Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Perpignan à Noël

I took a day trip to Perpignan yesterday. Although not right on the coast, it’s certainly a return to the Mediterranean feel with palm trees, balconies, and plazas.

And, in the background, so close you feel you can touch them, are the Pyrenées.

Perpignan was the capital city for the Kingdom of Majorca in the 13-14th centuries, and the palace of the kings of Majorca is lovely.

There was a Christmas market set up along one of the rivers with everything from soap (yes, that really is soap in the first photo below) and wool to honey, cheese, and liqueurs.

And, of course, there were lots of rides for the kids.

It’s somewhat strange to see Christmas trees in the midst of palm trees, but I was thrilled to be able to sit down for lunch on an outdoor restaurant patio – no coat required!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, December 5, 2016

Good Food Box Cook-Off, Dec. 10
Join CHEP and Slow Food Saskatoon in celebrating Terra Madre Day on Dec. 10 with a Good Food Box Cook-Off. Three teams of local chefs will have a cook-off using the local Sunshine Box and a Good Food Box from CHEP's Good Food Box program to make lunch for a crowd. You can vote for your favourite dish, check out the displays, purchase some pottery from CHEP's fundraiser, and hear this year's Saskatoon delegate to Terra Madre, Glenda Abbott, speak about her experience in Turin, Italy. Terra Madre Day is Slow Food’s annual day to promote the diversity of food traditions and production.

Stolen Goods
The Saskatoon Police Service has compiled a cookbook entitled Stolen Goods, the SPS’ favorite “borrowed goods.” Chief Weighill shares his chili recipe. The breakfast section is called The Early Shift and gluten-free recipes are in the Fraud section. Funds raised will go to support the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre.

Packaging in the Coffee Business 
A series of articles from Iconoclast Coffee, Edmonton, discusses the politics and environmental impact of packaging coffee:
Packaging in the Coffee Business
Packaging Politics
Packaging and Landfills
With thanks to Sharon, Only Here for the Food, for her interesting postings about the Edmonton food scene.

EcoFriendly Food Swaps 
Choosing food that is good for us as well as good for the environment can be tricky. Here are 8 food swaps as an easy way to get started.

Uncommon Cider, Calgary 
Now this is something different – Uncommon Cider is an urban cidery promoting quality in small batches.

Festive Desserts from Around the World 
Food 52 has a wonderful series of articles describing and providing some background on festive desserts from around the world. There’s Isla Flotante from Tabasco in southeastern Mexico, an Indian dessert that requires winter moonlight to prepare, Malva Pudding from South Africa (“the dessert equivalent of a warm bubble bath or a chaise lounge”), Japanese Christmas cakes (traditionally made with sponge cake, strawberries, and cream), and many more.

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, December 2, 2016

Market Day in Limoux, France

It was market day in Limoux, and there was so much more on offer than simply fruit and vegetables.


Need some new nightwear?

Or how about a new dress for the upcoming Christmas parties?

And Saskatoon Farmers' Market vendors may want to start be a little more assertive. The ongoing chant at one fruit and vegetable stand was, "Allez, allez, allez! Pas cher, pas cher, pas cher!" And I was told that my meager purchases (green beans, pomegranate, and pears) had the makings of a four-star dinner at home.

And, if you don't feel like cooking, that's okay too. There's ready-made Asian food, paella, and roast chicken to choose from.

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.