Book Review: Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food by Simon Thibault

My husband and I are obsessed with eating local food and visiting Canada. At dinner last night, he mentioned that we should plan another trip there so that we know where to move when he retires (14.5 years and counting!) I never heard of Acadian cuisine but was excited and intrigued to learn more.

Enter Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food by Simon Thibault. A cookbook into a history-lesson-slash-novel where I was wishing I was in his Grandmother’s kitchen cooking these delectable items right alongside her…Simon, you are so lucky to have had a Grandma who cooked and kept records! (And I commend your efforts of extensive research!)

A favorite line from Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food:

“When talking about our favourite dishes, many of us start by saying that “My grandmother made,” or “My [insert family member] made,” and then talk about how those particular dishes were made in very particular ways.”

My mother has my Grandma’s meatball recipe. I know that my sister and I will fight over who gets the real handwritten version. I digress…

 

The first section of Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food is Preserves in which I can’t wait to make his salted green onion recipe. I use scallions on my nacho platter and in all my soup recipes. This just sounds delicious and would be a great addition to my daily recipes.

 

The second chapter is for the Breadmaking folk. I have both a gluten and dairy intolerance, so the only place I make bread is with my clients at work. These recipes seem simple enough – so sometime this week I will gather ingredients I don’t have in my pantry (there is a nice segment on stocking your pantry in Pantry and Palate) and choose a lucky client to make delicious bread.

Lard encompasses the third chapter. I never worked with lard. I don’t know if I want to work with lard. Lard seems like something I rather read about then experiment with in my kitchen. Sorry, Simon!

Tȇte de Cochon is the next section. Simon, you are more than welcome to come to my home in New Jersey and give me private instruction on cooking a pig’s head! (That would make a really great YouTube video, I promise!) I appreciate the Acadian cuisine but am not this adventurous when it comes to cooking.

The next two sections are my favorite! Section 5 reads Soups, Sides, and Staples while the last is Desserts. I love Meat Pies, and it reminds me of when my Grandmother made them when she was alive and well. Simon gives a few variations, one I hope to try soon. He also gives a Potato Pancake recipe that I can’t wait to make! I always wanted to make potato pancakes but couldn’t find the right recipe. I tabbed this page instantaneously! And, you better believe, that I will be making his Scalloped Cabbage recipe for Thanksgiving. I had to Google “summer savory” spice is and added it to my shopping list. I think this is my favorite chapter of Pantry and Palate; meals I can make simply and that I know will taste delicious.

I love desserts, but with my food allergies, I only eat them on very special occasions and have my DigestZen from doTERRA on standby. I think the Baked Apple Pudding recipe will be a hit for the holidays. I also have always wanted to experiment with rhubarb and his clear, concise directions make me feel like I can tackle that task.

Simon Thibault

©2017, Photographs by Noah Fecks. All rights reserved. Published by Nimbus Publishing

Pantry and Palate isn’t for those looking for thirty-minute meals, or people who need an illustration with every step. Pantry and Palate would be best for those looking to experience cooking and who want to integrate culture into their meals. When I read Pantry and Palate, I feel like I am holding a distinct piece of Acadian history in my hands. Thank you, Simon, for opening my eyes into a world I didn’t know existed. Pantry to Palate is a cookbook that I certainly cherish and will begin making my tabbed recipes immediately.

Amazon Affiliate link: Click here to purchase Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food.

Please visit Simon Thibault’s website here, and follow him on Instagram.

Namaste.

 

Pantry and Palate by Simon Thibault

My copy of Pantry and Palate by Simon Thibault

 

Disclosure: Pantry to Palate was sent to me complimentary for review purposes. All opinions within are my own. If you would like your product featured on Realm of Vibes, visit my Contact page or e-mail realmofvibesdg@gmail.com

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From Cereal to the Crock-Pot: Making Mom Proud & My Husband Happy

*This post contains affiliate links. If you click and purchase, I will receive a small commission.

When I was growing up, my mom cooked dinner six nights a week. She is 100% Italian so we always had delicious meals with plenty of leftovers. My sister would always want to learn to cook and bake. I, on the other hand, didn’t mind having a personal chef (sometimes short order cook). When I moved into my now-husband’s apartment, I prepared dinners that consisted of cereal, scrambled eggs, shake and pour pancakes, French toast and my specialty, Elio’s Pizza. Jason, calmly, but seriously asked me the following:

  • Do you know what a grocery store is?
  • Do you know how to make anything other than breakfast foods and Elio’s Pizza?

I remember my husband driving to Acme and said “This is called a supermarket. This is where you buy fresh produce, meat, fish, and other items to prepare suitable dinners.” I tried familiarizing myself with the store layout by walking up and down the aisles. This was all a new experience. I missed my mom preparing meals, but knew I had to be an adult and learn how to cook.

Jason taught he how to cook everything. Four years later and I have baked a whole chicken independently. I was the girl that thought all chicken came frozen. Yep. People do change. An old dog can learn new tricks. I want to share with you some of the tools I have used that has helped me tremendously in the kitchen.

Simply Calphalon Nonstick 10 Piece Cookware Set & 5 Piece Nylon Utensil Set

The Simply Calphalon Nonstick 10 Piece Cookware Set and Calphalon 5-Piece Nylon Kitchen Cooking Utensil set includes an 8-in. omelette pan, 10-in. omelette pan, 1-qt. covered sauce pan, 2-qt. covered sauce pan, 3-qt. covered saute pan, 6-qt covered stock pot,  and 4 tempered glass lids. It is made out of hard anodized aluminum, can be put in the oven up to 400 degrees F, and the nonstick coating makes it really easy to cook and clean. The utensils won’t scratch the pans, either. The only downside is that the cookware can’t go into the dishwasher (it will remove the nonstick surface), but the utensils can go in the top rack. These pots, pans, and utensils have really helped me with my cooking endeavors and I would strongly recommend them to new cooks. We have used them for over four years and couldn’t be happier.Crock-Pot

This was my go-to when I first started learning how to cook. My husband now calls me the Crock Pot Queen. Here is one of the first recipes I made in my crock pot:

Rosemary Lemon Chicken

  1. Place a package of boneless skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker.
  2. Pour a cup and a half of chicken broth into the slow cooker.
  3. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the chicken broth. Slice another lemon and place on top of the chicken.
  4. Take springs of rosemary and lay them on top of the chicken.
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Turn crock pot on low and cook up to 8 hours, or on high for approximately 4 hours. Feel free to add garlic or parsley.
  7. Serve over rice.

I have a happy husband every time I make this recipe. And yes, I have a 5-quart Camouflage Crock-Pot. Don’t hate.


Blendtec Total Blender

My Vitamix couldn’t handle me. It broke within a month of having it. I needed something simpler so I exchanged it for a Blendtec Classic 575 Blender. I love my Blendtec. I use it every day to make my morning smoothie. I have also made ice cream, frozen yogurt, pesto, salsa, and soup. It is plunger free, has pre-programmed options, and an 8 year warranty. It is much simpler to use than other blenders, can fit under my counter top, and is dishwasher safe. Here is my daily smoothie recipe:

  1. Fill jar with 20 ounces of filtered water.
  2. Add a handful of washed baby spinach.
  3. Add a banana.
  4. Add strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, and mango. (Fresh or frozen)
  5. Add chia seeds.
  6. Add a few ice cubes.
  7. Add a drop of your favorite essential oil. I like lemon or peppermint. (Contact me to learn more about ingesting essential oils.)
  8. Hit the “Smoothie” option on the Blendtec. Enjoy.

Pressure Cooker

Nope, it won’t explode. I promise. I was afraid of pressure cookers too, until I started using one. It takes 20 minutes to have dinner ready using one of these bad boys. I use the Elite Platinum 8 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker. It has so many programmable options and a browning feature, so you don’t have to dirty another pan. Here is my simple pork chop recipe:

  1. Brown 8 boneless pork chops in pressure cooker. Put aside.
  2. Place washed baby red potatoes in bottom of slow cooker.
  3. Add one roughly chopped white onion.
  4. Add two jars of marinara sauce.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add pork chops.
  7. Set pressure cooker for 22 minutes.
  8. Mangia!

Final Thoughts

These are my kitchen lifesavers. If I am not cooking with my pots, pans and utensils, I am making something in the crock-pot or pressure cooker. The Blendtec prepares all of my smoothies, soups, and desserts within minutes. I had absolutely no cooking background and needed equipment and appliances that work efficiently and simply. Now, my husband is happy when he comes home to a nutritious dinner. My mom is proud that I have learned a lifelong skill. I would strongly recommend the above items to anyone who wants to cook delicious meals without hassle.

What items do you use most often? Have a recipe to share? I’d love to hear from you.

Namaste.

From Cereal to the Crock-pot-pint