Monday, November 28, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, November 28, 2016

Christmas Night Market, Dec. 7 
Get a head start on your Christmas shopping while listening to the music and enjoying samples from the kitchen by Chef Jenni on Dec. 7 at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Christmas Night Market.

Family Games Night @Nosh, Dec. 8 
Nosh Eatery & Tap will be hosting an evening of family and friends board games from 5-8 pm on Dec. 8, Broadway’s annual late-night shop event. Specials will include kids’ meals for $6 and hot chocolate and apple cider for $2.

Garlic x 3
Meadowlark Farm will be selling sliced, minced, and powdered slow-dried garlic products using organically grown heirloom garlic from their garden.

Gluten-Free Tourtière
The Griffin Takeaway will be offering a number of holiday season specials, including frozen gluten-free tourtière to take home and bake.

Pea Pops
If you like snacking on Three Farmers’ Roasted Chickpeas, try their Pea Pops – roasted green peas flavoured with ranch, dill pickle, or sriracha.

Rutabaga Wins the Gold
A vegetarian rutabaga dish was an award winner at Gold Medal Plates in British Columbia.

Cook by Colours 
Cook by Colours: For the Youngest Chefs in the Kitchen, by Saskatchewan authors Brent Currie and Jessie Jardine, sounds like a fun way to help young kids get started cooking.

Advertising to Kids 
“A new report by the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) urges policy makers to implement regulation reducing children’s exposure to digital marketing of foods high in fats, salt, and sugar. . . . According to the WHO, food marketing can significantly influence children’s food and beverage preferences and choices.” 

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, November 27, 2016

Sunny Day in Quillan, France

It was a sunny, warm Sunday on my first full day in Quillan and I set out to explore.

I'm living just outside of Quillan - a short walk along the river to town.

The old chateau towers over the second bridge to town where women used to wash their laundry.

The small square just down from the church is the setting for the Wednesday fruit and veg. market. The Saturday market is held on the main boulevard.

In the afternoon I went for a walk out of town and up into the hills. Quillan is in a basin cupped in the foothills of the Pyrenees.

On my next walk, I hope to reach this small town.

Roses are still blooming at the end of November!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Grasse, France: The History of Perfume

Grasse is just a short drive up into the hills above Cannes. I wish I could have visited in the days when it was surrounded by fields of flowers, but it was still interesting to visit the museums and learn how they used to make perfume.

The town really is built on the hillside. There are a handful of main streets and then a tangled maze of alleyways, many of which are very run down.

I loved the fountains – wish we had more in Canada, but maybe they aren’t well suited to our climate.

Perfume has such a long and complex history – from use in worshipping the gods, to medicine, to a substitute for bathing, and, finally, courtship and seduction.

My favorite museum was one of the smallest displaying what women wore in Provence during the 1800s. I’m always left wondering how on earth they managed to do their chores in all their many, often elaborate, layers of clothing.

I had a delicious lunch at a restaurant that had the sense to stick to what they knew best (Lebanese and Corsican specialties) rather than trying to be all things to all people.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Seaside Holiday Perfection in Sanary-sur-Mer, France

My sister, Clare, and I ended our family holiday with a couple of days in Sanary-sur-Mer, a 10-minute train ride from Toulon. It was heavenly.

The sun shone and it was warm enough for a swim in the Mediterranean or a picnic on the waterfront.

The harbour was full of sailboats, including some really old ones.

The church has a neo-Byzantine interior with murals depicting Creation on the side aisle ceilings.

The stores lining the narrow alleyways sell interesting, one-of-a-kind crafts.

There are lots of fun activities for kids.

There is a daily market with a marvelous assortment of fruits, vegetables, and cheeses.

The town caters to tourists but doesn’t let that detract from its own identity as a year-round community.

If you’re dreaming of a seaside holiday, Sanary-sur-Mer is the place to be.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, November 21, 2016

9 Mile Legacy Brewing Company 
Saskatoon’s own 9 Mile Legacy Brewing Company has made the list of 5 excellent Canadian small-batch breweries. Congratulations!

Canada Food Guide Consultation 
Canada’s Food Guide is being updated to meet new evidence and Health Canada is looking for our input through an online questionnaire from now until December 8. There will be a further online consultation regarding the draft guidelines in 2017.

Healthy Hospital Food? 
If you end up in hospital, don’t expect to eat healthily. But a group of New York City hospitals have been trying to adopt healthier eating standards:

“Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is one private hospital that has taken the program to heart, converting all aspects of its food and beverage program. In addition to complying with all the standards, Memorial has started a Meatless Mondays initiative, with multiple vegetarian dishes on the cafeteria menu every Monday. Memorial also purchases locally grown produce and serves sushi from fisheries that they claim ‘follow sustainable practices.’ 

“Montefiore Medical Center has four different hospitals in the Bronx, all of which have followed suit. Dr. Andrew Racine, Montefiore’s chief medical officer, told CBS News, “We took ice cream out of the cafeterias and began serving more whole grains. We changed white rice to brown rice.” 

“Queens Hospital Center, which is now a part of New York Presbyterian, is offering multiple vegetarian and vegan dishes every weekday.”

The Perfectly Coloured Egg Yolk 
If you buy your eggs at a farmers’ market, you probably expect richly coloured eggs. But beware. That deep rich colour may not signify much of anything. “if you bring home the cheapest eggs at the supermarket, only to discover yolks blaring like the sun from your pan, you’ll know those yolks are the equivalent of a sprayed-on tan . . . . By the same token, if a carton of eggs billed as ‘free-range’ contains pale yolks, that could mean that the eggs were produced in a way that barely satisfies the minimum requirement to merit the free-range label.”

Should Humans Drink Cow’s Milk? 
“The consumption of cow’s milk is in decline as lactose intolerance does for dairy what gluten intolerance has done to bread . . . . People may have ethical issues about exploiting cows for their milk, but it isn’t true to say we aren’t meant to drink it – because in northern Europe, we are genetically modified to do so.”

Fresh Ground Flour 
Night Oven Bakery is part of a growing trend in milling its flour in-house. I knew this added flavour and nutrition to bread. What I didn’t know was that there are some relatively simple ways you can grind your own flour at home.

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).

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Corsica: Small Town Charm

We visited a number of Corsica's small hill towns, and they were delightful. But there are some interesting hairpin bends on the approaches.

As you approach the towns, the first thing you'll see is the bell tower. Next will be the cemetery - mausoleums with a view!

I'm always intrigued by how people manage to create a garden, even in a cobblestone alleyway.

Pigna, near Calvi, has become known as the village of artisans. Unfortunately, very few of them were open when we visited. However, the music box store was open and it was delightful.

Pigna has also worked hard to preserve the original facades of its buildings and has some lovely little alleyways.

Another pretty town is Sartène, between Bonifacio and Ajaccio.

These boys weren't too sure they wanted me taking their picture.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

La Corse Sauvage

Corsica markets itself as the Ile de Beauté, and it is very beautiful, but what really stood out for me was the wildness of the land.

The port cities, well established and welcoming tourists, nearly all have a citadel to remind you of their violent past.

Genoan towers line the coast, sentinels against the barbarians.

The sea itself is wild, pounding against steep cliffs, denying access to the land.

Inland, nature rules. Tiny villages dot the steep hillsides joined by narrow curving roads. Travelling between coastal towns often involves a detour inland as the only way to navigate the mountainous landscape.

Lumpy rock formations dot the mountains leaving you wondering if it’s a natural feature or abandoned castle ruins.

Even more intriguing is the maquis, the thick scrubby evergreen growth of the Mediterranean.

It can be hard to find a path through the dense growth ranging from green oak and wild olive trees to spiny bushes and flowering rosemary.

It’s not hard to imagine the resistance fighters hiding out here during the war.

Cyclamen grows wild along the roadsides.

Even in autumn, you’ll find flowering bushes perfuming the air and bushes laden with berries.

Corsica - wild and addictive.