Official Liaison College Blog

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Scottish Christmas Traditions

I learned something new today.  As I was typing out the menu for the Chef of the Day luncheon at Liaison College in Brampton, I came across some culinary terms that were foreign to me.

Our aspiring chef, Christian, has chosen a Scottish theme for his menu.  So it's no wonder that some of the menu items were new to me.  For example, CRANACHAN.  This is a traditional Scottish dessert that rivals trifle. 

This recipe from James Martin at Castle in the Country looks delicious.

Raspberry cranachan


Preparation method

  1. Toast the oatmeal in a dry frying pan, toosing occasionally, until golden brown. Leave to cool.
  2. If using the raspberry jam this can be used to flavour the cream or it can be dribbled through the cranachan warm. Dissolve the jam in the water. Once the jam has dissolved, strain through a tea strainer/sieve. This now has a 'jam coulis' consistency.
  3. Whisk the double cream, caster sugar and whisky together until lightly whipped. Fold in the toasted oatmeal. Divide half of the raspberries between four glasses. Spoon a little of the 'jam coulis', if using, or liqueur, if using, on top of each.
  4. Half-fill each glass with cranachan cream mixture before sitting the remaining raspberries on top. Spoon more 'jam coulis' or liqueur on top of the raspberries before topping and finishing with the cranachan mix. Smooth the top of each cranachan cream.
  5. To finish, dust each pudding with icing sugar before serving. The pudding can be eaten immediately or refrigerated until needed. Only dust with icing sugar when ready to eat.
The other dessert item on the menu is the DUNDEE CAKE.  Apparently this centuries old Scottish traditional fruit cake is making the headlines as it vies to become "officially recognized" and regional bakers meet to discuss the definitive recipe.  Who knew?
For more information about the foods, culture and traditions of Scotland, visit:  The official Scottish Website

We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Festive Time of Year = Cookies

The best part about the holiday season is getting together with family and friends and sharing special moments of celebration.  Everyone has their own idea of what that means:  dinners, cocktail parties, festive outdoor events, trimming the tree - you know what I mean.  One of my favourite traditions is the cookie baking celebration at Liaison College Kitchener.
Every year friends and family gather at the Liaison College in Kitchener to bake assorted cookies for the holidays.  As it happens, the date usually coincides with my mom's birthday, so we make it a special baking day and lunch all in one.  We start at 10 a.m. and, in teams of 4 to 6, bake different types of cookies while the radio is tuned into holiday music and warm drinks are served.  Then, while the cookies cool on the racks, we assemble for a light lunch and toast to my mom's birthday.  This year it's 76 years young.
that's my mom on the left with our friend Marilyn Rootham
Chef Elaina and her "elves" are so organized and talented that the day is seamless and totally enjoyable.
While we are enjoying a light lunch and refreshments.  The elves pack the cookies into tins and as each leaves they take a wonderful tin of goodies home.  It really is a special day.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Do you have what it takes to impress a snake?

The Halton Region Rotary Clubs have partnered with the Royal Bank of Canada and McMaster University DeGroot School of Business to inspire would be entrepreneurs to make a pitch for cash and partnerships.  Following the successful franchise The Dragons Den, the Pythons Pit is the local answer.

Pythons Pit is now seeking applications from age levels high school and up to present their business plan to a panel of successful entrepreneurs in a hope to get some cash and possible business partnership.  At the very least it's an opportunity to pitch your idea to experts who will give you honest feedback.  Hopefully without some of the meanness that you see on Dragons Den.  The Pythons hope to inspire and mentor even if the idea is not investment worthy for them.

Check out the interview in the Oakville Beaver article about the Pythons Pit and the panel itself.

Applications for business concepts are being accepted to January 7 2013.

I encourage you to take the plunge into the pit.

Gorilla Cheese make the Top 10

I love getting the Toronto Life updates on who's who in the culinary scene around the GTA.  Much to my reading pleasure, I pulled up the latest Top10 list for food trucks.

Top 10 shows the best food trucks (all the rage at the moment) and among them is Graham Smith's invention, Gorilla Cheese.  The food truck concept that was born in out of a project prepared at Liaison College.   When Graham found himself looking for a new career due to layoff, he decided to pursue his culinary passion at Liaison College - takes the course, does the project and the teacher says:  "if you don't do this - I will" ..... and voila.  Gorilla Cheese goes from concept to reality.

Since then I have been watching the buzz around this and other food trucks as the trend takes off in a frenzy of street-alicious flavours.  The craze is even more delicious because you never know where the elusive food trucks will turn up to sell there gourmet treats.  Unless you follow the Social Media scene ..... try following these roaming foodies via Twitter or FaceBook and you are sure to be in the know on location, location, location.