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Suburban Sidewalks to Field Rows

Growing up in the suburban wasteland of Mississauga my connection to farm life was limited to class trips and the odd family visit to a farm. When I was five, I distinctly remember the whole community gathering to watch the last standing barn burn down in our subdivision. I recently learned that the only farm operating in Mississauga will be harvesting for the last time this year.

Growing up in the suburban wasteland of Mississauga my connection to farm life was limited to class trips and the odd family visit to a farm. When I was five, I distinctly remember the whole community gathering to watch the last standing barn burn down in our subdivision. I recently learned that the only farm operating in Mississauga will be harvesting for the last time this year.

I can’t recall growing much food when I was young, but I do remember my mother growing rhubarb. At the time I wasn’t the biggest fan of it; however, it’s grown on me since. It is another delicious spring treat that I’ll eat raw fresh from the garden.

As a kid, I never imagined that I would spend my life working with food. I got into the culinary world at 17 working in the dishpit. I remember closing then sitting at the bar sipping on cokes and socializing when I should have gone home to bed. I became fascinated with restaurant culture, the food and people it attracted. This led to many classes missed and my grades swiftly falling. One thing I learned from my early experiences working in restaurants, that wasn’t on my highschool curriculum was to not see problems, only solutions. I was warned to stay out of the restaurant industry and do something else with my life. As I explored other paths I always found myself going back to the kitchen.

Celebrating and honouring the seed at the Edge of the Woods farm’s spring meet and greet made me think a lot about the journey that has brought me to where I am now. I am thankful to for all the people I have met along the way. I am continually grateful to have the opportunity to share something I love, to learn and grow with others.

As I continue on this journey that I’m on from the city to the land I recognize that I’m very much a city boy who sometimes misses “city-folk” things like riding my bike through Toronto rush hour traffic. What has changed is my appreciation for life and the necessity in having a relationship with the land. I was always told to walk proudly with my head up, but recently an elder from Six Nations shared that on the land you need to look down to see what’s growing at your feet.

Rhubarb Zabaglione

  • 2 large stalks of rhubarb, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 egg yolks

Direction:

  1. Bring rhubarb and water to a simmer and cook until tender.
  2. Add lemon juice.
  3. Puree in blender or mash well by hand.
  4. Let cool slightly.
  5. Bring a separate pot of water to a simmer.
  6. In a bowl whisk egg yolks and sugar until they are thick and pale.
  7. Slowly incorporate the rhubarb.
  8. Then continue whisking the mixture over the simmering water to make it soft and foamy.
  9. Continue until it begins to bubble slightly and serve immediately or lukewarm.
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