Susan Van Slooten: Bread-Baking Instructor and Sustainable Food
Name: Susan (Sue) Van Slooten
Resides in: Lombardy, ON, Canada. It’s near Rideau Ferry. Where’s that? Directly on the Rideau Canal system, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Occupation: Bread-baking instructor, editor, student, artist. Teaches sweet and savoury yeast breads, sourdough, batter breads. To meet this end, she started Bread! last fall, a small business with big hopes. Motto: Bread! It’s great food!
How to find her: Go to Sue’s website, where you can see the Bread! website and listen to the podcasts on bread. You can also follow her on MOTHER EARTH NEWS through her blog, Homemade Bread and Cooking Skills.
Interests and Fun Facts: All issues surrounding food, sustainability, being green, animals, knitting, painting, Celtic music. Issues that are particularly interesting concern food and its sustainability, food justice and security, reclaiming lost food skills and teaching kids to cook, such as baking bread baking scratch. Sue believes that cast iron cooking implements deserve more popularity. The growing, sustaining, procuring, cooking and preparing, not to mention the consuming, of food is of prime enjoyment. She is also the editor for “Driftwords,” a newsletter for the Big Rideau Lake Association. (not food-related, Sue would love to get another horse.)
Personal Background: Born and raised in northern Connecticut, then later married and moved to New Jersey for a number of years. Yes, New Jersey had great growing soil, especially for tomatoes. While living in NJ, she obtained a BA in Anthropology, minor in Archaeology from Drew University, then a few years later, an AA from County College of Morris in Music, majoring in Voice, minoring in Flute. Sue moved to Canada 15 years ago, following north the high tech market that was alive at that time. When that crashed, she opened and ran a Bed & Breakfast for six years. She is now enrolled in the fifth course of a six-course certificate program, Sustainable Food for Canadians, through St. Lawrence College.
Sue and her husband Bob, and son Devin, live lakeside on Big Rideau Lake with their dog Hartlin, a gecko named Saphira, a lovebird unceremoniously named Mr. Bird, and a few (large) fish. Devin is a fine cook in his own right, after being plunked into the kitchen at 10, under the belief that every boy (and girl) should know how to cook. Sue responds to the word “chocolate” in the mistaken belief that’s her name.