Archives for posts with tag: Pie

art, herbalism, activism, and fun… Verdant Life In The City!

It is with great delight that we are about to celebrate one year since opening our doors in this verdant city, Montreal. At 6pm onward on Saturday November 3, we will do so in style. We have so much to celebrate! Fleurbain is where seeds have been thrown, ideas have germinated, friendships and connections have grown. After having extended our branches in the worlds of herbalism, art, health and empowerment, we have seen dreams and hopes begin to come to fruition.

a McGill student relaxes over some tisane and painting

Having begun as a blog (you are reading it!) between herbalist Tammy Schmidt and artist Natasha Henderson, Fleurbain has grown into a workspace for these two creative urbanites, but is much more than that. Both women have led workshops in their respective fields. Natasha began her successful “Drop In Painting” sessions, in which anyone was encouraged to pick up a paintbrush and create. Tammy has led dietary workshops and support groups, in The Nourishment Series. She has also hosted many in-house spa treatments, using only organic, healthy ingredients to nourish the skin and spirit. Early in the existence of Fleurbain, Tammy was interviewed for the documentary Fairly Foul, in which she spoke about alternatives to toxic beauty care products. Shared beliefs between BCAM and Femme Toxic and Fleurbain has made for extended support and networking for change in areas we strongly believe in.

Tammy during shooting for the documentary, Fairly Foul

Numerous community events have been organised and presented over the last year. Vernissages for new exhibitions have been a highlight. Poetry readings, artists’ talks, and yoga classes have rounded out some of the cultural and good things going on at Fleurbain.

activity at Fleurbain

As we look back, we want to thank each artist in their participation. Carole Arbic, Elissa Baltzer, Heather Boyd, Denise Buisman Pilger, Marc Chabot, Naomi Frangos, Anna Grigorian, Jennifer Hamilton, Meredith Hayes, Natasha Henderson, Françoise Issaly, Thaneah Krohn, Jeffrey Mackie, Jenny McMaster, David Merk, Lorraine Miller Emmrys, Kimberley Mok, Michel Pednault, Sarina Rahman, Keivan Khademi Shamami, Spiranza Spir, Darlene St Georges, Lauren Trimble, Patrycja Walton, Julie Webb, and Alice Zilberberg… Thank you!

Tammy leading a large workshop for Femme Toxic on organic, herbal skincare

While Tammy has activated the lives of many with her workshops, support groups, and classes, she has also maintained her private practice as a consulting herbalist. Her in-house dispensary is a wonderful place to get your favourite herbal remedies after your consultation with Tammy.

Natasha curates the art gallery, with a number of themed group exhibitions throughout the year, as well as her own New Work solo show each spring. Art creates a vibrant and creative, always changing scene for all that happens in Fleurbain.

Natasha paints, creates felt objects, and curates the gallery.

This Saturday, November 3, please join us in celebrating all this, and more. From 6pm onwards, we will enjoy pies, wine, special herbal teas by Tammy Schmidt, and fabulous company. Natasha is proud to present a selective retrospective exhibition of her paintings from over the last few years, as well as some brand new works. New herbal products made by Tammy are available in our shop, including tisanes and lipbalms to go. Natasha’s handmade felt products, fun Goober cell-phone cases and stylish scarves, await new homes. Our new product lines and ideas are blooming, we are planning new classes for this winter and 2013, and more is cooking at Fleurbain. Come celebrate with us!

Fleurbain is located at 460 St Catherine West, Unit 917. If you should arrive late, and the front door is locked, buzz for the security guard to let you in. See you Saturday!

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First blueberries of the season.

we all love fresh berries! in winter, though, frozen ones are a great option

Last night I made a quick and easy adaptation of a classic blueberry pie. I was in an unusual and very fortunate situation: I had a bag of frozen blueberries, some flour, and eggs all on hand, all at the same time! I checked the cupboards for my usual supply of baking/cooking supplies… yes, I had sugar, salt, milk powder and oil, so I thought “why not”.

I placed about 2 cups of blueberries with a half cup of water in a little pot on the stove. I cooked this at low temperature until the berries had thawed. I smushed them around a bit, to extract more of the juices. You don’t need to do this, though, you actually shouldn’t try to extract the juices. You don’t need to add this much water, either. I was removing some of the juices and blueberry-dye for more artistic purposes, that I will tell you about another time.

Once the berries are soft, you can add a bit of sugar. I used brown sugar, about a third of a cup or so. You don’t need to add sugar at all, but I was feeling decadent. Into this I stirred two eggs (you could use three if you really like a jiggly pie and have enough eggs). I threw in a tiny sprinkle of salt, imagining the salt and sugar contrasting with each other to bring out the blueberry flavour even more. I didn’t really cook this any longer, I turned off the heat at this point.

* * * * *

I used a quick little no-cook pie crust recipe:

1.5 Cups flour3/4 tsp salt

Sift/stir around in your pie-plate or other pan.

Add: 1/2 Cup oil (I used grape seed that I had on hand, in the past I’ve used olive oil) + 3 Tbsp milk (I used a dash of milk powder, and a dash of water)

Mix with a fork or your fingers (I use my fingers) ’til it’s blended enough to press into the pan firmly. You don’t need to pre-bake the crust, though a few minutes in your pre-heated oven before adding the filling can’t hurt. (I didn’t last night, and it’s still a fine and delicious Breakfast-Pie at the moment.)

* * * * *

The next step for this pie is to pour the remaining frozen blueberries (about 2 cups) into this pie crust, then pour the gooey blueberries on top. Put into the oven (preheated to about 300 or 350 F) and bake until the middle of the pie starts to firm up. This is about 30 minutes, I do believe.

You could try this with variations, different frozen berries, cinnamon, vanilla, other flavourings to suit what you have on hand and your taste. I would like to try making the crust with a gluten-free flour. I almost added some almond slivers to the top of the pie, but thought better of it in the end. Maybe next time…

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

(Whipped cream is not necessary, but highly recommended.)

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