August 10, 2016

2 days left!

I know things have been a little quiet over here lately, especially on the recipe front. The truth is, there's not much cooking going on in my kitchen these days. Yesterday, I ate a tub of coffee ice cream for dinner while scrambling to finish last-minute notes for my film editor. The day before, it was a cucumber and a bag of tortilla chips, while sitting in my underwear (it's very, very hot in Toronto). Let's just say, things have not been too glamorous or wholesome around here as of late. Between the heat, and my superhuman attempt to finish my documentary, things have been downright crazy. Like pulling all-nighters and eating whole tubs of ice cream for dinner crazy. And not being able to maintain coherent conversations with other human beings crazy. (Though I did miraculously manage to (sort of) pull off this 45-minute radio interview about GMOs with the one and only Zane Caplansky). But I'm just going with it. Whatever needs to happen to get this thing done. The exciting thing that is keeping me going right now is... it actually IS getting done!! The end is in sight!!! Hallelujah.

We are ploughing through the final editing stages right now, and the film is beginning to take shape more and more each day. It really is like watching a birth.

My editor sent me home yesterday with the daunting task of slashing 20 minutes of content from our rough cut. Ouch, so I'm having a challenging day, to put it lightly. It really, really hurts to delete entire scenes that you went out of your way to film and put together. Footage that matters to you, where people say really important and brilliant and crucial things that need to be heard... But it's true that no one really wants to sit through a 3 hour documentary right? And this process of slashing and cutting happens for every film. Especially documentary where there are often hundreds of hours of footage to cut down to just one (hopefully) coherent and compelling hour (or hour and a half in this case).

My film should be completed by October and then I will start sending it to festivals, and organizing community screenings, but also I will be sending it to all of YOU who have so generously made contributions to my Indiegogo campaign. You should be receiving your link to view the finished film online sometime in either October or November. And if I haven't thanked you yet in person from the bottom of my heart, I will do so just as soon as I can come up for air after this marathon editing bonanza.

Now, if you'd still like to make a contribution, I would be so so so grateful!! Because I only have 2 days left to my Indiegogo campaign and I'm at 70% of my minimum goal so far. So I'm hoping for a miraculous final push in these last 48 hours. This is where you go to do the deed:

And if you haven't seen my trailer yet, here it is! Thank you my friends, and I'll be back with recipes soon...

July 07, 2016

I'm about to give birth...

Not to a baby. To a film. (I made you look though right?)

There might be a few similarities: there's a lot of nurturing and care going on, a bit of anxiety, trepidation, ups and downs, exhaustion... It's painful, it's scary, it's a heck of a lot of work, but it's so exciting. By my best estimate, I'd say I'm in early labour right about now, in other words, at rough cut stage. Things are starting to happen, the film is taking shape.

I've been working on this film for nine years and part of the reason it's taken me so long is that I've funded and produced it entirely on my own up until now. Crazy? Yup, quite probably. But it's been an all-out labour of love at every step. It's a film I'm dedicating to my mom, and to everyone who believes we have a right to know what's in the food we eat, that we need an agriculture that doesn't harm our planet, and that food tastes better when you know the story behind it.

After years of researching, shooting, travelling, interviewing, shooting some more, little by little, I've finally reached the final stage where a lot technical stuff now needs to happen (picture editing, sound editing, color correction, music composing, animations, final mix, subtitles, etc, etc). The expenses are far beyond anything I can afford on my own and that's why I'm asking for a bit of help to put this film into the world. Please watch my introduction to the campaign and film trailer below, and visit my Indiegogo campaign page to get the full story behind the film.

If you can, please consider making a contribution (no contribution is too small, every dollar gets me closer to completing the film). Another way to help me out is to spread the word by sharing my Indiegogo page with friends and family through email and social media. This is the short link to share:

Keep in mind that for any contribution $25 and over, you'll receive a digital link to view the film online when it is complete.

Thank you so much for your support and I can't wait to show you my film!

With my most heartfelt gratitude,

June 16, 2016

Fresh Mint and Chocolate Ice Cream: A Special Collaboration!

I am generally a bit of a hermit blogger, tucked away in my rural corner of the east coast doing my thing. So it’s not too often that I get to meet other food bloggers. But I’m in Toronto for a few months this summer and I decided it was time to get to know some fellow bloggers whose mouth-watering blogs I follow with a big appetite. My first “blind blogging date” was with Alanna of One Tough Cookie. Meeting up reminded me a bit of online dating... Would we recognize each other? Would she like me? But put two food lovers in front of each other and there’s no shortage of things to talk about. I instantly felt a kinship with Alanna and we slipped into easy banter about food photography, and wwoofing, and Italy... and cake. We also talked about more intimate things too, like losing our moms, and how profoundly that impacts your life, in ways you sometimes don't even realize.

My next blogging date was with Sofia of From The Land We Live On and since she is a fellow gardener, I thought it would be fun to collaborate on something together and feature her making a special recipe from her garden. 

We spent a glorious day together and I’m so grateful that she graciously let me follow her around with my camera. Filming in her kitchen was a dream come true because she had just finished renovations (which she and her husband took on all on their own which makes them my heroes! see the photos here). Their renos involved installing a stunning new Lacanche stove that had me swooning and dreaming... one day, perhaps. Every angle of the kitchen was beautiful to look at. And that stove, I could sit and gaze at it all day long. I forgot to take photos of it but you can see some here on Sofia's blogyou'll also see some sweet fleeting glimpses in the video! The brass knobs. Enough said.

Taking a filming break to lick the ice cream paddle, one of life's great joys.
Photo credit: Sofia Eydelman

We got so carried away with filming that we almost forgot to eat but Sofia quickly whipped up an elegant lunch of rice pasta salad with garden pesto, peaches, and slivered almonds. She paired that with some beet crackers and the silkiest homemade hummus I've ever had, beautifully presented with za'atar and olive oil. The girl has style.

At the end of it all, we enjoyed her delicious homemade ice cream in the garden, where the whole adventure started. As you can see in the video, we had a very earnest, tiny helper. My latest heart throb. 

You know it's good when ALL the tongues are sticking out

Get Sofia's recipe and read all about what makes this ice cream so extra-special in my post on PBS Food (ok fine, I'll give you a few clues in case you don't have time: two types of chocolates! tapioca instead of egg yolks! and fresh garden mint instead of mint extract!)

Happy mid-June my friends xoxo.

Photo Credit: Sofia Eydelman