Well these are certainly trying times!
This pandemic has left us feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and uncertain not only about today and tomorrow, but the future beyond what any of us can fathom. That leaves many without the feelings of safety, security and well being. I am in the same boat as everyone else– prone to the same daily trials and tribulations with balancing work and family life, just trying to get through the day all the while worrying about what’s to come and the inevitable wonder…will we get sick?
However, with my work I have always felt a sense of duty to help, care for and support my clients. That is what I do! Many of my clients have kids that went off to University or College, only to come home due to school closures and incumbent online learning. Some of them also have parents or grandparents in need of some extra help. So with Covid I find myself preparing more and more meals for each of my clients, along with some of their friends and family who are in search of healthy balanced meals delivered fresh to their door!
Meal service has always been a part of my business—it is the very foundation of Personal Thyme—but now it has become a large part of my business model. It fulfills a large and growing market here in Calgary. It also allows my clients to focus on their families’ day to day needs without the stress and worry about venturing out to the grocery store and then having to make dinner. Meals are always prepared fresh in the Personal Thyme prep kitchen and are delivered via contactless delivery. We follow the most up to date Alberta Health Services (AHS) guidelines to ensure the safety of staff and clients alike.
I will always be here for my clients– serving as a front line worker–taking away some of the stress of these trying times by virtue of providing a professionally cooked meal waiting for them in their fridge each day. Personal Thyme is all about professional quality and personalized service! With the Thanksgiving weekend ahead I am very grateful for each and every one of my clients, for the trust they put in me to support them through this time. I am also grateful for the health and well being of my family and friends, and the endless support they give me!
Blessings to you all and Happy Thanksgiving!
Marketing a website is a lot of work – and a ton of fun! There’s so much that goes into that scrumptious looking photo that you’re drooling over.
First of all, you have to plan ahead. Timing-wise, that means that your photos of that really neat spiced cocktail or decadent sticky toffee pudding are shot in the summer, not fall. When everyone is out enjoying patios and cool summer treats you’re thinking about braised lamb, sweet potato pave and bread pudding. Your mind has to be months ahead of where you’re actually at. This is because it takes time to plan out a photoshoot, buy props (which of course are out of season so a huge degree of creativity is required here!), shop and prep the ingredients needed for those oh so-amazing-dishes. And of course cook the food during the photo shoot in order to capture the freshness and quality of the ingredients in those dishes that are so lovingly prepared.
However, there are some tricks of food photography which involve using components that either aren’t actual food (shaving cream instead of whipped cream, glue instead of milk for instance) or ingredients made to look like other foods (ie/mashed potatoes that look like a scoop of ice cream). We basically do whatever it takes to pull off the look and feel of the dish being prepared, so the end result photographs well, leaves you hungry, drooling and pining for more.
Finally, there’s the editing stage, proofing and selecting which of those hundreds of photos you will actually be using. Trust me this is very difficult! Of course the easy way out is to just buy stock photos and plaster those all over your website – no effort, no thought, none of which is your own food; just a small dent in your bank account at the end of a very short day. That’s not how I operate! I choose the route less travelled, which showcases exactly what it is that I have to offer, season by season, and has accountability and genuine appeal. That way when you happen to come across my website, you’ll have a very good idea of what dishes you can expect on your menu for your next special event, and that they are dishes that can be recreated exactly as you see them. I promise you the real thing does not include glue or shaving cream! I love the process of collaborating with my graphic designer, photographer and food stylist. Together we manage to create magic – with blood, sweat and tears – all in the name of food. I hope everyone enjoys the new round of photos we produced. I promise your next event will not include glue or shaving cream– just the real thing, created by me 🙂
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
10 cups sourdough bread, cubed and allowed to dry out overnight 1/3 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
3 tbsp olive oil
4 Italian sausage (hot, mild or sweet), casings removed
2 yellow onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, diced
1 bulb fennel, chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups turkey or chicken stock
Preheat oven to 350F; butter a 3 qt baking dish.
Heat oil in a large skillet, add sausage and cook 7-10 min. or until browned; breaking up into small pieces as it cooks. Transfer to a separate bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the cubed butter, onion, celery and fennel with sage, salt and pepper and saute 10 min. or until golden brown. Add wine and simmer 5 min. until reduced. Place bread, nuts and sausage and onion mixture into a large bowl.
Whisk 2 cups of stock with eggs and add to bread mixture, and stir until moistened; add more stock 1/4 cup at a time until combined and bread is hydrated. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and dot with remaining 1/4 cup of butter.
Butter one side of aluminum foil and cover the stuffing with foil, butter side down. Bake 30 min then increase oven temperature to 450F and bake uncovered 25 min. until top of stuffing is golden brown and crisp.
*Stuffing can be made the day before! Cover and chill until ready to bake!