The Food We Love - Alys Shantz Photography

The Food We Love


FEBRUARY 26, 2016 | COOKBOOK | SHANTZ PHOTOGRAPHY

I love food. I’ve always loved food. I grew up in a family that cooked real food from real ingredients – many of which were grown in our own back yard. Literally. I grew up in West Vancouver, BC, but my parents still managed to grow apples, artichokes, asparagus, beans, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, currents, gooseberries, kale, kiwis, lettuce, peas, peppers, potatoes, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, tomatoes, zucchini – you name it. It shows you don’t need a farm to grow a feast.

Food’s been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. Even as a little kid, I had a thing for steamed artichokes. I have strong memories of my parents hosting wonderful dinner parties with meals like veal paprika and asparagus soup (both of which I ate cold with gusto when the party was over) and of trips to a friend’s farm to visit her sheep, cows and chickens (which we brought back to our freezer to eat throughout the year). Everything was real. Nothing was ever processed. At the time, it bothered me. I longed for the Twinkies, Quik and Campbell’s Soup of my friends. I wasn’t cool. But I was well fed, and it was delicious!

In University, I rebelled and, as one would expect, ate my share of fast and processed food. It took me many pounds, but not much time, to discover how horrible they made me feel. Charged with a desire to learn to cook the meals I grew up to love, I enrolled in an introductory program at the Dubrulle Cullinary Institute and learned the basic techniques I should have picked up long ago. Now that I’m grown up and have kids of my own, I completely understand what my parents always knew: There’s truly nothing better than cooking food from scratch from fresh local ingredients.

Years ago, I started printing a collection of my favourite recipes, which I compiled from my travels, my family, treasured cookbooks and magazines. I now update and reprint this cookbook annually. They're not fussy, just easy to prepare and deliciously satisfying. Best of all, my family loves them. I wrote this book in hopes that my kids will continue to enjoy these recipes for the rest of their lives, when they’re off on their own and making their own choices. I hope you enjoy them too. Check out a preview of my cookbook, The Food We Love (US $49.80), and maybe you'll want to share them with your family too.

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