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March Newsletter

As you all know winter finally came to the Cowichan Valley in the last two weeks of February. The snow didn’t interfere with our kitchens we all managed to get them in between snowfalls. It did cuase a problem for the Cobble Hill kitchens delivery of soup to the Meals On The Ground. They are donating their time to cook and deliver soup for this organization whenever needed.

We welcomed a new staff member this month. Lynne will possibly be facilitating the Growing Together Group, she worked with Lori in the Growing Together kitchen in the past, and we are lucky to have her back.

Although we are hoping for better weather in March it still feels like soup weather right now so I thought I would include a simple recipe. I hope you like it.

Serves 4

1Lb. Sausage, Cooked and Cut
3 Carrots, Peeled and Diced
2 Stalks of Celery, Diced
1 Small Onion, Diced
1 Cup Frozen Kernel Corn
1 Garlic Clove, crushed
2 Tsp. Ground Cumin
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 Small Package Tortellini
2 Cans of Chicken Broth or
2 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock

1. Cook sausages, remove them from pot, then cut into small pieces. Remove some of the oil from the pot.
2. Put onion, garlic, celery, and carrots into pot and cook on medium heat until softened.
3. Sprinkle with cumin, salt and peppper and stir to mix seasonings.
4. Add broth and bring to a boil.
5. Add the tortellini and cook until softened. About 8 miutes.

October newsletter

We officially christened the outdoor oven on the 14th of September with a huge crowd of people in attendance and a lot of pizza consumed.  The day was a huge success, and I hope to have photos for you at a later date. 


We welcomed Warmlands kitchen back this fall, with Nicole as their new facilitator. This makes 6 kitchens running in the Cowichan Valley.


Soup weather is upon us so I thought I would share a Borscht recipe that my group made this past month.  I hope you enjoy it.


                       VEGETARIAN BORSCHT

                                         Serves 8


2 Tbsp. Butter                                    4 or more Beet Stems &

2 Med. Onions, chopped                      Greens, chopped

3 Stalks Celery, chopped                  1-5 ½ oz. Can Tomato Paste

8 Cups Water                                    6 Tbsp. Vinegar or to taste

4 Lg. or 8 Sm. Beets, pared and       1 Head of Purple or Green

    diced or grated                                 Cabbage, choppped

1 Bay Leaf


1.   Melt butter in large stock pot.  Saute´ onions and celery until tender crisp.

2.   Add water, beets and bay leaf to the pot and simmer covered for 20 minutes.

3.   Add beet stems and greens, tomato paste, vinegar and cabbage. Cover and simmer 20 minutes more or until vegetables are tender.

4. Spoon borscht into bowls and if you wish sprinkle with dill and place a dill pickle and a spoonful of sour cream on top.                                             

Salt and pepper to taste.





September newsletter

September is here and so is the completion of the Cob Oven.  CCK is having a Grand Opening Event on September 14th to christen the oven. The only thing that I know for sure that will be on the menu is pizza.


In honor of our upcoming pizza party I am going to share our pizza reecipe with you.  Instead of the dough recipe that we usually use I am using a much easier bread recipe that the Chili Peppers used for 

their pizzas this past July.



                             INDIVIDUAL PIZZAS

                                         Makes 24


12 Cups Flour                             Water

2-3 Packs Instant Yeast              Oil



1.   Mix yeast with flour, add salt.

2.   Add enough water to make sticky dough.

3.   If using soon, place in large bowl, rub with oil and cover with warm damp towel.  Let stand 1 ½ hours, or place in large container with a tight fitting lid and let stand overnight.

*Amount of salt depends on your personal taste. If not sure try ¼ to ½ tsp.


750 ml Spaghetti Sauce

  or Pizza Sauce

450 Grams Grated Mozzarella

 Toppings of your choice


4. Preheat oven to 400F.  Divide dough into 4 portions.  Divide each portion into 6 pieces of dough.  Pat each one down and then roll into 4” diameter on lightly floured surface.

5. Place 1 Tbsp. pizza sauce on each pizza.

6. Sprinkle with cheese. Top with your ingredients. Sprinkle with cheese.

7. Grease cookie sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal.

8. Place pizzas on cookie sheet, leaving plenty of room between as they will double in size.

9. Bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.



Check out our new Cob Oven, and the entire kitchen, in Centennial Park

Our cob oven and kitchen in Centennial Park

Our cob oven and kitchen in Centennial Park

Thank you to all the hundreds of people who participated in developing the vision and building the actual structure. Our new kitchen in Centennial Park is so much fun to work in. It has a wood fired oven, grill and burner. A huge Vancouver Island Marble counter top, double sinks, a hand-washing sink and hot and cold running water. Two sides are wheelchair accessible.
The oven heats up quickly – in about 1/2 an hour and only burns kindling.
Thanks to BC Arts Council, Peninsula Co-op, City of Duncan, and Matrix Tile and Marble for sponsoring this project.
This kitchen is available for public use.
Registration forms and details will be published soon.
E-mail us at if you are interested in coming down for a cook.

August Newsletter

We’re half way through summer already. I hope you’ve been enjoying the wonderful weather and all your time off (if your one of the fortunate people who get a summer vacation). Some of us have been going through the summer. Chili Peppers had a kitchen in July but will be taking August off, while Dish It Up will be planning the last week of July and cooking the first week of August. The others have been out enjoying the summer.

I do have a new recipe for you, but first I would like to remind you of some others from the past that might be pleasant this time of year. If you check our web site at www. Cowichan Community Kitchens and click on recipes you’ll find the recipes that have appeared in past newsletters. Check out July 2012 for the Cornmeal Chicken with Fresh Peach Salsa since peaches are in season. Also try the Apple Crisp recipe located under Bon Apetit and try substituting apples for peaches. Also in July in Bon Apetit is a recipe for Apricot Chicken, this uses apricot jam but you might want to try punching it up with slices of fresh apricots.

This months recipe is great for this time of year since the Pork or Chicken can be cooked on a barbecue, and the Tzatziki sauce contains fresh cucumber. I hope you enjoy it.

Serves 6

1 ½ Lbs. Boneless Chicken or Pork
¼ Cup Lemon Juice
¼ Cup Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves
1 Tbsp. Dried Oregano
¼ Tsp. Each Salt & Pepper
1 Cup Prepared Tzatziki Sauce
6 Greek – Style Pita Breads

1 1/3 Cups Plain Yogurt, drain in
a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a bowl to reduce to 1 cup, do ahead.
1 Cup squeezed-dry Grated English
1 Garlic Clove, minced
2 Tsp. Oil
2 Tsp. Lemon Juice
¼ Tsp. Each Salt & Pepper

1. Trim and cut pork or chicken into 1-inch cubes.
2.In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper; and pork and stir and coat. Marinate for 10 minutes. (make – ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)
3.Evenly thread pork onto six 8-inch skewers; place on foil-lined baking sheet. Brush with marinade. Broil 6 inches from heat, turning halfway through, until just a hint of pink remains inside, about 12 minutes. Or place on barbecue and follow same cooking instructions.
4.Spread tzatziki over each pita. Remove pork from skewers and place on pitas; fold over.

July Newsletter

Summer is here! I hope evryone is out enjoying the wonderful weather we are finally getting.

Usually our kitchens take the summer off but this year some of us will be continuing for at least one month. It’s a bit of a challenge coming up with recipes for the summer months, most people prefer lighter meals, unless they are barbecuing that is.

We had a really nice self-crusting quiche recipe, submitted by one of our facilitators a while back. The crust that it makes is very light and thin which makes it perfect for those who like quiche but don’t want to be filled up with heavy pastry. I hope you enjoy it.

Serves 4
3 Eggs
¾ Tsp. Salt
1 Cup Milk
½ Cup Self-Rising Flour
1 Cup Grated Tasty Cheese
Additions: One or more of the following:
Onions, Mushrooms, Broccoli, Zuchinni, Spinach,Tomatoes, Peppers,
Ham, Bacon, Shrimp etc.

1. Cook the vegetables or meat that you are using (if desired). Let cool.
2. Measure flour into a bowl.
3. Stir the eggs, salt and milk together. If using onions stir the egg mixture into the onions and beat with a fork until mixed.
4. Pour this into the bowl with the flour and stir with the fork until just combined.
5. Add the rest of your vegetables or meat and the cheese.
6. Pour into a prepared 20-23 cm pan. Garnish with sliced tomato or thinly sliced red and green peppers if desired.
7. Bake at 390ºF for 20 – 30 minutes or until lightly browned and set in the center.
* To make self-rising flour add 1 Tbsp. baking powder to 1 cup of flour.

Cob Oven Project

Cob Oven Building EventsA cob oven is being built in Centennial Park in order to encourage “Garden to Table.”

There is a variety events that are happening around this project, that you might like to attend!

There are Tile Art and Building with Cob workshops which will be a lot of fun.

WORKSHOP Registration: Lekha 250.537.6622 or
All the information is here. Download the poster here.

June Newsletter

I am pleased to announce that the Outdoor Cob Oven Project is progressing nicely. There will be several cob making workshops during the first two weeks of June. People can come out, learn how to make cob and help build the oven and counters at the same time.

For more information contact Michelle at 250-709-7972 or You can follow the ovens progress on Facebook (Cowichan Cob Oven Project).

This months recipe is one that has been in our files for a long time but was given a new twist by the Growing Together Group. Porcupines are quite popular and many people have their own little additions or changes that make this recipe slightly different each time. Here is Community Kitchens Recipe with the changes marked by astericks.

Serves 4
1 Lb. Ground Beef ¼ Cup Long Grain Rice
¼ Medium Onion 1 10 oz. Can Tomato Soup*
1 Tsp. Salt 1 10 oz. Can Water*
¼ Tsp. Pepper

1. In a medium bowl mix meat, onion, salt, pepper, and rice together well.
2. Shape into 20 to 24 meatballs.
3. Arrange in square baking dish.
4. Combine soup and water. Pour over meatballs. Cover.
5. Bake in 350F oven for 1 hour or until rice is cooked.
* Substitute these two ingredients for a simple sweet and sour sauce made with 1 Cup Ketchup, 1 Tsp. Vinegar,
1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar. Mix ingredients together and pour over meatballs as in step 4. Goes great with mashed
potatoes. Try serving it with stir fry vegetables also.

May Newsletter

This is the time of year when we do our year end reports and I am happy to report that during the April 2012 to March 2013 year Cowichan Community Kitchens cooked 5834 meals, 455 of which went out to community members, and this past Christmas we baked 3908 pieces of sweets. Boy are we tired!!

There isn’t anything new to report. All kitchens are continuing along just fine.

I’m going to give you a quick and easy recipe this month. It was originally submitted by the Red Hot Mamas and Papas group but my group the Chili Peppers have made it twice and really enjoyed it. If you make the home made baking mix you will have plenty left over for extra biscuits.

Serves 6

1 lb. Ground Beef ¼ Cup Milk
¾ Cup Chopped Onion 2 Cups Baking Mix
1 Can (10 oz.) Condensed ½ Cup Water
Cheddar Cheesed Soup 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar
1 Cup Frozen Mixed Veggies Cheese
1. Heat oven to 400º F (200º C).
2. In a large frying pan over medium heat, cook the beef with the onion for 5 to 10 minutes until the beef is brown.
Pour off any fat.
3. Stir in soup, vegetables and milk.
4. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan. Combine Baking Mix and water in baking pan.

April Newsletter

Spring has officially arrived. I’ve been enjoying the crocuses in my yard but I’m also watching the snow come and go on the mountains in Lake Cowichan. I understand the weather has been better in Duncan.

We are hoping we can get underway on the Outdoor Oven Project soon.
We have two local artists Maynard Johnny and Nan Goodship designing the oven, which will be constructed with cob and tile.

We are also erecting an outdoor sink area for washing foods and vegetables and to aid in the cleaning up after use.

I will go into greater detail next month.

Our new Growing Togethr group made Chicken Souvlaki this past month and thoroughly enjoyed it. The recipe suggests eating the chicken in Pitas with Tzatziki sauce but the chicken is tasty enough to stand on its own. The young ladies had a hard time leaving some to take home. I hope you enjoy it as much as they did.

Serves 6

1 ½ Lbs. Boneless Chicken 1 Tbsp. Dried Oregano
or Pork
¼ Cup Lemon Juice ¼ Tsp. Each Salt and Pepper
¼ Cup Olive Oil ¾ Cup Prepared Tzatziki Sauce
4 Garlic Cloves, minced 6 Greek-Style Pita Breads

1 1/3 Cups Plain Yogurt, drain 1 Garlic Clove, minced
in a cheesecloth-lined sieve over 2 Tsp. Oil
bowl to reduce to 1 cup – do ahead. 2 Tsp. Lemon Juice
1 Cup Squeezed – dry Grated ¼ Each Salt and Pepper
English Cucumber

1. Trim and cut pork into 1-inch cubes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper; and pork and stir and coat. Marinate for 10 minutes. (make – ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)
3. Evenly thread pork onto six 8-inch skewers; place on foil-lined baking sheet. Brush with marinade. Broil 6 inches from heat, turning halfway through, until just a hint of pink remains inside, about 12 minutes.
4. Spread tzatziki over each pita. Remove pork from skewers and place on pitas; fold over.