Monday, January 30, 2017

Flavourful Saskatoon, January 30, 2017

Wintershines Taster Event, Feb. 2 
The Wintershines Taster Event from 6-8 pm, Feb. 2, will feature 10 local distilleries and wineries and 10 local food vendors.

Wine & Chocolate, Feb. 10 
Find out the best ways to pair wine and chocolate at Saskatoon Co-op Liquor on Feb. 10.

All’s Fair in Love and Trade, Feb. 11 
Fair Trade Saskatoon is hosting All’s Fair in Love and Trade from 8-11 pm, Feb. 11, at The Refinery. There’ll be music by Vesti and friends, luscious desserts, and fair trade wine. You can also shop at the Ten Thousand Villages display.

Garden of Early Delights, Feb. 25 
On Feb. 25, Christ Church Anglican is offering an evening of fine dining and music inspired by Renaissance artists and composers. The evening will feature Renée de Moissac on the organ, Prairie Wynd Consort on recorders, and members of Saskatoon’s Ecumenical Choir and Friends, with period instruments crafted by local luthier Weldon Gray.

Saskatoon Food Forest Initiative 
A group of people have set up a Facebook group to promote the development of a food forest in Saskatoon. Their goal is to "design, plant, and grow an edible urban forest garden that will help Saskatoon residents (particularly in the core neighbourhoods) have access to locally grown, nutritious, non-commodified food."

Mi Tierra Mexican Store & Tortilleria 
Mi Tierra Mexican Store & Tortilleria has opened a store at 2124-C 22nd Street W. They also plan to open a restaurant serving authentic Mexican food and handmade corn and flour tortillas.

Artisan Cheese Fights Back 
There was an outbreak of E.coli in Scotland last July and the authorities placed the blame on a local artisan cheese produced using raw milk. They went on to impose a blanket ban on all the company’s cheeses. Testing by third parties has shown that it was highly unlikely that the cheese was to blame and that it is primarily an unjustified prejudice against cheese made with unpasteurized milk. Once again, it pays to do your research and continue to follow up on stories. The first news article may not provide all the facts. (Sustainable Food Trust)

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, January 29, 2017

The Foothills of the Pyrenees – Mirepoix, Alet-les-Bains & Area

I spent a very happy week at the beginning of November with good friends, Karen and Scott. They have been renting a house near Mirepoix, France, for several years now so they were able to show me some of the loveliest nearby sights.

The rolling hills turn to steep mountain passes the further south you travel. There are traces of the Resistance movement, wineries, fast-flowing river valleys, and pretty little villages.

Mirepoix’s square is surrounded by beautiful old half-timbered buildings. Plane trees line the streets and there is a huge market every Monday.

Alet-les-Bains is a small village with a pretty park by the river, narrow streets and alleyways, old half-timbered buildings, and a few remaining traces of the medieval Jewish ghetto.

See Also 
Sunny Day in Quillan 
Market Day in Limoux 
Perpignan à Noël

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hastings: 1066 Country

I’m spending a day in Hastings, on the south coast of Great Britain, before heading on to my next housesitting gig.

It’s been a cool, grey day, but I’ve enjoyed exploring the city.

It was market day – what luck! I also discovered a small arcade and a very appropriately named bakery.

I wandered on to the Old Town with its winding streets and alleys and old buildings.

The Battle of Hastings in 1066 was the start of the Norman conquest of Great Britain. William the Conqueror built a castle, probably on the earthworks of the earlier Saxon castle. The castle ruins still hover over the town.

The promenade runs for miles along the pebbly beach with old-fashioned hotels and guesthouses all along the promenade.

The pier is new as the old one burnt down in 2010.

At one point, the sun tried to break through – but not for long!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Flavourful Saskatoon, January 23, 2017

Food & Sustainability, Feb. 1 
Join Grant Wood, Dr. Phil Loring, and Dr. Michael Schwandt for a panel discussion on sustainability and food from 5-6:30 pm, Feb. 1, at Louis’ on campus. Complimentary food featuring local ingredients will be provided. RSVP online.

Fermentation Basics, Feb. 2 
The Mayfair Library is hosting a fermentation basics workshop from 6:30-8 pm, Feb. 2.

Whisky Tasting, Feb. 2 
In Canada, you can’t sell whisky until it’s been aged for a minimum of 3 years. But that doesn’t mean you can’t taste it. Join John from Black Fox Farm & Distillery in a tasting of their triticale, oat, and wheat whiskies from 7:30-9 pm, Feb. 2.

February Courses at The Local Kitchen 
Check out the line-up of classes at The Local Kitchen in February: The Black Forest with Chef Jenni, Plant-based Dining with Justin O’Reilly, and Warming Vegetarian Meals with Caitlin Ilse.

Prairie Pasta
Prairie Pasta is selling fresh pasta at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market on Saturdays and Sundays. My sister-in-law picked up some Roasted Red Pepper Radiatore.

Cooking Up Saskatchewan 
Agriculture in the Classroom – Saskatchewan is sponsoring a cooking competition for students in Food Science and Commercial Cooking 10 and 30.

Vancouver’s Hot Chocolate Festival 
Vancouver’s Hot Chocolate Festival is a fundraiser for the Downtown Eastside Women’s Job Training Program. Cafés, bakeries, and restaurants are offering up 61 custom flavours: Malt [Whisky] Teaser at Chocolate Arts, Rashomon (miso white hot chocolate with matcha tea and sake) at Koko Monk Chocolates, a stout beer/hot chocolate combo at Bella Gelateria, and a vegan chaga mushroom hot chocolate at Eternal Abundance.

Eat Your Veg: Supermarket Research 
A British supermarket is teaming up with Oxford University researchers to study ways in which they can redesign their stores to encourage people to eat less meat. Ideas include special offers, placing vegetarian options side-by-side with meat options, and special displays.

Photos: Wareham Saturday Market, Dorset

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, January 22, 2017

Swanage and Corfe Castle

I rode a double decker bus from Poole to Swanage, eager to take a long, long walk along the seafront.

It was wonderful – fresh air, green fields, breaking waves, dogs on the beach and paragliders in the air.

At the northern end of the bay are Old Harry Rocks, limestone formations commemorating either the devil who had a nap on the rocks or a local pirate.

Swanage has been a popular seaside resort since Victorian times. If you go, be sure to visit Chococo for some handmade chocolates.

A short distance inland from Swanage is Corfe Castle. A small village of stone cottages and old pubs surrounds the remains of Corfe Castle.  The castle is huge and appears even taller as it’s set on top of a large mound.

In 875AD, King Alfred, the Saxon king, defeated the Danes in a decisive naval battle in Swanage Bay, sinking 120 Viking ships. He built a wooden castle at Corfe to prevent any further attacks.

William the Conqueror replaced the wooden stronghold with a stone keep in the 1100s. It would have looked like a skyscraper to its early inhabitants. A later addition greatly enlarged the castle’s floor space.

The castle was mostly destroyed during the Civil War with villagers using the stones to build their own homes.

Ravens nest at Corfe Castle; local legend says the castle will crumble if the birds leave.

There are several old pubs in the village along with a National Trust tea room and shop. The Bankes Arms Hotel was built in the 16th century and was reputedly popular with smugglers.

The Greyhound Inn was built before 1580 and was one of Britain’s first coaching inns. The inn took its name from the King's Messengers who rode between Corfe Castle and the four other Royal Castles of England.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Favourite Books of 2016

The Monuments Men, Robert M. Edsel
Art was part of the madness of the Second World War – stealing it, collecting it, trying to retrieve it

City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness, Gavin Van Horn 
Essays, poetry, and art illustrating the many ways in which human and animal lives are connected

Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California, Frances Dinkelspiel 
The title says it all. It saddens me to see people becoming so obsessed and greedy over something as relatively unimportant as wine

Sixty: The Beginning of the End or the End of the Beginning?, Ian Brown
Ian Brown keeps a diary exploring what it means to be 60 – physically, intellectually, and psychologically

A Year of Marvellous Ways, Sarah Winman
Love and death, old age and grieving – an 89-year-old woman living alone by a Cornish creek (fiction)

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, Phaedra Patrick 
After his wife dies, Arthur Pepper copes by sticking to a very strict routine – until he discovers a charm bracelet that used to belong to his wife and starts to unravel the mystery (fiction)

The Little Paris Bookshop, Nina George 
A whimsical look at mending broken hearts on board a floating bookshop

The Summer Before the War, Helen Simonson 
A snapshot of life before the First World War – so much has changed, so much remains the same

Crossing the River: A Life in Brazil, Amy Ragsdale 
An honest account of a family adapting to a different culture and lifestyle while living in Brazil for a year

The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs, Elaine Sciolini 
An introduction to the people who live and work on the Rue des Martyrs, Paris

Recipes for Love and Murder, Sally Andrew 
From a recipe column to an advice column to solving a murder – life becomes much more lively for Tannie Maria, a middle-aged Afrikaan woman living in a small town

A Bed of Scorpions, Judith Flanders 
A publisher is called in to help solve a murder in a London art gallery

See Also
Three Quirky Book Recommendations
Favourite Books of 2015