Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Chef's Magic Oven

Chef Victoria and her Alto-Shaam, Oven-Steamer

It had been years since I attended an honest-to-goodness retreat, but last week-end I stayed at St. Paul's Benedictine Monastery to participate in "Food and Faith." I learned so much about our current agricultural system: industrial farming or sustainable agriculture.  Wikipedia describes the latter this way: "Sustainable agriculture is farming in sustainable ways based on an understanding of ecosystem services, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment." I also learned about our local, state, and federal food programs and intend to pay attention and learn more.

During the summer months, it has been easy to support local farmers, but now I am determined to change many of my habits during the non-growing produce season. Yesterday our family joined a local coop where I had occasionally shopped, but am now determined to become a regular customer. I discovered myriad ways to shop, cook, and bake in order to support our local farmers. Now all I need is a gourmet kitchen!!

The above photo is of the chef, Victoria, who described her magic oven and how it  works. It  truly is quite remarkable! Stay tuned for more photos the next few days.


  1. Sounds fantastic Kate. We should all make an undertaking to support the farmers and people who grow our food in any way possible. I like the idea of a steam oven, I steam most of my veg but not in an oven.
    P.s. Beautiful header shot Kate.

  2. That's a good sized oven.

    Our main farmers market emphasizes sustainable farming, and local. All but one of the farmers there are coming from within 150 kilometres (the exception being one who grows fruits in southern Ontario that don't grow here), and all sell their own produce, as opposed to resellers.

  3. Supporting local farmers and the joining a local coop is a very good idea. When we lived in Maine we did the same thing. Everyone benefits and the food is fabulous and healthy.
    Wonderful new header, it's absolutely beautiful.

  4. I had never heard of Alto Shaam ovens. Went to the Google and found a video displaying its versatility for restaurants and banquet facilities. Truly amazing. But I don't think I can use one in my kitchen.

  5. Now that a fancy oven to me.
    Coffee is on

  6. I have only recently become aware of steam ovens but with my wood fired monster taking up most of the kitchen at the back in time house I don’t think one will come my way.

  7. I could sure use a "magic" oven. Like one that remembers to turn itself off when you're through cooking. :-)


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