soymilk Making Workshop

Learn to make your own Tofu at home! James Partanen, expert canner and food mechanic with many years of experience, will be leading you through a tested recipe and an in-depth discussion about local food, food security, and preserving. This will be a great way to learn new skills or brush up old ones. You can learn how to make Tofu, using local organic soybeans! The workshop will be held at WEFC’s Co-op kitchen at 1229 queen The workshop will run from 6:00-9:00 with  registration starting at 5:45. The total cost for the workshop is$50 for West End Food Co-op members or $55 for non-members (which includes the cost of a lifetime membership). Payment can be made in person at the workshop. Register and find out more here: http://westendfood.coop/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=291

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Southern Indian Pumpkin Pickle Workshop

From the West End Food Coop site: We will be making South Indian Pumpkin Pickle, using squash and onions from one of our local farmers.  This traditional condiment is extremely tasty, and is meant to accompany a curry or be combined with yoghurt to make a curry sauce all on its own.  The traditional method of “tempering” spices will also be covered. You will learn about the theory and practice of preserving, gain hands-on experience working with canning equipment, and leave with some jars of amazingly tasty pickle. The workshop will be held at WEFC’s Co-op kitchen at 1229 queen The workshop will run from 6:30-9:30 with  registration starting at 6:00. The total cost for the workshop is$50 for West End Food Co-op members or $55 for non-members (which includes the cost of a lifetime membership). Payment can be made in person at the workshop. If you register and find yourself unable to attend for any reason please let us know as soon as possible. Please be aware that we are a small organization running workshops on a cost-recovery basis and purchasing ingredients in advance from local farmers. Cancellations with less than 48 hours’ notice will be charged a $25 cancellation fee to cover ingredient, material, and labour costs. If you have any questions about the workshop please don’t hesitate to contact james@westendfood.coop.

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Things I Love Thursday – Local Vegan Toronto Gift Ideas 2013 Edition

For 2014 – please go here. There are lots of general vegan gift idea lists out there, so please do check them out (I’ll link to some of them at the bottom of this post), but it’s worth looking locally to tap into the great community of creators and crafters, bakers, makers, and ingenuous entrepreneurs that we have in our city. There are also some wonderful organizations to support this time of year, as well as food and products to buy, made right here in the GTA. So this year, yet again, is my totally biased, occasionally random, list of local/GTA/Vegan Gift ideas. You’ll see some repeat names from last year, because they’re still awesome, but you’ll also see some new faces (because the vegan business community has really grown in 2013.) I welcome your suggestions for other local vegan friendly businesses and organizations to support, please add them in the comments. Vegan Food Apiecalypse Now! With exciting news just around the corner, there are also APieCalypse Now!’s mega awesome gift baskets to take advantage of. Available in both gluten free and glutenlicious varieties, in large baskets and in small, you have a lot to choose from. The baskets are full of almost entirely hand-made things, made with organic locally grown flour, fair trade sugar, and horizontal trade chocolate from ChocoSol (They’re even on the Food Empowerment Project’s Chocolate list.) Check out what else is on offer in the ApieCalypse Now! online store. (you have until December 15th to pre-order the big stuff…

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Millions of Peaches, Millions for Me, Millions of Peaches, I picked them for free.

This weekend started out in an awesome fashion. JC and I went with a crew of folks from the West End Food Coop, and drove to Two Century Farm, and picked beautiful peaches for use in the Community Supported Orchard (CSO) program (that I am part of). You can join in on the next season Community Supported Orchard Program for Fall 2013. I will admit to eating two or three peaches on site, and let me tell you… fresh juicy straight from the tree peaches is unreal. There is peach flavour… and then there is juicy peach from a tree flavour. You can get pretty close buying them from the farmers markets around the city, but nothing is like that freshly picked peach. There is also that nostalgic feeling that too me back to the family raspberry picking trips to Roy’s Raspberries a little outside of Edmonton. We’d go and pick for an hour or two and my mom and I would make raspberry jam (and more!). So it’s nice to know that we’ll be doing a very similar thing with these peaches, except it will be done with the WEFC family/community kitchen instead. We also took a small bag of peaches home with us, but as-of-yet, I haven’t decided what to do with them. Probably just eat delicious peaches in their mostly natural form. But one thing we will do… is grill them. Or possibly turn them into this Grilled Peach & Basil Tofu recipe from Laurie Sadowski (The…

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Things I Love Thursday – Taking a moment.

This week has been wet and wild in Toronto. We got the equivalent of a month’s worth of rain in the span of a few hours, which led to flooding, power outages, traffic delays,  and a lot of property damage. There is an underpass near our house that was completely flooded, as you can see the picture below. There were many other’s like it. JC was on one side of this underpass, and I was on the other. And not to be dramatic, because we were very minimally impacted by this, but as this was happening it was hard to know what was really going on or what the weather would be like in a few hours. There was thunder and lightening, and we lost power for a few hours, and it just wouldn’t stop raining. I think the situation in Calgary was very much on the collective consciousness, especially since it was so recent. But the rain stopped, and everyone started cleaning up. Sadly there were lots of people without power, some people were trapped on Go Buses or Subways for several hours, or had flooding in their basements. I’m thankful that our experience was comparatively easy, but my thoughts go out to those that weren’t so lucky, and hope that things are getting a bit closer to normal. Most of all, I’m thankful that it wasn’t worse and that things are getting straightened up again. Moving I’m not sure if I like this, but I think I do.…

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Things I Love Thursday – WEFC community supported Orchards, Green is the New Red, Vegan English Toffee

Some weeks, writing a TILT is a trial. Some weeks, I don’t know what to say. The basic “things” I love area always pretty static – JC, Emmie, Kes, Earl Grey Tea. These things are probably not all on the same plane, but they are constant sources of joy in varying degrees. We’re in the middle of moving. Which means that our world is upside down. It’s oddly bittersweet to be saying good bye to the place I’ve called home for a couple of years. But it’s very exciting to be moving to a new home that will really be OURS. I want to talk about the amazing weekend we had, because it was wonderful, but I’ll get to that tomorrow. Enough navel gazing. On with the TILT.

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Things I love Thursday – Co-ops. SNL Veganville. Pomdeter. Artisinal vegan cheese.

You know those times when you have a great idea as you’re falling asleep and think – whoa, I should really write this down so I don’t forget it… but then you wake up the next morning not having written it down, remembering only that you had a great idea, but not the idea itself? That’s me most of the time. This morning, I remembered this magical idea, and actually started the process towards making it happen. So at the top of the Things I love on Thursday, it’s that. I’m sitting in Tori’s Bakeshop, writing today’s TILT. It’s one of the dairy-free, egg-free, meat-free bakeries in the city, and I think that’s pretty swell. I was here the day they opened just over a year ago (they celebrated their 1 year anniversary on Saturday), and I’m happy to say that they appear to be thriving. Sure I had to take a streetcar for 45 minutes to get out of my nice cozy Trinity-Niagara/Parkdale neighbourhood cocoon, but that’s not so bad. Especially since reading on the streetcar is just another one of those things I love to do anyway (in theory – but rarely in practice.) Try reading on the Queen streetcar at rush hour and tell me how it goes. From experience – it’s not so great actually. I had one of the Bakeshop’s now famous Coconut-Lettuce-Tomato sandwiches, again, and every time I eat it, I’m transformed back in time to the first time I ate the vegan “B”LT…

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Kind Organics Mystical Mint Chocolate Bar – Toronto – Get it at West End Food Co-op.

Recently on a trip to the West-End Food Co-op, there were two different kinds of Kind Green Organic’s Chocolate Bars conveniently located right at the check out. And it was a happy impulse buy, I’ll admit to it completely. I have seen Kind Organics selling salad blends, spouts, herbs and other greens at Farmers’ Markets around the city, but never chocolate (or at least I had never noticed it) so it caught my attention. Plus – it’s chocolate… so yum. Kind Organics is a farm located 40 minutes north of Toronto in Holland Marsh, and they sound like they employ veganic or mostly veganic farming techniques (as in, they don’t use chemicals, synthetic fertilizers, manures, or animal by-products in their farming). You can read more about them on their website. The source of chocolate in this bar was a company I’ve got a long standing love for –  Chocosol Chocolate. My first warm memory of Chocosol is when we encountered them on a very cold winter evening in David Pecaut Square (Juno After Party event.) Their hot drinking chocolate was vegan, delicious, and warmed up my very cold hands. We were reintroduced to their awesome products at the 2012 FoodShare Recipe for Change event, and I’ve been happily (and actively) following along with their company ever since. They are on the Food Empowerment Projects ethical chocolate list. They use organic, forest garden shade grown cocoa sourced directly from indigenous communities in Southern Mexico, and follow horizontal trade practices. I’d really like to see more and more of this. Ethically sourced…

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Farmers’ Markets in Toronto – Sorauren

I’m getting increasingly more excited with the possibility of having fresh local produce, that I can paw through myself, and buy directly from someone that might have a connection to the source. I like talking to people about food, and some of my favourite folks are people that make food, and love making food. Last Monday I went to the Sorauren Farmers’ Market, nearly every Monday I go to the Sorauren farmers market, but this day was special. It was beautiful outside, and even at 6pm (when I arrived) the market was filled with this great energy. Maybe it was just me. I had a good day of collaboration, it was the day after a phenomenal vegan dinner at the Rusholme Park Supper Club, everything was coming up MeShell.

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