Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Abkhazi Garden in Springtime

Prince and Princess Abkhazi married and settled in Victoria, BC, in 1946. They immediately set about developing their one-acre property and continued to work on it for the next 40 years.

Abkhazi Garden is now maintained by The Land Conservancy of BC, and it’s enchanting.

The paths meander past ponds and around large boulders.

You can climb up to the Teahouse or sit and relax on a bench.

My sister treated me to tea on Easter Sunday. We had Elevenses, a smaller version of the full Afternoon Tea.

There is an amazing variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees and the spring blossoms were an absolute delight.

See also: Abkhazi Garden in the Summer


Monday, March 28, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, March 28, 2016

Brunch at Be Love vegan restaurant

Firkin Friday for Meewasin, Apr. 1 
They’ll be tapping a keg of Meewasin 80 beer from Prairie Sun Brewery at Fionn MacCool’s on Apr. 1. One dollar from every pint will be donated to Meewasin Valley Authority.

Spring Fling, Apr. 17 (Moose Jaw)
Sarah Galvin, Swift Current, will be selling her baked goods in Moose Jaw for the first time at the Spring Fling trade show. You can find out more about Sarah and her food by following her Facebook page, FoodCraft by Sarah.

Café Noir / Karma 
Café Noir on 2nd Avenue is rebranding itself as The Karma – Conscious Café and Eatery. Roshni and Vivek are trained baristas. They plan to serve vegetarian/vegan food, fair trade coffee, and will donate 3% of the Café’s earnings to local charities.

Lunch at Ottavio's Italian Bakery & Delicatessen

Local & Fresh (Regina) 
Local & Fresh delivers local products to your Regina home or workplace. You can select from over 1,000 products.

Calgary's Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants
Avenue Calgary magazine has compiled a list of 14 restaurants that offer a completely or partially vegetarian menu. There’s pizza, bar food, Asian fusion, Indian, Thai, and burgers.

Package-Free Shopping in Vancouver
A package-free grocery store is coming to Vancouver later this year. They’ll offer dried goods (nuts, seeds, grains) in bulk as well as fruit and vegetables and hope to expand to include a wider range of products, such as soap. Customers will be expected to bring their own containers.

Pizza in Rome 
A pizza crawl of Rome includes 12 very different pizzas, many of which are unfamiliar and not available in Saskatoon.

“I asked for two slices of bianca and the clerk held up a two-foot-long piece of pizza and rested his knife a few inches from one end. I approved the portion and he cut us a long strip of the sea salt-seasoned pizza, then halved it. Like most pizza bianca, Roscioli’s is thicker than pizza rossa; the flatbread does double duty as a snack eaten on the fly and as sandwich bread”

Overdosing on Protein
It bothers me when I see restaurants posting photos of foot-high burgers with bacon and two meat patties or recipes for lentil and meat dishes. North Americans are not only overweight, but research shows we’re consuming twice as much protein as we really need. If we care about our health and our environment, it’s time to cut back.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post regular profiles of culinary entrepreneurs, new restaurants and new food products. 

You can follow Wanderlust and Words on Facebook, Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Monday, March 21, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, March 21, 2016

Fruit Wine Fermentation Seminar, Apr. 27
The Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre is offering a day-long Fruit Wine Fermentation Seminar on Apr. 27.

Edible Perennial Tour & Foraging Workshop, Apr. 30 
If you live in or near Regina, Edible Landscapes is offering a tour of a permaculture garden’s edible perennials and a foraging workshop in a south Saskatchewan valley to identify edible and medicinal plants on Apr. 30.

Lisa Clark, Saskatoon Food Activist 
Lisa Clark is a researcher and writer. Most of her writing focuses on food politics and she recently completed a book on the organic food industry.

Mariana Brito, The Backyard 
Mariana Brito combines the flavours of modern Mexican cuisine with a passion for local, organic food. The Backyard served meals at Over the Hill Orchards in 2015 and is looking for a new location this summer. Mariana is a 2016 CBC Future 40 winner from Regina.

BC’s Local Food Artisans
If you’re planning a trip to British Columbia, you may want to pick up a copy of two recently-published books.

Food Artisans of the Okanagan: Your Guide to the Best Locally Crafted Fare by Jennifer Cockrall-King profiles over 125 Okanagan chefs and food producers from beekeepers to chocolatiers to foragers.

The Butcher, the Baker, the Wine and Cheesemaker by the Sea by Jennifer Schell is a tribute to the West Coast’s food artisans with recipes and stories about 150 local food experts. The profiles range from BC artichokes to a Tofino food truck.

The Beer Archaeologist 
An archaeologist is analyzing ancient pottery in order to recreate ancient beverages.

“Dr. Pat, as he’s known at Dogfish Head, is the world’s foremost expert on ancient fermented beverages, and he cracks long-forgotten recipes with chemistry, scouring ancient kegs and bottles for residue samples to scrutinize in the lab. He has identified the world’s oldest known barley beer (from Iran’s Zagros Mountains, dating to 3400 B.C.), the oldest grape wine (also from the Zagros, circa 5400 B.C.) and the earliest known booze of any kind, a Neolithic grog from China’s Yellow River Valley brewed some 9,000 years ago.” 

Local Greenhouse Spinach 
Floating Gardens is now selling greenhouse-grown spinach. It’s so good to be able to eat fresh, local greens throughout the year.

Wednesdays at Nosh 
Beer and a vegan po’boy sandwich is on offer every Wednesday at Nosh Eatery & Tap. Sounds good!

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post regular profiles of culinary entrepreneurs, new restaurants and new food products. 

You can follow Wanderlust and Words on Facebook, Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

March Morpho Madness: Victoria Butterfly Gardens

It’s March Morpho Madness at the Victoria Butterfly Gardens and there are large blue butterflies circling our legs  and heads and leading us onwards.

There are brightly-coloured fish, turtles sunning themselves on a log, and two flamingos in the pond.

Butterflies land on the flowers and sometimes even on your back or shoulder.

There are various parrots and some tortoises and ducks.

It’s a wonderful place to visit, and it’s nice to know that they’ve begun raising their own butterflies and are certified sustainability green.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, March 14, 2016

Cocktail Class, Mar. 17
Tierra del Sol/Black Fox Spirits is offering a St. Patrick’s Day cocktail class with food pairings and a tour of the distillery.

Food Safe Course, Mar. 20
CHEP Good Food Inc. is offering a Food Safe course on Mar. 20. The course is free, but space is limited.

Seedy Sunday, Mar. 20 
Seedy Sunday is Mar. 20 at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market. There will be workshops on seed saving, fermentation, permaculture, composting, urban agriculture, and ethical eats.

Garden Patch Sponsorship
If you don’t have time to adopt a plot at the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre’s Garden Patch, you can sponsor a plot instead.

Global Pinoy
Global Pinoy in Confederation Park offers Filipino food, newspapers, and television. "It's important because we [Filipino community] miss home. So when we have access to all these products, we bring a little bit of what's home in Saskatoon."

Savour the Southeast, May 14 (Estevan)
Savour the Southeast, May 14, is the first food, wine, beer and spirit festival in the Estevan area.

Brunch in Victoria
I’m house and petsitting in Victoria, BC, for the next month and delighted to learn that the city has been declared the Brunch Capital of Canada. I certainly enjoyed my meal at Shine this past week and had a great meal at the Village Restaurant last year.

Behold the Jackfruit
“Most tropical fruits make us think of smoothies and bikinis and suntan lotion and rum drinks, but the hulking jackfruit, before it’s broken down, is not a carefree fruit….It’s the world’s largest tree fruit—an average specimen weighs between thirty and fifty pounds—and is covered in a pebbly green skin, often shaped like an irregular kidney bean.”

Vegetarian and Proud
A new vegetarian restaurant in New York is demonstrating that vegetarian food is all about sophistication, not denial.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post regular profiles of culinary entrepreneurs, new restaurants and new food products. 

You can follow Wanderlust and Words on Facebook, Twitter, or by email (top right corner). 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, March 7, 2016

Hot Cross Buns 
Oh, happiness! Hot cross buns are back at Earth Bound Bakery.

I’m sure that The Night Oven Bakery will have them soon too. In the meantime, the Night Oven’s croissant stuffed with house-made blood orange and mixed citrus marmalade sounds amazing!

Regina Farmers’ Market 
Regina Farmers’ Market is open again from 9 am – 1 pm, Saturdays only, from March 5 to April 30, at 2065 Hamilton Street.

The New Bread Basket 
Farm-to-fork isn’t a simple, one-step process explains Amy Halloran, author of The New Bread Basket: How the New Crop of Grain Growers, Plant Breeders, Millers, Malsters, Bakers, Brewers, and Local Food Activists are Redefining Our Daily Loaf. Farmers can’t afford to grow and sell locally unless they have seed that is suited to their location and they can be assured of a market. Enter their partners in the local food system – from university researchers to craft breweries.

The book focuses on the US, in particular the Northeast, but I was delighted to find a reference to Bryn Rawlyk, Saskatoon’s very own Local Grains Superstar!

Optimizing Healthy Eating 
How do you encourage people to make healthy food choices? The Google Food Team and the Yale Center for Customer Insights identified a number of ways that you can nudge people to make healthy choices. They range from positioning the healthy food in the privileged position (e.g. on a buffet or menu, the healthy food should be the first item in a pair or the middle item in a set of three), to changing serving sizes, to promoting unpopular vegetables right next to the dish.

Most Urban Farmers Aren’t Making a Living 
A recent survey of 370 farmers working in or around US cities indicates that most urban farmers aren’t making a living. The majority were socially motivated, leading the researcher to suggest that the non-profit model might be a way for socially conscious farmers to find grants and donations to cover their shortfalls.

How Greggs Bakery Conquered Britain 
Greggs is a large bakery chain that can be found in almost every British city. The quality of their bread doesn’t satisfy me, but I was curious as to how they had become so big and so popular. It starts with cheap prices but extends to a Northern identity, instant consumption, and more.

Combining Theatre and Food 
A London-based set designer and chef are combining food and theatre for pop-up events that last from a week to a month. Held in unconventional settings, past events have included A Night with the Mistress, The Servants’ Supper, Gone Camping, The Engine Room, and Forest Feast.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post regular profiles of culinary entrepreneurs, new restaurants and new food products. 

You can follow Wanderlust and Words on Facebook, Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Shrewsbury, Shropshire

I broke my journey from Wales to Birmingham airport by staying in Shrewsbury overnight.

It’s a pretty town that emerged unscathed from the fires that beset so many cities in the early days as well as World War II bombings.

One local described it as living in a bubble and I’m sure there are a great many constraints in order to maintain the old architecture that is sure to be popular with tourists.

I admire the UK’s ability to hold on to the past and its beauty.

The castle is made of lovely red stone and has an inner walled garden with a whole side devoted to camellias.

Across the Severn River is Shrewsbury Abbey, the setting for Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael mysteries.

Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury and went to school in what is now the library.

There is an indoor market with a mix of everything from vegetables, bread and cheese to antiques and secondhand books.

There are lovely walks beside the river, which loops around the town, and the gardens at the Dingle are in an old quarry site.