Easter Feast All Day

Yesterday at St. Philip’s we celebrated the Easter feast.  It was a wonderful day. We rejoiced in the resurrection of Jesus. We welcomed a new member into the family through baptism. Then we gathered around the Lord’s Table to mark the Easter Feast with Holy Eucharist.

After the service, we adjourned to the basement parish hall for an Easter feast of another sort.  St.Philip’s has become the parish home to several families from Pakistan.  Over the last few years it has become their tradition to prepare a meal for the parish on Easter.  This meal consists of a mixture of traditional Pakistani and Canadian dishes.Tandoori Chicken and Spring Rolls from Easter FeastEaster Feast Vegetarian dishesThe pictures above only showcase a little of the food that had been laid out for the meal.  There were also meatballs and pasta salad, green salad, and rice. Along with beverages,  there was a rice pudding style dessert. This was made with rice vermicelli instead of white rice. Plus, in a nod to Canadian culture, some Tim Horton’s Doughnuts.  Thanks must go to the Akhiazar family, and particularly Diana for preparing such a fantastic meal.

This food was as good as anything you would find in a restaurant.  I enjoyed it so much I didn’t get a picture of my first plateful because I couldn’t wait to dig in.  I had really piled on the chickpeas on my firs plate, because they had the most kick to them.

However, by the time I got my second plate, I was able to slow down enough to take a photo.  You’ll notice it even contains a bit of the green salad. That was my cursory nod to healthy eating during my Easter feast.

Easter feast second helpingEaster Feast Continued

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Marion Street Eatery

As I continue to settle in to my new parish, I’m also continuing to explore the dining establishments in the parish.  One of the newest ones is the Marion Street Eatery, located in the Marion Hotel at 393 Marion Street.  I first caught wind of the Marion Street Eatery through a Facebook post of a friend who used to work at the Ellice Cafe.  Then it kept cropping up here and there, so I figured I should give it a try.

I got my first chance to try it out when one of my brothers was visiting.  He I and my mom went for the Sunday Brunch.  We arrived well into brunch service, and the tables were all full.  We were told we would have about a 20 minute wait.  However, we were offered a seat at the bar, and a cup of coffee while we waited.  This certainly made the wait more pleasant.  On top of that, the 20 minute wait was only 20 minutes.  I know it’s hard to judge such things, but when 20 minutes start to stretch to 45 minutes, it makes think I don’t want to return to such a place. So, the Marion Street Eatery was off to a good start.

Brunch Menu, Marion Street Eatery

A great brunch menu. Choice but not too much.

When we were seated we were given a table in the back corner of the restaurant.  The tables are nicely spaced, so that you each table is able to carry on its own conversations. The brunch menus we were handed had a nice selection on them that gave us several choices, but not so much that we needed to spend a long time making a decision. Between the three of us, we ordered the Mexican Breakfast, The Usual, and a Denver Wrap.  On the Denver Wrap, a fruit cup was substituted for the hash browns, with no difficulty or extra charge.

Despite a busy brunch service, we receiving our orders in good time.  While we were waiting and while we were eating, we also had multiple offers of coffee refills.  This happened because the staff at the Marion Street Eatery were on the lookout for all diners, not just the tables that they were serving, (a good selling point in my books).

My dish was the Mexican, so that’s the only one I can completely comment on.  Both The Usual and the Denver Wrap were well prepared and the portion sizes were more than adequate.  I did enjoy my Mexican breakfast, but I would have liked a little more zing in the Salsa that came with it.  Not necessarily more heat, but perhaps a little more zest.

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Fresh Food Market at Knox United

Fresh Food Market Poster

Sign for the Fresh Food Market

Several times a week, my travels take me by Central Park, Winnipeg’s most diverse community.  During the summer I’ve noticed the weekend market, and recently I’ve seen advertising for a Fresh Food Market.  I’d only noticed the sign on the door of Knox United Church, and hadn’t wandered in.  I also knew that Knox had started a community kitchen.

Then I received word through Facebook that Heather Daymond, a MB Food Blogger member, was making pies there with her business Shut Ur Pie Hole. So, I thought, this might be a good time to visit, and meet another food blogger face to face, and maybe eat some pie.

I arrived just after 11 am which was opening time for the market.  As such, there weren’t a lot of people who had arrived to participate. They had about 4 long tables set up where people were selling either baked goods or fresh produce. I saw Heather and went over to her table, and found out that she was there selling her product along with Recbecca Hadfield, another member of the MB Food Bloggers, who was selling her granolas bars.

While we were chatting, a woman came over, and seeing my briefcase wondered if I was a city inspector. The woman was Natasha Ross, who is the coordinator of the Fresh Food market and the Community Kitchen project.  I assured her that I wasn’t the inspector, but asked if I could see the kitchen anyways.  She said yes, and I was taken into the back for a look.

The how and why of Fresh Food at Knox Community Kitchen

Table cards.

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Frittatas – Easy Breakfast Option

When it comes to making breakfast for a group, frittatas are a quick and easy way to add flavour to the menu.  I like them because they work well with a variety of ingredients.  If you look in your fridge and see there are things that need to be used up, a frittata is a great way of doing it.

I didn’t use leftovers for this one.  However, the recipe below is very simple, and can easily be changed to add new ingredients such as tomatoes, zucchinni, fresh herbs, etc. Continue reading

Sous Chef by Michael Gibney, Review

I received a free, uncorrected proof copy of Sous Chef to review through Net Galley.  At no time was a positive review of the book expected as a condition for receiving this copy.

Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line, the just released book by Michael Gibney, chronicles 24 hours in the life of a chef with the titular position.  If you have dreams of being a great chef one day you might want to read this book first.  It may not kill the dream, but it will surely give you reason to reconsider.

While Gibney does serve up a fair bit of the chef as rock star material that seems to be the mainstay of culinary biography and autobiography, he goes beyond that to provide a real clear-eyed look at life on the line. Instead of co-worker gossip, Gibney offers composite pictures of the people he has worked with. This allows for a seamless narrative line focused on the work that a sous chef has to do, and there is plenty of it.

The book starts off with a look at the kitchen as Gibney arrives not quite mid-morning.  The kitchen seems almost like a refuge, until he makes mention of the prep lists.  While he lingers on the peacefulness for a moment or two more you soon find yourself drawn into the urgency of his world.  Once the work begins Gibney will work virtually non-stop until late at night. Continue reading

Stock Making Time

Stock from Vegetable Scraps

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve done a bit of cooking on a medium scale.  Still, that produced a good quantity of vegetable peelings.  I don’t have a composter of any sort in my apartment, but I didn’t want the peelings to entirely go to waste. So I decided to make stock for soup.

I’m going to describe what I did, and then comment on a couple of things I would do differently the next time around.  Off the top, I didn’t bother to put the vegetable peelings in any kind of freezer bag.  They were just in plastic grocery bags, or the bags you put them in at the store.  They only sat a few days, so I don’t think this had too much of a negative consequence.

When it came time to prepare the stock, I started off by taking all the frozen scraps and placing them in my slow cooker.  Then I filled it with water almost to the top, tossed in a bit of sea salt, and put it on high for an hour.  After the hour I turned it down to low and let it go over night.

Making Stock from veggie scraps

When I got up in the morning I took a quick taste of the stock to see how it was coming along.  I noticed it wasn’t very strong, and that it lacked in salt.  This is a hard one for me to judge, as I don’t like to put a lot of salt in what I cook.  At this point the stock doesn’t look overly tasty.  I also tossed in some leftover savory I had, as rutabaga seemed to be the dominant flavour.

Simmering the stock Continue reading