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Flavourful Saskatoon, February 24, 2020

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Local Happenings
Sample some great coffees at Venn Coffee Roasters from 1-2 pm, Feb. 29. Email bear@drinkvenn.com to reserve a spot.

The Friendship Inn frequently runs low on breakfast food items, such as brown sugar, jam, peanut butter, and pancake mix, as well as other items, such as frozen vegetables, gravy mixes, and juice boxes. Donations can be dropped off 7 days a week between 7 am and 3 pm.

The U of S and the City of Saskatoon are collaborating on a number of research projects. Rachel Engler-Stringer will work with the City of Saskatoon to find ways to prevent surplus food from food-based businesses from ending up in the landfill by studying and providing information to these businesses on how to donate. The Saskatoon Food Council will coordinate the project.

If you’d like to buy Saskatoon Spruce’s cheese at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market, contact them. They still haven’t decided whether or not they’ll return. In the meantime, you can pick up some of their cheese from The Littl…

Saturday Outing to Carcassonne

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There’s a large market in Carcassonne on Saturdays, filling the central square and trickling out into the side streets. I love going there, but it does require an early start. The region provides subsidized bus service from Quillan to Carcassonne and Perpignan. It only costs a euro (less than $2), but the service is infrequent and anything but direct. I’m up at 6 to feed the cat, eat breakfast, and walk to town to catch the bus at 7:40 am. The bus meanders through all the small communities along the way. It’s slow, but you also see a lot more than if you took the quick route on the highway.


The bus arrives in Carca at 9 am and I head straight to the market. I have lots of time so I wander around looking at everything and taking photographs before deciding what to purchase. There appear to be way more local organic producers this year – not surprising as there’s strong public demand for organic food in France and Europe as a whole.


You can buy raw milk in bulk and there are at least 3…

Flavourful Saskatoon, February 17, 2020

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Local Happenings 
The Saskatoon Heritage Society’s annual luncheon is at 12 pm, Mar. 15, at the Sheraton Cavalier. The guest speaker, Elizabeth A. Scott, curator at the Western Development Museum, will share stories of life in Saskatchewan told through the clothes we wore.

Sparrow Coffee Shop, the sister to City Perks, is starting to be open. Like them on Facebook to find out when you can drop by. I’m looking forward to browsing the book collection later in the spring.

Two Saskatoon coffee shops are on the list of the 50 best coffee shops in Canada – City Perks and Collective Coffee. 33 1/3 Coffee Roasters in Regina also makes the list.

A new company with Saskatoon links aims to replace plastic with natural materials that will quickly decompose in backyard compost. Cogomelo’s “products are made from mycelium-based composites, where we use a substrate – in our case, agricultural waste – that is partially replaced as the fungal biomass grows and consumes it.” Their first product is a li…

Marseille - I'll Be Back!

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I was reluctant to visit Marseille. I’d read too many news items about corrupt politicians and collapsing buildings. However, it was a convenient stopping-off point on my way to Quillan, and I’m really glad I’ve had a chance to get a taste of Marseille. It’s left me wanting to go back.


I chose the Alex Hotel for its location directly opposite St. Charles Station as my train arrived just before midnight and I didn’t want to have far to go. I would stay here again. The room was clean, modern, and comfortable and, when I opened the windows, I had tantalizing glimpses of the church on the hill – Notre-Dame de la Garde – as well as the moon shining down on the tiled rooftops.



I really enjoyed spending time walking around the old port and visiting the museum and old fort on the waterfront. The Museum of Mediterranean and European Civilization (MUCEM) is full of interesting exhibits that are well displayed with opportunities to touch some of the exhibits. There are fantastic views from the …

I am a Traveller and an Immigrant

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“There is no foreign land; it is the traveller only that is foreign.” — Robert Louis Stevenson
I am a traveller. I was only 2 weeks old when my family drove from the big city hospital where I had been born over the dusty back roads of Africa to the agricultural station where Dad was working. I celebrated my first birthday in England after the long journey “home” by boat. I spent 2 ½ years in France when I was going to university, and I’m back again now. I’ve lived and worked in 4 Canadian provinces.

As a first-generation Canadian, I am an immigrant. Oh, it’s easy for me to pass. I have the right colour skin and the right accent, but that doesn’t change the facts. Anti-immigration rhetoric applies to me as well as to more recent immigrants.

I visited an exhibit on travel at the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MUCEM) while I was in Marseille. The exhibit looked at travel from many different angles: as a search for the sun, adventure, exile, refuge, wandering. Two pi…

Flavourful Saskatoon, February 10, 2020

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Local Happenings 
Chef de Partie Catering is hosting a grand opening of its new retail kitchen and tasting room from 4-8 pm, Mar. 7. There will be chef-attended tasting stations, local vendors with samples of their products, and signature zero-proof cocktails.

Chef Jenni put on her first chef’s hat when she was 4 years old and is now executive chef at Wanuskewin Heritage Park. One of her goals is to promote female chefs, “especially Indigenous female chefs, to a place of being able to talk about food and to reinterpret Indigenous food, and to shine.”

There was a 9.7% increase in the amount of barley grown in Saskatchewan in 2018, and over half was malting barley. This is consistent with the Midwest in the United States where farmers are struggling to meet the brewers’ demands.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and that means lots of people will be buying flowers. But commercially grown flowers are hard on workers and the environment. It’s a bit too early in the year to buy loca…

A Vibrant Multinational Neighbourhood in Marseille

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After visiting the organic farmers' market in Cours Julien, I scurried back on the metro, getting off one stop further on to visit another market. The two neighbourhoods and markets were very close together but had a totally different feel.

Marché des Capucins 
Capucins Market heads downhill from the Noailles metro station and is at the heart of a vibrant, multinational neighbourhood. It’s a public market operating 6 days a week. The vendors are reselling fruit and vegetables they purchased elsewhere, and there is no obligation to sell local or organic food. Apparently, it’s a good place to buy African food and spices.


There were a lot of young men hanging around the market, which is renowned for its contraband cigarette sellers. I caught one of them in action. When his quiet offer of cigarettes was accepted, he hurried over to a covered drain, lifted the lid, fetched a packet of cigarettes, and sold them.


I was quickly tempted to wander down the side streets where an unimaginable …