White Bean and Yellow Beet Hummus – a Great Snack for Sailing

This rich and luscious golden beet hummus is extra smooth and creamy. The beets add a silkiness that is hard to achieve with beans alone, and add a very subtle, sweet earthy flavour to this beloved dip. Plus a little trick in processing the hummus helps add to the creaminess, too. (Skip directly to recipe.)

white bean and golden beet hummus with veggies

‘The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” ~Jacques Cousteau

Well, lakes do that for me, too.

golden beet hummus; sailboat on Wabamun Lake

Being on the water thrills my soul. I grew up around boats – mostly river boats and motor boats, but the thrill was still born in me – the feeling of total freedom that comes when you skim the waves and feel all your cares just flitter away across the sparkling water. Bye bye worries. Or that feeling of weightlessness as you lay in a gently rocking boat, looking up at the blue, blue sky above you – fully understanding how tiny you really are within our vast universe. And how tiny your cares are, too. For a short while, you can forget it all and just imagine that you are heading off into the unknown, off into a bright blue future. Who knows where that boat may take you?

golden beet hummus; heeling sailboat on Wabamun Lake

I had my fix again this year; my boat-in-the-water-breeze-in-my-face sailing fix. Earlier this summer, Raymond and I had a skim across the waves with our friends. (Did I say before how lucky we are to have friends who own a sailboat?)

golden beet hummus; Skipper Ian checking out the sails

Skipper Ian checking out the sails

We hit a day of glorious wind again this year. Flying across the water in full sail, with the boat heeling so much I could feel the delicious spray and touch the cool water with my fingers, was a thrilling ride; soul-cleansing. I could feel the cobwebs blowing out of my head, leaving space for beautiful new thoughts.

golden beet hummus; out on the sailboat

Raymond at the tiller and Sabine watching the water

Then last week I got to go and play on the boat – our annual girl’s night sleepover (I guess Sabine decided she could brave my snoring for a night, once again!) Packing up my cooler of snacks and bringing my sleeping bag always feels like I’m heading off to grown-up summer camp, ready for adventure.

golden beet hummus; sailboats at Sunshine Bay Sailing Club

Adventure definitely called my name this time. Sabine and I headed off for a kayak trip to explore the little tributary we paddled into last year.

golden beet hummus; pushing off from the dock

Sabine set off first – notice how the water level is well below the dock?

We paddled into the reeds, up the little creek that felt like we were in another world – far from lake and land.

golden beet hummus; kayaking the tributary

golden beet hummus; kayaking near Wabamun Lake

uh-oh, can’t go any farther, a tree has fallen and blocks the creek

However, as I was paddling, I was having more and more trouble steering my kayak. It kept wanting to go in circles, and I’d have to compensate by paddling hard on one side to get it straight again, then it’d do a little pirouette in the other direction. Cantankerous thing! By this time I was saying some not-very-ladylike cuss words under my breath. It was more and more work. My bum shoulder was getting sore, and I just wanted to get back to the bloomin’ dock.

With a lot of effort and some more bad words, I got my wonky kayak to the dock – and then thought, “Uh-oh.”

The surface of the dock is about 2 feet above the water level. Somehow I had to heave myself out of the kayak, up onto the boards, without capsizing the very light and very unstable vessel. My shaking shoulders did not feel like they had the strength to pull my body weight up.

Well, you can imagine what happened . . .

Yup. More cuss words as the kayak wobbled this way, then wiggled that way, then did a nose dive and started filling with water – with me frantically throwing my camera onto the dock. I tried desperately to stay upright and keep my leather slip-on sandals on my feet (smart footwear choice, huh?), all the time trying to heave myself up onto the boards . . . to no avail. The kayak sank. I was in water up to my armpits. Luckily there was a fellow nearby tending his boat, and Sabine called for help. Between the two of them they were able to drag, pull, and flop me up onto the dock, where I lay ignominiously – a streaming, water-logged, red-sweatered whale.

Thankfully there were no photos to document that little adventure.

golden beet hummus; drying clothes on the sailboat

my soggy clothes drying on the boat

After drying off and a change of clothes, it was heaven to sit on the boat, drink in hand, nibbling a few appetizers and watching the sunset. Looking back, I realized my problem had probably been that I’d forgotten to put my feet against the footbraces in the kayak (thinking of canoeing), and maybe been putting pressure unevenly on the floor of the kayak, causing me to go in circles. Either that or my kayak was possessed!

Enough water for one day.

golden beet hummus is part of our snack selection on the boat

Time for those nibbles. We feasted on smoked salmon with horseradish cream cheese and mini buckwheat blintzes, olives, and this amazingly creamy golden beet hummus with veggies. I even cut a raw golden beet into sticks as part of the dipping veggies – yummy!

golden beet hummus goes good with a drink at the end of the day


We love hummus, and even though you can buy tubs of hummus everywhere, it’s so easy to make your own. Cannellini beans and golden/yellow beets make a fantastic difference – the dip becomes lusciously silky and smooth. These beautiful beets are from Peas on Earth organic farm, at the Strathcona Farmers Market. They turned my hummus from ordinary to out-of-this-world.

beautiful golden beets for beet hummus

* * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: Hummus freezes well. I like to keep half the batch for eating fresh and freeze the rest in a small freezer-safe container for another day.

Hummus gets much more mellow after the first day. So if you find the garlic taste too strong when it’s freshly made, wait a day. Conversely, if you find the hummus has lost some of its oomph on the second or third day, give it another squeeze of lemon juice to freshen it up.

Whizzing the lemon juice, oil, and tahini together first gets them to emulsify and get creamy before you add the beans and beets. This step helps make an even more creamy dip.

*To cook the beets, trim off the tops, scrub them, and cover them with water in a large saucepan. Bring them to a boil, lower the heat and cover the saucepan. Simmer the beets until tender when pierced with a fork. This can take anywhere from a half hour to a full hour, depending on the size of the beets. Drain. Set a colander in the sink under the water tap. Hold the beets under the stream of cold running water and rub off the skins with your fingers. The colander will catch the skins. You can also wrap the beets in tin foil and roast them in the oven at 400°F/200°C until tender, then remove the skins with a paring knife.

white bean and golden beet hummus with dipping carrot

White Bean and Yellow Beet Hummus

  • 1 can (14oz/398ml) cannellini beans or white kidney beans (or 1½ cups cooked beans)
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) tahini paste
  • juice of one lemon (3 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic (or 2 small ones)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1½ cups diced, cooked yellow/golden beets* (220gms), 2 – 3 medium sized beets

Set the beans aside in a sieve to drain (no need to rinse them).

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne. Whiz until the ingredients are creamy and emulsified.

Add the beans and diced beets, and whiz until very smooth. This may take several minutes.

To serve, drizzle with a bit of extra olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika or cayenne, if desired.

Serve with raw veggies, crackers, or pita bread pieces for dipping.

Freezes well.

Makes about 2½ cups.

Variation: Use red beets for a beautiful, brilliant, magenta-coloured beet hummus.

Guten Appetit!


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White Bean and Golden Beet Hummus - silky, smooth, and luscious. A subtle earthy flavour.

You might also like:

Shrimp Salad with Lemon Dill Dressing – and a Beautiful Day for Sailing

Pimm’s Cup Cocktail – the Perfect Sip for a Day of Sailing

Tuna and Cannellini Bean Salad

Blueberry Mayonnaise

golden beet hummus; sign at the sailing clubhouse

drinks on the deck after a sail

golden beet hummus

sunset at Wabamun Lake

golden beet hummus; sailboats at sunset

Posted in Appetizers, Beans & Legumes, Condiments, Sauces & Dips, Snacks | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summery Sweet Green Pea Soup with Dill, and a Bounteous Garden

This light and lovely green pea soup is wonderful hot or cold – a perfect summer meal. All you need is a bag of frozen peas and a bit of dill. So creamy, but not a drop of cream in it. You’ll want to make this again and again.
Skip directly to recipe.

Summer Green Pea Soup with Dill


That is the word I feel when I look at my lush and bountiful garden. Thankful for all this goodness at its bursting sweet best. Corn is as tall as a house, beets as big as my fist, sweet nobbly carrots, potatoes as big as shoes, and herbs growing with wild abandon. The path down the middle of the garden is no longer a path, but an obstacle course of sprawling yellow calendulas and tipped-over flowering cilantro. I need to step over the crazy red poppies I love to leave growing where they will, and force my way between the leg-tangling leaves of kale. The potato plants are up to my waist!

green pea soup; lush garden 2017

green pea soup; the herb bed next to the greenhouse

the herbs are thriving

What happened to this garden when my back was turned? When did it turn into a jungle? It’s been a strange year for growing. Some things didn’t germinate at all and others became massive monsters. I planted peas twice, and still only have a few plants – just enough for a little nibble here and there. Lettuce didn’t even peek its head out of the ground, even though I tried seeding it several times. Kohlrabi went into hiding – didn’t feel like growing this year, and the pole beans are just starting to meander their way around the teepee poles.

Yet the corn is eight feet tall, and the potatoes have become as big and tangled as a bramble patch – I have no hope of seeing where the rows are. Parsnips are up to my knees and tomatoes up to my armpits. We’ve even got a small watermelon growing – the first one ever.

green pea soup; the garden's bounty - a basket of vegetables overflowing

We cannot keep up with all that wonderful produce. Yet here I am, making soup with a bag of frozen peas. Yes, you may ask why.

  1. No peas in the garden – except a few spindly plants.
  2. Need to make room in the freezer – gotta use up stuff.

It’s like that fairy tale where the food just keeps appearing on the table. Our freezer magically keeps filling itself so I never have more than a smidge of room to put something new into it. So I took out a bag of peas and made a little divot where I can now add a bag of fresh garden beans. I don’t think I’m really solving my problem. Hmmmm.

I’ll have to have some soup while I figure that one out.

Sweet fresh green pea soup – it’s a taste of the garden in a bowl. The light flavour and smooth texture are a delight; spoonfuls of silk slipping down your throat. Bright grassy notes of dill complement the sweet base of green peas. A splash of apple juice adds a subtle tang. It all comes together for a little taste of green garden heaven.

When a friend drops by and you can share a bowl, you are sharing a bit of summer.

holding a bowl of green pea soup

I’m feeling thankful. (Frozen peas are a blessing, too.)

* * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: If you’ve got fresh peas – use ’em. But only if they’re nice and small. If they’re too ripe, peas can be mealy and bitter and totally change the tone of this soup. Frozen peas tend to be picked when they’re smaller and sweeter, so they are often a better option for fresh pea soup.

To make this soup vegan, use oil instead of butter and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

lovely bowl of green pea soup with dill

Sweet Green Pea Soup with Dill

  • 2 tablespoons butter or ghee (use oil for vegan & dairy-free version)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups chopped)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 6 cups frozen peas (one 750gm/26oz. bag), or use fresh young peas if available
  • 4 cups (960ml) chicken or vegetable stock (use vegetable stock for vegan version)
  • 1 cup (240ml) unsweetened apple juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ¼ cup (20gms) packed, finely chopped dill (remove stems before measuring or chopping)

Heat butter in a 3 or 4 quart/litre heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 – 8 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent and soft.

Add the peas, stock, apple juice, bay leaf, salt, and white pepper.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low boil, and cook for 5 minutes, uncovered. Remove the bay leaf.

Purée the soup in a blender, in two batches, or use an immersion blender, until it is silky smooth. Return the puréed soup to the saucepan. Add the dill and taste for seasoning. Add more salt or pepper if it needs it (depends on how salty your stock was). Reheat the soup just until it starts to simmer. Serve and garnish with dill fronds.

* Alternately you can serve the soup cold. It’s also delicious that way, on a hot day.

Serves 6.

Guten Appetit!


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Green Pea Soup with Dill

You might also like:

Sweet Corn Bisque – a Bowl Full of Summer

Green Soup

Gazpacho – a Cool Soup for a Hot Day

Garlic Lentil Soup

Posted in Soups & Stews, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Apricot and Evans Cherry Crisp

This marriage of apricots and tart Evans cherries is made in summer-fruit heaven. Top it with crispy, oaty, buttery crumbs for a fantastic dessert. (Or a delicious breakfast – I won’t tell.)

Apricot and Evans cherry crisp - the taste of summer

The Evans cherries are almost ripe.

The trees are loaded, and I’ve been sneaking out to pick a few of the reddest ones. I know many people pick them as soon as they’re medium red, but I like to wait until the sour cherries are deep dark red and have more sugars developed, even better after a light frost if I can wait that long. They’re still mouth-puckering, but the flavour is deeper. This year, the Evans cherries are a little early. They usually ripen in late August to early September in our area, but if you can stand to hold off, you’ll have amazing sour cherries. They don’t seem to suffer for a longer wait, staying on the the tree and just getting sweeter.

Evans cherry crisp; tree loaded with fruit

I love seeing those trees, abundantly adorned with their ruby jewels. It gives me such pleasure.

Evans cherry crisp; loaded branch of cherries

It wasn’t that long ago that we couldn’t even grow sour cherries in Alberta – the Evans has only been available to the public since about 1996. It was developed in practically our own back yard. Alberta horticulturist, Dr. Ieuan Evans, discovered an unknown strain of sour cherry trees growing in an old orchard northeast of Edmonton where they had been producing cherries since 1923. He propagated the suckers and distributed them everywhere, and within years, the Evans cherry exploded in popularity, now being grown all over Canada and into the United States and other cold climate countries in the world. The trees reach 10 to 15 feet tall and are easy to grow. They are reliable producers of heavy sour cherry crops, with large juicy cherries almost an inch across.

Evans cherry crisp; cherries on tree, tart and juicy

This is what summer tastes like – soft baked fruit, tart and juicy, topped with a crunchy crumbly topping of buttery crumbs. Yes.

I found beautiful B.C. apricots at the farmers market and what better way to showcase them than together with our beautiful Alberta sour cherries?

Apricot and Evans Cherry Crisp; BC apricots and Alberta cherries - what a team

Look at those glowing jewels.

apricots and cherries for the Evans cherry crisp

apricots and cherries ready for a rumble. . .er, crumble

The snuggle up all cozy together under their blanket of crumbs to make this:

Apricot and Evans Cherry Crisp fresh out of the oven

fresh out of the oven and ready for ice cream

 * * * * *

Kitchen Frau notes: Substitute other sour cherries if you don’t have Evans cherries. You can also substitute peaches or nectarines for the apricots.

Check out my post on a nifty trick to easily pit those delicate and juicy Evans cherries.

have a bowl of apricot and Evans cherry crisp

Apricot and Evans Sour Cherry Crisp

  • 2 cups diced apricots, ¾ inch/2cm cubes (340gms)
  • 2 cups pitted Evans sour cherries (320 gms pitted) or other sour cherries; see how to pit Evans cherries
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • ½ cup (100gms) sugar (preferably organic evaporated cane sugar)
  • 1½ tablespoons cornstarch or potato starch
  • 1/3 cup (75gms) soft coconut oil or butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (125gms) lightly packed brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • ½ cup (50 gms) oat flour, gluten-free if necessary
  • ½ cup (50gms) ground almonds/almond meal
  • ½ cup (45 gms) rolled oats (quick oats), gluten-free if necessary

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Put the diced apricots and pitted cherries into a 9-inch (23cm) square or 10-inch (25cm) round baking dish. Sprinkle with the almond extract and toss lightly. (It will distribute more evenly when baking.)

In a small bowl, mix together the ½ cup sugar and the cornstarch or potato starch, until no lumps remain. Pour this mixture evenly over the fruit in the baking dish.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or by hand in a bowl with a wooden spoon, cream the coconut oil, salt, and brown sugar until well combined. Beat in the oat flour, ground almonds, and rolled oats until well mixed and crumbly, or work them in with your fingers.

Spread the crumble topping evenly over the fruit.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Serve warm with ice cream, frozen yogurt, or whipped cream.

Leftovers are great for breakfast with yogurt.

Serves 6.

Guten Appetit!


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Luscious apricots and juicy sour cherries snuggle up together under a crispy crumb crust in this heavenly dessert combo. Not so bad for breakfast either!


You might also like these other Evans Cherries recipes:

How to Pit Evans Cherries

Evans Cherry Pie

No-Bake Evans Cherry and Coconut Bars – a Delightful Use for Evans Cherries

Evans Sour Cherries in Brandy

Posted in Canadian Food, Desserts, Puddings & Such, Fruit | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Cornmeal Crusted Fried Trout, Garlic Baked Potatoes, and the Call of the Loon

A little bit of heaven; fresh-caught trout, cornmeal-crusted and fried to crunchy crispness just hours after it was swimming in the lake, and a steaming baked potato, buttery and rich with sweet roasted garlic. 

crispy cornmeal crusted fried trout and steaming garlic baked potatoes - a meal fit for a king

I’m back from the lake.

cornmeal crusted fried trout and garlic baked potatoes; chair on the dock at Francois Lake

We went to the cabin.

I saw my dad everywhere.

I saw him in the cabin, lovingly built from logs, the place he was happiest at.

I saw him in the dock, now falling apart, that he built with timbers he’d sawn himself  and the metal hardware he’d forged by hand.

I saw him in the sauna stove, welded from iron scraps saved in his yard.

I saw him in his chair in the cabin kitchen, untangling fishing lures and organizing his tackle box before he headed out.

I saw him in the lake, how we’d see the speck of his boat in the distance, hour after hour, trolling for char or casting for trout.

I saw him in his boat, the one he built from scratch, as he came chugging in to shore, grinning proudly with a pail of fresh-caught fish.

I saw him in his workshop, an Aladdin’s cave of metal pieces, cans of bolts, bits of motors, oars, and wires.

I saw him in the trees, as the wind blew through the branches. I saw him there, whistling as he walked the mossy trails.

I saw my dad everywhere . . . and it was so hard . . . but he felt so close.

cornmeal crusted fried trout and garlic baked potatoes; the old boat and crumbling dock

the crumbling dock and old boat dad built, still seaworthy but sadly missing its owner

cornmeal crusted fried trout and garlic baked potatoes; fireweed at forest's edge cornmeal crusted fried trout and garlic baked potatoes; Francois Lake cabin

cornmeal crusted fried trout and garlic baked potatoes; cabin roof peeking out from the fireweed

This was a bittersweet trip to our family cabin on the shores of Francois Lake in British Columbia. Wonderful to be in that familiar place, on that beautiful lake, in our cozy cabin, within hugging distance of family that I see so seldom these days. But overhung with a heavy chore . . . heavy in our hearts. We came to spread my dad’s ashes at his beloved lake.

cornmeal crusted fried trout and garlic baked potatoes; the shoreline of Francois Lake

we spread my dad’s ashes at this beautiful part of the shoreline near his old dock.  just after we finished, a family of loons (seven of them, like my mom and dad and us five girls) came swimming out and stayed close to the shore in front of us, totally unafraid.
evermore, I will think of my dad when I see a loon or hear its haunting cry

My dad passed away six years ago, just shortly after I started this blog. The hole that ripped into my heart then is still there – the edges may be a little less jagged and it may be a tiny bit smaller, but it’ll always be open. It’s a part of me now.

Valentin Bose (January 15, 1936 - June 30, 2011) photo collage

Dad was born in a German community in Russia in 1936, one of ten children in his family. Part of the many Germans displaced and expelled from Eastern Europe during WWII, he grew up fleeing, living in concentration camps, and as a refugee in Western Germany. He left school at age 14 to apprentice as a blacksmith, then emigrated to Canada with his family in 1955 at age 19.

He met my mom in English night classes for immigrants and they fell in love, getting married in the house he built for them in New Westminster, B.C. They went on to have five daughters (including me) and many adventures. My dad was a restless soul, always looking for a place to put down roots. Consequently we moved a lot between B.C. and Alberta. He worked as a metal fabricator in a sawmill at the coast, owned a blacksmith shop in northern Alberta, was a sugar beet farmer in southern Alberta, a grain farmer in northern Alberta, a commercial fisherman on Vancouver Island, and a welder/fabricator in northern B.C., with many other jobs and locations in between. I remember him pounding ploughshares on the anvil in his blacksmith shop when I was a child – I loved watching him dunk the glowing metal into a vat of water, sizzling and spitting, to harden the iron. He taught me how to drive the tractor on our farm in southern Alberta and how to ride a horse. He took me hunting with him when I was a teenager. I remember many camping trips as we were growing up. I loved taking my Nancy Drew book and making a nest out of life jackets in the bow of the boat, laying in the sunshine as the water gently lapped and rocked the boat and my dad steered and fished.

Dad lived life with gusto. He had many interests and talents. He could build anything out of metal or wood. He built river boats from patterns he drew on the back of cigarette packages. He built houses and motors and trailers. He could fashion costume parts for school plays and make kitchen tools and garden implements out of metal scraps. Dad could fix anything that was broken.

He was an avid reader, never without a book in his hand when sitting down. He loved playing cards and watching old Westerns, and was a great dancer. He and mom were a joy to watch as they twirled in elegant unison. He taught all of us girls to dance, and drive, and fish (though I haven’t practiced enough to be good at it).

Dad would help out anyone who needed it. He was interested in everything, had strong opinions, and didn’t suffer fools. He drank a bit too much in the early years, but quit totally in his later years. Same thing with smoking. He loved my mom and he loved us girls, but was a stern and strict father. Dad mellowed a lot as he got older, tearing up when he saw his grandchildren, telling us he loved us, and proud as punch of all of us, though still displaying flashes of his strong and irascible opinions.

Dad’s main passion was fishing – he was a master. He could catch fish when and where no one else could. He was the fish whisperer. Locals around the cabin described the bay in our corner of the lake as the one where ‘that guy is always out in his boat fishing’. He bought their property on Francois Lake because my mom loved eating Arctic char and this cold, deep lake was where he could find them.

So in honour of my dad, here is a recipe for fresh fried trout and garlicky potatoes – a meal he would have loved.

* * * * *

Crispy Fried Trout – a Delicious Way to Use the Catch of the Day

cornmeal crusted fried trout and garlic potatoes; three cleaned trout

our neighbour at the lake took my nephew, Kristian, out fishing and they caught these three lovely trout

cornmeal crusted fried trout; stuffed with lemon slices

dip ’em in cornstarch, egg, and cornmeal, then stuff ’em with lemon slices

cornmeal crusted fried trout

then fry ’em up

cornmeal crusted fried trout and garlic baked potatoes

Cornmeal Crusted Fried Trout

  • 3 to 4 fresh trout, gutted and cleaned (no need to scale them)
  • ~ ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) cornstarch or flour (gluten-free flour or regular flour)
  • 2 eggs
  • ~ ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) fine cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon each, salt and pepper, plus more as needed
  • 2 slices of lemon per fish (optional)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons oil

You can leave the heads on the trout, or cut them off if you wish – it may depend on the size of skillet or griddle you have.

Rinse the trout and pat them dry. Sprinkle the inside of the body cavity with salt and pepper.

Put the flour into a bowl, large plate, or small pan.  Put the eggs into a bowl or pie dish and beat them with a fork. Combine the cornmeal, salt, and pepper in a flat dish or pan.

Dip the whole fish into the cornstarch or flour, using your fingers to sprinkle it onto any parts of the outside of the fish not covered.

Then dip the fish into the beaten egg, making sure it is all moistened.

Last, dip the fish into the cornmeal, sprinkling cornmeal on any parts not covered.

Cut the lemon slices in half, and tuck four halves into the belly of each trout, if using them.

Heat a large heavy cast iron skillet or large griddle on medium heat on the stove or on a grill set over a campfire. Add the oil.

Fry the fish, turning them once the bottom side is crusty and browned and the flesh has turned opaque. Depending on the size of your fish, it should take about 4 to 6 minutes per side.

Serve with additional lemon slices.

Serves 4 to 6, again, depending on the size of your fish and the size of your appetite. Small fish (about ¾ of a pound, live weight) will serve one person each. Larger fish can serve two. But when I’m out in the fresh air and hungry, I can easily eat a whole large fish myself!

Serve the Trout with these Fantastic Garlic Baked Potatoes

fried trout and garlic baked potatoes; cut out a wedge

cut out a wedge

garlic baked potatoes filled and ready

garlic baked potatoes; seasoning the spuds

Because of the province-wide fire ban (due to the exorbitant amount of forest fires in British Columbia this year), we baked the potatoes in the woodstove in the sauna hut. Look at those beautifully glowing coals – juuuuussst right.

garlic baked potatoes; into the oven

into the woodstove they go


cornmeal crusted fried trout and garlic baked potato

Garlic Baked Potatoes

  • whole baking potatoes
  • fresh garlic cloves
  • butter or oil
  • salt and pepper
  • other spices or seasoning mixes, if desired (like curry powder, chili powder, or steak seasoning)
  • tin foil/aluminum foil
  • parchment paper (optional)

Tear or cut tin foil into squares. Line each square with a smaller square of parchment paper if desired. Wash the potatoes and pat them dry. Place a potato onto each square of tin foil.

Cut a thin wedge lengthwise out of each potato. Cut the garlic cloves into thick slices and if the butter is hard, cut it into long slivers. Stuff the slit with 3 or 4 slices of garlic cloves and fill it with slivers of butter, or if the butter is soft, spread it into the slits. Alternatively, if using oil, drizzle oil liberally over each potato. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with spices, if using them.

Pull the sides of the foil squares up around the potatoes and fold over the long edges several times. Roll up the ends and press the foil firmly up against the potatoes, molding it closely to the potato.

Place the potatoes into the hot embers of a campfire, wood cookstove, or into a hot oven (about 425°F/220°C). If you’re using a campfire or wood stove, they’re easier to handle if you place the potatoes in a metal barbecue basket, but you can also lay them individually directly into the coals. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the potato feels soft and gives a little when you press on it with a finger (covered in a tea towel). If your potatoes are smallish, check on them at 45 minutes.

Serves 1 potato per person.

Guten Appetit!

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The best campfire meal - fresh trout fried to crusty perfection, served with garlic-stuffed baked potatoes. Summer heaven

You might also like these other posts about the Francois Lake cabin:

Lazyman Skillet Bannock – Cooking at the Cabin – 2016

Juniper Berry and Raisin Stuffed Pork Chops and Summer at the Cabin – 2015

Campfire Baked Potatoes – a Nifty Trick – 2014

End of Summer at the Cabin and Bannock Biscuits – 2013

Rich Creamy Succotash – and a Trip to the Lake – 2012

Nature’s Gifts: Fresh Trout, Morels, and a Side of Bannock – 2011

Posted in Barbecue & Grilling, Fish & Seafood, Potatoes, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Saskatoon Jelly

Preserve up the bounty of sweet summer saskatoon berries in jars of glistening saskatoon jelly. A special ingredient helps enhance the berries’ natural flavour.

jars of homemade saskatoon jelly

I’m heading off to my parents’ cabin, and before I go I want to to leave you with another saskatoon recipe – in case you’re still dealing with the delicious tail end of your berry harvest.

For years, I made very little jam or jelly, since my mother-in-law supplied us with a veritable treasure chest of jewel-toned jars filled with every fruit or berry that could be jammed or jellied: topaz lemon/marrow to golden apricot to ruby raspberry to deep amethyst-black saskatoon and every gleaming shade of jam or jelly in between.

Now, Granny’s off the farm and enjoying her rest (painting and crafting up a storm), so I’ll have to start jammin’ again. I’m not very musical, so my ‘jamming’ is of the sweet edible variety and involves fruit and sugar.

Our saskatoon harvest has been abundant this year.

we've had a great crop of saskatoons - great for saskatoon jelly

And I’ve been making my kind of music in the kitchen.

The jelly kettle has been bubbling, and I’ve been humming along (as long as there’s nobody within hearing range – the dog doesn’t count).

Saskatoons are such a luscious berry. They’re sweet and nutty, with floral and slightly almond overtones. So hard to describe and incomparable to any other berry out there.

close up of saskatoon berries for saskatoon jelly making

In the system of scientific classification for plants, saskatoons belong to the same botanical order (Rosales) and family (Rosaceae) as roses. Reading that was an ‘aha!‘ moment for me. Of course. That would explain the faint floral flavour. The berries almost look like little purple rosehips and they’re full of seeds, too (though much more juicy than rosehips).

Adding a touch of rosewater to this homemade saskatoon jelly is a magical flavour enhancer, bringing out the sweet best in those wonderful berries – a natural pairing. That subtle hint of rosy flavour takes the jelly from fruity to fantastic.

Don’t be Afraid of Making Jelly

It’s easy!

Just cook up the saskatoon berries with a bit of water.

Dump them into a jelly bag or damp tea towel laid into a colander.

making saskatoon jelly

my mom sewed me a jelly bag out of an old sheer nylon curtain. she serged the edges and it measures about 14 inches square. but you can use an old tea towel or layers of cheesecloth, too

Tie up the bag around a wooden spoon.

Saskatoon Jelly Making

gather up the two sides and tie them over the spoon handle

Leave to drip.

saskatoon jelly - dripping jelly bag

set a bowl on the floor between two chairs and rest the ends of the spoon on the chair seats for an unorthodox but easy way to let your jelly bag drip

And voilà – you’ve got a beautiful clear juice you can now cook up to make your sparkling, wibbly, wobbly saskatoon jelly.

Your morning toast and jelly experience will be a gourmet treat.

Or use the saskatoon jelly to make this amazing creamy, fruity, saskatoon ice cream. (You can’t get that flavour in a store!)

* * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: Of course you can omit the rosewater and still have a wonderful, simple saskatoon jelly with a full fruit flavour.

Rosewater is made by steeping rose petals in water – pure, simple, edible rose essence. It can be found in import stores and some large supermarkets.

Bottled reconstituted lemon juice is recommended in jelly making since its acidity is standardized – more reliable than using fresh lemon juice, which can vary greatly in acidity levels. A certain amount of acidity is necessary in jelly making to ensure a pH level that will promote jelling and prevent spoilage.

homemade saskatoon jelly tastes great on toast

Saskatoon Jelly

  • 2 kg (4lb, 6oz) saskatoons (14 cups/3½ quarts of berries)
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (6 tablespoons/90ml) bottled reconstituted lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater (optional)
  • 7½ cups (1.5kg) sugar
  • 2 pouches liquid pectin (170ml in total)

* The jelly might not set if you double the recipe – make one batch at a time.

Pick over the saskatoons. Rinse them and drain them well. (See an easy saskatoon cleaning technique here.)

Combine the berries and the water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the juice by pouring the cooked berries into a jelly bag hanging over a bowl. (Tie the corners together and slip a wooden spoon through, under the knot. Hang the spoon between two chairs. (See photo above.)

If you don’t have a jelly bag, you can makeshift one by using a clean damp tea towel (it will become stained) or layering 3 to 4 sheets of cheesecloth into a colander. Moisten the cloth, add the berries, gather up the corners, and tie them into a bundle. Leave the fruit to drip for 3 to 4 hours – until you have 3½ cups juice. Do not squeeze the fruit or you’ll have cloudy jelly. If you don’t get quite enough juice, you can top it up with water to make 3½ cups.

Prepare and sterilize canning jars. Run clean jars through the hottest setting in your dishwasher and leave them in there to stay hot until you need them. Set the metal lids into a saucepan and cover them with water. Bring them to a simmer and leave them simmering on low heat, to fish out of the water directly when you seal the jars.

In a large saucepan, combine 3½ cups prepared saskatoon berry juice, lemon juice, rosewater (if using) and sugar. The pot should be no more than half full to allow plenty of room for the boiling jelly. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat.

Stir in the liquid pectin, squeezing all the pectin out of the pouches. Boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and skim off any foam floating at the top of the jelly.

Working quickly, pour the jelly into warm, sterilized jam jars to within ¼ inch of the top. Wipe any drips on the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth. Cover with sterilized lids and seal, screwing jars finger-tight. Let cool undisturbed. You should hear the lids “pop” as they seal and see that the vacuum has sucked the lid down so it doesn’t move when pressed with a finger (but don’t press the lids until the jars are completely cooled.)

If any jars didn’t seal (the lid will still bulge upward slightly and moves when pressed with a finger), store those jars in the refrigerator and use within a few months.

Makes 8 cups (8 half-pint/250ml jars).

Guten Appetit!


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Homemade saskatoon jelly is a delicious way to use up your saskatoon berry bounty.

How about some of these other delicious saskatoon recipes:

Gluten Free Saskatoon Scones

A Method to Easily Clean Saskatoon Berries

How to Freeze Saskatoons

How to Can Saskatoons and Make Saskatoon Preserves

Saskatoon Ice Cream and Saskatoon Jelly

Saskatoon Roll or Saskatoon Cobbler

Saskatoon Slump

‘Prairie Mess’, a Delectable Dessert with Saskatoons and Rhubarb

Saskatoon Juice

Pork Chops with Saskatoon and Green Apple Chutney

Posted in Canning & Preserving, Saskatoons | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Saskatoon Jelly