Vancouver friends craft recipe book based on cross-country road trip

Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller travelled almost 37,000 kilometers to every province and territory during a five month road trip where they documented their food adventures.

After travelling 37,000 kilometers, Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller add their voices to Canadian cuisine

Vancouver-based authors and friends Dana VanVeller (L) and Lindsay Anderson (R) embarked on a five-month cross Canada road trip to find out what Canadians eat from coast to coast to coast. (Feast: An Edible Road Trip/Instagram)

Vancouver-based authors Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller's vision to eat their way through Canada came to them on a camping trip in Squamish. 

"I was soon to be finished the job that I was at and she was soon to be finished hers and I thought, let's tackle this idea of what is Canadian food," explained Anderson.

The two friends raised $10,000 through a crowdfunding campaign, dug into their savings and spent five months during 2013 travelling to every province and territory across the country.

Scenes from the five month trip. (Feast: An Edible Road Trip/Instagram)

"When we set out, we had a general idea of what we would do. We had established 50 per cent of where we'd go, who we'd meet and what we'd see and then once we got to a place, we'd ask locals and connect with tourism boards to see what we should do," explained VanVeller.

The visited local food establishments, farmers markets and family homes — often being sent away with piles of home-cooked food.

Their meticulously blogged, photographed and documented their travels for a new recipe book called Feast: Recipies and Stories from a Canadian Road Trip.

(Penguin Random House)

The two women said they met countless amazing people on the trip and gained a deeper appreciation for the wide variety of regional ingredients Canadians use like birch syrup from the North, or Red Fife — a heritage grain from the Prairies.

"We want it to be the kind of book that people can use regularly and read as a travel narrative and a way to get across the country without having to leave their houses," said Anderson.

Red Fife Crêpes

Serves 4 to 6

2 Tbsp (30 mL) honey

2 Tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter, plus extra for frying

3 eggs

1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk

2 Tbsp (30 mL) cold water

3/4 cup (185 mL) Red Fife flour, or stone-ground spelt or whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

For the crêpes, measure the honey into a large bowl. Over medium-low heat, melt the butter in a saucepan until it turns golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes, then immediately pour over the honey. Whisk to combine.

Whisk in the eggs, followed by the buttermilk and cold water. Add the flour and salt and whisk thoroughly to combine.

Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour, or overnight if possible. The next day, take the batter out of the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before you'd like to use it.

Red Fife was one of Canada's original heritage grains, and Feast authors Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller say the grain is experience a renaissance, particularly in the Prairies. (Feast/Penguin Random House)

When you're ready to fry the crêpes, put about 1 tsp (5 mL) of butter into the pan (you'll need about that much to fry each crêpe), and heat over medium-low heat. Ensure the butter has been spread out evenly and, once it's bubbling, measure about 1/4 cup (60 mL) of batter into the pan.

Working quickly, pick up the pan and tip it in a circular motion so the batter spreads out thinly and evenly across the pan's surface. Set the pan back down on the element and let the crêpe cook until you see its edges are dry and turning brown and the centre is rippling from the heat below.

Carefully flip. The second side will need to cook for only about 45 seconds before you can slide it onto a plate, add more butter to your pan, and start on the next one.

If they aren't being eaten right away, keep the crêpes warm in a 170 F (77 C) oven until it's time to serve.

FYI: Because they're whole wheat, these crêpes are a little more delicate than ones made entirely with white flour. Be gentle, but also don't worry if they tear a little while warm.

With files from The Early Edition