The Field of Crosses { Calgary, Alberta }

The following is an excerpt from a post I made one year ago…

The Field of Crosses

“As my daughter quietly steered our vehicle home along Memorial Drive and the banks of the Bow River, we saw floodlights shining in the distance and the figures of people, photographers took shape and appeared out of the darkness. There on the side of our beautiful tree-lined street was a field filled with thousands of white crosses… The Field of Crosses… so many crosses it took my breath away. We had chanced upon a sacred place.”

Lest we forget…

“Each cross was marked with a name, rank, infantry name and date of death… and we were rendered speechless, humbled in the quiet that ensued and filled with a deep sense of longing, sadness and gratitude that took hold in our hearts.”

“How fortunate we are to live in a country where we can be the director of our own lives and the lives of our children. It wasn’t always so.

Those named on white crosses made the ultimate sacrifice so that generations of people to come could live in freedom.

And now… we get to choose… what to think.. how to live… and who to love…”

One of the joys of cooking is experiencing the undeniable inspiration and indigenous ingredients that can be discovered from bloggers in different countries around the world.

This salad reminds me of the Fields of Poppies..

Vegan Lebanese Couscous with Roasted Tomatoes and Olives
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

*Lebanese Couscous (“Moghrabieh”) can be purchased at the Williams-Sonoma store in Chinook Mall or an international specialty food market.

“Good for the earth and good for you, this wheat used to make this couscous is grown from heirloom seeds that promote agricultural diversity as well as authentic flavor. Grown, milled and rolled in Lebanon, the couscous offers authentic nutty flavor and creamy texture – just right for soups, stews and side dishes.

  • Lebanese couscous is a large, irregular-shaped pearl pasta made from semolina flour.
  • This nutritious grain is exceptionally versatile and flavorful.
  • It pairs well with a variety of flavors, and is ideal in soups and stews, or on its own as a simple side dish.
  • The wheat is sustainably grown on Lebanese farms.
  • These botanical heirlooms are a part of living history, supporting centuries-old plant varieties and preserving the genetic diversity of our food supply.”


Vegan Lebanese Couscous with Roasted Tomatoes and Olives
  • Couscous
  • 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth (original used chicken broth)
  • 2 1/2 cups Lebanese Couscous
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 pounds small red tomatoes on the vine or cherry tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 250° F.
  2. Spread out tomatoes and garlic on a large shallow baking pan or cookie sheet. Roast for about 1 hour, or until tomatoes have roasted. Cool for about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the garlic, peel and put garlic, oil, water, lemon juice, salt, pepper and 1/2 the roasted tomatoes into a food processor or blender and purée until dressing is smooth. (*I did not add the roasted tomatoes).
  4. To make the couscous, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in the couscous and simmer, uncovered for 5-6 minutes then remove from the heat, cover and let it stand for 10 minutes. Pour into a colander and rinse to remove any starch that has accumulated.
  5. Spread couscous onto a large baking sheet, pat dry and cool for 15 minutes.
  6. Pour the couscous into a large serving dish, add the olive oil, olives, parsley, mint and thyme. Stir well to blend. Then add the rest of the roasted tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. *Roasted tomatoes, dressing and couscous can be made a day ahead and kept separately chilled and covered. Bring to room temperature and then assemble to serve.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • Lovely post and beautiful dish.ReplyCancel

  • I call it Israeli Couscous – which is another way of showing that we are all one and the same. Lovely post.ReplyCancel

  • Thank you for your lovely tribute…”The larks, still bravely singing, fly…Scarce heard amid the guns below…”ReplyCancel

  • Have visit quite a few of the war cemeteries in Normandy, France .. far too many of them.
    And still every day men and women die for wars that isn’t even theirs. A beautiful tribute.
    Love the photos – very respectfully.

    I will do you’re couscous this week coming – and add some chicken to it. Will come back with verdict.ReplyCancel

  • This looks lovely! I can’t wait to try this! Your photography is fantastic too.ReplyCancel

  • Lovely heartfelt post my friend. Thank you.


  • Very lovely post. Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Beautiful tribute, touching photos, and a great recipe to tie it all together “a la Smidge” 😉

    I am also fascinated by different ingredients, and methods of cooking – sometimes I fall on foreign blogs and do my best to extract the “essence” using google translate – not easy, but it does give a tiny window to peek into a different world. Still, so many bloggers all over the world blog in English, those who speak the language are very luck! 😉ReplyCancel

  • Beautiful tribute, beautiful photos, lovely recipe. Thank you!

  • We are very fortunate indeed Barb. We had our minute of silence with the girls and paid tribute all who lost their lives all those years ago…. Just love israeli coucous and your salad looks full of flavour. Lovely post.ReplyCancel

  • A beautiful post, Barb, and heartfelt tribute. We owe so much to the generations that fought before us. Imagine the World had they failed.
    This time of year, there aren’t many salads that appeal to me — the veggies just aren’t at their peak anymore. This one, though, is perfect. The flavors are bright and the salad colorful — just what’s needed on these now gray-skied days.ReplyCancel

  • That’s a lovely tribute Smidge and so true! I love that kind of couscous and with the ingredients you’ve put with it, it looks very pretty xxReplyCancel

  • Beautiful post Smidge. You have such a way with words – which is especially difficult when sometimes it seems as though words are not enough, yet you find a way. You have a gift.ReplyCancel

  • Eha

    Am an army brat, born and bred . . .veneration of those who paid the price was ingrained with baby milk . . .beautiful remembrance photos . . . I too am used yo calling this Israeli couscous: we speak of the same – beautiful recipe!ReplyCancel

  • The field of crosses is so moving. Lest we forget.

    The salad you posted is lovely and sounds delicious. ReplyCancel

  • mjskit

    Very nice post. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Such a great reminder and the dish looks so tasty!ReplyCancel

  • Thanks for the lovely tribute Barbara! The veggies at the market have been looking very sad and dismal as they are no longer in season. So this is a great way to have a salad in the winter. Take care, BAMReplyCancel

  • A beautiful tribute Smidge! I have only ever used the small grain couscous – I will definitely be looking out for this big ball variety.
    🙂 MandyReplyCancel

  • There is tiny country cemetery near Godalming in Surrey, England which is filled with Canadian war dead from WWII. I know it because my Godparents are buried there, overlooking the cottage that they lived in. Remembrance Sunday is made even sadder by the continual addition of wounded young men to the procession of old soldiers remembering wars which have taught us nothing.ReplyCancel

  • Very moving words. There is something about seeing fields filled white crosses (I have seen them in France) that really, really gives pause for thought and reflection. xxReplyCancel

  • Wonderful and meaningful post dear Barbara, I am impressed so much. And your recipe and photographs are amazing too. Thank you, love, niaReplyCancel

  • I just love the texture of the large pearl couscous. Such a fresh and lovely recipe.
    The photo of the crosses is humbling; we are indeed very fortunate to live in such a generous and wonderful country.ReplyCancel

  • Lovely post Smidge.
    In the past have tried and failed to locate giant couscous, but I imagine plain cous cous or orzo pasta would work well with this recipe also.ReplyCancel

    • When googling to get a better handle on this Couscous, it was referred to as a pasta. I think the orzo would be amazing and would have the right “weight” to support the tomatoes and olives:)xxReplyCancel

  • gastrogardener

    A lovely post, and remembrence. The salad is attractive as well. I love salads like these in the warmer weather.ReplyCancel

  • What a lovely colorful salad!ReplyCancel

  • Beautiful post Smidge.ReplyCancel

  • One of the reason I love all the bloggers is that they’re so willing to share things from their world. I’m SO grateful for that. It’s a great way to travel when, well, you can’t travel. I’m so excited about this recipe – one, because I’m desperate for some new things to have for lunch, two because it’s couscous and I’ve never tried it (shameful) and three, because of its ethnicity. I just love trying new things from new places! Thanks, Smidge 🙂

    What a beautiful post my dear.ReplyCancel

  • That field of crosses is gorgeous. What a place to stumble upon. Your photographs capture it perfectly. And this recipe? Oh had me at cous cous. YUM!ReplyCancel

  • A very touching and poignant post. xxReplyCancel

  • Wonderful tribute post.ReplyCancel

  • Smidge, you touched me deeply with this one. And your field of poppies couldn’t be more perfect I think. Nothing but goodness. So grateful for you I am. xxReplyCancel

  • What beautiful and symbolic colors. The tomatoes do remind me of the red poppies people wear on Veteran’s Day. It’s mind boggling to see a peaceful field(s) of flowers and imagine the horrors that took place there. Here’s to the veterans of our countries!ReplyCancel

  • acanadianfoodie

    Does this every look absolutely delicious! What a compelling read! Good luck with the Canadian Blogger contest!!

  • I think I would just dissolve in tears if I came upon the field of crosses! How do we ever comprehend the sacrifice of so many. Thank you so much for sharing this. And the couscous recipe is particularly nice, too. I do love couscous and could use a good recipe! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • a humble dish for a humble postReplyCancel

  • I want to dig my spoon into the screen! It looks scrumptious 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Such a colorful dish, it just brightened our rainy, dreary morning. Never worked with Lebanese Couscous, need to get some, I could have a bowl of the salad right now.ReplyCancel

  • This couscous salad looks so tasty! I love couscous (all forms of it!) and all the fresh herbs in this salad sound so delicious with it, especially with the light lemon dressing 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Wow, that is beautiful. I have seen similar fields near D.C and Virginia but never that close.ReplyCancel

  • This is such a beautiful post with a beautiful dish to tie it all together =)ReplyCancel

  • Beautiful post and I’ve got all the ingredients in my pantry, including moghrabieh so I’m making this today. It’s perfect.ReplyCancel

  • helene dsouza

    Indeed a breathtaking view, shocking in the same time…
    It seems like ages ago, but then the last war is still in the air some parts of the world.

    The couscous in Lebanon is so huge, like the one from Israel. I have never cooked or indulged in this type, we are used to the small Moroccan type.

    I agree, we can estimate ourselves lucky to live in a almost peaceful century, in a world where we can share and communicate with each other, nearly without borders.ReplyCancel

  • A beautiful post Barbara. Let’s not forget 🙂ReplyCancel

  • What a beautiful, vibrant and healthful dish Barb. What a striking and sad photo. Thank you for helping us to remember and find grace and humility when thinking of our fallen soldiers.ReplyCancel

  • I haven’t come across this kind of couscous before, I’ll have to keep an eye out for it
    And a lovely set of photos and gentle words, a good reminder to us all SmidgeReplyCancel

  • touching. and regarding the food… this looks so delicious and healthy! I love Libanese cooking and this dish sounds just made for my tastebuds. thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Thats a nice salad, I need to buy those type couscous. Looks so delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Seriously I need to eat everything on your site.

  • As a historian I never forget….wonderful post.ReplyCancel

  • Barbara, this is a beautiful tribute!! Very moving.

    Your couscous looks delicious. I love the recipe!!ReplyCancel

  • Beautiful, beautiful post. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • […] About 8 weeks ago Barbara@ justasmidgen posted this fantastic recipe – on Remembrance Day, 11-11, “Vegan Lebanese Couscous with Roasted Tomatoes and Olives” […]ReplyCancel

  • That is a very tasty couscous recipe!!!ReplyCancel

  • […] about 3 hours out in ambient temperature. For the couscous I decide to got back to Barbara’s – Lebanese Couscous (borrowed) – that I really like, but didn’t have all the […]ReplyCancel

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