Food Musings

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

A Cottage by the Sea, Part Two

April28

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From the moment you walk into the little vestibule at Nance’s home, you know that you are in a special place.

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On this morning, I was awake early and loved spending some cozy time alone in her living room.

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Her attention to detail is exacting and exquisite at the same time.

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The living room opens right up to the kitchen and by this time, D was up and making coffee.

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Even the bathroom was themed and inviting.

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From the outside looking in, as well.

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Nance gave up her bedroom for D and I and slept here in her guest cottage.

I have skipped over one room entirely, saving the pictorial tour of my favourite room for another day.

Kath’s quote: Her life was a scattering of small moments, bits of meaningful conversations, and bright dashes of beauty where least expected.” 
 Robin Jones Gunn, Cottage by the Sea

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

A Cottage by the Sea, Part One

April27

In early February, D an I went on a mini vacation (it was my Christmas gift from him), flying to Vancouver and driving from there to Seattle. En route, we spent a wonderful afternoon, evening and overnight with an old friend of mine from The Keg days. I had visited her in her home on Crescent Beach (White Rock), many years ago, but the renovations and love that she has put into her place since then, have made it truly “picture perfect”. Here’s part one of a pictorial tour:

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We started with a walk down “Nance’s” beach.

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When we arrived at her place, there was no one home so it gave me a chance to walk around her garden.

We shared some libations and some nibbles that Nancy had put out for us when another old friend dropped in for a visit. Regretfully, she had other plans and couldn’t join us for our fabulous dinner at the Seahorse Grill.

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PS Nance sent me an update of what her garden is looking like right at this moment, now that spring has arrived in full force on the west coast.

Kath’s quote: A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.” 
 Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

 

 

Watt St. Bistro

April23

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Neighbourhoods like East Kildonan were once thriving little self-contained business centres. When I grew up just a half block from Watt St. we could walk to our own grocery store, pharmacy, hardware and dentist. The mini strip malls that once housed these establishments on Watt St. and various communities around the city sometimes have a ghost-town feel about them. One such business centre is being revived by restaurants like the Watt St. Bistro (710 Watt St. just south of Kimberley). I suspect that the motivation for the neat and tidy café is the huge student population and recreational participants next door at Miles Mac, The EK YMCA and the beloved Melrose Community Club.

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My eldest brother who still lives in the suburb, as do most of my extended family, encouraged me to give the place a try. He mentioned $5.99 lunch specials and poutine, so I was surprised that the bistro actually features an extended selection of Vietnamese fare.

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The highlight of this visit was the sizzling curry shrimp and vegetable dish that was served first. The owner Tan Dang (partnered with wife Trang Phung) personally brought out the two part dish. We were warned about the temperature of the wrought iron platter that was placed in between my sister and me. The second component was a heaping bowl full of the saucy shrimp and veggies.

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As he poured the bowl onto the platter, the sizzling began and the dish imparted the most amazing aroma. Both the shrimp and the multitude of vegetables were cooked perfectly to a tender crisp and the sauce was, well I could have supped up the sauce with a spoon. Instead, I poured it over little bowls of rice and was well pleased.

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Char-Broiled Pork Vermicelli was another choice. The heaping bowl is my “must-have” dish when dining at a Vietnamese restaurant and this was a lovely version.

Watt Street Bistro on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “our highest priority, when all is said and done, has to be commitment to each other –- sticking together.” ― Steve Goodier

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

 

 

 

 

A Little Taste of Greece, Without Leaving Home

April22

Yesterday, my morning began with a drive to the airport to deposit Boo and The Frenchman, who will soon be making their way to the sunny isles of Greece for their honeymoon. Although back-packing, Boo managed to pack a number of flowy white dresses for the trip. I can already picture my baby and her handsome husband dancing in the sun and smooching across a seaside table. Ah Greece, so exotic and romantic and delicious!

During my own sojourn to Greece, right out of university, I was a timid eater. I picked at the tomatoes and feta, the herb omelettes and spinach pie and managed to never ever taste an olive. I was such a silly girl and long to return to Greece so that I can savour every salty little taste. In the meanwhile, I LOVE Greek food, love all Mediterranean food in fact. I have many favourite little tavernas here in the city but not all are conducive to picking up a healthy supper or dropping in for a quick lunch. That is until Opa! of Greece came along. They’ve been in Polo Park for six years, but since I am not much of a shopper, I have never visited. With their second location (1639 Kenaston) adjacent to my neighbourhood and based on the samplings that I enjoyed last evening, that is going to change.

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We started with spanakopita-crunchy phyllo wrapped around spinach, onion and bound together with some cheese.

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We were then invited to fill our plates with traditional Greek fare: meat kebabs, roasted potatoes, “peasant” salad, warm pita, hummus and tzatziki and olives! I am so hooked on olives that I ate them all before I took this photo. These kebabs were specially made for us highlighting beef, chicken and lamb on a skewer. I typically shy away from lamb but it was beautifully marinated, tender and sparkling with flavour.

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Crispy calamari and spicy falafel came around as we sat down at our tables. Both were excellent.

My foodie friends are a hoot and we enjoyed lingering and eating the calamari morsels like popcorn. Here’s the thing that I learned in Greece those many years ago-all food is made better when cooked with love and shared with friends. Owners of both Opa! Winnipeg locations: Fatima and Klaus Kostas, obviously know this too, as the pride in their offerings and their warm hospitality, shone through like the Mediterranean sun.

Opa! of Greece on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “A lucky person is someone who plants pebbles and harvests potatoes.” Greek proverb

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

 

 

 

Cafe Turko Shop, Freemont, Seattle

April21

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When I recently recounted our time at Café Turko in Seattle, I did not get the opportunity to share with you the beautiful shop which co-habits with the café. Both are located in a large building that was once a Turkish carpet shop. Some carpets still remain, along with

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pashminas,

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copperware,

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pareos,

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jewelry and glass items,

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lanterns, lanterns

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and more lanterns. I loved that the shop and the café co-inhabited peacefully together.

Kath’s quotes: Turkey’s true master is the peasant.”  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

 

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