1 January 2006


When I was young I was a very picky eater. I am sure that my parents agonized over my lack of nutrients and enjoyment of food as I pushed my food around my plate. As you get older your palate changes and you can learn to love food and be excited by the possibilities of sharing a great meal. As a teen I collected recipes and dreamed of the day when I would have dinner parties and friends sharing animated conversation, laughter and outstanding food at my table. Let's just say my first dinner party was not a great success with canned potatoes and carrots being in the picture somewhere. That was many years ago and I have come far beyond Burnt Toast and canned ingredients. I am a locavore who chooses the freshest ingredients possible whether they be from our farmers markets or local producers here in British Columbia. Of course living in Canada it is very difficult to follow this idealogy through the winter months, but we do our best to seek out what we have available throughout the year.  Join me on my journey as I explore new taste sensations as well as tried and true recipes from generations past and go beyond burnt toast on these pages here at More Than Burnt Toast.

A few years ago I attended a cooking school on a small island in the Agean Sea off the coast of Greece. This was a life-changing vacation that altered my perception of food and how it should be enjoyed on a daily basis. Travel helps us to better understand and appreciate other people and their cultures. Nothing is more intimate, or more effective at breaking down cultural barriers, than cooking and sharing meals together. When you have 10 like-minded people from all parts of the world breaking bread at the same table magic happens. 
In the classic movie Zorbas the Greek the main character sums it up the best, "On the coast I felt for the first time what a pleasant thing it could be to have a meal. We started eating and drinking, the conversation became animated. I at last realized that eating was a spiritual function and the meat, bread, and wine were the raw materials from which the soul is made."

When I travel I have always taken hundreds, if not thousands, of photos. Long before blogging I was taking photos of the food at my table while on even the smallest of adventures. There’s something so evocative to me about pictures of food and the power they have to vividly remind me of mouth-watering meals and moments that I’ve had on my travels. I can look at my culinary photos and remember exactly where I was, the scent of the dish placed in front of me, and the way the flavours opened up on my palate. In many cases the taste or smell of something in my past is capable of painting a picture with richer, deeper brush strokes than any snapshot in my photo album.

This is how my blog began... as a place to share my food discoveries with anyone willing to read as well as with my daughter who was headed off to university. It continues to be a gathering place for family and friends to pull up a chair at the same virtual table and share what we have. Feel free to browse through my recipes in the index or using the links on the side bar and discover some new taste sensations of your own. Enjoy my life in food.
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  1. The cooking school vacation in the Aegean sounds amazing, life-changing indeed! This is my first visit to your blog and I love the Okanogan scenery and all the local events and flavors.

  2. I was browsing your beautiful blog and eventually ended up in the about section. I am very happy to see a fellow blogger from BC :-). I live in Vancouver, and it's always great to discover talented food bloggers who happen to live nearby.

  3. Hi Val, was looking for a Recipe and clicked on your blog, while skimming through i had seen you grew up in the KW area, me too and still here just outside in new dundee.

    So i thought i would say hi from you old home town.



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