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Seraphina’s Oven

Have you ever wondered how the buttery flakiness of a Parisian croissant is achieved? The perfection of a flaky croissant is no accident; it is a teachable art.  Seraphina’s Oven rose from the idea of having a working bakery/classroom next to a wood-fired brick oven. The enthusiasm and support of the community helped that idea evolve into a fully-equipped bakery. Seraphina’s will be launched at the beginning of November 2018 as a baking and pastry training venue.

Seraphina’s will be offering leisure, professional and custom baking workshops for both professionals seeking to upgrade and SHBs (serious home bakers). It also offers a consulting program for the trade from start-ups and expansion to formula configuration, dessert menu creation, equipment acquisition and staff training programs.

Seraphina’s first offering of one and two-day classes include: Sourdough Basics and Wood-fired baking, Croissants and Danish pastries and Chocolate Treats and Caramel Confections (which include gorgeous holiday packaging!). The courses continue with Flatbreads from around the world and Hand-stretched pizza, Thermomix demonstrations and Home-made Pasta. Gluten-free, French Pastries and Ancient Grains workshops will be added in the new year.

The instructors at Seraphina’s are all Red-Seal certified bakers and pastry chefs with many years of teaching experience. They also come equipped with executive experience of creation and marketing in the world of fine baking and patisserie.

Courses at Seraphina’s will incorporate a fun and informative hands-on experience in small classes. Further information and sign-up details can be found on the website:

When the beets go on…

By Cindy Damphousse

What to do with that abundance of fruit and vegetables that came from your garden this year?  Don’t let them go to waste when there are many ways to preserve your harvest.

The easiest and fastest way to preserve is freezing. The quality remains great if it is used within a reasonable amount of time. A variety of containers can be used, glass, plastic bowls or bags. Usually a wash or a parboil will do the trick.

Dehydrating, requires a piece of equipment or patience with your oven but dried food has a longer shelf-life.

The most labour intensive is canning. Yet, there is something satisfying about  seeing rows of jars filled with your favorite preserves.

With a bumper crop of beets this year, freezing has worked really well for me.

One of our favourite soups in the winter is borscht. I like to use beets from the garden but they aren’t available during the cold winter months so I like to have them ready frozen in the freezer.

Here is how I prepare them to have them ready for easy use.

Freezing beets for borscht

Pull beets when they are ready. Wash and trim excess leaves and trim the root ends off. Next, take place beets on foil, pour a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Crimp foil to make a pouch and place on baking tray and roast in preheated 350 over for about 40 min or until fork tender. Roasting time will vary with size of beets.

When beets are ready remove from oven and let cool. Then take a sharp paring knife and peel beets and slice putting slices on a clean prepared sheet tray. I use a piece of parchment paper. When tray is full of sliced beets put in freezer to individually freeze.

Once beets are frozen, place in air-tight freezer bags and they are ready to be used for borscht all winter long.


About the author: Angie

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