Bringing healthy, delicious and conscientious food products to Muskoka through passionate research and creative endeavor.
I've always had a keen interest in healthy food and food as medicine. Food can help you feel good and help you to achieve your life's goals with ease or make you feel terrible and unambicious.
When I was a kid growing up in the 60's and 70's there was not a lot of emphasis on health food and a lot of meals consisted of canned goods or boxed macaroni and fake cheese. At the age of 11 I started reading the Adelle Davis books which helped me learn about the nutrients in foods, and soon I could tell you what vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbs etc. we're in just about any food.
I started cooking a lot of our family meals with my nutritional knowledge in mind, and enjoyed the process of putting together healthy food, usually on a very limited budget. My mother worked, so she appreciated the help in the kitchen, and before long I was also doing the grocery shopping too.
My mother was Norweigian and a daughter of homesteaders in Saskatchewan. She also taught me how to bake traditional Norweigian desserts which I still do on occasion. Of course they are not so healthy... But hey, you have to have something super tasty sometimes too! Some day I'd like to do an all Scandinavian dinner for guests.
Other cooking influences in my life have been my sister who is an incredible health food cook, and my sister in law who has been a tremendous inspiration to me with her gourmet cooking over the years.
It never occurred to me after high school to become a cook as a profession. I went to nursing school instead and had a 25 year career as a nurse in 6 different hospitals over the years and also worked in the Middle East. It never escaped me how food can make a huge difference in people's lives from watching how my patient's ate. After leaving my profession and moving to Muskoka supposedly to retire with my new husband, I found I still had some energy in me to do more. I began gardening food with a vengeance on our property and wanted to learn how to preserve the bountiful harvest so learned how to jar and dehydrate food. Neighbors and friends were old hands at these jobs and made it fun and easy to learn from them.
Experimenting with new concepts in food preparation has become a passion for me. Also, the more I can grow myself in my garden and incorporate in to new recipes the happier I am. With new information coming out about super foods and their high nutritional content I have been able to create some original and tasty creations which have been well received. It's important to me that things taste good as well as being good for you. It's also very important these days to try to eat organic foods whenever possible and I take great pains to source out organic ingredients for my recipes. The pesticides that are commonly put on crops are killing our pollinators and without them we cannot live on this planet. Although I am not vegetarian myself yet, I wish I was, and have great sympathy for those who have taken up the challenge and try to create as many vegetarian and vegan dishes as I can. My mother had celiac disease and could not eat wheat flour or other foods with gluten so I learned young how to bake gluten free.
Working at Farmer's Daughter has been a tremendous learning experience and continues to be so. Michelle, the boss lady has a high standard of excellence in the store and always keeps me on my toes which I am grateful for. The staff are always honest and wonderful at letting me know when things are working right or not. It is a delight to have this supportive community to rely on as I make my way through the process of having my own food business.