First appeared in Grainews in October 2019

A traditional porchetta means the whole porker, roasted on a spit, seasoned with chopped garlic, olives, fennel, and rosemary. The same lush result on a smaller scale is possible in the oven with a shoulder roast. Start with a large cut: it will be a hit, and leftovers are fabulous. Adapted from Judy Rodgers’ The Zuni Café Cookbook.

terrra madre

Serves 4-6


pork shoulder roast, boneless


head garlic, chopped


lemons, zest only

cracked fennel seed

chopped capers to taste

fresh rosemary to taste, chopped

oil-cured olives to taste, pitted and chopped

olive oil to taste

salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste


Lay the pork shoulder on a flat surface, peeling back the seams to expose crevices and crannies. Mix together all the other ingredients, then smear and cram and tuck all over the exposed surfaces and into all available crevices. Roll the roast up, tie it with butcher twine and preheat the oven to 325 F. Put a bit of water in the bottom of the pan and roast to medium, at an internal temperature of 180 F for fall-apart tender meat. Let the roast rest at least 15 minutes before carving.
porchetta closeup

“Bread & Water is an emotionally arresting, beautifully written series of essays.”

~ Jurors’ Citation, Saskatchewan Book Awards, University of Saskatchewan President’s Office Nonfiction Award

“Food is a wonderful agent for storytelling... and Bread & Water demonstrates this brilliantly.”

~ Sarah Ramsey, starred review, Quill & Quire

“[Bread & Water is] An amazing feast... riveting... eloquent.”

~ Patricia D. Robertson, Winnipeg Free Press

“[Bread & Water is a] sensuous experience; she brings her poet’s eye and ear to everything within her purview.”

~ Professor emerita Kathleen Wall, Blue Duets

“A deep love of the art of cooking that includes the language of fine dining (cassoulet, confit) even if the lamb was raised in Olds and she picked the rhubarb herself... she impressively manages this collision of worlds with a wholesome, approachable style.”

~ Megan Clark, Alberta Views

“These finely focussed poems [in Wildness Rushing In] invite us into a sensuous and emotionally rich landscape.”

~ Don McKay, winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize

“The writing [in Wildness Rushing In] is honed and textured, the senses so alive that you can practically taste the language. There are moments of brilliance rare in a first book.”

~ Jurors’ Citation, Saskatchewan Book Awards

“dee Hobsbawn-Smith’s stories [in What Can’t Be Undone] are written with a poetic edge. Her descriptions, particularly western landscapes, are often luxurious, lending themselves a kind of nuanced impression, a delicate fingerprint on the reader’s mind. "

~ Lee Kvern, Alberta Views

“[Foodshed is] A rich encyclopedia of facts, farm-gate lore and original recipes... a politically engaging narrative in which Hobsbawn-Smith articulates the challenges and joys faced by small-scale producers... don’ t let the alphabet theme fool you. This is no tame nursery rhyme; it is a locavore call to arms.”

~ P.D. Robertson, The Globe & Mail

Taste Canada Book Awards Finalist
Taste Canada Book Awards Finalist



Skip to content