How To Become A Work-From-Home Ninja

How To Become A Work-From-Home Ninja
Image by Anrita1705 from Pixabay

Sometimes a cliché is the best way to capture a moment: Folks, we are living in interesting times.

Ever since our provincial and federal governments began limiting workplaces from remaining open if they couldn’t ensure that employees would be able to maintain a physical distance of two metres, I’ve been thinking about those people for whom working from home is a new and strange circumstance. If you’re one of those people, you’ve had to figure out how to connect to your work files, your colleagues, and your clients.

Needless to say, any workplace that was already working in the cloud is going to be able to manage that transition much more easily. Continue reading → How To Become A Work-From-Home Ninja

3 Steps Businesses Must Take During The COVID-19 Pandemic

3 Steps To Effective Communication During COVID-19
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I’d like to begin today’s post with an understatement and a cliché: COVID-19 is a game-changer.

Despite quick and decisive action that follows the advice of doctors and virologists, Canada has not been spared the community spread of COVID-19. My home province of Ontario has seen the highest rates of infection in the country. Our municipal, provincial, and federal leaders are unified across party lines in their approach to this crisis and are keeping citizens informed with daily press conferences.

Take note. Business leaders – whether you own a small or medium-sized business, or are in the c-suite of a large company – it is paramount that you keep in regular communication with your clientèle. Continue reading → 3 Steps Businesses Must Take During The COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 Check-in: How Are You Doing?

I truly hope that all of you are well during these uncertain times. I’m used to working from home, but I can imagine what a strange transition it must be for those of you who are used to sharing space with your co-workers. But, all of that is inconsequential in light of the very real devastation that COVID-19 is causing worldwide.

If you’re worried about your business, your employees, or your family, I’m here to listen. Just reach out. (more…)

Renaissance of the Farmers’ Market

Photo courtesy of The City of Brampton
Photo courtesy of The City of Brampton

This article was originally published in Tidings Magazine.

It’s Saturday, eight in the morning, and already the street is buzzing with conversations and activity. I’d hoped to be here early enough to miss the crowds (a pet peeve of mine) and have first pick of the colourful produce. I guess everyone else had the same idea. Ten years ago, you could roll a bowling ball down the middle of Main Street at this hour. Now, people come out early, carrying bags or pulling wagons ready to fill them with the freshest vegetables, the sweetest fruit and the juiciest pies. I’m at the Brampton farmers’ market this morning, and like so many other markets around Ontario, mine is undergoing a kind of renaissance. Continue reading → Renaissance of the Farmers’ Market

My Barolo

vineyards-458226_1280

This article was originally published in Tidings Magazine.

Sometimes, a visit to a place leaves a lasting impression. Barolo is such a place. The people, food and architecture imprint so profoundly that one’s real home begins to feel distant and unfamiliar. Luckily, experiencing Barolo is easy no matter where home is. Whenever I feel memory tugging at me, I might descend the steps to the cellar and pull a bottle from my collection. We have a few Barolos – two of which are pretty special – a 1961 (an exquisite vintage) and a 1967. The latter wasn’t such a great year, except that it is the one in which I was born. So, I’m sentimental about it. Continue reading → My Barolo

Spread Thick

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 1.30.31 PMJust out: Quench magazine April 2014.

In “Spread Thick”, I asked some great Canadian chefs to share their favourite breads and spreads recipes. I think you’ll agree these are mouthwatering!

 

 

  • Jesse Vergen, Smoking Pig Real BBQ and Saint John Ale House (New Brunswick): Sweet Barbecue Pork Butter; Campari and Honey Jelly; Tapenade with Digby Chicks (Cured, Smoked, Dried Herring)
  • Effy Ligris, Kalikori Olive Oil (Quebec): Taramosalata
  • Victor Bongo, Bongo’s Food (Vancouver): Chocolate and Figs Bread; White Chocolate and Cranberry Bread

Bocconotti

bocconotti

I know I’ve published this one already, but I wanted to bring it forward again for this special Christmas traditions posting for The Canadian Food Experience Project. These Bocconotti are treats that my family only enjoys at Christmastime. The job of making them passed to me a couple of years ago. So, today is the big day – Bocconotti making time. I’d share them with you, if you were here. So, failing that, I’ll share their story and the well-tested recipe.

This summer, Valerie Lugonja over at A Canadian Foodie embarked on an interesting journey. She founded The Canadian Food Experience Project.  Beginning June 7, 2013, participants are encouraged to share their stories about their own remarkable encounters with Canadian regional foods. By doing so, we can all gain a clearer perspective on what makes the Canadian culinary identity. Continue reading → Bocconotti

The Dirty Truth About Winemaking

Some days I think I am insane to move from straight winemaking into the business side of things … I believe if you keep moving forward with your passion, eventually you will reach your goal. At least I hope so! Kevin Panagapka, Owner/Winemaker 2027 Cellars

Just imagine making your own wine. Sip and savour it while you gaze out over your very own expanse of vineyards. Host parties, eat great food, be one with the land. It’s certainly an idyllic thought. Winemaker Adam Delorme at The Grange of Prince Edward Vineyards and Estate Winery concurs. “Every spring you get to witness the miracle of life in the vineyard.” But reality isn’t always so picture perfect. Unpredictable weather, fickle consumers, the cost of equipment … all of these and more can wreak havoc on so noble a pursuit as winemaking. From an outsider’s point of view, it might seem that passion is all you need to make it work. Yet, John Bookwalter, Owner/Winemaker of Bookwalter Winery, admits that knowing how to make money might indeed be as necessary a talent.

So, should you throw caution to the wind and open your own winery? Do you have what it takes to succeed? I asked 12 wine producers to spill the nitty gritty truth about the wine biz. Continue reading → The Dirty Truth About Winemaking

Raisins

raisinsUsually, at this time of year, I start to see packages of concord grapes lining shelves at my grocery store. Well, last week, there was a newcomer among those thick-skinned, purple grapes. I spotted a few packages of Coronation grapes. At a quick glance, it can be hard to tell the difference between the two varieties. But, they definitely taste different. The flavour of Concord is often described as “foxy”, that musty flavour that isn’t always pleasant. Coronation grapes lack that foxiness, which makes them a bit more flavourful and certainly sweeter. So, I couldn’t resist picking some up.

Find the rest in Chaos and Canapés on quench.me.

Crave

jeffreywVariety is indeed the spice of our lives, and this allows us to really diversify with minimal additional effort. –Joel MacCharles

Let’s call it the persistence of imagination. We’ve all seen it, if not actually experienced it. It’s that unquenchable desire that drives a person to turn a passion for food, such as a love of chocolate, into something that explodes beyond the boundaries of their own kitchen walls. Maybe it’s a special jam recipe or homemade wine. Whatever the creation, before long others end up craving it, too. What begins as a simple food experiment meant to sate a personal hunger turns into something bigger — maybe even something lucrative. Connecting with people who relentlessly pursue the dictates of their taste buds is truly inspiring. There’s a vibe. Soon, their endless pursuit of flavour will have you believing that anything is possible. But who are these people? And why do they bother going to such lengths when all they need do is walk into a grocery store and find loads of products that are already there? Dan Luciani, a technology expert by day, Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison, who run wellpreserved.ca, Angelo Bean, the Sausage King, and Jefferson Alvarez, executive chef at Vancouver’s Fraîche, had a ready answer for me: when passion takes hold, there is no turning back. Continue reading → Crave