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


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

Blogger Night Out – Bouchee Boucher

About 6 weeks ago, I reviewed Bouchee Boucher, the new restaurant just down the street from St. Philip’s.  A little while later I received an invitation to a blogger evening at the restaurant. Naturally, having enjoyed myself previously, I made sure to set aside the time to attend.

The evening started at 6 pm. Upon entering we were welcomed and offered a Manitoba 16 cocktail. This beverage is made with 204 gin, chokecherry syrup, and Cava. It’s a fine sweet and tart combination. It was served with a spoonful of jam that added a nice finishing touch.

Blogger evening cocktail

204 Cocktail.

I was the first to arrive along with Alan and Amanda Pineda. While we waited for everyone to come together we wandered around the butcher shop area while enjoying some Duck Heart with Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip, Fried Okra, with a Spicy Green Chili Sauce, and Roasted Chick Peas. Continue reading

Bouchee Boucher – Tache @ Marion

I haven’t anticipated the opening of a restaurant in a long time, as much as I’ve anticipated the opening of Bouchee Boucher. First off, it’s the handiwork of Alex Svenne and  Danielle Carignan Svenne, formerly of Bistro 71/4. I really enjoyed both the food there and the events they hosted such as School Nights. Second, it’s right down the street from St. Philip’s where I’m the priest.


a variety of prepared foods for sale in the Bouchee-Boucher butcher’s shop

Bouchee Boucher is divided into sections. The restaurant proper which you enter right of the corner of Marion and Tache, and the butcher shop with it’s entry off of Tache. The two areas are connected by a short hallway.


A stiff cup of coffee.

The Boucher in Bouchee Boucher

I was a little surprised when I went into the butcher’s shop portion, at the variety of products that were available. Like so many of the newer restaurants and coffee shops in Winnipeg, Bouchee-Boucher not only works with local ingredients, but also supports local producers by carrying their products in store. Continue reading