Spoon Fed food column returns with a message and a promise

Season Spoon 1

Photo by Andrew Tan.

As we hope you already know, the Seasoned Spoon is a non-profit, vegetarian, cooperative café located in Champlain College. While the Spoon’s inception 10 years ago was led largely by left-leaning keeners and based on grassroots principles of consensus and access to healthy food, we’re sulkily resentful of labels like “hippie café.”

Despite this perception, we’ve been happy to watch our community grow and evolve over the past 10 years. Our 30 volunteers and 15 staff members include international students, forensics majors, writers for Arthur and Absynthe, teacher candidates, and community members, among many others.

We’ve reached many a newcomer through diverse events like craft fairs, community feasts, workshops, and musical Fridays. We are grateful for our many partnerships with organizations throughout Peterborough, and hope to bring more of you through our doors with our upcoming Spoon Loves… daily deals. Keep an eye out to find out when you can apply for freebies and discounts!

The Spoon also loves Arthur and we are happy to finally be reintroducing our SpoonFed column. It’s kind of late in the year, but perhaps now that you’ve spent a semester trying to survive off of grilled cheese and takeout, you may appreciate our kindly kitchen hints all the more. We aim to provide you weekly with a delectable and easily crafted delicacy to shock and please your loved ones. And, if you have recipes you’d like to see published (or cooked in the café!), send them in!

We also like to help you on your weekly path to culinary self-sufficiency by offering affordable, weekly cooking classes. Our Come Cook with Us! series is graciously funded through the Ontario Natural Food Coop (ONFC), one of our long-term suppliers. Every Monday sees a different delicious topic explored through discussion and hands-on practice at a reasonable cost of $25 for all six classes.

The ONFC is a Toronto-based, not-for-profit co-operative that distributes organic and natural food in Ontario. While we order all our vegetables from farmers locally, we are proud to source a large percentage of the remainder of our ingredients from the ONFC, the majority of which are sourced from Ontario. In addition to playing a much-needed role as a distributor in the local food movement they also host the Local Ontario Food Co-op Network, of which the Spoon is a member. Intrigued? They ship to restaurants and retail outlets, as well as buying clubs, in case you happen to be looking to establish this kind of thing yourself. More information can be found at www.onfc.ca.

Another way to explore our educational offerings is our regular workshop series, which happen every Wednesday and cover everything from beer making to herbal medicines. The series is offered at subsidized prices ($5 or PWYC) through our good friends at Sustainable Trent.

If you are interested in any of our workshops or want to send in grandpa’s famous chocolate cake (you won’t believe the secret ingredient), please email us at spoonvolunteers@gmail.com or find us on Facebook.

The Spoon is as much a vibrant community as it is a functioning café. We know there are many of you out there in third or fourth year who “have heard of it, but haven’t quite made it out there yet.” Even if just for the novelty of the experience (which might just get you hooked), we urge you – don’t graduate without finding us!

Just follow your nose through Champlain and into a world of delectable baked goods, succulent lasagnas, and simmering spicy soups. Our prices are reasonable, our produce sourced locally from folks we know, and we promise not to give you a lecture on Monsanto or spray you with patchouli oil.

Come find us Monday through Friday, 8am-3:30pm to check it out for yourself. Or, stay home and test out one of our classic recipes… it’s cheaper that way, but you miss out on the ambience.

And now, without further ado, and for those who skipped ahead, we give you a recipe that will fulfill all your greasy comfort food requirements: just to prove we aren’t just about the tofu.

(spicy Indian snack similar to potato fritters)

4 large onions, sliced into strips
1 ½ cups chick pea flour
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 teaspoon cumin

1) Place onion strips in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine everything else, and mix well.

2) Pour flour mixture into the onions and combine well. Doing this with your hands works best, squishing the onions as you go to release some of the juices. It will seem a bit dry, but put it aside and let it sit for a bit, maybe for a half hour, to let the onions sweat.

3) Heat about an inch of oil in a pan and fry! Patting these babies with some paper towel, or letting them drain in a colander, will help to get rid of some of the excess oil. Enjoy!