Monday, July 25, 2011

That's corn-y!

Quest volunteer Kelsey has provided us with another great post, this time about seasonal vegetables.

The treacherous weather that seems to have cursed the Lower Mainland this summer may have left some of us feeling as though it is not really summer at all. However despite the grey skies and damp weather, we are rapidly approaching an exciting time in the Canadian culinary world: the fall harvest is approaching and the beautiful berries of summer are readily available. One veggie that is often equated with the summer months is sweet corn.

As a result of its delicious flavor, corn is not often thought of in the same “veggie” category as, say, brussel sprouts or cabbage. However, corn is definitely vegetable calibre: it's a good source of several nutrients and fibre! Corn is one of the most popular and versatile vegetables, and is a low-fat complex carbohydrate that deserves a regular place on any healthy table. These high-fibre, fat-fighting kernels of goodness are also a hearty and satisfying veggie that can be purchased locally throughout the later summer months.

Below, I have listed one of my own favorite simple and affordable corn salad recipes. I encourage all of our corn loving blog followers to go ahead and post your own favorite corn recipes below.

Ingredients

6 ears sweet corn, boiled or grilled
1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, sliced very thin
1 Tbs. minced cilantro
Juice from one fresh lime

Directions

Mix all ingredients and squeeze the lime juice over it all. Season with salt and pepper, and enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Poem for a Friday

Quest volunteer Kelsey found this lovely poem about kitchen tables and thought it'd be a brilliant addition to the blog. We agree!

Perhaps the World Ends Here
By: Joy Harjo

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what,
we must eat to live.

The gifts of the earth are brought and prepared, set on the table.
So it has been since creation, and it will go on.

We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the
corners. They scrape their knees under it.

It is here that children are given instructions on what it means
to be human. We make men at it, we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around
our children.

They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put
ourselves back together once again at this table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.

Wars have begun and ended at this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.

At this table we sing with joy and sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are
laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.
“Perhaps the World Ends Here” from The Woman Who Fell From The Sky by Joy Harjo. Copyright 1994 by Joy Harjo. Reprinted by permission of W.W. Norton & company, Inc.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

City of Vancouver Finally Gets Behind Composting

Quest volunteer, Kelsey, has done research on the City of Vancouver's improved composting program. 'Bout time!

It was announced this week that Vancouver City Council has approved plans to expand the multi-family food scraps collection pilot project throughout the city by next fall. The project will work toward decreasing the amount of waste the city produces through mass compost collection.
By next September, 2,000 homes in the Riley Park and Sunset neighborhoods will be able to compost dairy products, meat, and bread in addition to conventional compostable food scraps like fruits, vegetables, eggshells, coffee filters, teabags and yard trimmings. Additionally, residents and business owners in the area can expect their garbage pick-up to decrease to once every two weeks.

While changing one's household routine no doubt takes some getting used to, it is evident that the benefits far outweigh the costs. Currently, in Vancouver alone, about 130,000 tonnes of food go to waste every year; about 20 per cent of that comes from residential properties and subsequently the project being approved can be viewed and a significant political and environmental gain for the city. At Quest, we know all about how much food goes to the landfill unnecessarily!

The program will not affect homeowners other than changing which bin they put their garbage in. There have been concerns that a bi-weekly garbage collection will draw rats and vermin, but Chris Underwood, Vancouver's manager of solid-waste management has assured people that this will be minimal.

If the pilot is deemed successful the project will be expanded to other surrounding areas next year and will be a significant step towards creating a sustainable waste management system in Vancouver.


What are your thoughts on the composting program? We love it!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

611 E. Hastings

Word has been circulating on the streets.

We’ve mentioned it on Twitter.


Someone let the cat out of the bag on Facebook.



Quest’s Hastings store moved!



For months, we have been strategizing and executing tiny details. Just last week, our 346 E. Hastings location shut its doors and, at long last, we opened at 611 E. Hastings, a mere three blocks from our previous location.

Our new store is part of the retail space in the freshly-built Union Gospel Mission building, located at Hastings and Princess. We are excited for the opportunity to be so closely situated to a venerable institution in the Downtown Eastside.

Quest staff and volunteers were working diligently to stock shelves up until a few minutes before opening this morning. The feeling in the air was one of anticipation.

A few minutes after nine, the front doors were unlocked. As they streamed in and shopped around, customers commented on how bright and open the new space is. Natural light streams in over the produce tables and an orange feature wall lends a mood-lifting splash of colour. The store is already bustling!

Moving is an extremely arduous process, as we learned firsthand. Now that we’re (mostly) settled, we’d like to thank everyone who helped us during this time. Whether it was a large or small contribution, we could not have done it without you!

Let us know your thoughts on the new store if you get a chance to stop by.

Edit: the new space is wheelchair accessible! We are still working on getting a push button for the door, although it is usually open anyway.