Current Happenings

Plains & Pastures Bike Tour (2013)

I'm so proud to live here! Fredericton folks are just AMAZING!!!  Thank you one and all!!  My team raised over $2000.  The support was humbling.  What a great place to be!!!

Mind you, the journey isn't about me - it's about people who fight this horrible disease on a daily basis.  If you're reading this now, I hope you'll come back and sponsor me in the ride next time. 


Bike for Breath

Many thanks to everyone and their generosity.  The amazing people in my life supported me to the tune of $377.  Some days it is just great to be here!   (Fall 2012)


Entries in Memories (1)


Comfort food: Chicken Liver Pâté

I like to think I’m not a picky eater.  Alan is wrong to accuse me of it.  I’m NOT picky.  I just know what I don’t like.  ((He says “nearly everything” and that’s how that particular fight starts ...... ))

The Coop recently sourced some chicken livers.  They are apparently rare commodities.  Who knew?  I thought EVERY chicken had one but the friendly guy in the meat dept. tells me they’re actually hard to source.  So when I saw them just before Easter, I grabbed several packets.  Why?  For liver pâté of course.  What else?

The notion of what else brings a smile to my face.  Growing up on a farm, you had your own chickens for dinner and you wasted nothing.  All the edible bits of organ meat from anything were used in main dishes if you had enough of them, or chopped up in gravies if you only had a few, like from a single chicken.  In the warm and fuzzy glow of selective memory, it’s comfort food.

That smile gets a wry little quirk to one side when I think of my summer in Quebec City.  I didn’t have a steady job, and not speaking french all that well at the time, I couldn’t seem to land one either.  So I kept on being a student (it kept the student loan from coming due).  Unlike many other places, Quebec City has a thriving nighttime system of free, open-air concerts.  And extremely unlike anywhere else, the liquor laws are different.  So the starving student that was me would go for the free concert, and when it was over, she would fill up grocery bags with empty bottles and cans (all that could be carried walking home).  Bottles were heavy but bigger refunds, cans were light but only a 5 cent refund.  Cans were taken to a grocery store with a machine to crush them & spit out your refund receipt. Then you took that receipt and bought groceries: chicken livers and onions were both extremely cheap.  Chicken livers now evoke warm and fuzzy memories of music from the likes of Paul Piché and Marjo.   

What does one do with a pound of chicken livers?  Lots of things, but in my mind none of them for a full pound of it!!  So I cooked a mess of garlic & onions, and then all the liver.  Then I minced it all together in the food processor and folded it into a dish.  My plan was to take smaller amounts of the liver pâté base at a later time, adding different ingredients and spices in different batches.   So far so good.  The base worked out quite well, and tasted fine.  Unlike beef liver, chicken liver isn’t really all that strong and the flavours of the onion & garlic come through nicely.     

However, the smaller-batches-later concept, doesn’t work for all scenario’s.  Most spices need cooking to spread evenly throughout the mixture.  Part of that has to do with the heat itself, and part of it has to do with the gelling that happens when it’s cold.  Spices like curry for example would add a nice flavour (had it been warm).  It’s really hard to mix that spice in well enough when it’s cold.  Pockets of curry in your mouth are distinctly unpleasant.  So: lesson here?  If you’re doing cold run batches then make sure you’re adding things you don’t mind tasting in “chunks” like tiny bits of fresh chives or something.  Other than that, resign yourself to washing another set of dishes to make small warm batches of new flavours.  Even more annoying, resign yourself to putting it back in the frig to set up all over again before you can use it.