Daniel Zondervan is our host to homemade cooking and baking. He puts together a daily lunch and dinner. He plans ahead and cooks with heart. The dogs are never far away when he's in the kitchen.
Since meeting Daniel in 2009, he's always prepared lunch and supper. I have never seen someone with so many magazines and books for recipes. He doesn't believe that each meal should be the same. Like a cruise ship, it starts off as a roast beef and whatever isn't eaten magically transforms into another meal in a different way and so on.
Like the black rice and green beans dish below, the left over rice was used the next day with a beet, tomato and cabbage dish. Some people have an adversion to eating left-overs, but Daniel looks at the left-overs as the ingredients to the next dish so there is variety. However; in some cases, it's the same meal we may eat such as soups, lasagna or other things.
Growing Our Own Food
Many people have suggested we grow our own food, fact is, we cannot. The soil we have on our grounds is acidic and doesn't take well to the plants and trees without brining in top soil. Most of the plants and more being stunted and will not grow properly.
We can have significant droughts in August that will kill off the harvest. We live in what is referred to as the Harvest Highway here in Nova Scotia. We are surrounded by farmer's markets and vendors on the side of the road, including some farmers that open up a stand on the side of the road.
Farmer's Markets We Shop At:
Noggins Corner Farm Market (Tourist Destination as well)
Wolfville Farmer's Market - You can order online or go in and pick it up. We love the experience of shopping in person.
We shop mostly at the Wolfville Farmer's Market on Saturdays to get our weekly groceries. We only shop the big chain grocery store, Altantic Superstore once every 4 to 5 weeks. We find we can get everything we need at the local farmer's markets that are supporting the local farmer's.
The Wolfville Farmer's Markets are usually the farmer's themselves bringing in the goods.
Yes, it's possible to have traditionally summer items here in the off-season such as tomatoes, lettuce, micro greens and more as some of the farmers have greenhouses. The idea is to keep the money within the community and support the local farmers.
Daniel has a conniption in throwing out fruits and vegetables that rot out in the fridge within days. It's a waste of hard earned money. Buying direct from farmers, the food lasts so much longer and is generally cheaper than supporting the large chain grocery store.
Online Food & Sources
Not all food and spices Daniel cooks can be found locally. Daniel will order things in bulk.
Spicewalla is one of two sources where he gets his spices from salts, signature blends, and rubs. It's not uncommon to have a gorgeous piece of roast, pork or whatever spiced up and marinating for a day or two.
The Spice House is another source for his spices.
Daniel has an extensive collection of spices and will mix spices for unique flavour combinations. He will pick up spices at the local grocery store if needed but will most likely order several spices to have sent to him.
Rancho Vignola is the location of all nuts, dried fruits, seeds and beans. If you see toppings on Daniel's food with seeds, dates, cashews, raisins or almonds, it's from this location.
Flourist based out of Quebec is where Daniel gets all of his flour from. He will sometimes pick up general flour at the grocery store if needed. He's had substantial success with Flourist for the bread he has made. Great flavour profiles.
Daniel keeps items like flour, nuts and more in airtight 2.6 Litre square plastic containers. You can find stuff like that on Amazon. We have several drawers in the kitchen with just the labelled sealed containers. Most of the companies, if not all, have recipes online to try as well.
Daniel also makes ice cream. He has a Whynter ICM-200LS model. He studied different ice cream makers. This has the compressor built in. You simply add your ingredients and the machine will mix make instant ice cream.
Daniel has developed diabetes and controlling the sugar and ingredients in ice cream has been something he's been playing with. It's probably not cheaper to make it yourself, but it's ingredients you know exactly what is in the ice cream.
I will have a diabetes update below.
Daniel Has Become Flexitarian
During my absence in New Zealand, I was gone for three weeks. Daniel decided to try and do a Flexitarian Diet plan. It's not actually a diet but more of a mindset of what goes into your body.
Daniel was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2 back last fall. Funny thing, he had the ice cream maker on order and arrived the day after his diagnosis.
Money has become tight here at home and he wondered if moving to the diet would cut down on the number of times we eat meat a week, thus cutting a significant portion of grocery bill. I mean, $65 CDN for a Christmas turkey in today's economy isn't going to fly.
Daniel's latest doctor's appointment was a surprise for the doctor. In doing blood work, his cholesterol and sugars were significantly reduced to the point that he requested some of the medications he is on to be taken off as his medications were controlling some of it. She said to wait and make sure he can maintain. He's no longer at risk of diabetes by this simple change.
It's not vegan, it's not being a vegetarian but making the fruits and vegetables as priority on the plate and meat is occasionally eaten. While the host above talks about the environmentalism of being a flexiterian, that wasn't his goal.
Daniel proved though, cutting back on the meat required him to have more nuts and other things within the vegetables that increased the costs of being prepared for this way of eating. However, he's bought the ingredients, so it's not a week to week expense.
There is something so real about not eating meat consistently like we have. We have yet to train our main that we are satisfied at the end of a meal.
The goal of this new chapter on our website to give you inspiration for what Daniel is cooking. He uses Pinterest a lot, including cookbooks but has his own flavour profiles that he prefers and will change out ingredients to match what he likes.
While Daniel likes spicy food, I do not. Some of the extra kick of spice he enjoys is added to his plate while serving.
We will not have the recipes for most of what you see but you will get an idea of what he made and the basic ingredients he used. As mentioned, you can search online for recipes.
Twice a day, I get a message, on my phone as I am in the office. Let's eat! Poopy is my nickname and don't start calling me that online, that's reserved for Daniel only. I figured, that's the best name for this section, let's eat.