Always Thankful

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She says:

Martin wanted to share a recipe this week that he used while we were in Banff, and that got me thinking about all the places we have been and all the adventures we have had. Thanksgiving has often been a time when we are working, so we have sometimes not had the traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. But that doesn’t mean that we have nothing to be thankful for. In our part of the world, all of us have much for which we can be grateful, even on those days when it might not seem obvious. This time of year seems to bring out a bit of the blues in many of us, as the skies darken and the wind blows cold. We just need to look inside our hearts and find the bright spots we all have…

So, indulge me once again while I share some of our highlights – perhaps they will bring on a smile and make you think of things you had forgotten were special!

On our first year in Banff, the first snow fell on September 7th. I could not believe that summer had ended already and here was winter right on its heels. I missed the lush green of Vancouver and was lonely for my family (we had been married only a year). The beautiful edge to that was the colder weather brought the elks bugling and the changing colour of the larch trees. The Rockies are beautiful in the summer but they are spectacular in the winter. We made all kinds of animal friends in those woods and began our life as our own family that winter.

The year we celebrated “L’action grace” in Quebec it was even colder. I was born on the prairies, and I thought I knew cold until we lived in Charlevoix. Who knew there was such a thing as minus fifty degrees PLUS a windchill?! And let me tell you, once it gets that cold, Fahrenheit and Celsius mean nothing!! But in the cold, the Northern Lights are so brilliant you can smell the ozone and hear them crackle in the midnight sky. The exhaustion of working split shifts and not seeing each other was tamed by those magical winter nights.

Here in Kelowna, although we work over the weekend, I do get to ride my scooter through the changing colours of the vineyards at harvest time and talk to people who are visiting from all over the world. It is wonderful to live in a place so beautiful that visitors constantly remind you how fortunate you are to be there.

I wish that more of my friends and family were close, and that I could share a toast with them this weekend. But they all know I am thinking of them, and I still hold them close in my heart though they are far away. Martin and I will share a moment of gratitude in having each other, and when I walk Simon through the vineyard rows in the early morning I will be ever so grateful that the sun came up again. I will smile to know that we can walk peacefully across the land and enjoy food from the garden and work at jobs that we enjoy and at the end of the day stay warm in our house. Perhaps that sounds maudlin, but when you think about it, there are many people who do not have these joys in their lives… and many of them still smile, so doesn’t it behove us to try?

He says:

There is a great proverbial saying about a fisherman that seems to suit Thanksgiving: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.” Being able to appreciate things and take advantage of what life offers you is a great way to be thankful.

The fishing season is coming to an end and I thought I would bring you a simple yet delicious halibut recipe I use to do for the brunch at The Banff Springs Hotel a few years back.

Cashew and Rosemary Crusted Fresh Halibut - Serves 4 portions

700g halibut
250g grounded toasted cashews
125g breadcrumbs
125g fresh rosemary
125g cream (35%)
1 egg
Salt & pepper

125g chopped shallots
500ml yogurt
125g sour cream
50g chopped rosemary
Salt & pepper

You can portion the halibut or leave it in one large piece.

In a bowl, mix cashews, breadcrumb, chopped rosemary and salt & pepper. Season the halibut and dip it in a mixture of cream and egg. Immediately tap down the crust all around and place it on a baking tray with parchment paper.

Bake at 400F. Cook to internal temperature of 145F maximum and use your broiler to finish colouring the crust on top if needed.

Mix all the sauce ingredients together and set aside for an hour. Serve the halibut hot or cold, with lemon wedges and the sauce on the side.

P.S. This is also nice with salmon.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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