Food Musings

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

Donwood Community Kitchen-Guest Blogger: Anna Marie

September14

Donwood Community Kitchen is a joint partnership with Donwood School and Jubilee Mennonite Church.  The purpose of the kitchen is to build strong community through cooking together.

The kitchen is staffed with the Donwood Community Connector and the Jubilee Community Director, as well as many volunteers that come to help out. Friday afternoons 3 to 8 women gather to cook nutritious meals for their families. Child minding is also provided by volunteers with a nutritious snack. Through cooking together, the women begin to feel at home and comfortable enough to share concerns, challenges and joys. Conflicts between women emerge at times but are respectfully listened to so the women feel heard. Most of the food we receive is donated by F.O.O.D. (Fresh Option Organic Delivery). In order to continue to run the kitchen, Donwood and Jubilee provide in kind donations.

The Winnipeg Foundation and Thomas Sill grants have been awarded to the kitchen. Jubilee feels that this is a way we can put our faith in action. We have an opportunity to show hospitality through the use of space, staff and volunteers. The community kitchen helps to build relationships in an open and loving way, just as Jesus did. Those who come to the kitchen to volunteer are blessed by their experience.

Donwood school works hard at building relationships with the parents of the children who attend their school.

Kath’s quote: “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”-James Beard  

The Grove Pub and Restaurant

September13

The Grove is located at the corner or Stafford St. and Grosvenor Ave. and the  name is a short form of the latter.  We stopped in at this time last fall for a cider on the way out for dinner but I have never had a chance to taste their offerings.  In spite of repeated encouragement from our son who lives just steps away and thinks of the stools at the bar top as a home away from home.

In fact, I had to park just beside my son’s apartment so he knew that I was in the vicinity and met me for a little visit before my lunch date arrived.  He loves the offering of half pints and ordered one for himself and a Bramble for me.  The light and refreshing cocktail is made with creme de casis to sweeten the gin base. 

He also endulged me by ordering the Grove Burger which he claims is the best burger in the city. 

Based on my bite, I would have to agree and the fries were mighty fine too.  I opted for the Chevre and Pequillo Pepper Croquettes and was really disappointed to hear that they were out. 

Instead, I had a cucumber salad which was not quite so decadent but was satisfying with dollops of green olive oil lining the bowl. 

My lunch date decided upon the the chicken sarnie and was equally impressed. 

When my boy moved to the bar top and was joined by a friend, I also got to sample the fish bites which are made from salmon and halibut trim, lightly crusted in panko flakes and fried-oh my!

The room is fresh and light-filled and attracts many local business people and neighbours alike.  Service is attentive and accommodating.  If you live in walking distance, you have a gem of a neighbourhood pub.

The Grove Pub and Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”-Benjamin Franklin

Weight Watcher’s Garden Vegetable Soup-Guest Blogger: Sister #3

September12

When I was a Weight Watcher I was thrilled to discover this awesome soup was worth 0 points, so I could eat it whenever I was hungry. Here are some of the great things this soup has going for it.

1. Most importantly, it is delicious!
2. It takes about 5 minutes to prepare and only another 20 minutes to cook.
3. It contains things I almost always have in my cupboard and fridge. 
4. It’s full of nutritious veggies.
5. If I am missing any of the veggies, I can substitute with another or leave it out all together and it still turns out great.
6. It only has 61 calories a cup.

Garden Vegetable Soup
3 cups beef broth
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups chopped cabbage
1/2 cooking onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup green beans (I use frozen)
1/2 cup chopped zuchini
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt & pepper to taste

Spray pot with non stick cooking spray saute onions carrots and garlic for 5 minutes.
Add broth, Tomato paste, cabbage, green beans, basil, oregano and Salt & Pepper to taste.
Simmer for a about 10 – 15 minutes until all vegetables are tender then add the zucchini and simmer for another 5 or so minutes.  Enjoy!

Kath’s quote: “An old-fashioned vegetable soup, without any enhancement, is a more powerful anticarcinogen than any known medicine.”-James Duke

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The Frenchway Cafe-New Academy Location

September8

We have been a fan of Olivier and his Frenchway Bakery and Cafe at his first location on west Academy and watched with interest as his new locale, mid-Academy was being assembled.  Then, we heard through the grapevine that he was also going into the former Bread and Circus location.  Having been involved in single restaurant openings ourselves, we knew what an under taking this would turn out to be.  Olivier needed to call in for reinforcements and as a result Raphael has transplanted himself from Nice and Antibes (the prompt for my digression yesterday).

D arrived to pick me up for our anniversary lunch with an armful of white lillies.  I gave him an NFL magazine, so you can tell who is the romatic in this marriage.  I plunked them into the bread-maker cylinder that was soaking in the sink, so that we could savour the little piece of time that we had eked out of our day.

I let D chose for us because I could have easily ordered one of everything but even with his decision-making powers we did not make it past the Appetizer selections.  And so three “little plates’ arrived at our table to share. 

The Tarte Tomate was a flaky and tender puff pastry filled with pesto and ricotta cheese and topped with grilled tomato and fresh herbs. The creamy cheese was the perfect balance to the sparkling tomato taste.

Next up were grilled vegetables with a fresh mozzarella and prosciutto (which was optional if you wanted a meatless item).  Even though we appreciate hot vegetables with a hot entree, these were served at room temperature which is the perfect manner to detect the nuances of taste variations.  The first time we sampled a plate of vegetables served in this way was at Cumpa Cossimo our world favourite restaurant located in Ravello on the Amalfi Coast in Italy.  Raphael’s preparation was equal to the very best.

Influenced by the “Frenchman” who is close to our family, we had to try the Petite Tourtiere Maison.  As compared to a Canadian Tortiere, this was more like a giant meatball surrounded by a flaky pastry.  Different and delicious!

We finished off with a tart filled with a sublime custard and a variety of fresh fruit.  The pastry had a cookie quality and made the use of a fork rather challenging.  Who were we kidding, we should have just picked it up with our fingers?  This selection had a “circle of life” feel to it as it look just like the cake that we had for our wedding 27 years ago. 

Frenchway Cafe on Urbanspoon 

Kath’s quote: “Light, refined, learned and noble, harmonious and orderly, clear and logical, the cooking of France is, in some strange manner, intimately linked to the genius of her greatest men.”-Rouff Marcel

 

 

 

Memories of Nice

September7

I was going to write about a recent lunch at the Frenchway Cafe and got out my travel journal about France for reference.  But I have now been swept away with memories of Nice as we were there exactly at this time, two years ago.  When I open my journal, it is as if it were last weekend.

In celebration of a milestone wedding anniversary, D and I travelled to Italy and France (very much motivated by the food offerings of the regions).  En route from the Italian Riviera to Paris was a glorious stop in Nice.  D wanted me to experience his favourite hostel from his backpacking adventure with our son, a couple of years prior.

 

Can you see me under the palm fronds on our balcony?

Villa Saint Exupery was everything he promised and more.  He had booked us a “suite” which in hostel terms, meant that we had our own bathroom and did not  have to sleep with strangers

  

The view from our 5th floor window was of the city below us, all the way to the Mediteranean and from our 180 degree balcony of another cityscape, the hills and the sunset.

 

There was a delay in the preparation of our room because the hostel staff had run down to the Marche aux Fleurs to ensure that flowers were waiting in our room (as D had arranged in every city we arrived in on this second honeymoon).  The lilies were absolutely glorious and I can remember their scent even now.  No wait, those are fresh lilies I smell, a gift from D marking this year’s wedding anniversary.

I digress.  I am supposed to be musings about food, so back to the culinary adventure.  At the Villa, a glass of French wine was a single euro but if you bought the entire bottle, it was only 4 euros-duh.   The hostel’s chef prepares a pizza each evening in addition to one other dish.  So D and I shared an amazing sausage, red pepper and artichoke pizza and a grilled chicken breast, turnip puree, sauteed green beans and roasted baby potatoes-all for 12 euros! 

We sat in the garden and chatted with travellers from all over the world.  Truly, an unforgettable time for us.  

Kath’s quote: “Your words are my food, your breath my wine. You are everything to me.”-Sarah Bernhardt

 

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