Batten Down the Hatches

This 19th century nautical term was used to tell the crew to get ready for a big storm. For some reason, it seems like a good term to use right now for what’s going on in the world.  For most of us, we have never lived through anything like this and it’s really hard to know how to feel and how to appropriately respond.

We want our customers to know that we are taking the threat of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) seriously and would like to share with you our strategy for staying healthy and open so that we can continue to serve you nutritious, delicious, locally sourced, seasonal and organic food during this difficult time.

Our service is important, and in some cases essential to many people within our community and we will remain open for regular business hours. Should this policy change we will update our customers by email and on social media.
Our fresh meal and delivery service will continue. We want to remind you that you can have items from our retail store delivered to your home. Deliveries are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and we need to receive your order the day before your desired delivery day.
Our location at 564 Gladstone is implementing the following steps in accordance with the recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
We have advised our staff to stay at home for 14 days if they have recently travelled outside of Canada, even if they are not experiencing any symptoms, if they have been in close personal contact with anyone who recently returned from one of the Group A & B risk zones, regardless if symptoms are present, if they believe they have contracted the coronavirus or they are exhibiting any symptoms of the coronavirus or if they have come into contact with someone who has been exposed to the coronavirus, even though they have not travelled to any of the listed risk zones.
Within our space we are taking the following precautions:
  • Increased hand washing and sanitization including hourly sanitization of all equipment, door handles, counters, tables, chairs, shoping baskets and workspaces.
  • Daily sanitization of our delivery vehicles.
We want to ask customers who are ill, showing symptoms, or who have been exposed to the virus, to please stay home and take advantage of our delivery service, leaving a box or cooler on their front porch.

Our freezers after Saturday

Our store has been busier than ever with clients putting a few extra items in the fridge and freezer. We had a full team working an extra day on Sunday so we could re-stock our fridges and freezers after being cleaned out on Thursday-Friday and Saturday.

Working hard on Sunday to restock the Fridges & Freezers

Our delivery service continues and we are taking many precautions to maintain the health of both our team, and our customers. We are keeping our clients updated by email and social media of the precautions we are taking, and will continue to use those tools to update on any changes, as they arise. Please subscribe to our email at the bottom right of our web page, or follow us on Facebook (The Red Apron) or Instagram (@redapronyummm).

But like every big storm, this too will pass and when it does it will be interesting to see what we will learn from this. As longtime proponents of the support local/buy local/eat local movement, we feel strongly that access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food (Food Security) is an important priority for everyone in the world today. As borders close, and movement of people and things slows, having the ability to feed ourselves is the thing that is going to make us feel most secure. Being able to feed ourselves while supporting our community (farmers, growers, producers & small local food businesses) is going to make our community stronger, safer, and able to weather this storm.

We are trying to build a list of all the independent food business in Ottawa that need our support and can help us get through this by providing nutritions, delicious and nourishing foods during this time, while still putting money into our local economy and keeping as many vulnerable people employed. Small business and their employees rely on their customers so they can pay rent & utilities, and put food on their own tables. We know that these businesses are taking the necessary precautions to keep their people safe while making great food, as are we. So far our list includes the following business.

Enright Cattle Company, Ferme-Reveuse, and Grazing Days all deliver beef, pork, chicken and eggs to your door.

Good Food 2 U and Bryson Farms will deliver local and organic ingredients to your home.

Many of the Independent Grocers, including McKeens Metro in the Glebe offer delivery as well.

We have a lot of family owned bakeries in Ottawa that are still producing bread and other baked items that can be sliced and frozen for later use. Our friends at True Loaf, just across the street, and Black Walnut Bakery, just a short drive from Orleans are both still open & producing. Check their websites for hours and get there early, as they are selling out most days.

Myro & Isaac at Black Walnut Bakery in Cumberland

Many of our small family owned business are getting hit hard, but some are offering meals ‘to-go’ so call ahead or check with the online delivery services to see who is still serving. You could also support them by purchasing gift cards to use after this passes.

We want to remind you that small craft breweries like Dominion City will deliver to your home, as will most many County wineries and distilleries like Kinsip and Rosehall Run.

Since you might be at home with time on your hands and mouths to feed, I am re-sharing a series of recipes I created for just this situation. You can feed a family of four for a week with these ingredients, these recipes, and one chicken. You might even have leftovers!

Feed a family of 4 for a week with one chicken

Shopping List

7-8 pound pasture raised Ferme Rêveuse chicken
3 medium onions
3-4 red peppers
Small bag of baby spinach
2 medium sweet potatoes
3 medium potatoes (Yukon gold or russet)
1 large carrot
1 bunch of kale
1 whole leek
2 cups frozen sweet peas
1 large Spanish onion
1 bunch green onions
2 ripe avocados
2 lemons
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 heads garlic
1 knob fresh ginger
3 cups organic brown basmati
1 small package organic whole-wheat penne or ziti
250 ml whole cream (whipping cream)
½ cup grated Parmesan
4 cups grated cheddar
500 ml sour cream
8 soft corn tortillas (or soft wheat tortillas)
1 large (750 ml) can of diced tomatoes
1 large (750 ml)can organic white beans
1 small (450 ml) can organic black beans
1 large (750 ml) can of organic chickpeas
1 jar (500 ml) mild salsa

Herbs and spices including: cumin, chili powder, mild curry powder, fresh thyme, fresh cilantro, fresh oregano, bay leaf, salt, pepper

Sunday – Cook Chicken/Make Stock

Whole Local Chicken (7-8 lb) – Organic or Hormone & Antibiotic Free
1 Onion, peeled & quartered
1 head of garlic, peeled
1 medium carrot, peeled, large dice
1 celery stalk
1 thyme branch
2 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt


Cover the chicken cold water in a large stainless steel stockpot and bring to a boil. When the water comes to a full boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer and skim off the gray foam that rises to the surface. Add the onion, carrot, celery, thyme, bay, and salt.

Cook gently on simmer for 1-1.5 hours until the chicken is cooked.  Remove the chicken, and when cool enough to handle remove all the meat & wings.  Put the carcass and the wings back in the pot and continue to simmer on low for another 2-3 hours or more, until the broth tastes rich and is a light golden color. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or a colander lined with cheesecloth or fine sieve.   Return the stock to pot and simmer on high to reduce to 2-3 litres. Refrigerate the chicken meat.

Allow the stock to cool completely; skim the fat and promptly refrigerate.

Cook 3 cups of basmati rice per instructions on bag.

Monday – Curried Sweet Potato & Chicken Stew

oil (canola or olive)
2 medium onions, peeled and diced
1 red pepper, seeded and sliced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled & grated
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
½ can of diced tomatoes diced (reserve juice and remaining tomatoes for another recipe)
1 small can of coconut milk
1 cup of organic canned chickpeas, drained & rinsed
2 cups of chicken stock
1 tablespoon of curry powder
1 large or two medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed (1 inch cubes) and cooked until just tender (sweet potatoes could be cooked in the chicken stock)
cooked meat from one chicken breast, cubed
½ bag of baby spinach leaves.
Salt, to taste

Sauté onions in a large saucepan on medium high heat until soft.  Add Red Peppers, and cook until peppers wilt.  Add garlic, ginger and curry powder.  Cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and coconut milk and simmer for 1-2 minutes.  Add chickpeas, 1 cup of chicken stock, chicken and sweet potatoes.  Simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes.  Season with salt and more curry powder to taste.  If the stew is too thick, thin with remaining chicken stock.  Before serving, toss in spinach leaves.

Serve on steamed rice (follow directions on bag) and garnish this dish with chopped green onions, cilantro & avocado.

Tuesday – White Bean, Kale & Potato Soup

Olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled & minced
1 can organic white beans (rinsed & drained)
1 bunch of kale (rough chopped)
3 medium potatoes (peeled, cubed )
1 liter of chicken stock
diced meat from one chicken thigh
Juice from can of tomatoes
Fresh time & oregano (1 tablespoon each, chopped)

Sauté onions & garlic in soup pot in 2 tablespoons of oil.  Add kale and cook until wilted.  Remove from pan.  Put potatoes, chicken stock, tomato juice in the soup pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer on low until potatoes are tender.  Add white beans, chicken and herbs and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Add back kale & onion mixture and test for seasoning.  Add salt to taste and serve.

This meal would be best served with crusty bread.  The soup can be garnished with fresh chopped parsley and grated cheese on top.

Wednesday  – Pasta, Chicken, Pea & Leek Casserole

2 tablespoons butter
1 whole leek, cleaned and sliced thinly (white and light green parts only)
1 small package organic whole wheat penne or ziti, cooked, rinsed in cold water, and drained
250 ml whole cream (35%)
1 cup green sweet peas (frozen),
½ bag of baby spinach leaves
meat from one chicken breast (cubed),
½  cup grated Parmesan
1 cup grated cheddar
salt & pepper to taste

Melt butter in a saucepan.  Sauté the leeks until soft.  Add cream and bring to a simmer.  Add peas, season with salt & pepper.  In a large bowl mix together cooked pasta, cream/leek mixture, peas, chicken, cheddar cheese & spinach.  Transfer to ovenproof casserole and top with parmesan. (Everything up to this step could be done one to 2 days in advance.)

To serve:  Cook at 375 until warmed through and top is golden brown.

Thursday – Layered Chicken Tacos

Olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, peeled & sliced
1 large red pepper, seeded & sliced
½ can of diced tomatoes, rough chopped (reserve juice for another recipe)
meat from chicken leg and thigh (shredded)
2 green onions, diced
2 avocados
juice of 2 lemons
1 package of small corn tacos (fresh),
1 cup frozen corn kernels,
1 cup organic black beans drained & rinsed
cumin, chili powder
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
500 ml sour cream
1 jar of mild salsa

Heat oil in a sauté pan and sauté onions and peppers until caramelized.  Add shredded chicken meat and season with cumin, salt & pepper.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat more oil in pan and sauté green onions, tomatoes, corn kernels and black beans.  Season with chili powder and lemon juice.

Layer ingredients in a 9×12 inch baking pan, starting with bean mixture, chicken, salsa, sour cream, tacos – at least 2 layers, finishing with tacos, thin layer of salsa and cheddar cheese.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until warmed through.

Slice avocados and drizzle with lemon juice & oil.  Season with salt.  Serve with Tacos.