Common Eating – The Meal Itself.

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This post is probably the one that has changed the most since I wrote it. I originally thought that I wouldn’t bother with any textbook. However, I think I’m going to add a cookbook to the list. Not just any cookbook, but the More with Less cookbook. This cookbook is the greatest contribution of Mennonites to the world, well, greatest after Pioneer Farmers Sausage, and Shmaunt Fat.

I also think that I will need to provide material to point students on the best ways to purchase food for large groups of people. I often find that when I’ve shopped and thought that I might not have enough food, that the opposite is true and that I’ve purchased a fair bit more than I need. 

Common Eating potatoes

A cookie sheet full of roast potatoes is a good, simple cooking option. Cutting larger potatoes, rather than using minis will be a way to cut down on cost.

I would really appreciate it if people would leave comments as to how they have been able to overcome diverse eating habits in positive ways for all concerned.

If you’ve had a chance to read the previous posts in this series, you’ll have noticed an emphasis on the meal that begins each session.  This meal is intended to be the central part of the course.  I hope to accomplish several things in doing this.

Foremost, is the opportunity for students to get to know each other in a way that a normal seminary class may not allow.  The meal allows for something more than a coffee break, even a somewhat protracted one does, for  the building of relationships. Continue reading

Advent Potluck & Church Dinners


Church meals are of great interest to me. I think they are one of the most important activities a church community can engage in. I’m fortunate that I’m part of two groups that regularly feature a meal as part of their gathering time. As well, St. Philip’s. where I’m incumbent has weekly coffee time along with BBQs and occasional other dinners.

One of those dinners is our annual Advent Potluck which we hold each year on the Third Sunday of Advent. This year the potluck occurred the Sunday after I was scheduled to make supper for the Saint Magaret’s Saturday evening service. Then, the four o’clock “Kid’s Church” that meets at St. Philip’s was having a service followed by the usual soup and bread supper.

Advent weekend breakfast

French Toast with grilled pears, blackberries, caramel sauce, and creme fraiche, from Little Goat Food & Drink

Needless to say, such a weekend requires a great deal of fortitude, both to cook and to eat. So, I figured that I needed to start my Saturday off with a bit of stretching. Stomach stretching that is. I figured a good, solid breakfast would ensure that I would be prepared to consume large amounts of food throughout the weekend.

Fortunately, Little Goat Food & Drink has recently opened. Continue reading

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The Cooking Gene – Michael W Twitty


The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South,  by Michael W. Twitty is another book that I picked up from the Millennium Library’s New and Noted Section. If you can get past all the latest and greatest diet and nutrition fad books, there are generally one or two worthwhile titles to pick up and read. I was particularly interested in this book after having recently read John T. Edge’s the Potlikker papers.

*Before I get into this post, for some unrelated, bonus, Dining with Donald content, here’s a link to an article I wrote on Feasting for The Rupert’s Land News, our Diocesan newspaper.*

I first heard of Twitty when I came across a link to a talk he gave on Culinary Justice. I was unfamiliar with his work, and when I went looking for some background information, that is I Googled him, I discovered that he first came to prominence when he wrote an open letter to Paula Deen. This letter came amid Deen’s firing from the Food Network over her use of racist language.

Twitty was already in the process of laying the groundwork for what would end up as The Cooking Gene. The book is a deep and complex look into Twitty’s family life and history, and how that family life and history is intertwined with the history of The Old South(he explains at the opening of the book his own definition of what The Old South means). Twitty identifies as a Black, Jewish, Gay man, and these three combine to

The Cooking Gene cover

The cover of Michael W Twitty’s The Cooking Gene.

I’m not sure how well qualified I am to review this book. Being a middle-aged, white, Canadian has kept me far removed from the outrages and injustices visited on Twitty, his ancestors, and his modern, black contemporaries. I will however give a few thoughts.
Continue reading

Scout – Kid-Friendly Coffee Space


Coffee shops are great gathering places. They’re great for getting together for planning meetings, for small group idea sharing, or just for having some time to spent with a good friend or two. Unfortunately, most of them aren’t designed with children in mind. Scout Coffee + Tea on Portage Avenue has just changed all that.

Scout Coffee trailer.

A child’s camp trailer play structure is only one of many child friendly elements incorporated into the design of Scout Coffee.

Now, let me start of by saying, that in my experience, places such as Fools and Horses, Thom Bargen, Parlour, Strong Badger, and others are very open and welcoming of children. However, despite this openness and the friendliness of the staff, none of these places are particularly physically designed to allow for parents to visit with each other while their children are engaged in other activities. More often than not parental visits will be interrupted more than once or twice. Enter Scout Coffee + Tea.

Owner Katrina Tessier, is a Winnipegger who spent four years living out in Victoria, B.C. While there she became a mother, and during her parental leave spent a good deal of time in a coffee shop that featured a section dedicated to children. Continue reading

Jollibee – Northgate Shopping Centre


It’s been around a year since the first location for Jollibee, the iconic Filipino fast food restaurant, opened in Winnipeg. I was invited to the opening, and it turned out I couldn’t go. Missing the opening didn’t turn out all that badly, as the reason for missing was one of things that led to the Free Press feature on my blog last January.

Jollibee has been called the McDonald’s of the Philippines. Which would be true, if McDonald’s actually produced a product worth eating.

Jollibee pie

Peach Mango Pie, one of the dessert options available at Jollibee

When I heard that a second location had opened, I figured it was time for me to finally paid a visit. I chose the new location on McPhillips. I hopped on the 71, but then made the mistake of getting off to soon, and ended up walking quite a distant. On review this seems like it will be good preparation for when Transit cuts the 71 route.

Jollibee Well Prepared for the Crush

From what I read about the opening of the second location, I suspected that the restaurant would be quite busy even though it was closer to 7 pm when I showed up. Continue reading

Celebrating Saint Andrew and Ordination


Today, November 30th, is Saint Andrew’s day. It is the last major feast in the church calendar before the beginning of Advent. Among other things, Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. If you click on the link above you will find how that came about.

Andrew is one of the twelve apostles. He is the younger brother of Peter. A figure in the background of his older, more visible brother. As the youngest of six boys, I can relate to the idea of being in the shadow of older, more voluble, brothers.

Saint Andrew's oatmeal

I kicked off my Saint Andrew’s day celebration with a good, hearty bowl of oatmeal.

Not surprisingly, as a guy named McKenzie, I have an affinity with the patron saint of Scotland. My great-great-grandfather on my dad’s side emigrated from Biggar, Scotland. My great-grandfather, Fighting Mac, made his reputation as an Australian, and my grandfather, Gordon, migrated to Canada, where my dad was born.

So, that’s the ancestral connection to Saint Andrew. I have another connection as well. Continue reading