Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

“Keeping the Feast”-Part 1


Every once in a while, a book comes into my life that I know will live with me for a very long time.  I had never heard the title or the author until this treasure was gifted to me on Mother’s Day by my son and his wife.

The author, Paula Butturini, is recounting a stretch of time spent in Rome.  The work is non-fiction.  The read restores memories for me of our time in Italy.  I am unable to adequately describe the Italian’s reverence of food although I have attempted it often in this space.  I believe that we are intended (like the Italians and French) to shop daily and then prepare fresh food with urgency.  If this was the case for us in North America I know that our reliance on packaged and processed food would be a thing of the past.  We would enjoy better health and families would once again gather around the dinner table.

The Campo that is mentioned here is the Campo dei Fiori which means “field of flowers”.  It was originally a meadow, then cobble-stoned in the 1430’s.  It was transformed into a public market in 1869. 

This is from Paula’s prologue:

“Morning after morning for an entire year, I walked to the Campo before most people were up.  Noisy, hoking, shouting Rome is almost quiet at that hour, and what began as a simple routine soon took on the trappings of a ritual.  I woke up early, dressed, walked out the door and over to the Campo.  I would buy a shiny, plump purple-black eggplant.  Or a handful of slender green beans, so fresh and young, you could eat them raw.  I bought three golden pears, or a heavy bunch of fat, green grapes.  I bought a few slices of Milanese salami, a bit of veal.  I bought a thin slab of creamy Gorgonzola, to spread on crusty, still-warm bread.  I bought milk, yogurt, butter and eggs, and finally the newspapers.  Then I would head home, stopping in the tiny church of Santa Brigida, which lay halfway between the Campo and our apartment.” 

Kath’s quote:  “When I was alone, I lived on eggplant, the stove top cook’s strongest ally…. “-Laurie Colwin

Dessert Sinsations


The three sisters love to dine together and use the excuse of our birthdays, fairly well placed throughout the year, to get together.  Well as you know, mine was recently and I carefully choose the restaurant.  A central location is key because our Mom and Sister #2 are in EK and Sister #3 in Corydon Village.  We also have an eye of accessibility for my Mom and Dessert Sinsations Cafe filled the bill on all accounts.  To find that it was Mexican Fiesta month, was the icing on the proverbial cake.

Chef Barbara’s partner Rich, is known to us from our former restaurant days when we all worked together.  We were very impressed with their new twists on some of our old favourites.

I kicked the night off with a mango Margarita and then followed with a savoury Mexican soup. 

Sister #3 had a Taco Salad that she seemed quite pleased with.

Sister #2 tucked in to the chicken fingers which had a layer of curry under the crunchy breading. 

Our Mom, the gravy-lover, opted for the poutine made with a mixture of white and sweet potatoes. This inspired us to try the lobster and dill hollandaise poutine for the table.

When asked what I would like to sample from the dessert display, my answer was a fork.  I was too satiated for a full dessert but was happy to share one four ways.  It was a tough decision (as one might expect at a restaurant so named).  In the end, the red velvet chocolate cake was the winner. 

Dessert Sinsations Cafe on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Sir, Respect Your Dinner: idolize it, enjoy it properly. You will be many hours in the week, many weeks in the year, and many years in your life happier if you do.”-William Makepeace Thackeray

“The World at My Table”


Every once in a while, I unexpectedly stumble across a gem of a cookbook.  My latest find is this one: a collection assembled from the learners of the former Age & Opportunity (English as an Additional Language) for Older Adults program.  Two of the recipe writers have since passed on and their recipes are a memorial.

I so wish that the recipes from my little Polish Grandma Felice had been recorded somewhere but since they have not, I scan collections such as this for the possibility of her jarred meat, her prune dumplings or her thimble cookies.  Her Poppy Seed Roll was legendary (well perhaps only to her neighbours of the little town of Limerick SK) but stellar in my memory.

In the Recipes from Europe section there is a version but it is from the Ukraine and not Poland.  Still I will give it a try.  Others on my list:

Mullah Potatoes from Sudan

Alfajores (Dulce de Leche Cookies) from Argentina

Fried Milk from China

Lumpia (Spring Rolls) from the Philippines.  I’ve always wondered what lumpia rolls were at Confusion Corner.

and Plov from Uzbekistan (I’m going to have to look that one up in my atlas) 

The collection itself is very user friendly as it has a spiral spine which means it will lay flat in the kitchen.  The design by Jeff Lukin is excellent;  done with a template of clouds on every page as if you were flying the world to savour these dishes.

To find out where you can pick up your copy-contact Age & Opportunity at 956-6440. 

Kath’s quote:  “I know the look of an apple that is roasting and sizzling on the hearth on a winter’s evening, and I know the comfort that comes of eating it hot, along with some sugar and a drench of cream… I know how the nuts taken in conjunction with winter apples, cider, and doughnuts, make old people’s tales and old jokes sound fresh and crisp and enchanting.”-Mark Twain

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