Take Thanksgiving to the Next Level!

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We hosted a workshop at The Mustard Seed tonight, all about amping up your Thanksgiving Meal. The tips from Chef Damian were so helpful, the food was amazing, and we thought you might like to see a few of the recipes in time for your big dinner! Check it out here:

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup


2 lbs jerusalem artichokes

1 small onion, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

5 sprigs thyme, picked and chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 T Olive Oil

1 litre chicken stock or vegetable stock

Juice of lemon as needed

4 T butter

Kosher or Sea Salt


  1. Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and place into acidulated water (lemon water). Once all artichokes are peeled dice into 1’ pieces.
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sweat the onions, the garlic and the celery until translucent.  Add the Jerusalem artichokes and the thyme, add enough stock to cover.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the artichokes can be pierced with a knife.
  4. Carefully transfer contents in batches to blender and puree until smooth, add butter 1 T at a time.
  5. Add salt and lemon juice as needed to enhance flavours.

Warm Green Bean Salad with Arugula & Fall Lettuces

Serves 6


6 handfuls of mixed fall greens and arugula (include some red leaf for colour)

¾ lb green beans

1 ¼ C shelled walnut halves

1 ½ tablespoons finely diced shallots

¾ cup Pristine Gourmet Cold pressed oil, or a good olive oil

¼ cup Balsamic vinegar

2 Tablespoons of your favourite mustard

¼ cup nicoise olive, or good black olives (optional)

Salt and Freshly ground pepper


  1. Wash and dry the lettuces and arugula
  2. Trim the ends of the green beans
  3. Spread the walnut halves on a baking tray and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until they are well toasted, remove from oven and set aside.
  4. Make a vinaigrette using the shallots, the oil, mustard, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Blanch the green beans is well salted water until just tender and bright green, shock into a cold bath of ice water. Remove from water and set aside.
  6. When ready to serve, reheat the beans in the water for 20 seconds, toss with the greens, walnuts, and olives. Add enough vinaigrette to lightly dress the salad.  Serve on warm plate.

Caramelized Brussel Sprouts with Double Smoked Bacon & Blue Cheese


2 lb Brussel sprouts, trimmed and cut in half

200 g Double Smoked Bacon, cut into lardons

50 g Blue Cheese, Smoked Blue Haze is great! crumbled

2-4 tablespoons Pristine Gourmet Canola oil

2 tablespoons Golden Dawn Butter

2 tablespoons Cedarwood Honey



  1. In a large Saute pan, add double smoked bacon and a little water. Render out the bacon until the water evaporates, reduce heat and sauté until lardons are golden brown, and slightly crisp.  Transfer to paper towel, and reserve.
  2. Preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Add enough oil to lightly cover the pan.  Place brussel sprouts, cut side down into pan, season with a little salt.  Cover your pan and gently caramelize the brussel sprouts, moving only if they are browning too much in one area, do not turn them over.  Once caramelized, and still bright green, turn up heat to medium high and add butter.  Test with a knife to ensure they are tender, and butter has all melted.  If they need a little more time remove from heat and keep covered, check again to see if they are tender every minute.
  3. Transfer sprouts to a warm plate, crumble the blue cheese and bacon on top, drizzle with a little warm honey.

Roasted Root Vegetables with Red Wine Braised Shallots & Gremolata

Ingredients for Gremolata:

1 teaspoon minced garlic

½ cup washed and chopped flat leaf parsley

Zest of 1 lemon

Ingredients for Shallots:

8 small sized shallots, peeled, trimmed

2 cups Ontario Red Wine

4 sprigs thyme

Ingredients for Roasted Vegetables:

9 small rainbow carrots

9 small parsnips

9 small turnips

12 Jerusalem artichokes, washed

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt & Pepper


  1. Using a peeler, remove zest from lemon, then lay flat on cutting board, and finely dice.  Place the garlic and parsley on top and chop, using a rocking  mo motion, until finely chopped.
  2. Preheat a small sauce pot over medium heat, add a little oil, add the whole trimmed shallots and caramelize. Add the red wine and thyme.  Simmer until shallots are tender. Remove pan from heat and reserve until ready to serve.
  3. Slice the carrots and parsnips lengthways in half. Slice the turnip in wedges.  Cut the Jerusalem artichokes in half.  Toss each type of root vegetable separately in some olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme.  Roast in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown.  Cook all vegetables separately, as they will take different amounts of time to cook.
  4. Combine vegetables on serving platter, top with gremolata, serve.

Maple Spiced Pumpkin Pie


1 prepared 9-inch pie crust

4 medium eggs

1 cup heavy (whipping) cream

1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree, homemade if possible

2/3 cup pure maple syrup

Seeds of 1 vanilla bean, scraped, or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 Tablespoon pumpkin spice blend

Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Keep the pie crust chilled in the refrigerator while you mix up the pie filling.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and cream together until blended. Add the pumpkin puree and the maple syrup and again whisk well.
  3. Finally, add the vanilla, salt and spice blend to the pie filling and combine.
  4. Remove pie shell from the fridge and place on the middle rack of the oven. Slide the rack out carefully a couple of inches and pour the filling into the pie shell. Slowly, slide the oven rack back in place, taking care not to spill the contents of the pie shell onto the bottom of the oven.
  5. If you find yourself with a little extra filling, simply pour it into a couple of ramekins and bake them alongside your pie until they are set. Chill, top with whipped cream and enjoy them as pumpkin custard.
  6. Check pie after about 30 minutes and rotate, if necessary, to ensure even browning of the pie crust.
  7. When the center of the pie has puffed up, and jiggles only slightly when the pan is moved, the pie is ready. This will take about one hour.
  8. Remove pie from oven and cool on a wire rack. When the pie is room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  9. Pie will keep, covered in the fridge, for up to three days, or well-wrapped and frozen for up to 8 weeks.

Turkey Brine

Brining a turkey is the best way to ensure that your bird remains moist and delicious for your guests.  Salt changes the muscular structure of the bird and allows for the absorption of water and the flavours you add.  Feel free to add any of your favourite herbs to the brine.

For each litre of cold water, add the amounts listed:

¾ Cup Kosher Salt

¾ Cup granulated brown sugar

1 cup boiling water

1 Tablespoon Whole black pepper

Optional Flavour builders:

Sweet Apple Cider, Bay Leaves, Sage, Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary, Parlsey, Cloves, Nutmeg, Lemons (cut in half), Maple Syrup

To determine how much brine liquid you will need, put the bird in the container or bag you will be brining in, cover with water, remove bird and measure the amount of liquid is required.  Discard this water.

One of the great things about brining is that there are so few rules. Most brines start with water and salt — traditionally, 3/4 pound of salt per gallon of water, but since we’re not concerned with the brine as a preservative, you can cut back on the salt. The amount of brining time is likewise not set in stone. Even a little brining is better than none.

Dissolve salt and sugar in the boiling water. Add it to the cold water; add pepper and stir to combine.

What type of salt to use in brine? Kosher salt and table salt (without iodine) are the most common salts used in brining. Sea salt can be used, but it tends to be quite expensive. I usually use coarse kosher salt.

Please note: a cup of table salt and a cup of kosher salt are NOT equal. Table salt weighs approximately 10 ounces per cup and kosher salt weighs approximately 5 to 8 ounces per cup (depending on the brand). If using kosher salt in a brine, you must use more than 1 cup to achieve the same “saltiness” you would get from 1 cup of table salt.

Refrigerate Turkey While Brining – REFRIGERATION is absolutely required during brining:

The main logistical problem with brining is that you need a container that is large enough to submerge your turkey in the brine, but will fit in your fridge or cooler. The meat and brine solution must be kept below 40 degrees F. at all times. Since brining does not preserve meat, the turkey and brine must be kept refrigerated at all times.

Fridge –  If storing the poultry in the fridge during brining, first check to make sure that the container will fit! A container large enough to hold a whole turkey might be too big for the fridge.

Picnic Cooler –  Be sure to choose a cooler that is large enough to keep the turkey completely submerged during the brining process. It is important to thoroughly clean and sanitize the cooler before and after use.

You must keep the poultry and brine cold without diluting the mixture when using a cooler. Put the meat and brine directly in the cooler, then place Ziploc bags filled with ice or reusable gel packs into the brine solution.

Another approach is to put the turkey and brine into a turkey oven roasting bag or brining bags inside the cooler, and then pack ice or gel packs around the bag.

Monitor the temperature of the cooler (best to use a digital thermometer) to make sure it stays below 40 degrees F. at all times.

Happy cooking!



Celebrate National Co-op Week on October 17th!

rochdale reopens

Co-ops forum + a screening of ‘The Rochdale Pioneers’

When: Friday, October 17th – 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Where: The Mustard Seed – 460 York Blvd., Hamilton

Come learn about the co-operative movement at this special National Co-op Week event, sponsored by The Mustard Seed! The first hour will include presentations from Kerr Smith of On-Coop (entitled “From Beards to Eternity: Our Co-operative History”) and Mustard Seed member Daniel Haartman on the history and importance of the co-operative movement. Other new & emerging co-ops in Hamilton will also have a chance to share their stories.

Following that, we will have a screening of the 2012 film “The Rochdale Pioneers” (60 mins), from the Cooperative British Youth Film Academy. The tale is particularly powerful as from these somewhat humble and unassuming beginnings it is estimated that there are now 1.4 million individual co-operative enterprises globally securing the livelihoods of over three billion people!

Food and drinks will be available (for a small cost) at The Mustard Seed. The event will be held rain or shine, and is intended to take place at an outdoor screening at The Mustard Seed – so please dress accordingly and bring a chair and a blanket!

Note: this is a free event!

About our speakers:
Kerr Smith joined On Co-op in 2010, and in his role as Education Manager has created, written and illustrated the “All 4 Each” Co-operative Education unit which has been distributed across North America. Kerr won the 2012 ACE William Hlushko Award for Young Co-operative Educators, and in 2013 his workshop entitled “From Beards to Eternity: Our Co-operative History” was awarded “Best Presentation” by the Co-operative Communicator’s Association.

Daniel Haartman is a graduate of the Co-operative Management Certificate program at the Schulich School of Business at York University. Dan is especially passionate about the cultural mentoring aspects that worker co-ops use to regenerate. He is in the process of co-creating a machine shop, which in addition to developing machinery for a better world, will make the intangible aspects of positive psychology become tangible through sharing hands on skills; daniel.haartman@culturalmentoring.ca.

Watch the Rochdale Pioneers official trailer:

National Organic Week!


This week is a celebration of all things organic!

As this word becomes more and more popular, let’s take a look at what it actually means.

“Organic” means that the entire process of food growth (from soil preparation to the manufacturing and packing process) occurs without pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, preservatives, or genetically modified seeds. Where animals are involved (meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products), it means the animals donot take antibiotics or growth hormones.

Why should we choose organic? Just a few reasons:
* Organic farmers work in harmony with nature! (Organic agriculture builds healthy ecosystems, and organic farms have higher biodiversity on them and around them too, promoting sustainability and ecological balance.)
* Organic food cuts back on chemicals! (Many herbicides and insecticides commonly used in agriculture have been found to be carcinogenic, hormone replicators, or negative for children’s development.)
* Organic farmers build healthy soil! (Soil is the foundation of the food chain. Organic farming is focused on using sustainable practices that build healthy soil microbiology and prevent erosion, leaving fertile land that will provide for future generations.)
*Organic producers strive to preserve genetic diversity! (The loss of a large variety of species (biodiversity) is one of the most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been collecting and preserving seeds, and growing heirloom varieties and rare breeds of livestock for decades.)
*Not to mention – organic food tastes great!


Generally, a consumer should look for “organic certification” (or the “Canada Organic” logo), which means that a third-party certification agency has given this product a seal of approval. In some cases, however, you might see that a product is “non-certified organic”. This often happens with small-scale farms who do not have the means to go through the certification process or pay the required annual fees. If you are in relationship with this farmer, as we are with the farmers represented at the Mustard Seed, they would be happy to show you the ins and outs of the organic practices at their farms.

This week we’ll be featuring additional sales at The Mustard Seed to shine some extra light on organic items. Stay tuned for our first sale, in about an hour! For more information about National Organic Week, or about why “organic” really makes a different, check out the official website here: organicweek.ca

Happy Organic Week!