Prairie Voices – Tasting Notes


Spring time is in full swing here in Winnipeg, and with the arrival of spring various arts groups are winding down their seasons and are also entering fundraising event season. Last weekend I attended Theatre by the River’s, Wine and Words, thanks to a ticket from Mel Marginet TBTR’s artistic director. Then, last night I was out at Tasting Notes, the annual dessert concert fundraiser for Prairie Voices.

Before I get into last night’s concert I want to mention to upcoming events. Next Friday and Saturday, Horizon, the other choir in the choir in the Prairie Voices family, will be holding their fundraiser, Lyrics and Lager. I went last year and it was  a lot of fun.

Then, on Saturday, afternoon June 9th, at 3:30 pm, both choirs will be presenting Summersing, a free choral event being held at Coronation Park.

Praire Voices Pistachio

The Pistachio Mousse, one of the many fine desserts available at the Prairie Voices Tasting Notes Dessert concert.

Prairie Voices is an award winning choir for singers between the ages of 18-25(though in typically modest, Winnipeg fashion, none of those awards are listed on their website). The choir was founded in 2000 by Elroy Friesen, who is currently the director of choral music studies at the University of Manitoba. There have been several conductors since then, with the group’s current conductor being Geung Kroeker-Lee.

I’ve known Elroy for years, attended the inaugural Prairie Voices concert and have continued to attend their concerts off and on ever since. I run into Geung every so often at Fools & Horses, my coffee hangout, where his partner Lauren is one of the owners. In the past couple of years I’ve also had another connection to the choir, as St. Philip’s, the parish where I serve as priest, has been used by both Prairie Voices and their alumni choir, Horizon, as a rehearsal space, when they need somewhere to practice, on short notice.  Continue reading

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Chapter 2 of Joe Average Buys Groceries.


Last month, in response to Shel Zolkewich posting about Stats Can’s claim that the average Manitoban spent $241.00 a month on food, I decided to give that challenge a try. You can follow Shel’s attempts by keeping up with her posts in Manitoba Food Bloggers.

Protein purchases. Pork is almost invariably the cheapest meat choice.

Lessons from my First Month

One of the things I decided when I started was that I needed to do this for several months to find out if it would really work for me. Continue reading

Pancakes, Pancakes, Pancakes.


It’s just about that time of year again. Tuesday, February 13th, is Shrove Tuesday, otherwise known as Pancake Day. As I have done in the past with my Fall Suppers posts, I am creating a list of pancake meals in the upcoming couple of weeks or so.

Pancake day waffles.

Waffles will work just as well as pancakes.

One difference between this and the fall suppers, is that this is open to community groups inside and outside of Winnipeg. So, if you are having a pancake supper, please feel free to get in contact with me. My email is macbubs13 at gmail dot com.

On a related note, if as a parish you hold fish fries during Lent, pass that on to me as well, and I will make a separate list of those.

February 3rd, 2018 Canadian Celiac Association, Manitoba Chapter

The information for this event can be found on the poster. The tickets are $5.00 for adults, and children under 12 eat free. The heading says that all affected by gluten are invited. So this may be something new for you if you have issues with gluten in your diet.

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February 10th, 2018, All Saints Anglican Church

Address: 175 Colony Street

As you may have heard, All Saints is the process of undergoing major changes. This will be one of the final events in the old church hall. It’s Mardi Gras themed, and the poster with all the details can be found here.

February 13th, 2018, Saint Margaret’s Anglican Church

160 Ethelbert Street.

This dinner runs from 5 to 7 pm, and there will be pancakes, sausages, fruit, other toppings along with coffee, tea, and juice. I will be at this one, making sure that the sausage are well cooked and browned. Ticket info in a day or two.

Continue reading

Joe Average Buys Groceries


The New Year is upon us, and I am starting it off with a post inspired by activity in the Manitoba Food Bloggers group at the very end of last year. Group moderator and organizer and generally all-round terrific person Shel Zolkewich, posted a poll which stated that according to Stats Canada, the average Manitoba family spent $241.00 per person per month on food.

Now, I eat out a lot, but I thought this might be an interesting experiment to attempt. This is not my first attempt at some sort of budgeted eating. I did a $20.00 a week Lenten challenge a few years back, and more recently I did the Winnipeg Harvest poverty pledge.

Average Joe Grocery bill

ill $51.11 is the total of my first shop for the month.

So, on one level, I know how easy it is to live off of $241.00 for groceries for a month. However both of those other times were based on the idea of restriction. Limiting myself to a certain amount of calories. Giving myself a small, almost infinitesimal idea of what it is like to live daily with the bare minimum or even less.

This, on the other hand, 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

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

Saint Ignatius Fall Fish Fry


Each year as I compile my Fall Suppers list, I’m always on the lookout for new suppers to add. Since the season runs until about the middle of November, I keep up the search well after I’ve originally posted. This year one of the new dinners that I came upon was the Fall Fish Fry at Saint Ignatius Church.

Saint Ignatius Knights of Columbus place mats

The placemats with the Knights of Columbus logo on it.

Saint Ignatius Church is founded in memory of Saint Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits. Among other things, the Jesuits are known as the scholar priests of the Catholic Church. In addition to the church Saint Ignatius is also home to a school running from nursery to Grade 8.

This parish is one place that despite going past it hundreds of times while living in Winnipeg, I’ve never visited. I’ve worked with people whose children have attended the school, and I’ve had friends and parishioners who have taken part in the Spiritual exercises and the healing ministry course, but never made it there myself. Continue reading