Monday, April 24, 2017

Flavourful Saskatoon, April 24, 2017


Nvigorate Demo, May 13
Enjoy a taste of Nvigorate’s seabuckthorn berry products at Dad’s Organic Market from 10 am to 2 pm, May 13.

Pizza Dough
I’m really enjoying being able to buy a bag of fresh pizza dough at Earth Bound Bakery on Saturdays. Making pizza is easy and you’re guaranteed a good crust.

Sprouts 
I’m amazed by the variety of sprouts and baby greens available from Floating Gardens at the Saskatoon Farmers' Market – everything from baby Spinach and Kale to Pea Shoots, Sunflower Sprouts, a Crunchy Bean Mix, and an Ancient Eastern Blend (check out the long blades that look just like grass!).

Ingredients 
I always enjoy browsing at Ingredients Artisan Market as you never know what you’ll find. How about Red Rice Noodles or Blueberry Bliss Honey Wine?


African Food
I know next to nothing about authentic African food – how about you? Two British women decided to start a Somali and Swahili Supper Club to share their cultures’ generous, abundant food: “Ismail has found that most Brits blithely treat Somali food as an afterthought, that its food takes a backseat to the problems of war, famine, and piracy that have saturated news reports about the region. Bruford, meanwhile, feels that Kenyan cuisine has often been misconstrued as a collage of bland carbs and tough, gristly meat. It was far from what they knew.”

But the two women don’t want their food to become the latest trend. Instead, they’re emphasizing the links between food and culture and politics (e.g., ugali, made from maize grown by the British to feed their slaves and later employees). They hope to organize an African food symposium and a workshop exploring what it means to be British (e.g., “tea—a drink so synonymous with British identity, yet with roots firmly planted in the country’s colonial past”).

For another take on African food, Zoe Adjonyoh has recently published her debut cookbook, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen.

Breads of Mexico 
“We eat just as much bread as we do tortillas, which is something people don’t realize,” says Chef Iliana de la Vega. You'll learn about an assortment of sweet buns and pastries in this collection of 25 baked goods you’ll find in most Mexican panaderías.

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, April 17, 2017

Flavourful Saskatoon, April 16, 2017


Congratulations
Congratulations to Black Fox Farm and Distillery! Their Oaked Gin Barrel Two was recently crowned the best cask gin at the World Gin Awards.

Imprint Plant-Based Foods 
Imprint Plant-Based Foods is a new initiative by a young vegan couple who weren’t finding enough plant-based options in Saskatoon stores so started experimenting and making their own. Pleased with the results, they’ve started selling their products. I tried their cashew-based cheese alternative this weekend and really enjoyed it. It’s smooth and creamy and spreads well on bread or crackers. The original hickory-flavoured product is mild with just the right amount of flavour. The taco-flavoured one has a bit of zip – I’m looking forward to trying it on baked sweet potato. You can also purchase burgers and sausages.

World Disco Soup Day, Apr. 29
Soup and dance – less waste and less hunger. The Slow Food Youth Network is promoting World Disco Soup Day on Apr. 29. Disco Soup started 5 years ago in Germany to protest food waste. Here's what to do if you want to organize a Disco Soup Day in your community.

May 6 Food Drive
The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre is struggling to put nutritious food for 2-3 days in people’s baskets with a record-breaking 22,000 people coming to the Food Bank for help in March 2017. We can help by making a donation or by contributing to the May 6 Food Drive.

Kids in the Kitchen
Are your kids interested in cooking? The Local Kitchen is offering two week-long, half-day cooking classes for kids ages 6 and up in July – Level 1 and Level 2.

Anita’s Coconut Yogurt
Anita Shepherd started making coconut yogurt to use in her vegan baked goods. The yogurt turned out to be more popular than the muffins and became a full-time business. “Sourcing for my yogurt was particularly difficult, because I didn’t just want organic—I wanted additive free. If you’re buying premade, commercial coconut milk, it probably has either carrageenan or guar gum, or some kind of emulsifier additive. . . . Some people see the price and are offended. But if someone came here for one day and saw how much goes into it labor and ingredient wise, I think they would be like, Oh my god, you should be charging twenty dollars a cup.” 

Building Bridges
In Berlin, cooking is helping long-time inhabitants and immigrants to connect. There are collaborative cooking classes, refugee-run restaurants and cafés, and pop-up dinners.

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, April 10, 2017

Flavourful Saskatoon, April 10, 2017

 

Croissants and Stroopwafels
You can now buy croissants and several kinds of focaccia at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market from Cathy Langdon, Proof . . . fresh baked creations. I tried Cathy’s spinach and cheese croissant and it was great – buttery layers filled with a generous, tasty serving of spinach and asiago cheese. Next week I plan to try her caramel and apple focaccia.

Another new vendor was selling stroopwafel – Dutch waffle cookies.

Karma at Night 
Karma Conscious Café and Eatery is launching its evening menu (Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 6-10 pm) from Apr. 20-22. The menu includes such unexpected items as a Roasted Cabbage Steak with Hemp Chimichurri and Samosa Flautas.

Pop Up Cider 
You can now purchase Crossmount Cider at their pop-up location in College Park Mall off 8th Street and McKercher Drive. They’re closed Mondays and open 11-7 on Tuesdays, 11-8 Wednesday through Saturday, and 12-5 on Sundays.

Grow Your Own Microgreens, Apr. 22 
Find out how to grow your own microgreens at the Glen at Crossmount, Apr. 22.

Sourcing Local Food for Institutions 
Food Safe Canada has shared 10 lessons to help schools, hospitals, and other institutions shift to locally produced food.

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).

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sun on the Serpentine

The sun was shining on my last morning in London - the perfect time for a short walk in Hyde Park.


 The Italian Garden - Prince Albert's gift to Queen Victoria.


I believe in fairies.



A lovely spot for birds.


Grey Heron


One of the Queen's swans


Egyptian Goose


Robin

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Springtime in Kew Gardens

This is my last day in Europe and I filled it with flowers and fresh spring growth at Kew Gardens, London. I hope that my photos provide a small portion of the pleasure I received today.


Magnolias, rhododendrons, and camelias - what a bright burst of colour on a grey day!





And then there were the trees - old and wise and gnarly - and still vibrating with fresh lime-green growth.






A robin came begging for crumbs at lunchtime. This squirrel was very curious, and the moorhens were hungry.



So many different flowers - of every colour, size, and shape.




Monday, April 3, 2017

Flavourful Saskatoon, April 3, 2017


Slow Art, Slow Food, Apr. 8
The Saskatchewan Craft Council is partnering with Calories Restaurant for Slow Art, Slow Food on Apr. 8.

Market Updates 
Floating Gardens will have Red Radish, Wheatgrass, and Sunflower shoots at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market for the first time. Give them a try and let Floating Gardens know what you think. They’re also interested in hearing what other crops you would like them to grow.

Kaleidoscope Vegetable Gardens will be back at the Market in April – with Tulips! And we can look forward to Spinach, Scallions, and Radishes around the beginning of May. All Kaleidoscope’s products are field-grown using environmentally-friendly methods.

Wine & Liquor Tastings 
Upcoming tastings at Saskatoon Co-op Liquor include wine from Australia’s Barossa Valley on Apr. 21, Argentine Malbecs on Apr. 22, and Italian Wine & Opera on May 4.


Plant Chicago, May 18
Jonathan Pereira, Plant Chicago, is a keynote speaker at Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council’s annual conference. Plant Chicago operates out of The Plant, a collaborative community of food businesses that are incubating a local circular economy. The Plant currently houses over a dozen small businesses including indoor and outdoor farms, kombucha and beer breweries, a bakery, a cheese distributor, a coffee roaster, and other emerging food producers and distributors.

Indigenous Food
Here’s a useful list of places where you can eat Indigenous food across Canada.

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, March 27, 2017

Flavourful Saskatoon, March 27, 2017


Cider Day Saturday, Apr. 1 
Crossmount Cider Company is hosting Cider Day Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm, Apr. 1. There will be cidery tours, guided cider tastings, and a spring craft market. Be sure to check out the newly opened Apple Crate Café while you’re there.

Sweetsugarbean’s Book Launch, Apr. 24 
The countdown is on. Renée Kohlman will be launching her cookbook, All the Sweet Things, at 7 pm, Apr. 24, at McNally Robinson Booksellers. There will be treats from the cookbook, drinks from Living Sky Winery, and a reading. Additional events are listed on the sweetsugarbean website.

Imprint Plant-Based Foods
Imprint Plant-Based Foods is a new Saskatoon start-up. Their goal is to offer alternatives to animal-based foods. They’re currently offering four vegan cheeses and plant-based protein burgers.


April at The Local Kitchen 
The Local Kitchen has started to list its April cooking classes. Lindsay Janzen (Prairie Bella Gourmet Pasta) will be demonstrating how to make gnocchi on Apr. 11 and the first of the chef’s tables, private dinners with a guest chef, will be held on Apr. 2.

Photographs 
Signs of spring in Wales:
Wild Garlic
Caws Teifi Nettle Cheese

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, March 25, 2017

6 Months - 1 Very Small Suitcase


I’ve just spent 6 months house and cat sitting in France and the United Kingdom starting out in Corsica and southern France where I needed summer clothes followed by rainy winter weather requiring a hat, gloves, and a jacket. Spring is warmer but still wet. I’ve stayed in large cities but also rural villages.

No problem, you say, just take a large suitcase. But I would be travelling by bus and train to 20 different locations and I have a weak back. The suitcase had to be small, supplemented by a backpack which was primarily for my laptop, iPad, and electronic gear.

I’m nearing the end of my time abroad, and I’m relatively content with what I packed. And the total weight was less than 18 pounds (12 for the suitcase and less than 6 for the backpack).

Here’s what I took:
2 pairs of shoes (1 dressier pair, 1 heavy waterproof pair that could handle mud)
2 pairs of black pants (1 casual, 1 dressy)
2 sweaters
Lightweight black skirt and matching cardigan (invaluable in the hotter weather)
Sleeveless, fast-drying shell
Silk t-shirt with ¾ length sleeves
Sleeveless turtleneck sweater
Long-sleeved nightgown that doubled as my at-home, watching-television outfit
7 pairs of underpants and a camisole
Socks, including some heavier ones that served as slippers in the evenings
2 shawls (a light-weight, easy-to-pack alternative to a sweater)
Bathing suit (shipped home once I left Corsica)
Hooded rainproof winter jacket


Clothes had to be mix and match and the variety of tops allowed me to layer as the weather required. Scarves and necklaces provided some variety. Most European homes don’t have clothes dryers so I chose lightweight clothes that wouldn’t take forever to dry.

You have to be ruthless if you want to keep the weight down. Toiletry items can take up a lot of space so I made sure I had the smallest possible containers (I didn’t say small; I said smallest!).

I did laundry on average once a week so my clothes got worn several times before they were washed.

I avoid buying souvenirs and anything I do buy gets mailed home immediately. My only books were on my iPad.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Flavourful Saskatoon, March 20, 2017


Food Films Night, Mar. 24
Saskatoon Food Council is screening 11 short films about food at 7 pm, Mar. 24, at Station 20 West.

Food Unites ALL of Us, Mar. 26 
Food Bloggers of Canada are hosting potluck dinners across Canada to celebrate diversity. Noelle Chorney is hosting a dinner in Saskatoon on Mar. 26. Bring a dish that represents your family and your heritage.

Co-op Liquor Tastings
Co-op Liquor has a great line-up of tasting events. There’s Italian wine on Mar. 24, Regina’s Rebellion Brewing beer on Mar. 25, Sherry on Mar. 31, Bourbon on Apr. 1, and Prairie Bee Meads on Apr. 8.

Artichokes 
Our Farm is growing and planning to sell artichokes. Artichokes are a perennial in milder climates. In Saskatoon, they have to be replanted every year and tricked into believing they’ve experienced a mild winter. Find out all the details on Our Farm’s Facebook page.

Canada’s History in Cuisine
From pemmican and tourtière to perogies, ginger beef, Yukon gold potatoes, and wild rice, this article recounts Canada’s history through its food. There were some surprises for me. Who knew that Hawkins Cheezies became a uniquely Canadian product in 1960 and that 50 years later, they’re using more or less the same recipe and the same equipment. And Pablum was invented by a group of doctors at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children in 1931.


Japan’s School Lunch Program
More than 10 million children eat a healthy school lunch every day in Japan. The ingredients come from local farmers or the school’s own farm and are cooked that day. In addition, the kids take turns serving the meal, cleaning up, and recycling.

Dirty Dozen - Clean Fifteen
Strawberries and spinach top the Dirty Dozen list of produce containing the most pesticides. Also on the list are nectarines, apples, peaches, celery, grapes, pears, cherries, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, and potatoes. If possible, buy organic.

On the other hand, organic is less important if you’re purchasing from the Clean Fifteen list of produce least likely to contain pesticides: sweet corn, avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onions, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwis, cantaloupe, cauliflower, and grapefruit.

Meals on Wheels with a Difference 
A Montreal Meals on Wheels program operates its own farm, delivers by bicycle, composts, and cans its own produce. In their efforts to reduce waste, they even make meals from leftovers and operate a small store.

Chocolate
The higher the percentage of cocoa solids in your chocolate bar, the more intense the flavour. However, even if the bars list the same percentage, they may differ greatly. The amount of cocoa butter, sugar, and milk or cream also make a huge difference. “The key thing to remember is that cacao percentage is a measure of quantity, not necessarily quality.”

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).

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

St. David's Revisited


St. David’s is a pretty little town with a cathedral hiding in a valley. I had visited last year but was eager to return.



It was much warmer this time, so I was able to comfortably wander some of the green lanes around the cathedral and admire the flowers.





I was surprised to see what looked like white bluebells. A little online research informed me that they are Three-Cornered Leek, a non-native plant that spreads almost too readily. Various parts of the plant are edible.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Flavourful Saskatoon, March 13, 2017


Veggie Options at Boffins 
I'm pleased to see a variety of vegetarian/vegan dishes on Boffins’ new lunch menu. There’s a pasta dish with squash, chickpeas, almonds, Portobello mushroom; a kidney bean patty with walnuts and corn salsa, and vegan harissa cheese; a halloumi and winter vegetable fritter in a sweet potato naan; and housemade paneer in an eastern spice blend. Additional veggie options are displayed on their website. Now – if they could just improve their evening menu!

Downtown Grocery Store 
City of Saskatoon staff has been asked to study the market for a downtown grocery store. Let’s hope the results are encouraging.

Think Outside the Bean
My brother and his wife picked up a package of Wize Monkey coffee leaf tea at Dad’s Organic Market. Apparently, coffee leaf tea has been consumed in Ethiopia and Indonesia for over 200 years ago. It doesn’t taste of coffee and is supposed to be rich in some rare antioxidants. The Vancouver-based company has made personal contact with a coffee farmer in Nicaragua and believe their product can provide year-round employment rather than a short coffee bean harvesting season.


Subtle Soup
I’ve noticed that a lot of prepared soups in North America are spicy (chili, curry, hot and sour, Thai). In Europe, there are more subtle flavours. My favorite in Great Britain is fresh pea and mint. In France, I discovered a lovely zucchini, hazelnut, and parmesan soup. Inspiration for future soup-making.

Is Organic Food Better For Us? 
A recent report from the European Parliament has concluded that organic food systems offer clear health benefits. “Their findings are clearest when it comes to minimizing exposure to pesticides and to antibiotics used in livestock production. But the report also found that organically grown produce tends to contain less of the toxic metal cadmium—which the authors note is ‘highly relevant to human health.’”

Another report argues that organic farming is better than conventional farming in some important ways (farm workers are exposed to less pesticides and the food has more vitamins and is slightly healthier). It’s also friendlier to bees and other wildlife. On the other hand, “Lower organic yields mean that more land is put to work. And for the same amount of food produced, organic farms also tend to release more nitrogen pollution than conventional farms.” The report ends on a positive note: “Organic farming is helping to drive a move towards sustainable agriculture by encouraging conventional farmers to adopt environmentally friendly practices.” 

Energy-Efficient Food Transportation
“In the US alone, diesel fuel accounts for about 25% of total energy consumed within the food system. To cut down on this, all farms will have to adapt to energy-efficient transportation methods, such as electric or hydrogen fuel cell trucks.” Interestingly enough, this means that “A French wine can have a smaller carbon footprint than wine from Napa Valley since the ocean transport has a smaller footprint than a cross-country trip by diesel truck.” 

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, March 11, 2017

Sea Breezes and Signs of Spring


The weather in Wales is wet and mild. I take advantage of any dry (maybe even sunny!) spells to go for a walk.



And every time I do, I see more signs of spring.



There are still masses of daffodils and snowdrops, but I’m also beginning to see primroses and bluebell leaves.


Lesser celandine is also blooming.


And there are buds on the trees and bushes.


Look what I discovered in the pond beside the house! Soon there will be lots and lots of tadpoles.


One of my favorite walks is down at the parrog (harbour).


I took a new route to town today and crossed two streams – the first on a narrow plank bridge and the second via large flat stones. This is the view from the stepping stones.