Community Food local products

Holiday Food, Manitoba Style

Yes, it’s that time of year again.  The time when the countdown begins. It’s only (drumroll) FIFTEEN more shopping days until ADVENT. What? What were you thinking? Is there some other holiday coming up?

A couple of the very enjoyable Zenbars by Zenbecca
A Homestead Thanksgiving Podcast
A Homestead Thanksgiving Podcast

Yes, the Christmas season is upon us. I believe it began in August in some places, although that could just be my imagination. However, it’s not all bad. Especially when a large basket of holiday goodies for me to try, lands on my doorstep.

Unwrapping the Holiday Basket:

I received the basket after responding to an email from Shel Zolkewich asking if anyone was interesting in trying and writing about some Manitoba Food Products. I gladly answered yes, as promoting local products is something I like to do on the blog.

Holiday coffee
Coffee Beans from Green Bean coffee make a great holiday gift.

Looking at the basket, I could see that it would make a great Christmas gift for someone.* If you like food and variety this basket has it in spades. Not only that, but there are a couple of other things I really like about the basket. We talk about consumerism when we talk about holiday shopping, cut this is a git you will actually consume. These items won’t end up in the back of a drawer or forgotten in a closet until free giveaway weekend. Building a basket like this is also good if you’re shopping for a family as there is a little something for everyone. Not to mention as a host/hostess gift for all those holiday parties you get invited to do (you might want to go a little smaller when you build one).

*As far as I know these baskets are not being sold as such, however the contents are varied enough to give you plenty of ideas for creating a basket of your own.

Best of all the items in this basket are all made by local producers. A lot of the people behind these products can be found when you visit a local farmers market. Not only do you get to enjoy the products themselves, but you can get to know the people who are making them for your enjoyment.
I did try some products almost immediately. First off I tried the mini baked goods from Sleepy Owl Bread. I saved the two mini bread loaves for my Saturday evening dinner at St. Margaret’s, but during the afternoon polished off the sweets. These included mini versions of a:

  • Croissant
  • Pain Au Chocolat
  • Breakfast Danish
  • Prairie Berry Danish
  • Sundried Tomato and Feta Danish

All five were really delicious, but I really like the savoury character of the Sundried Tomato and Feta, along with the Prairie Berry. Then, as I headed home at the end of the day, I gave myself a little fuel kick by eating the two Zenbar granola bars from Zenbecca. Rebecca Hadfield is the talent behind Zenbecca and Zenbars. She’s also a regular attendee at evenings like the one recently held at Wasabi’s. She and Shel among others are guaranteed to help keep the fun level hight at these events.
This gives you a little peak into the basket. In my next post I’ll detail more of what I found. Plus, I plan on adding some posts on the individual products and how I used them.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.