Common Eating – Introduction and Overview.

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I’ve decided to eliminate post number three which covers the course outline. There is not a lot of meat in that post, so I figured I would just post the course outline at the top of this post, instead.

I’ve written in the last couple of days about wanting to create a seminary course around the idea of Common Eating.  Post number 1 gives my rationale for thinking this up in the first place.  Post number 2 suggests a possible marking scheme.  Post number 3, for today, provides the outline.  Over the next two weeks I plan to flesh out that outline.

Week 1 – Introduction and Overview Continue reading

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

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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

Kitchen Counter Cooking School


The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, by Kathleen Flinn, is one of those books that I picked up from the discount bin, read the first few pages and then promptly forgot about. Then, about a week or so ago, I was looking for something to read while I ate my supper and decided to pick it up again. I’m glad I did.

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices Into Fearless Home Cooks, begins with an encounter between the author and a shopper in a grocery store. The shopper has a cart filled with ultraprocessed foods. Flinn, gives her some guidance on ways to better shop and prepare foods. This encounter also starts the author out on a journey.

Kitchen Counter Cover

Cover shot of Kitchen Counter Cooking School

As a recent graduate from the Cordon Bleu School of cooking in Paris, Flinn still hadn’t found her place in the culinary world. Following this grocery store tutorial, she makes an appearance on a radio show where she talks about the encounter, and this in turn lead her into teaching a group of people how to shop and cook better. Continue reading