Arab Cooking on a Prairie Homestead
University of Regina Press / 28 March 2018

Arab Cooking on a Prairie Homestead: Recipes and Recollections from a Syrian Pioneer by Habeeb Salloum Published by University of Regina Press Review by Michelle Shaw $34.95 ISBN 9780889775183 I had no idea that Arab immigrants settled in rural Saskatchewan in the early part of the twentieth century. And, from the dumbfounded looks on the faces of my born and bred Saskatchewan friends, it’s not a fact that’s widely known. The story of one such family can be found in Arab Cooking on a Prairie Homestead. Habeeb Salloum’s family immigrated to Canada in the 1920s. Most Syrian immigrants of that period settled in the Eastern Canadian provinces of Quebec or Ontario, but Salloum’s father ended up settling in rural Saskatchewan. The 1920s and 30s were a tough time to be a farmer in Saskatchewan. But Salloum’s parents survived, as he puts it, on the “ingenuity and the recipes they had inherited from their forebears.” They found that many of the crops they grew traditionally in the Middle East, such as lentils and chickpeas, were ideally suited to Saskatchewan conditions. I found it amusing that, as a child, one of the highlights of Salloum’s year was his annual supply of bologna….

Seasons of Plenty
Doreen M. Bleich / 11 December 2014

Seasons of Plenty by Doreen M. Bleich Review by Justin Dittrick ISBN 978-0-9731167-1-7 $25 Doreen M. Bleich’s Seasons of Plenty offers a wide assortment of recipe ideas for cooks of all skill levels. This cookbook offers appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, desserts, dressings, and sauces that will please palettes, and satisfy the heartiest appetites. Organized around the holidays, it presents many meal options that are economical and require surprisingly little preparation, allowing the cook to prepare the meal and return to guests, who can look forward to a homey, balanced dish that will amaze for how easy it all seemed. These recipes are simple without ever being bland, while evoking a sense of comforting familiarity, as only home-cooked offerings can. In the age of the internet, this is also a much-needed cookbook of ideas, methods, and variations. Inspired offerings are not always easy to find in search engine queries. Bleich offers cooks the certitude that every meal will taste inspired by tradition, yet honed from years of experience in the kitchen. At a cursory glance, the impression given is that this cookbook contains a meal for any occasion, from afternoon teas to potlucks to full-blown family dinners. The holiday theme does…

Recipes I Stole From My Mum
Lisa Lambert / 20 August 2014

Recipes I Stole from My Mum by Lisa Lambert Published by Lisa Lambert Review by Regine Haensel $19.95 ISBN 978-0-9917434-0-7 Recently my book club discussed favourite cookbooks that we used regularly. If I’d had this one at the time, I’d have taken it along. Lisa Lambert is a trustee with the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools Board of Education. She grew up in Saskatoon, cooking and baking with her mother. Lambert has also collected inspirational quotes over many years, and combined this with recipes that have endured in her family, to create Recipes I Stole from My Mum. The author has updated her book with a new introduction that honours her mother, Marilyn Wilchuck, and her two grandmothers. The book definitely has a family feel, with the sorts of recipes that get handed down through the years. The book is divided into sections: Appetizers & Beverages, Breads & Muffins, Cakes & Cookies, Desserts, Main Courses, Salads and Soups, Squares, and Vegetables. From a soup made with fresh mushrooms, to Shrimp Scampi, and Macaroni and Cheese Casserole ,these recipes run the gamut from elegant to hearty comfort foods. Ethnic delights such as Spaghetti Bolognese, Greek Ribs, and Doche rub shoulders with old…

Bison Delights

Bison Delights: Middle Eastern Cuisine, Western Style by Habeeb Salloum Published by CPRC Press Review by Jessica Bickford $29.95 978-0-88977-215-1 As the title indicates, Bison Delights strives to integrate the traditional prairie meat, bison, with the flavours of the Middle East. Habeeb Salloum, an expert in Arab cuisine and a child of Saskatchewan homesteaders, begins by describing his long-standing love of bison, both the majestic animal, and the flavourful meat. He goes on to describe the many benefits of bison beyond the fact that it is truly a prairie meat. Bison is exceptionally healthy and the animals thrive without the aid of hormones or antibiotics; thus it is a great choice for those wanting to live a more healthful life. This cookbook has my favourite feature – a great index that can be quickly referenced either by the cut of bison used, or the other main ingredient (which is important as every recipe contains bison). It also has a bison facts and tips section, which includes nutrition information, basic tips for cooking bison, and other general bison knowledge, which is great if you have never worked with bison before. The book itself is broken down into accompaniments, appetizers, soups, stews,…

Prairie Feast: A Writer’s Journey Home For Dinner
Coteau Books / 29 June 2010

Prairie Feast: A Writer’s Journey Home For Dinner by Amy Jo Ehman Published by Coteau Books Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $24.95 ISBN 978-1-55050-413-2 Amy Jo Ehman’s book is scrumptious. Part memoir, part “How To” (eat locally), part stand-up comedy, and part recipe book with glossy photos, Prairie Feast: a writer’s journey home for dinner is a literary, culinary, and, dare I say a cultural tour de force. From berry picking to fowl (or “fall”) suppers (“Choosing which [one] to attend is like choosing between movies when all the blockbusters are out”); from zucchini overload to the vagaries of small-town food festivals, this revelatory book is the very personification of Saskatchewan. Ehman grew up on a farm near Craik and her rural upbringing remains central to her heart. It also fuels her appetite for fresh prairie … well, everything. In 2005, Ehman and her husband embarked on a year of eating locally­­­ – almost everything they ate, from spices to mushrooms to the flour she baked with – had to be produced in Saskatchewan. Readers are privy not only to how the pair managed, but why it’s important to support local producers and grow one’s own food, and just how…

Eat Away Illness, Second Edition
Soul Food Publishing / 16 December 2009

Eat Away Illness, Second Edition by Paulette Millis Published by Soul Food Publishing Review by Karen Lawson $47.50 ISBN 978-0-9683647-3-4 Here is a book that takes a common sense approach to nutrition. In today’s fast paced, fast food society, it is often difficult to maintain healthy eating habits. It is even harder to sort through the vast amount of information about nutrition that is available. Paulette Millis is a Registered Nutritional Consultant who has written a book that will appeal to everyone who wants to change the way that they eat. Eat Away Illness is a must have reference book that looks at ways to eat well and improve one’s health. It is chock full of valuable information and suggestions for anyone who wants to learn more about nutrition. The author has faced a variety of her own health issues, which was the impetus behind writing her book. The focus of Eat Away Illness is to make people aware of the importance of proper nutrition and how healthy foods can not only maintain and improve health, but also help to heal the body and mind. Eat Away Illness is much more than just a cookbook. All the recipes use healthy,…