Monday, May 30, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, May 30, 2016

Christie's Il Secondo Bakery

Urban Beekeeping, June 11 
Learn how to keep bees in an urban setting at a one-day workshop with Barry Brown on June 11.

Nice Cream Class, June 12
Intuitive Path Superfoods is offering a class on how to make vegan ice cream and choose superfood toppings at 3:30 pm, June 12.

More Space at Il Secondo 
Christie’s Il Secondo Bakery just off Broadway has expanded – lots of space and lots of light. If you’re planning a curry dinner, you might want to pick up some of their wood-fire oven naan bread.

New Brunch Menu at Nosh 
Nosh Eatery & Tap has a new brunch menu with everything from Wild Rice Croquettes and South Asian Benny to Chocolate Chia Bowl and Orange Almond & Ricotta Pancakes. For the anti-brunch crowd, there’s a Samosa Sandwich and Roasted Beet Dip.

Lemon Raspberry Ice Cream
Fans of raspberry lemonade are sure to enjoy Prairie Sun Orchard’s new summer ice cream flavour – Lemon Raspberry. Yet one more reason to head over to the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market.

Locally Inspired Mexican Cuisine 
Mariana Brito, head chef of the Backyard Project, is serving pop-up meals inspired by local ingredients and her Mexican heritage. She’s interested in finding a permanent location for her restaurant.

Christie's Il Secondo Bakery

Bannock’s Contentious Place in Aboriginal Cuisine 
“Though it’s typically considered a ‘traditional’ Aboriginal food, and sometimes even the Aboriginal food, bannock was first made elsewhere. The story goes something like this: originally a Scottish bread, brought here in the bellies of ships carrying fur traders and early settlers during the late eighteenth century, bannock—bannach in Scots Gaelic—was adopted and adapted by Indigenous nations across the country.” 

The article goes on to discuss varying points of view from one Winnipeg-based Oji-Cree artist who has sworn off bannock and only eats food that are indigenous to North America (e.g. squash, wild rice, bison) to others who feel that bannock matters because it’s a part of family and tradition.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post articles about food that is good, clean and fair; travel; and books. 

You may also enjoy EcoFriendly Sask profiling Saskatchewan environmental initiatives and events. 

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

Monday, May 23, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, May 23, 2016

Grandora Gardens, Saskatoon Farmers' Market

Build a Squash Grow Pile, May 27
Join the Saskatoon Compost Coaches from 6:30-8 pm, May 27, to build a squash grow pile at the Saskatoon Food Bank’s Garden Patch. A grow pile is a compost heap that doubles as a garden bed for growing compost-friendly vegetables.

Summer Dining at Creekside Orchard 
May 27 & 28 – East Indian cuisine with Karun & Geetali Dawra
June 9 & 10 – Moldovian cuisine with Svetlana Cuisine Catering
Aug. 25 & 26 – Teresa, The Garlic Guru
Creekside Orchard is located near Melfort and grows asparagus, tart cherries, rhubarb, raspberries, and black currant.

Customer Appreciation Day, May 29
The Saskatoon Farmers’ Market is hosting a Customer Appreciation Day on Sunday, May 29. There will be special deals from all the vendors.

Food Truck Wars II, May 27-29 
Sixteen food trucks will be participating in Food Truck Wars II, May 27-29, at the Sutherland Curling Club.

Fit, Macho, Sexy & Vegan 
Veganism is losing its hippy image and being embraced by everyone from Beyoncé to UFC fighters. Could the movement go mainstream – and what do committed ‘real’ vegans make of the newcomers?”

Chefs Weigh In on the Future of Food
Chefs discuss the future of food from menu options and climate change to agriculture, prices, and organics in an article excerpted from Questlove’s new book, something to food about: Exploring Creativity with Innovative Chefs.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post articles about food that is good, clean and fair; travel; and books. 

You may also enjoy EcoFriendly Sask profiling Saskatchewan environmental initiatives and events. 

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

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Three Quirky Book Recommendations

When I’m in Saskatoon, I reserve library books. As a result, they’re fairly predictable – books by authors I’ve read in the past, books that I’ve seen reviewed or looked at in the bookstore. When I’m away from home, it switches to potluck – whatever books are available in the house or library where I’m staying. And it can be really refreshing as I discover books I would never otherwise have read. Here are three that I would recommend.

Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English, Natasha Solomons
Mr. and Mrs. Rosenblum flee Germany at the start of World War II to start a new life in London. Mr. Rosenblum is determined to become a proper Englishman. He wears Saville Row suits, drives a Jaguar, and listens to the BBC. But one aspect of becoming a true Englishman eludes him – no golf course will accept a Jew as a member. Undeterred, Mr. Rosenblum buys a large piece of land in the country and decides to build his own golf course. The local residents initially refuse to accept the idea but later come on board.

Mrs. Rosenblum, on the other hand, struggles to hold on to her memories of Germany, baking traditional German cakes. But she gradually falls in love with the countryside, spending hours creating a garden.

The characters and the plot are complex, unexpected, and totally delightful.

Jana Bibi’s Excellent Fortunes, Betsy Woodman 
Janet Laird was born and lived all her life in India, but her grown-up son is determined that his mother, who is now a senior, should move to Scotland so that he can look after her. Instead, Janet Laird, known as Jana Bibi to the locals, moves to a house she inherited from her grandfather in a remote Indian hill station.

The book describes her encounters with a wide variety of colourful local residents – the corrupt chief of police whose son refuses/can’t talk, the bagpipe-playing Gurkha who keeps the wild monkeys at bay, and local philosopher merchants. Together Jana Bibi and the locals confront and successfully overthrow a government scheme that would have destroyed their community.

Campari for Breakfast, Sara Crowe
Sue Bowl’s mother dies, her father links up with another woman, and 17-year-old Sue flees to live with her aunt in a large English country house. Her goal is to write a book and fall in love, and she’s helped and hindered by the various tenants of the house – from the admirals who rent rooms to a tramp who takes up residence in a disused part of the house.

Sue loves big words but doesn’t always know what they mean or how they are spelt. And the book intentionally uses her unexpected and usually incorrect language. We follow the writing exercises of the Hirsute Egham writing group and successive instalments of Sue’s gothic romance. The house is infested with dry rot, but Sue is determined to save it, so they rent rooms, keeping one tenant happy by faking ghostly episodes and auctioning off the aunt’s shoe and purse collection to pay for urgent repairs.

There you have it – three books with quirky characters and decrepit old houses. It’s escapism of the very best kind and reminded me that it’s more than okay to be eccentric. In fact, it’s preferred.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, May 16, 2016

Fair Trade: What’s In It For Me, May 19 
Enjoy a glass of fair trade wine and tasty local food while listening to presentations from Sean McHugh (Canadian Fair Trade Network), George Fouffas (Consumer Services, U of S), and SCIC's Ethical Eats project at 7 pm, May 19, at The Stand.

Saskatoon Seed Library, May 25 
The Saskatoon Seed Library will be hosting a planting day at 7 pm, May 25, at the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre’s Garden Patch.

Learn How to Grow Herbs, May 26
Dutch Growers Saskatoon is offering a workshop on how to grow herbs on May 26.

Earth Bound Ice Cream
Earth Bound Bakery is now serving organic ice cream and organic dairy-free sorbet.

Cookies and Buns
I really enjoyed Night Oven Bakery’s Khorasan (kamut) cookie with chopped pecans and apricots topped with a large dollop of housemade blood orange jam. It’s very light, not too sweet, and feels so healthy while also being totally delicious.

For something a little more decadent, try the sugar-coated croissant bun filled with flavoured (Earl Grey, coconut) cream. I haven’t tasted this one yet, but it looks good.

Underground Café 
Underground Café is now serving breakfast from 7:30 am to 11:30 am, Monday to Friday. They have waffles, scones, breakfast sandwiches, and mini cinnamon buns.

24 Varieties of Asian Rice 
Purple, black, red – rice comes in so many different varieties. I found this Lucky Peach article by Naomi Duguid very interesting as it explains how the locals use each of the different types of Asian rice. In Bali, black rice is used for temple offerings and sticky sweet desserts. Basmati is best when it’s been aged for several years before being milled and sold.

Wine, Elephants, and Gloopy Caramel 
I like clever, funny advertising that catches my attention without pushing itself in my face. Two of my edible birthday presents are a visual delight.

There is an amazing amount of detail in the label for Michael David Winery’s Petite Petit wine. Here’s the caption from the back of the bottle: “Step right up. Come & see the greatest duo in history Petite Sirah Petit Verdot Pachyderm Brothers . . . stars of the show! One can dance, one can sing, both do juggle fiery rings. One can dribble, one can dunk, both do brag of very large trunks. So step right up to centre stage and prepare yourself to be amazed.” 

Coop’s Microcreamery Salted Caramel comes with special instructions for opening the jar, which is covered with a wax imitation of caramel drips. On the website, you’ll find a photo of Coop holding a jar of caramel sauce and riding on a ca(ra)mel.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post articles about food that is good, clean and fair; travel; and books.

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

You may also enjoy EcoFriendly Sask profiling Saskatchewan environmental initiatives and events.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, May 9, 2016

British cider tasting at Ingredients Artisan Market

Action on Saskatoon’s Urban Agriculture Plan 
Students from the University of Saskatchewan are investigating how to promote urban agriculture projects within Saskatoon. They are looking for people to participate in small group discussions about how to create urban agriculture projects within all the different neighbourhoods. To be contacted about meetings in your area, visit to register.

Salsa in a Pot, May 12 & 24 
Plant a pot with all the essential herbs and vegetables for salsa at Dutch Growers on May 12 and 24.

Good Beer & Good Food, May 13 
SoomSoom Food Truck will be at 9 Mile Legacy Brewing from 4-7 pm, May 13. They recommend you bring an appetite and an empty growler.

Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos @noshyxe

Opening a Plant-Based Restaurant 
From cattle farming, hunting, and fishing to chef of a plant-based restaurant – Justin O’Reilly outlines the first two years of Nosh Eatery & Tap from his perspective.

Simple is Good 
I had khichdi at Karma Café’s fundraiser on May 6 and it brought home to me once again that food doesn’t need to be fancy or complicated to taste great. Khichdi is a traditional Indian dish of rice and lentils. Karma Café served it with ghee or coconut oil, mango pickles, onions, and a finely-chopped tomato and cucumber salad.

According to Wikipedia, khichdi is one of the first solid foods that babies in India eat. It was the inspiration for the Anglo-Indian dish kedgeree, and the Egyption dish kushari.

Flavour is All in the Brain
“These days, neuroscientists are telling us that flavor is all in the brain. Flavor is a perception, an experience that’s constructed in the brain. Food is made up of molecules, and molecules by themselves don’t have any sensory qualities. Our experience of food is sensory: there’s taste and smell and pungency, texture and temperature. The chemical and physical materials that generate these sensations in us do not, by themselves, have any of those qualities.”

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, May 2, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, May 2, 2016

Saskatoon Food Bank Fundraiser, May 6
Karma – Conscious Café and Eatery is hosting a fundraising dinner from 6-9 pm, May 6. They’ll be serving khichdi, a staple of the Ayurvedic diet that combines rice, lentils and ghee to provide carbohydrates, proteins, dietary fibre, Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Fifty percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre.

Slow Food Saskatoon Dinner, May 29 
Join Slow Food Saskatoon for the annual Eat These Words fundraising dinner on May 29. There will be live music, readings of food- and nature-related creative writing, and local food prepared by local cooks.

Dutch Growers 
Karma – Conscious Café & Eatery will be serving specialty drinks and baked items at Dutch Growers starting April 30, 2016.

SK Snail Trail 
Slow Food Saskatoon is developing a province-wide database of sustainable growers and producers.

Turn off the Lights – Turn on your Senses
Willow on Wascana, Regina, will be hosting a dinner in the dark every Monday in May.

The Backyard Regina
The Backyard Regina is now booking dinners for small gatherings in May. They’ll also be holding dinners in Regina’s Cathedral neighbourhood on May 20, 21 and June 3, 4.

Wannabe a Bokashi Ninja?
Michelle wanted to be able to compost her food waste, even in the coldest months of the year. She’s encouraging others to try out Bokashi composting as part of a trial project.

Surplus Food Equals Delicious Meals 
Transition Café Fishguard in Pembrokeshire, Wales, is dishing up delicious meals from surplus food that would otherwise go to waste.

Happy Birthday, Yukon Gold 
The Yukon Gold potato is one of Canada’s most successful innovations. The potato is now 50 years old: check out its history and growing popularity.

Okanagan Wineries
There are so many wineries in the Okanagan, and it can be hard to decide which ones to visit. EatNorth has published a useful article listing five hidden gems.

Ottavio Italian Bakery & Delicatessen, Victoria, BC, held a Big Cheese Cut on April 30, cutting and slicing some of the world’s biggest cheeses. I was fascinated to discover that Provolone Piccante is shaped like a long, fat sausage.

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).