I'm Julia Dimakos.

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A Recipe for Mushroom Barley Soup

A Recipe for Mushroom Barley Soup-

Since I was a little girl, I had a favourite soup. The one that brings back the best memories is Mushroom Barley. The mushrooms in the soup have a soft texture and a beautiful aroma. The barley in this soup creates a lovely and satisfying thickness. As a whole, mushroom barley soup fulfills three of my five senses – taste, sight and smell.

Today, this soup brings me back to when I was a little girl. Simply catching a hint of the mushrooms, transports me back to the age of 5, 8, 13, 19, and so on…

Two summers ago, I visited my family in Europe and was reminded of this, my favourite soup. Most of the ingredients may be grown in your own vegetable garden and stored in a cold cellar. It’s the perfect soup to prepare on a cold winter’s day.

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The Easiest Way to Clean Leeks

The Easiest Way to Clean Leeks

If you cook with leeks, you’ve probably experienced how tough they are to clean.

My first experience was like this: I didn’t know how to wash out the dirt, from between the leek layers. I tried to peel the layers off, rinse them, then chop them up individually. But this was messy and complicated.

I also tried to run water down between the layers, but this was also difficult since there’s very little room between them. Even if the leeks “seem” to be clean overall, there’s always some dirt stuck inside, between the layers and this is due to the way they grow.

I have a technique for cleaning leeks that is quick and simple. It also saves me a lot of time when I’m preparing meals and need to make dinner quick!

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1 Simple Tip for Cleaning Salad Greens

1 Simple Tip for Cleaning Salad Greens

How do you clean your freshly harvested salad greens?

Have you ever struggled with cleaning out all of the dirt and bugs from between your lettuces, swiss chard, kale, beet greens, herbs, arugula and any other cuttings? I have!

1 Simple Tip for Cleaning Salad Greens

My Salad Spinner

I used to work between sink, strainer and bowl and back again, rinsing and straining and it would take forever! I would place a large portion of the salad greens in one bowl, fill it with water, lift the greens out and into another bowl, which I would fill with water, lift up and back into the first bowl, to start the process all over again. Then I would use a strainer, then lay out my salad between paper towels to soak up the water. It took forever. At the end of a long and tiring day in the garden, I often left the salad soaking in a bowl overnight, to become stinky by morning. It was a big waste of time and effort!

Now I use one simple tool and it does all the work of straining, rinsing and soaking for me.

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