Sunday, October 31, 2010

The worst kind of 'trick or treat'!

Last Wednesday, Premier Campbell spent a quarter of a million dollars of taxpayers' money on a prime-time television infomercial.

In the Halloween spirit, I was hoping the treat would be a few answers to all the questions we've been asking for years about the BC Rail scandal. Or perhaps he would treat us to an apology for how be brought in the HST, and a pledge to do things differently. There was none of that.

Instead, we got a trick: a promise of an income tax cut. To me, it sounded like a cynical attempt to buy some popularity.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkin Pie!

It's pumpkin season here in BC and not just for carving. You will find many types pumpkins all through our farmers markets including ones grown for pie making. This is a favourite recipe that I have used for years. It all starts in the field........

Pumpkin Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie.
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups fresh Pumpkin Puree, or canned
3 large eggs, lightly beaten, plus 1 egg for glaze
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
Pate Brisee pie dough (see recipe below)
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with
parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, combine sugar,
cornstarch, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin puree, and 3
eggs. Beat well. Add evaporated milk, and combine. Set aside.
Between two pieces of plastic wrap, roll pate brisee into a 12
inch circle. Fit pastry into a 9-inch glass pie plate; trim dough
evenly along edge, leaving about a 1/2-inch overhang. Pinch to
form a decorative edge. If the dough begins to soften, chill for 15

Make the glaze: Beat the remaining egg, and combine with heavy
cream. Brush glaze very lightly on edges of pie shell. Fill pie shell
with pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle grated ginger on top of pie.
Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue
baking for 30 minutes more. Cool on a wire rack

Roasted Pumpkin
Makes 1 1/3 cups
1 sugar pumpkin (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a sharp paring knife, cut several slits in pumpkin, piercing skin alll the way through.
(thisll l Place in a baking dish; pour about 1 inch water in bottom of dish. Bake until skin is easily pierced and inside is very soft, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Cut off top of pumpkin, and scoop out seeds; discard both. Peel, and discard skin. Place pumpkin in the bowl of a food processor; puree until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up o 2 days or the freezer up to 1 month.
Pate Brisee
Makes 1 double-crust or 2 single-crust 9- to 10-inch pies.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar.
Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal,
8 to 10 seconds.
With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream
through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being
wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds.
To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add
more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc
and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least
1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Today's Editorial in the Vancouver Sun

Thank you Vancouver Sun for eloquently expressing the anger that so many of us are feeling right now. If the BC Liberals have a shred of integrity left they will call an inquiry.
Where are we as a province or a country when senior government officials can accept more than $75,000 in inducements and no one goes to jail? Do our judges even understand any more the concepts of "right" and "wrong?"

And how can the courts call it a "fine" when the same crooks are merely returning their ill-gotten gains? If the average person fails to declare some income, a fairly minor crime, even they are forced to pay the lost tax plus a 100-per-cent penalty as punishment.

And what sort of government do we have in B.C. when our top justice official, Attorney-General Mike de Jong, can agree to pay the crooked officials' $6-million legal fees as part of a deal between a supposedly independent special prosecutor and the defence lawyers? What is the point of hiring an independent prosecutor in the first place, if at the end of the process the attorney-general — a politician in the very government whose integrity the case brings into question — will be needed to approve such a massive carrot in the plea bargain? Have the payment of lawyers' fees ever before been part of such an arrangement?

And is there anyone in B.C. not suspicious about how all of this could suddenly happen after seven years of legal proceedings on the eve of former finance minister Gary Collins and other Liberal insiders being forced to take the stand?

Were this happening in some third-rate banana republic it would be shocking enough. That it is occurring in our beloved province is appalling beyond words. You're wrong Mr. de Jong. An inquiry into this sordid affair is needed.

© Copyright (c) The Province -

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How do you like them apples!

Please join me for a chat and some delicious apples this Saturday at Moss Street Market!

On October 16, from 10 am - 2 pm, Moss Street Market is holding their first annual pie tasting fundraiser, with proceeds going to support the market, and also to the Island Chef's Collaborative and Our Place.

There will be lots of delicious pies lovingly baked by island chefs!