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


Saturday Morning Raw:Almond

As a priest, Saturday’s are generally a semi day off. Generally this means I catch up on my sleep in the mornings. However there are some things that will get me moving early on a Saturday, and the annual brunch at Raw:Almond is definitely one of them. Last year, unfortunately I didn’t manage to get there, but this year I was determined to get back on track.

Saturday greenery.

A little greenery in a Winnipeg winter.

This year with the warmer winter, Raw:Almond had to be moved off of the river and onto the railroad bridge at The Forks. This meant a change in the space and layout. I quite liked the change, as it is a little smaller and combined with the warmer weather, a little easier to keep warm while dining.

Saturday Dream Team:

Although the brunch this week was headlined by Talia Syrie of The Tallest Poppy, she had plenty of help including Chef Ben Kramer, and Pam from Cake-ology. Saturday morning is for super heroes and these chefs are among Winnipeg culinary super heroes.

I arrived a little early for the 9:00 am start time, and so I walked over to the Johnston Terminal to get a coffee from Espresso Junction. I headed back just after 9:00 and took my seat. Continue reading

Stone Soup Fundraiser

Every so often as I wander through downtown I see posters up for events. Quite often I look at the poster and then immediately forget what it was about. Such was the case for the Stone Soup Fundraiser.  This was held yesterday at the Manitoba Hydro Building. I’d read the Stone Soup poster a couple of times, but not really made note of it.

Stone Soup Fundraiser bowl of soup

There are lots of tasty soups available at the Stone Soup Fundraiser.

As I was walking down Edmonton on my way to a cup of coffee, I noticed a CBC van parked across from the Hydro building. I wondered what might be happening and then suddenly I remembered the fundraiser.

Yesterday’s fundraiser was in support of the Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba. This organization is dedicated to making sure that all children have access to health and nutritious food. This is largely done through school programs. It’s hard to learn on an empty stomach.  Continue reading

Dinner at Raw:Almond

As you can see from the first sentence, I hoped to put this up earlier than I did.

I wrote yesterday.about my brunch at the Raw:Almond pop-up restaurant, situated on the river ice, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers.  This little venture, the brain child of Mandel Hitzer, owner of the Deer & Almond restaurant and Joe Kalturnyk of Raw Gallery, has Winnipeggers talking (with their mouths full of great food if they’ve had a chance to eat at this little restaurant),

Much has been written about Raw:Almond, particularly on the table.

Much has been written about Raw:Almond, particularly on the table.

They suspend some extra lights over the table for the evening sittings.

They suspend some extra lights over the table for the evening sittings.

Some of the conversation has been around things such as the architecture and stability of the place, (I’ve been there twice and it was perfectly stable).  Others have of course, talked about the $85.00 dollar ticket price.  Yes, you are paying in part for experience of dining in a novel setting.  Yet, the dinner was a full meal, and while it may have left you wanting more, that was a result of the quality of the food, rather than a shortage of it.

When I signed up I was asked if I wanted any particular night, but I said that I would take any night.  While I didn’t know who all the chefs were, I had tried food from several of the restaurants listed, so expected a good food experience no matter who was cooking.  As the scheduling turned out, Ben Kramer from Diversity Food Services was cooking alongside Chef Hitzer.  This was quite pleasing as I had thoroughly enjoyed the food Chef Kramer had prepared for a friend’s wedding reception. Continue reading