The Catholic Table- Emily Stimpson Chapman


During Lent I’ve been offering a series of lectures called Eucharistic Eating. This is part of an ongoing project(sadly my attempts to record it have not gone well), and I’m always on the lookout for more material on the topic. So, I was quite pleased when I came across The Catholic Table blog. Written by Emily Stimpson Chapman, a freelance Catholic writer and blogger.

Cover shot of Emily Stimpson Chapman’s The Catholic Table.

The Catholic Table is part memoir, part theological reflection, with a few recipes thrown in along the way. The tone of the book is light and breezy with occasional light touches of satire and sarcasm. Always gentle and never malicious. As a Catholic writer she makes good use of both Scripture and Tradition. Continue reading

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Ukrainian Comfort Food – Estellia’s


Last weekend was ManyFest. This year the weekend was a busy one for me. As a result I didn’t get to take much of the festival in. Of course, I visited some trucks for Food Truck Wars.  Although I tried several dishes, Estellia’s Ukrainian Comfort Food was the only truck I managed to visit a second time.

Based out of Dugald, MB, Estellia’s is offering traditional Ukrainian Comfort food. The location in Dugald is a retail store, and they also have a cart along with the trailer they brought to ManyFest. The business is named in honour of the owners’s mother. You can read more of her story on their website.

The trailer’s paint job features the colours of the Ukrainian flag. This makes it stand out from many of the trucks on the street. Unfortunately, the picture of the truck I took didn’t turn out the way I hoped it would. Here’s my experience of Estellia’s.

Estellias messy cabbage roles.

Estaellias messy cabbage roles are a real treat.

Value:

Most of the main dishes cost $8.00 for vegetarian or $9.00 with meat. When I ordered the Messy Cabbages rolls I was a little disappointed when I saw the container I was about to be handed. Then I took hold of it, and my hand dropped about 2 feet. The container is stuffed to the gills. The perogies are a good size, and they come with piles of onions and loads of butter. There are also a sort of mini perogie, that is $9.00 for 10 or $18.00 for 20. Drinks are reasonably priced. 4.5/5

Selection:

Not a huge selection, though having both vegetarian and meat options is good. It would nice to find Kulbassa on offer at the trailer.  4/5

Quality:

I found everything here well prepared. The tomato sauce is quite good. I understand there are some arguments about whether or not perogies should ever be deep-fried, but I really enjoyed the golden crisp pastry on my perogies. Plus, they drench the perogies in real butter. 4/5

Estellia's Deep-fried Perogies

Translucent onions on Deep-fried Perogies

Portability:

Estellia’s Ukrainian Comfort Food scores really well here. The perogies come in a deep dish container. The Messy Cabbage Rolls come in a container with a closeable lid. Plus they appear to be compostable. 5/5

Service:

I happened to visit twice when the lineups weren’t very long. Both times the service was friendly and I received my food quickly. They advertise that good food takes time, but they seem to have the process down quite well. 4/5

Estellia’s Ukrainian Comfort Food Overall:

I quite like this truck. It is certainly a good truck to visit if you wish a really filling meal. This food will definitely leave you feeling comforted, and perhaps a little comfortable as in needing an after lunch nap. 4.5/5

Estellia's Ukrainian Comfort Foods Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sonya’s – Henderson Highway


I’ve recently been reading Starting from Scratchby Patty Kirk. I’ll be writing a review in the next couple of weeks, but one of the themes is memories and trying to recapture them. When it comes to memories and food, the memories are often not of the food itself. Recently I visited Sonya’s in Elmwood just past Hespeler.

It’s been many years since I had paid Sonya’s a visit. For many years I worked at the Family Foods on Watt and Kimberley, and Sonya’s would be on the bus route as I traveled to and from work. I remember it is as a place for comfort food. Home cooked food that was better than what I cooked at home.

cream-of-mushroom

Sonya’s Cream of Mushroom Soup.

Sonya’s for Lunch

It’s been about a dozen years since I left the grocery store and probably a few more since I last had a meal at Sonya’s. When I walked in not much had changed. It’s clear that the owners have found there niche and will remain in it until they are no longer able to run the restaurant. There is a small town feel to the space. It hearkens back to the day when Elmwood was it’s own city. The one thing I thought might be different is that the hours were 9-2, and it seemed to me that they used to be 9 to about 4:30. One other thing that hasn’t changed is that Sonya’s is a cash only restaurant. Continue reading