Monday, October 27, 2014

Flavourful Saskatoon, October 27, 2014

Bodega Melipal 
Meet Victoria Pons, Bodega Melipal’s winemaker:
4-5:30 pm, Oct. 30, Saskatoon – City Centre Liquor Store
7 pm, Oct. 30, Saskatoon – tasting at Co-op Wine Spirits Beer Store
Oct. 31, Moose Jaw – winemaker dinner
5:30 pm, Nov. 2, Regina – tasting and hors d’oeuvres at Café Drip

Night Oven Bakery
Night Oven Bakery makes awesome bread. I also really, really like their veggie sausage rolls with house-made seitan.

Our Reps. at Terra Madre 
I’ve been excitedly following Nicole and Kristy from Daybreak Mill as they post photographs from Terra Madre where they are representing Slow Food Saskatoon. Here’s their photo of Slow Food Canada’s booth.

Urban Agriculture 
Los Angeles City Council is promoting urban agriculture by offering tax breaks to property owners who lease their vacant lots for urban farms. What a great way to encourage property owners to turn their vacant lots into productive farms rather than parking lots.

Biddy’s Tea Room 
I’m going to be dogsitting in Norwich, England, over Christmas so I’ve started looking at all the places I may be able to visit. Biddy’s Tea Room looks like a great place to have afternoon tea, but I’m also fascinated by the way they’ve extended their offerings with evening programming.

Once a month they have a Bake-Off. Aspiring bakers bring in their cakes: winning entries may have their recipe included in the bakery’s cookbook, and everyone can enjoy eating cake.

They also host a Swishing (clothing exchange) once a month.

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, October 20, 2014

Flavourful Saskatoon, October 20, 2014

Uptown City Perks 
If you love the food at City Perks Coffee Shop but hate the crowds, head over to Uptown City Perks in the Stonebridge Toyota dealership. It’s quiet, spacious and light-filled – perfect for lunch or coffee with a friend.

Sobey’s Liquor Store 
I visited the new Sobey's Liquor Store in Stonebridge and wasn’t impressed. It’s a decent neighbourhood liquor store, but it’s not a specialty liquor store. The variety of wine and beer is better at the Co-op Liquor Store or even the SLGA on 8th Street. (This was confirmed by a couple of people I follow on Twitter.)

Sobey’s has a stand-up bar where you can try the products they are advertising in their flyer, but it doesn’t bear comparison with the tasting room and tastings at the Co-op Liquor Store.

Tins of Tea

Churchill’s British Imports 
Look at some of the fun things I discovered at Churchill’s British Imports in Cumberland Square.

Chili Marmalade

The Christmas shipments will start arriving at the beginning of November with more goodies being delivered on a weekly basis.


Just Eat It
It’s Waste Reduction Week and the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council is showing Just Eat It, a movie about a couple that ate out of dumpsters for a full year, at 7 pm tonight at Roxy Theatre. Tickets are available on Picatic.  

Steep Hill Food Co-op 
Steep Hill Food Co-op does its darndest to avoid waste and excessive packaging.

Tackling Food Waste 
Food waste is a huge issue so I was delighted to learn that Disney World is turning all its food waste into energy.

A recent article lists other steps we can take to prevent waste – from shortening supply chains to eating less meat.

Organic Connections Conference, Nov. 6-8 
The Organic Connections Conference and Trade Show is being held in Regina, November 7-8.

Homebrewing, Nov. 15 
Paddock Wood Brewing is hosting a Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day on November 15. Several member of the Headhunter's beer club will demonstrate different methods of doing all-grain brewing on their home systems.

Interesting Articles 
Solving the global food crisis: improve food distribution, sustainably increase production, support local food, protect the environment through policy and regulation, engage the public.

The demand for meatless proteins is growing (only 7% of the 36% of Americans purchasing meat alternatives are vegetarian), and the market is expanding to include some interesting new meat alternatives (e.g. tomato sushi).

Defending wheat: farmers fight back against gluten-free trend.

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, October 13, 2014

Flavourful Saskatoon, October 13, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m dogsitting in Calgary and having a wonderful time.

Mama G Opens Restaurant in Borden 
Thanks to her crowdfunding campaign, Mama G is opening a restaurant in Borden. G G Garden Grill will be open from 12-6:30 pm starting October 18. The restaurant will serve both Canadian classics and Nigerian cuisine.

Send reservation or catering inquiries to or call 306.881.0213 or 306.249.1698.

Tomato Wine 
Who would have guessed that you could make wine from tomatoes! Omerto, based in Baie St-Paul, Quebec, makes two aperitif wines, each using a blend of six types of heirloom tomatoes. Omerto uses a family recipe developed in Belgium over four generations ago.

Ditching Disposable Coffee Cups 
There’s a campaign afoot on US university campuses to promote reusable mugs. The We Hate to Waste campaign is aimed at having fun and taking selfies rather than stern moralistic messages.

10 Ways to Grow a Healthier Food System 
Here are 10 tips for a more sustainable food system. I was surprised to learn that baking bread at home will save on water and packaging.

Business Incubators 
Ten food business incubators in the US offer everything from commercial kitchen space and storage to classes and advice on business matters such as insurance. I'd love to see something similar in Saskatoon.

Rotterdam Market Hall 
Wouldn’t you love to live in an apartment looking onto Rotterdam’s new market hall? Such colourful architecture.

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).

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Out of Old Saskatchewan Kitchens

History books can be very dry. They list dates and facts, focussing on battles and politicians rather than the everyday lives of people like ourselves. Out of Old Saskatchewan Kitchens by Amy Jo Ehman is the exception.

Short accounts of different time periods and various immigrant groups tell of picnics and harvest meals, hunger and seasonal festivities. The recipes paint a vivid picture of the lives of those who came before us on the Prairies.

Saskatchewan History 
Did you know that the fur trade forts had to be completely self-sufficient? They had wheat fields, huge gardens, and their own mills for grinding grain.

I was surprised to learn that there were no Ukrainian settlers to Saskatchewan because there was no independent nation of Ukraine. Perogies is actually a Polish word. Ukrainians refer to them as verenyky. Cabbage rolls were common in many countries, travelling to Saskatchewan with the Croatians who settled at Kenaston and the Hungarians in Esterhazy.

Homesteaders from Syria and Lebanon introduced chickpeas. Saskatchewan is now one of the world’s leading producers of chickpeas.

Saskatchewan Food 
Amy Jo gathered her recipes from many different sources. Some of her personal favorites are family recipes, such as her Grandma Ehman’s Applesauce Cookies. Other recipes are drawn from community cookbooks and are often accompanied by a short anecdote.

The recipe for Zwieback or “double buns” comes from the Hutterite Community Cookbook. The buns were cooked on Fridays to be enjoyed on the weekend.

The recipe for Rhubarb Pudding is from Hans and Kristiane Lien, a Norwegian family who moved to the Weldon area after farming in North Dakota. “They came supplied with cattle, farm implements, household goods and some chickens. And a root of “pie plant” for their homestead garden.”

The recipe for Sauerkraut is from the Manitou Pioneer Museum Cookbook and advises that if you are “making a barrel full of sauerkraut, child labour would be useful.”

Hard Times and Hunger 
“We tend to have a romantic idealization of pioneer days, but they were horrific” says Amy Jo. “The amount of food they had was barely subsistence. They worked hard to survive.”

The Pinder family were fortunate enough to get their house built before winter arrived. But their potato crop froze and the coyotes ate their cache of frozen rabbits. By March, they were surviving on bannock and a gruel of flour and water.

Supplies were limited. You used what you could grow. But creativity blooms in the face of necessity. Mashed potatoes could be turned into Potato Pie, Lefse or Spudnuts.

Homesteaders took advantage of wild plants serving rose hip syrup, dandelion greens and lamb’s quarters, as well as wild mushrooms.

Nothing went to waste. Sour milk came in handy for scones and griddle cakes.

Snapshots of Another Era 
Out of Old Saskatchewan Kitchens has the look and feel of another era. The stories and recipes are interlaced with archival photographs and pages from old recipe books.

Don’t miss the photo of Amy Jo collecting eggs or the early delivery wagons in Saskatoon.

“The whole cookbook was the publisher’s idea,” says Amy Jo. “They phoned me out of the blue and I took some convincing. The look and feel of the book is totally their idea. I think they did a wonderful job.”

Saskatchewan Pride 
If you’re proud to live in Saskatchewan, be sure to buy a copy of Out of Old Saskatchewan Kitchens and enjoy a taste of the past.

Out of Old Saskatchewan Kitchens is published by MacIntyre Purcell Publishing. It is available at McNally Robinson Booksellers as well as from Amazon.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Flavourful Saskatoon, October 6, 2014

Saskatoon Co-op Tasting Events – October
Ardbeg and Glenmorangie Scotch Tasting (2 pm, Oct. 18) and Dinner (7 pm, Oct. 17)

If you missed the wine tasting with Pierre Jhean of Henri de Villamont in the spring, be sure to try his Burgundy wines at 7 pm, Oct. 24.

Melipal’s winemaker, Victoria Pons, will introduce her wines at 7 pm, Oct. 30.

There are also rum, tequila and beer events.

Reduce Your Food Waste, Oct. 21
In Canada, an estimated $27 billion of food is wasted every year, half of it at the household level. The SK Waste Reduction Council will share information about composting and other ways of reducing food waste at 7 pm, Oct. 21, at the Frances Morrison Library.

The Sustainable Speaker Series is sponsored by the Saskatchewan Environmental Society and the Saskatoon Public Library.

The Boreal Feast, Oct. 26-27
Whitehorse-based chef Michele Genest will be in Saskatoon October 26 and 27 to promote her new book, The Boreal Feast: A Culinary Journey through the North.

You have three opportunities to meet her and hear her talk about her travels through northern countries, from the Yukon to Scandinavia, finding out about each country’s seasonal feasts.

2 pm, Oct. 26 – Book signing at McNally Robinson Booksellers

6:30 pm, Oct. 26Slow Food Saskatoon Small Plates Dinner & Northern Tour slide presentation. The menu is really interesting and mostly vegetarian. I hope to see you there.

6 pm, Oct. 27Demonstration cooking class at the Saskatoon Farmers' Market

Those Girls at the Market
The Saskatoon Farmers’ Market will soon be moving indoors for the winter and there won’t be enough space for all the tenants. Those Girls at the Market sell raw chocolate and they won’t have a space. If you have any suggestions for other locations or ways in which they can sell their products, be sure to get in touch with them.

I had lunch at Prairie Sun Brewery’s Oktoberfest on Saturday. I loved all the costumes – from lederhosen and kilts to ponchos and sombreros, with a few animals, angels and a devil throw in for good measure.

The pretzels from The Night Oven Bakery were delicious, and I enjoyed my grilled pineapple sprinkled with cinnamon from the Pineapple Express food truck. And let's not forget the Spiced Pumpkin Ale!

Music and various contests were happening all day long. I definitely recommend attending next year. (Thank you for the ticket, Heather!)

UK’s First Zero Waste Restaurant
The UK’s first zero-waste restaurant is really making an effort to combat food waste:

“The restaurant – Silo – is aiming to massively raise the bar when it comes to all things ethical and culinary. It will recycle all of its waste and has invested in a special compost machine – proudly displayed near the entrance – to process all of its food scraps. Supplies will be delivered in reusable containers. Ingredients are being sought from (mostly local) farmers and producers direct. There are no middlemen. Flour for the restaurant’s bread will be milled on site. Booze is being brewed in the basement.

“Dishes will come served on startling-looking plates made from recycled plastic bags, with drinks – in the main, coffees are excluded for obvious reasons – to be drunk out of recycled jam jars and receipts emailed to customers to save paper. The toilets will be flushed with waste from coffee machines, plus there are plans for solar panels to ease the electricity usage.”

The Role of the Market
Markets play such an important role in our communities. The connect consumers, farmers and chefs. They also provide a meeting place.

“The politics are important,” said Nikolaus Driessen, one of the Markthalle Neun’s three owners, “but at the same time it’s important to connect to the mainstream, to those not going to demonstrations. We want to make the politics of food fun. To bring all movements together and connect people who are very much into eating food with people who grow it.” 

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, September 29, 2014

Flavourful Saskatoon, September 29, 2014

Vietnamese Roll, Stonebridge 
I had lunch at the Vietnamese Roll restaurant (#6 – 215 Stonebridge Boulevard) last week. I love the bright, sunny décor. The vegetables were fresh and crisp and the desserts are homemade. There are lots of vegetarian options and next time I’ll choose something with tofu for a more substantial meal.

Vegetarian Harvest Dinner, Oct. 23
Great news! There will be a vegetarian harvest dinner, hosted by Vinyasa Yoga for Youth, at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market on October 23.

Sustainable Gourmet Dinner 
Every year, the Saskatchewan Environmental Society hosts a gourmet dinner with locally-sourced foods. It’s a great way to enjoy local food prepared extremely well. Judy Montgomery has organized the dinner for the past 9 years – the first dinner for 50 people was in her own home! Judy sources all the ingredients, lines up the chefs and even contributes some of her own garden produce. Congratulations!

Lemon Trees for Prairie Windowsills
Winter is fast approaching, so I love the idea of being able to grow a lemon tree on my windowsill. M.P.M. Nair and his wife, Karen Tanino, have been developing a lemon tree that will produce fruit in low light.

“The fruit that Nair finally succeeded in breeding is called the centurion lemon. The fruit looks and smells just like any other lemon, but the plants are small enough they can fit on a windowsill. The fruit grows in clusters, almost like a bouquet of lemons. Nair said the young plant can produce as many as 30 fruits a year.”

Wine Tastings: Saskatoon Co-op 
I am fascinated by wine’s back story – where was it grown, who grew it – so I always enjoy attending wine tastings where winery representatives share their winery’s history and wines. Anthony Taylor, Gabriel Meffre, did a fantastic job of presenting his La Châsse and Laurus wines on September 27 at the Saskatoon Co-op liquor store in Blairmore.

One of my favorites was the La Châsse Cȏtes du Rhȏne Prestige White. It uses some unfamiliar grape varietals (Grenache blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette blanche, Roussanne), but they add up to a complex, refreshing wine.

Healthy School Food 
Far too often, parents and classes raise money by selling unhealthy food – pizza lunches and chocolate bars, for example. So it’s refreshing to read about parents and schools that are taking a different approach.

Farmigo distributes produce for local farmers. They’ve introduced a school fundraising campaign. Parents pick up their groceries at the school and the school receives 10% of the proceeds.

FarmRaiser has a list of products schools can sell as a fundraiser. But you won’t find cookies and desserts. Instead, there are local fruits and vegetables, locally sourced honey, artisan breads, jam.

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, September 22, 2014

Flavourful Saskatoon, September 22, 2014

Wild Blueberry and Tomatillo Soup Shooters with Pickled Vegetables and a Chanterelle Crouton
Slow Food Reading, Sept. 28
Amy Jo Ehman and dee Hobsbawn-Smith will be reading from their latest books at a Slow Food Salon from 1-3 pm, September 28, at 543 Sturgeon Drive (home of Noelle Chorney).

Winter Composting, Oct. 1
The SK Waste Reduction Council’s presentation at 7 pm, October 1, at the Frances Morrison Library will cover composting through the winter months, including bokashi fermentation and vermicomposting.

SK Book: Every Bite Affects the World
Catherine Verrall, a Regina author, has just published Every Bite Affects the World, a cookbook that is intended to help you discover “the connections between the food we eat and our own health, also the health of soil, water and climate, of communities and farmers, both here and far away.”

Ryan Meili says, “Combining original recipes, inspirational quotes, and reflections on our relationship with food and the land that produces it, Every Bite Affects the World is at once mouth-watering and thought-provoking.”

The book is available online from Amazon, Chapters, and Friesen Press. Print copies are available in Regina at Eat Healthy Foods, Nature’s Best Market, Hemp Haven, Regina Farmers’ Market, and will be available shortly in Saskatoon.

Smiling for the photographer. Have you ever seen such a giant potato masher?
Adventures with Chef Jenni
Attending one of Chef Jenni’s Solstice dinners at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market is always an adventure. There are unexpected ingredients (Cream of Wheatlet Polenta with Roasted Vegetables) and unexpected flavours (Wild Blueberry and Tomatillo Soup Shooters, Corn and Tarragon Ice Cream). It’s a chance to expand your horizons while supporting the Farmers’ Market.

Chef Jenni’s next Solstice meal will be on December 20, and Jenni says that it will be a Dinner in the Dark.

Book: Ice Cream Social
Ice Cream Social: The Struggle for the Soul of Ben & Jerry’s by Brad Edmondson chronicles the challenges that Ben & Jerry's faces as they try to establish a business where the people and the company’s social mission are as important as making a profit. They continue to work towards that goal even after they are taken over by a large multinational.

Corn & Tarragon Ice Cream with a Chocolate Beet Cookie
Video: Wine Geeks
Somm is a fun look at people following their passion as four guys spend every waking moment studying and tasting wine in the hopes of becoming a master sommelier. The movie is available on Netflix.

Community Oven in the Park
Urban parks fulfill so many purposes. People can play, exercise, or visit with their neighbours. They provide wildlife corridors for our furry citizens. One Toronto park got a new life – and it all started with the installation of a tandoor oven. They also started up a weekly market, which gave newcomers a chance to practise their English and make a little extra money.

Hospital Food
Was hospital food in the Middle Ages better than it is today? It’s hard to tell, but we could certainly reintroduce the idea of a hospital garden and re-emphasize the health benefits of food.

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).