Monday, February 27, 2017

Flavourful Saskatoon, February 27, 2017

All the Sweet Things 
You can pre-order your copy of Renée Kohlman’s cookbook, All the Sweet Things, online. One hundred recipes for one hundred delicious treats.

Collective Coffee's New Location
Collective Coffee has a new location with a new menu but the same great coffee across from St. Paul’s Hospital at 210 Avenue P South (Monday to Friday, 7 am – 5 pm).

The Local Kitchen
March cooking classes at The Local Kitchen include vegetarian cooking in community with Slow Food Saskatoon, fusion mash-ups with Chef Tom Brownbridge, batch cooking with Caitlin Iles, and raw chocolate making with Those Girls at the Market.

Saskatoon’s Best Vegetarian 
Here’s a list of some of the best vegetarian dishes to enjoy in Saskatoon restaurants.

Cheese Anthology 
The Art of Eating offers an anthology of cheese, “a simple, practical guide for people who love cheese.” Find out about the mites that form aged Mimolette’s pitted surface, how Epoisse is washed first in water and then eau de vie, and the long, slightly twisting horns of the Rove goats whose milk is used for Brousse cheese.

Going Vegetarian for the Environment 
Germany’s coalition government isn’t altogether happy about the Environment Minister’s decision to ban meat and fish from official government functions in order to set a good example for climate protection, but what a great initiative!

Schools can also play a role in combatting climate change. Here are resources for institutional food service directors and advocates to help shift purchasing from meat to low-carbon plant-based foods.

Boom Bio
Organic farming is on the rise in Quebec for syrup, vegetables, and milk (article in French).

Fruit and Veg 
Scientists are now recommending we eat 10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Here are some ideas for ways to achieve that goal.

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, February 22, 2017

Wimberley Hall Farm, Lincolnshire

 In order to ensure the long-term viability of their farm, a Lincolnshire family has expanded their operations to include a farm shop and café.

The Wimberley Hall Farm Shop is large and sells primarily local Lincolnshire products. There is a large meat section as the family raises cattle and the father is a butcher.

The café sells home-cooked food and lots of local products. And the food was very tasty indeed!

The shop was originally a derelict barn, while the café was built to complement the existing farm buildings.

My thanks to my cousins for a really lovely visit and meal.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Market Day Flowers

Spalding is at the heart of Lincolnshire’s farmland – flat, fertile fields reclaimed from the sea.

The main crops are vegetables and flowers.

The Welland meanders through town heading towards the North Sea.

Tuesday is market day with baked goods, bouquets of flowers . . .

. . . and some very nice fudge.

Spring flowers are coming out along the river and pathways.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Flavourful Saskatoon, February 20, 2017

There are some weighty topics in this week's Flavourful Saskatoon – but first, a couple of local Saskatoon initiatives and an organic pioneer. 

Alvin Scheresky 
Alvin Scheresky passed away this past week. He pioneered organic farming methods in Saskatchewan founding Daybreak Mill in 1964.

Waste Not yxe
Waste Not yxe is a Facebook group for Saskatoon residents “who are seeking to be conscious about their impact on and relationship with nature, in part through waste reduction.” They post monthly zero waste challenges as well as sharing tips and personal experiences. They also have a website.

Chefs on the Saskatchewan 
Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan has announced a new fundraising event featuring local chefs, local products, and lots of flavour.

If You Care About Food . . . Immigration Policy
“Top to bottom, the American food system relies on immigrant labor more than any other cross-section of the economy. According to the 2014 Hunger Report, over 70 percent of farm workers are foreign-born, with an estimated half of those undocumented. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that over 10 percent of restaurant workers are immigrants, with a study by Pew Hispanic finding that at least 20 percent of all cooks and 28 percent of all dishwashers are undocumented.”

Migrant workers currently account for 12% of Canada’s agricultural workforce.

Cheap Eats
“We need to rethink the very idea behind cheap eats lists. . . . These lists are part of a broader restaurant culture that devalues labor and ignores the consequences of that devaluation. And these lists make it difficult for immigrant businesses — and I include my own here — to break out of the trope that equates communities of color with cheap food and cheap labor. I don't see treasure in cheap eats. Restaurants where workers are paid fairly and the food respected? That's the true treasure.

Can Wine Be Radical? 
Growers who champion a return to more sustainable, pre-industrial farming methods – ergo organics and its more philosophical extreme, biodynamics – are performing a radical act. They dare to question that huge and increasing body of knowledge, encouraged and partly generated by the agrochemical industry, that the only efficient, sensible way to farm crops and produce food or wine is by the use of chemical enhancers, synthetic products and industrial processes.”

And, on a lighter note, two articles that forced me to re-examine my pre-conceptions. 

How Indian is your Turmeric Latte? 
India is an enormous country of staggering diversity. The author looks at just one dish – turmeric latte – that is gaining popularity in North America to explore some of India’s cultural and culinary differences.

“Then, as now, the Bengali foods I grew up eating did not find themselves plastered across menus, let alone most of the writing that exists about Indian food. That does not make them any less Indian. I’m just waiting for the day that Kashmiri pink chai will explode, a more savory, indelicate version of the chai Americans have come to know through South Indian restaurants. . . .”

How Restaurants Choose their Tableware 
The next time you eat out, take a close look at the plates and cutlery. “Some operators are all about the food, and for others, it’s about the service … But the tabletop plays to both of those. It’s the connection, where the servers met the food. It’s the meeting point between those two, and it’s very important.”

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).

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Few Last Snapshots of Paris

I'm heading back to England and then Wales but not without some regrets. I've really enjoyed my time in Paris. The symmetry and the zinc mansard roofs in Place des Vosges are truly lovely.

I don't know my saints well enough to know which one was beheaded, but the statue amused me.

 Thank goodness they turned the Gare d'Orsay into a museum rather than tearing it down!

Imagine putting so much effort and detail into a balcony support - our modern builders certainly don't.

La Grande Roue was an excellent way to see all the main sights without walking an inch.

A sunny afternoon in the Jardins des Tuileries - spring is on its way.

And, in the park behind my Paris housesit, pigeons are courting, four males are eagerly pursuing a female duck, and there are pussy willows and buds on the trees.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

La Seine, Paris

On a sunny day, what could be more pleasant than a stroll around the two small islands in the middle of the Seine in Paris.

It’s hard to believe sometimes that the Seine is still a working river.

It’s the rooftops of Paris that continually draw my attention.

And then close-ups of some of the amazingly detailed stonework.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Flavourful Saskatoon, February 13, 2017

Melipal Wines, Mar. 1 
Meet Irene Aristi, co-owner of Bodega Melipal, and learn more about the wines of Argentina at 7:30 pm, Mar. 1, at Co-op Liquor.

The Local Kitchen 
The Local Kitchen, 123 Avenue B South, has a retail store. There will be both food products and prepared dishes, and it will serve as an outlet for members to try out their creations on a small scale.

Chef Jenni hosts private events at The Local Kitchen. One of your options is a Black Box Challenge. She’ll create a menu, on the spot, from whatever ingredients she finds in the box.

Lettuce Soup 
The fridge was full of lettuce when I started a new housesitting assignment this week. Way too much for salad for one person, so I decided to make a batch of lettuce soup. It turned out really well with good flavour. I kept it simple with leek, potato, coconut milk, and a few flavourings – the choice is yours. There are lots and lots of recipe options online.

Food Waste Solutions 
A European contest recognizes groups that have found various ways to reduce food waste. My vote is going to the Transition Café in Fishguard, Wales. I’m looking forward to having a meal there next month.

Tempting Kids into the Kitchen 
Table of Delights, a British children’s cooking website, is a mix of silly and educational: “So the site has songs about sardines and stories about murdered beetroots (‘Kids love something a bit macabre,’ notes Thomson) alongside information about how to turn cream into vampire blood, recipes for stargazy pie and detailed lesson plans for teachers.” (The Guardian)

And, for a slightly older audience, there are YouTube videos from SORTEDfood.

I ran across two patisseries in central Paris selling nothing but tiny puff pastries - the next new thing?

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, February 12, 2017

Fear of Strangers

I got out of the Paris Metro yesterday at Château d’Eau and found myself on a busy boulevard. There was obviously a large Black population in the neighbourhood judging by the hair salons and hair products. There were also lots of young Black males, hanging out individually, not grouped in gangs, and approaching people as they walked by, crossed the street, or emerged from the Metro.

I couldn’t understand what they were saying, but it made me nervous. I think women have been programmed to be extremely cautious when approached by male strangers, regardless of race. I would have felt just as uncomfortable if they’d been white.

I moved out of the neighbourhood fairly quickly, but I was curious so I went home and Googled the metro station. Obviously, I’m not the first person to be unnerved by the situation, but there is actually a legitimate explanation.

The young men are looking for customers for the various hair salons. When they approach people, they’re simply asking if you want a haircut. If you say yes, they’ll take you to “their” hair salon. They get a small payment for bringing in business. If they’re lucky, they’ll go home with a few hundred euros a month. They’re simply trying to make enough money to live, to support their families, and they’re choosing to do it without resorting to drug sales or theft or other illegal activities. I admire them, but I certainly don’t envy them.

I’m a little embarrassed by my initial discomfort, but at least I went home and obtained more information. Our fears and worries are so often based on a lack of information rather than an actual issue.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Modernist Architecture in the 16eme Arrondissement, Paris

I found a self-guided walking tour of modernist architecture in the 16eme arrondissement in Paris and decided to give it a try. It was great fun to take the time to look at the buildings rather than simply heading straight for a destination. (There are some lovely bakeries, chocolate, and cheese stores as well!)

The avant-garde architects of the early 20th century were reacting against neo-Renaissance architecture, such as the building designed by J. Boussard and shown in the following photographs. It makes me laugh, but I can see how they were ready for something cleaner and simpler.

For example, here are two of six Cubist houses designed by Robert Mallet-Stevens in a small, cobble-stoned cul de sac.

Some of the buildings have wonderful tile finishes.

Auguste Perret designed a 1904 building around a concrete frame, eliminating the need for internal load-bearing walls and creating light, airy spaces that are typical of Modernism. Tilework with a delicate leaf motif adds the perfect finishing touch.

Hector Guimard is well-known for designing Metro signs and entrances. His own home has all sorts of Art Nouveau touches.

I particularly enjoyed the ironwork on Castel Béranger.

A few final photographs of this pretty area of Paris.

And of course, the main reason tourists venture into this part of town is for the iconic view of the Tour Eiffel from the Palais de Chaillot.