Rutabaga & Barley Cookbook – From The Food Bank!

You’re running the local Food Bank… And some local farmers gift you with an avalanche of Rutabagas and Barley? They’re certainly not the most mainstream grains or veggies. Not what most of your clients will be looking for. Whatcha gonna do?

Taste of Parkdale - © 2024 - streetsoftoronto.comA sample recipe from Taste of Parkdale. The book is lavishly illuistrated
by artist Claire Bavis, with pictures featuring the local ‘wildlife’
– raccoons and Canada geese prominent among them…

The folks at Toronto’s downtown Parkdale Community Foodbank came up with the idea of a cookbook. A very specialized one, containing a limited number of carefully curated, nutritious, easy-to-make recipes incorporating the oddball ingredients.

What it is

According to The Toronto Star: “Taste of Parkdale, [is] an easy-to-use cookbook, designed by local tattoo artist Claire Bavis, and featuring six recipes in total with a write-up on the significance of each meal, including one for roasted rutabaga, which also provides tips on how to easily cook the root vegetable.”

“We’re taking into account that not everyone will have fancy kitchen equipment, and not everyone has access to the items that we think of as pantry staples,” Iris Brown, Financial and Communications Manager told The Star. “So we really wanted these recipes to contain very few ingredients, so as many people would be able to access the cookbook as possible.”

A grassroots effort

The ‘cookbook’ is really more of a chapbook, containing recipes selected from submissions to a ‘casting call’ last October. Parkdale is an extremely diverse community. So much so that the Foodbank distributed word of the contest through social media and flyers in 11 languages including: Spanish, Ukrainian, Mandarin, Hungarian, Vietnamese, Hindi, Polish, Lebanese, Thai, Tagalog and Tibetan.

Dishes had to include a maximum of eight main ingredients commonly found at the food bank, along with up to five optional ingredients.

They’re overwhelmingly family recipes, handed down over generations. Each is accompanied by a personal story from the contributor, explaining the recipe’s significance.

Where to get it

Taste of Parkdale is not only an assist for local Foodbank customers. It’s a fundraiser. But – though organizers don’t specifically say so – it appears that they’d like to offset the cost of printing and binding it. It’s available from ‘select local businesses’ on a ‘pay-what-you can’ basis.

E-mail the Foodbank for details…

~ Maggie J.