Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wild Serendipity Cooking Class

I went to my first-ever cooking class two weeks ago, and I had a blast. Michelle Zimmer (here's my profile) of Wild Serendipity Foods has been offering cooking classes for the past five years. One of her most popular classes is Holiday Appetizers, and this is the one that I was fortunate enough to attend.

There were nine of us in the group. Some people came alone; some were couples; others were friends. And the age range covered the gamut. There were nine recipes, and I wondered how we would ever make them all in one evening, but it wasn’t a problem. Groups of two or three each took on one or two recipes. I worked on the Mushroom & Artichoke Phyllo Triangles, which were fiddly, so we were only responsible for the one recipe.

I was pleasantly surprised by the calm, laid-back atmosphere. People helped each other out, and no one told me I was chopping too slowly. Michelle always seemed to know when someone needed help or was looking for something, so it all flowed extremely smoothly.

Participants had a chance to learn new skills (making puff pastry, working with phyllo) and new recipes. And we feasted on the assortment of tasty treats at the end of the evening.

I highly recommend taking a cooking class. Wild Serendipity Foods will be offering more classes starting in March. And Simon Reynolds (here's my profile) of Simon’s Fine Foods offers a huge assortment of cooking classes.

Go alone or go with a group. You’ll have fun and learn something new. And take some containers as you’ll be sure to go home with leftovers.

Pepita Dip with Rosemary Flatbread

Shrimp & Bacon Puffs with Two Dipping Sauces

Spinach Balls with Mango Yoghurt Dipping Sauce

Mushroom & Artichoke Phyllo Triangles

Cranberry Jalapeno Cheesecake

Click on the slideshow below for more photographs.

Wild Serendipity Cooking Class

Monday, November 28, 2011

Flavourful Saskatoon, November 28, 2011

Foodie news and events in and around Saskatoon – cupcakes, craft fairs, chocolate bread, and Christmas cookies

Crave Cookies and Cupcakes, December 1
Crave Cookies and Cupcakes will be opening on Broadway Avenue on December 1. If you're not familiar with this Alberta company, here's my interview with one of the owners.

Salayview Farm Goat Cheese, December 1
Email salayviewfarm@yahoo.ca if you live in Saskatoon and would like to try Saskatchewan goat cheese from a small farm south of Regina. There are 3 flavours – plain, chives, and herbes de Provence. You can purchase 100 grams for $5.00.

They’ll be delivering the cheese to Saskatoon on December 1; email me for location.

Sun Dog Handcraft Faire, December 2-4
You’ll find some of your favourite food producers at Sundog this year. The Prairie Pie Wagon will be serving up Mary’s amazing fruit pies in the Food Court, while Fruition Orchards, Over the Hill Orchards, Prairie Sun Orchard, and Riverbend Plantation are among the many wonderful vendors in the Specialty Food section.

Two by Dahlsjo, Prince Albert, December 7
If you’re in Prince Albert, don’t miss the opportunity to drop by Two by Dahlsjo on Wednesday, December 7, between 11 am and 3 pm. Enjoy house-made apple cider and hot chocolate while checking out the holiday baking.

If you’re not familiar with Two by Dahlsjo, check out the article I wrote last winter and the more recent article in The StarPhoenix by Jenn Sharpe.

Earth Bound Bakery
On Saturdays during December, Trent Loewen, Earth Bound’s baker, is probably/maybe/possibly (creative genius doesn’t like to be bound by rules!) going to be making double chocolate bread with cranberries. I purchased a loaf this weekend, and it’s yummy – dark chocolate flavour with a touch of fruit and sweetness.

Trent also plans to make butter tarts during the holiday season. If you haven’t visited Earth Bound Bakery yet, go immediately! Wonderful organic bread products from local ingredients.

Winston’s English Pub & Grill
Winston’s English Pub & Grill has a new website. You can keep track of beer, food specials and events by signing up for their newsletter. And devoted beer drinkers will want to join Winston’s Royalty Beer Club, which is promising the latest updates, sneak peeks and VIP deals.

Baking in Saskatoon
It’s always good to discover a new Saskatoon food blog. Baking in Saskatoon is currently featuring European Christmas cookie recipes, such as Vanillekipferl. Be forewarned! You’ll need a meat grinder to make Mama’s Christmas cookies. Andrea MacLeod, the blog author, is from Germany.

Taste: Seasonal Dishes from a Prairie Table
CJ Katz, the host of Wheatland Café, a weekly television cooking show (Wednesdays at 12:15 on CTV), will be launching her first book in May 2012. Taste: Seasonal Dishes from a Prairie Table is entirely devoted to Saskatchewan and Prairie ingredients. It is being published by the Canadian Plains Research Centre.

Agricultural Innovation Program
The Agricultural Innovation Program is offering grants to facilitate the commercialization and adoption of innovative products, technologies, processes and/or services that will enhance the Canadian agriculture, agri-food products sector. There are two streams – knowledge creation and transfer and commercialization.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. Email me (penny@axonsoft.com) if you have products, events or places that you would like me to include.

See also:
Flavourful Saskatoon November 21, 2011
Choo-It: Craig's High-Octane Oatmeal

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Choo-It: Craig's High Octane Oatmeal

Sally Campbell was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, and her sons, Craig and Trent, moved home in order to spend time with their mother and to help out. Craig took charge of shopping for groceries and cooking. His mother’s illness motivated him to seek out healthy, natural foods and he developed a cereal mix which has come to be known as Choo-It.

The cereal mix was developed for Sally Campbell and her family to eat, but Craig handed out samples to friends and acquaintances. The response was immediate: “We like it, and we want more!”

Craig decided to start selling Choo-It, and Trent began helping out with packaging and distribution. This was definitely a small, home-based business – the containers were originally purchased individually at Walmart. The brothers picked up their first two retailers early in 2010 and an additional 20 retailers in the next three months.

Trent had been working as a millwright, but at that point he was between jobs. He responded to Choo-It’s success by turning his attention to making and marketing the cereal on a full-time basis.

Hi-Octane Oatmeal
Choo-It stands for Craig’s High Octane Oatmeal, a very accurate name for a cereal that is designed to provide a good, hearty flavour and long-lasting energy.

There are over 20 ingredients in Choo-It, and all of them have been chosen for their nutritional value. Sunflower seeds contain Vitamins B1 and E. Flax and pumpkin seeds are good sources of Omega-3. Buckwheat is high in protein and fiber, while blueberries and cranberries are rich in Vitamin C. And the list goes on and on. Check out the ingredient list for a full explanation of why each ingredient has been included.

Most of the ingredients are Canadian: the grains, sunflower seeds and berries.

Wheat-Free / Gluten-Free
Choo-It has recently introduced a wheat-free version of Choo-It, which will transition to a gluten-free version in approximately six months.

I recommend trying both versions of Choo-It as they are quite different, although both are designed to be healthy, flavourful and full of energy. The wheat-free version contains chia seeds, a Mayan super food that slows down the digestion, as well as hemp hearts for added protein and healthy oils.

Value for your Money
A super-large container of Choo-It costs $35 while the 400 gram pouches cost $12. At first glance, that seems a bit expensive for a breakfast cereal. But then I started thinking about how much it would cost if I purchased all those ingredients individually – that’s a lot of money.

“A serving from the large container costs less than $1,” Trent says. “One serving for women and two servings for men will sustain your energy for up to 4 hours. Runners have been loving Choo-It for this reason: it's keeping them full, without the bloating and heavyness.”

The more I study food and nutrition, the more I come to realize that the best way to ensure a healthy diet is to eat a wide variety of unprocessed foods. Choo-It takes all the work out of preparing a healthy breakfast with a spectrum of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. You get value for your money.

Baby Steps
After developing the Choo-It recipe, Craig Campbell moved on to other activities and Trent Campbell is now running the show – from purchasing the ingredients, to mixing them, packaging them and delivering them to retailers.

Trent purchased a mixer (resembles a small cement mixer) three months ago to mix up the ingredients in the original Choo-It, but he’s still using a hand-held mixer with the wheat-free version. “We’re taking baby steps,” Trent explains. “As we grow, I add more equipment.”

Choo-It’s warehouse is located in the same building as Caffe Sola. The wheat-free/soon-to-be gluten-free version is made in a separate, dedicated facility. Choo-It recycles or reuses all the cardboard and other packaging used in the warehouse. The cereal containers can be recycled although Trent recommends using the big tub to store children’s crayons or kitchen supplies.

Choo-It is now available from 80 smaller retailers (e.g. health food stores). The majority are located in Saskatchewan, but Trent is also shipping Choo-It to Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.

Choo-It grew out of a son’s love for his mother, and the company donates $1 to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation for every large container sold.

Every package continues to receive Trent’s individual, hands-on attention. If you are like me and prefer to buy food that is locally-grown or produced, be sure to try Choo-It. You’ll be eating tasty, nutritious food – and supporting the local economy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Flavourful Saskatoon, November 21, 2011

Foodie news and events in and around Saskatoon – Will it be wine or whiskey, a restaurant apprenticeship, goat cheese, or Christmas shopping?

The Better Bread Box
Looking for unique Christmas gift ideas? Why not purchase a Better Bread Box gift card ($20) at Three Sisters/Nestor’s Bakery?

Your recipient will be delighted to receive a selection of fresh baking, and you’ll be supporting local youth development.

The Rook & Raven
Starting November 22, Tuesday nights are Wine and Cheese Nights at The Rook & Raven. Purchase a bottle of wine and you’ll receive a complimentary cheese platter. And, if you don’t drink all the wine, they’ll recork the bottle so that you can take it home with you.

Whiskey Flight Night starts on Thursday, November 24; sample three premium whiskeys for $20.00. The selection of whiskeys will be posted on The Rook & Raven’s Facebook page.

Salayview Farm Goat Cheese
Don’t forget to contact Salayview Farm if you live in Saskatoon and would like to try their goat cheese. They’ll be delivering cheese to Saskatoon on December 1.

Four Kitchens
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Four Kitchens: My Life Behind the Burner in New York, Hanoi, Tel Aviv, and Paris by Lauren Shockey. The author describes working in a molecular gastronomy restaurant, sampling street food in Hanoi, and spending hours extracting crab meat in Paris.

You catch a glimpse of the disconnect between becoming a chef because you love cooking and feeding others and the sheer drudgery of preparing food in a high-end kitchen.

There are lots of recipes for those of you who like to experiment.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. Email me (penny@axonsoft.com) if you have products, events or places that you would like me to include.

See also:
Flavourful Saskatoon November 14, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Opening Day at The Hollows

Saskatoon has a new restaurant – The Hollows on the corner of Avenue C and 19th Street. One more great reason to visit Riversdale neighbourhood.

I was really looking forward to eating at The Hollows as their website emphasizes that they serve local, seasonal food that is made from scratch. They also have quite a few vegetarian options – thank you!

The chefs are Kristie Peters and Kyle Michael. They’ve been cooking in Vancouver, San Francisco, Amsterdam and Spain and are bringing what they’ve learned to Saskatoon.

I had rice and beans for lunch, one of the standard dishes on The Hollows’ weekend brunch menu. Rice and beans could sound boring; it was anything but.

Everything was made from scratch – from the refried beans to the guacamole and crème fraîche (from organic cream). The rice and beans were topped with two perfectly-cooked eggs; sweet, ripe tomatoes (from Floating Gardens); and a sprinkle of cheese.

I overheard another customer commenting that the buttercup squash soup (with cheddar, pink lady apple and rosemary oil) was the best soup she’d ever eaten.

I was far too full to eat anything more at the time, so I took one of their lemon tarts home with me. The filling was tart and fruity, and it was topped with a generous portion of whipped cream decorated with tiny lemon thyme leaves.

The Hollows is located in the old Golden Dragon restaurant, and they have retained a fair bit of the original décor.

The restaurant is open for brunch from 11 am to 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays as well as dinner until late. They open from 11:30 am till late on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The restaurant has opened with a short menu but will be expanding to the full menu very shortly. The full dinner menu includes a number of small plates (quinoa and squash rings, poutine with truffle mayo, beet salad, soup) as well as large plates (kale-squash gnocchi, ravioli with pork, steelhead trout and short ribs).

There will eventually be a selection of desserts as well (butterscotch pot de crème, poached pear, lemon tart, chocolate pumpkin cake).

The full brunch menu will include breakfast poutine, quinoa oatmeal, rice and beans, flax seabuckthorn pancakes and benny with steelhead trout.

I am looking forward to talking to Christie and Kyle in more detail about their plans for the restaurant. In the meantime, do go and enjoy a meal at The Hollows. You won’t regret it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Flavourful Saskatoon, November 14, 2011

Foodie news and events in and around Saskatoon – coming soon – Salayview Farm goat cheese, The Hollows restaurant, JS Bach on harpsichord, flute and strings

National Food Freedom Rally, November 23
As part of a nation-wide movement, there will be food freedom rallies in Saskatoon and Regina at 12 noon on November 23. The events are tentatively scheduled for the front of Saskatoon City Hall and the Saskatchewan Legislature. It is currently illegal to sell raw milk; many people disagree and want the right to choose the food they eat.

Customer Appreciation, Cava Wines, November 24
Cava Wines & Spirits is holding a Customer Appreciation Night on Thursday, November 24 from 5 to 10 pm. Come and enjoy wine tasting, appetizers and promotions.

Salayview Farm Goat Cheese, December 1
Don’t miss the opportunity to purchase locally-made goat cheese from Salayview Farm. Salayview Farm is a small goat cheese producer located south of Regina. They make three kinds of soft, unaged chèvre: Plain, Chive, and Herbes de Provence.

The cheese is not yet available on a regular basis in Saskatoon, but they will be making a trip to Saskatoon on December 1 and will be delivering cheese to a pick-up location.

If you live in Saskatoon and would like to purchase some of their cheese on December 1, contact me or email Salayview Farm with your order. I’ll keep you posted as to the pick-up location and time.

The Hollows Restaurant
The Hollows restaurant will be opening shortly in the Golden Dragon building in Riversdale neighbourhood. The two young chefs plan to serve contemporary food focused on natural and seasonal products.

Their food will be made with the best ingredients they can find in our area: cultivated plants grown from heirloom seeds, wild-harvested leaves and mushrooms, flowers, sap and roots, local fish, sustainably raised, pastured meat, poultry and eggs from small farmers.

You can like their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter (@thehollowsltd).

The Musical Offering: JS Bach, November 20
Don’t miss the opportunity to hear the music of J.S. Bach on November 20 at 2:30 pm at Christ Church Anglican (28th Street W at Avenue E).

The musicians are Ross Carstairs, flute; Scott McKnight, cello; Renée de Moissac, harpsichord; and Joan Savage, violin.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. Email me (penny@axonsoft.com) if you have products, events or places that you would like me to include.

Photos: Medina Azahara (near Cordoba, Spain)

See also:
Flavourful Saskatoon November 7, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bob Hinitt, Community Artist

I was saddened to learn that Bob Hinitt passed away on Saturday, November 12, but as I reflected on his life, I realized that he had left me, and many others who knew him, with some valuable gifts.

French, a living language
Bob was my French teacher at Aden Bowman Collegiate for four years. Memorizing and singing French songs were a central feature of the classes, and I realize now how important that was. Singing taught me the rhythm of the French language and helped me to realize that it was a living language, not just a classroom exercise.

As a university student, I worked and studied in France for two and a half years, and I’m sure that Bob’s French classes were part of my motivation. I certainly remember singing some of the songs he taught us as I tried to help my young charges to fall asleep.

Express your creativity
Bob was a genius at turning sheets of cardboard into elaborate stage sets. And he didn’t believe in half measures. Cardboard was twisted and turned into three-dimensional buildings. The school auditorium was transformed for high school graduation with European architecture and landmarks that went from floor to ceiling on all four sides of the auditorium.

I can still remember my mother cursing as she sewed an elaborate, extremely authentic Beefeater costume so that I could serve at the graduation banquet.

Share with your community
Christmas wasn’t complete until we visited Bob Hinitt’s house to view the elaborate display set up on his lawn. There were giant cartoon characters, carousels and dancing animals, music and so much more. It was an amazing sight and different every year. The money raised went to UNICEF.

Bob was ahead of his time as he didn’t own a car, and he cycled everywhere.

Bob’s art never hung in an art gallery, but it was a significant contribution to our community. A few years ago, I wrote an article comparing Bob to another Saskatonian who created art through his shop window displays. I reprint it here in honour of Bob and of his predecessor. Thank you, Bob. We’ll miss you.

Thanksgiving window display stops traffic
For many, many Saskatonians, Christmas would not be complete without visiting Bob Hinitt’s Christmas lawn exhibit at his home on Wiggins Avenue. (Mr. Hinitt is a former teacher and theatre director who has been building an elaborate display with buildings, moving pieces and figurines each Christmas for many, many years.) Harold Parr, who lived in Saskatoon from 1913 to 1970, had a similar gift for creating eye-catching displays. In fact, his Thanksgiving display stopped traffic on 2nd Avenue.

Harold Parr created window displays for stores in downtown Saskatoon. His 1913 Thanksgiving display for the front window of Fawcett’s Hardware started out quite simply. He recreated a dining room scene with wallpaper, carpet, fireplace and a heavily-loaded dining room table. But then a young employee of Fawcett’s dared Parr to eat his Thanksgiving dinner in the window. And Parr accepted the bet.

The idea snowballed. Eventually, Parr and five acquaintances would dine in the window dressed in tuxedos loaned by Dunn’s clothing store. Mr. Abell of Abell’s Dairy Lunch Restaurant on 21st Street cooked an elaborate meal which included oysters, halibut, prime rib, turkey and three choices of dessert, and it was served by a waiter from his restaurant. The meal concluded at 10:45 pm with coffee and cigars and Harold Parr declared that it was the best Thanksgiving dinner he had ever had.

The public thoroughly enjoyed the display as well. So many people came to watch the group eating dinner that the sidewalk was impassable, despite the best efforts of two policemen to try and maintain a clear passageway for pedestrians. Traffic on 2nd Avenue almost came to a standstill.

Harold Parr believed that eye-catching window displays were cheap advertising. There was no need to purchase a newspaper ad if the newspaper was already knocking on your door to find out more about the current display. “Whenever I plan a window I strive to put in something original, something the people have not seen before, and it sure does catch them. Every week the question is asked: ‘What has Fawcett got in his window?’” wrote Parr in an article about his advertising techniques.

Parr’s displays certainly were remarkable. A display of bathroom fixtures included a bathtub with a running shower. Two playful young bear cubs were the centre of attention in another display. Baseball fans kept track of the score and the players’ positions in a championship game in Moose Jaw by watching the display in the window of Fawcett’s Hardware.

We don’t ordinarily consider window displays as art. And yet, Parr’s window displays, just like Bob Hinitt’s Christmas displays, were exceptional for their creativity and impeccable attention to detail. Parr created works of art with mundane objects in a very ordinary setting. And they were unforgettable.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Food Shopping on Broadway

I rarely shop at supermarkets any more. I prefer to shop at small stores where I can support local owners and find all sorts of unexpected food pleasures.

One of my favourite streets for shopping is Broadway Avenue. Not only are there lots of great restaurants, there are also some great places to buy food to take home. Here are just a few of my favourites.

Steep Hill Food Co-op
Steep Hill Food Co-op isn’t a big store, but they offer everything from organic, fair trade chocolate bars to veggie sausages and pâté, and a large selection of ready-made Indian dinners.

Take the time to look around because there are always some surprises – like Tyrrell’s English Crips in all sorts of unusual flavours (Worcestershire sauce and sun-dried tomato).

Bulk Cheese Warehouse
Bulk Cheese Warehouse is one of my favourite stores because I love cheese. Cathy Engel, one of the store’s managers, pointed out some of their newer products, such as a wide selection of Greek cheeses and house-smoked Canadian Mapledale cheddar. All the goat and sheep cheeses are on one shelf to make it easier for people with allergies to find them.

The deli section has been expanded, and they sell Mario’s gelati from British Columbia (spumoni, mango, green tea, cappuccino cookie, coconut). There is also locally-made fudge and chocolate bark with peppermint and almond-cranberry flavours for the holiday season.

Herbs ‘N’ Health Foodport
Herbs ‘n’ Health has lots of vitamins and health products, but they also have a large selection of natural beauty products (shampoo, facial cleansers) and food. There are lots of different grains and beans as well as canned soups and sauces.

I was excited to find a bag of dried chestnuts as they’re a great addition to a winter stew. They also had kits and seeds for growing your own sprouts.

Il Secondo
My impulse purchase at Il Secondo was a Saskatoon berry Danish, but I was also pleased to learn that they offer daily soup, salad and sandwich combos – and the soup is always vegetarian!

There was housemade organic whole grain granola, veggie rolls and spelt pies, onion and cracked pepper cream cheese spread, and sundried tomato tapenade in the cooler.

My last stop on Broadway is always Calories so that I can pick up a decadent dessert. The chocolate hazelnut cheesecake is my standard, but it can be hard to resist the other cakes, cheesecakes and squares. You can also take home a loaf of wild rice bread, and there are candies, scones and other treats as well.

Mini Holiday
Don’t forget to stop in at Las Palapas Mercado for a dose of tropical sunshine.

And, if you’re exhausted after all your shopping, sit down, relax and sip a glass of wine at Calories, Duck Duck Goose, or Weczeria’s. Enjoy!

See also:
Sushiro and Duck Duck Goose
Weczeria Reopens
Bulk Cheese Warehouse
Il Secondo
Las Palapas Mercado

Monday, November 7, 2011

Flavourful Saskatoon, November 7, 2011

Foodie news and events in and around Saskatoon – fresh veggies, freezer jam, Last Mountain vodka, crackers and metal

Fresh Veggies, Wednesdays, Saskatoon Farmers’ Market
I had an email this week from Jennifer and Adi at Kaleidoscope Vegetable Gardens asking me to encourage readers to visit the Wednesday Saskatoon Farmers’ Market and pick up some fresh produce.

Grandora Gardens offers peppers, cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes. Wally’s Market Garden has arugula, carrots and potatoes. Floating Gardens has everything from strawberries and melons to fresh basil and eggplants, while Kaleidoscope Vegetable Gardens has spinach, kale, bok choy, tatsoi, and mâche.

Kaleidoscope Vegetable Gardens is a first-time Market vendor, and they are only at the Market on Wednesdays. They minimize the use of fossil fuels in their sub-acre urban market garden by using tunnels, row covers and other passive, natural methods of season extension.

I had never heard of tatsoi so I asked for more information. Jennifer and Adi tell me that it is a cold-hardy variant of bok choy. It has a much stronger mustard flavour than regular bok choy, and it maintains its texture better in stir fries. It's also more insect-resistant than bok choy.

Kaleidoscope Gardens’ tatsoi is field grown and won't last beyond mid-November, but Floating Gardens will have some greenhouse-grown tatsoi later in the winter. Seed is available from Johnny's Selected Seeds (photo credit).

Freezer Jam Workshop, November 10
Core Neighbourhood Youth Coop (CNYC) is hosting a short interactive tutorial on creating freezer jam on Thursday, November 10 from 7-8:30 pm at CNYC, 905 20th Street East. Register by November 9 via Facebook or by calling 665-3889. (via Transition Saskatoon - thanks!)

Souleio, Holiday Open House, November 17
Souleio is holding an open house on Thursday, November 17 from 2-5 pm with complimentary canapés, egg nog, cider or bubbly for you to enjoy while shopping for holiday candies and gifts.

Last Mountain Distillery
Last Mountain Distillery in Lumsden is Saskatchewan’s first micro distillery. Their vodka is triple distilled in small batches and then filtered. They have plans to start producing rum and whiskey.

The vodka is available in Saskatoon at the Fox and Hounds Brew Pub, Maguire’s Irish Pub and Brewery, and 6Twelve (coming soon).

Check out this short video on Global Regina.

Paddock Wood Brewery
Winter ale is now available at Paddock Wood Brewery.

For the last couple of years, my favourite cracker has been Sesmark's Savory Rice Thins – thin and crispy with a distinctive flavour that doesn’t compete with the cheese toppings.

I may have found another favourite cracker – 34° Crispbread. The crackers are wafer thin and beautifully shaped (see photo).

Both sorts of crackers are available at the Bulk Cheese Warehouse on Broadway Avenue.

Two Shows, Two Days, Two Locations
Don’t miss the metal, ceramic, print handicraft exhibits on Friday, November 11 from 1-9 pm and on Saturday, November 12 from 10 am – 5 pm.

The 330 Design Group Fall Open House (330 Avenue G South) features the work of metal artists Craig Campbell, Glen Grismer, James S. Korpan and Daryl Richardson, ceramic artists Paula Cooley and Ken Wilkinson, and print maker Paul Daniel Siemens.

Hot Stuff (233 Avenue C South) is an exhibit of works in metal and clay by the Sisters of Fire, Nancy Bellegarde, Jacqueline Hunks, Shelley Kaszefski, Jasmine Orr, Vivian Orr, and ceramic artists Teresa Gagne and John Elder. (via Vivian - thanks!)

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. Email me (penny@axonsoft.com) if you have products, events or places that you would like me to include.

See also:
Flavourful Saskatoon October 31, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Las Palapas Mercado

It’s November. The days are shorter, and the world feels a little grey. But all that changes when I step inside Las Palapas Mercado on Broadway Avenue. All of a sudden, I’m surrounded by colour, warmth and energy.

Las Palapas Mercado is a new initiative from the owners of Las Palapas Resort Grill on Victoria Avenue. The front section of the store is a magical emporium filled with intriguing wall art, handblown glassware, vivid pottery and amusing statues.

Tables made from reclaimed wood have character and weight. There are traditional tortilla presses and Mexican cookware amidst the wealth of colour, shape and feel.

The grocery section is at the rear of the store. You’re invited to touch and smell the Mexican oregano and the hibiscus blossoms, and heat lovers will appreciate the wide variety of dried chili peppers and hot sauces. There’s Mexican cinnamon, epazote and ground annatto seeds as well as enormous cans of hominy corn, crushed tomatillos and green tomatoes.

There are jars of nopalitos (pickled tender cactus), chilpotle pepper in adobo sauce, cuitlacoche (corn truffle), horchata and Abuelita chocolate mixes, and everything you need to make your own tamales.

The large cooler is full of ready-made meals from Las Palapas restaurant. I enjoyed enchiladas frijoles y maiz, but there are also chickpea burritos, tamales, coconut shrimp, carnes and salsas . There are four different kinds of queso fresco. The corn tortillas are fresh daily, and there’s a wide selection of Mexican soft drinks from Coca Cola made with cane sugar to sidral (carbonated apple juice) and virgin sangria.

The candy section will delight your inner child with peanut butter marzipan, guava and tamarind jellies, plastic tubes that grow candy hair, coconut roll-ups and all sorts of other unexpected goodies. At least, they are unexpected to most North Americans, but latino eyes light up with delight to see some of their childhood favourites now available in Saskatoon.

Jaimie, the store’s manager, tells me that they are planning to extend the grocery section and are happy to take requests from the latino community.

Visit Las Palapas Mercado. It’s sure to add a ray of sunshine to your day.