Category Archives: Food

A Dutch Touch on A Fine Fall Afternoon

IMG_0521On Friday my friend Esther and I paid a visit to the Amsterdam Tea Room just beside Old Market Square at the heart of the Exchange District. I had been there before for tea but never for a meal.  As the name of the restaurant indicates there is a distinctly Dutch flavor to the menu items.  amsterdam tea room vegetable sandwich I had a vegetable sandwich with beet soupendive salad amsterdam tea roomand Esther had the endive, pear, grape salad with the pea, celery and leek soup.   tea selection amsterdam tea roomThey have dozens and dozens of kinds of tea on offer at the Amersterdam Tea Room.  I opted for the Pina Colada tea and Esther chose a chai blend.  We had a lovely meal at a sunny window table and caught up on what had happened in each of our lives since we last got together.  sketching old market squareWe had planned to sketch in one of the many art galleries in the Exchange but it was such a gorgeous day we sat at a picnic table in Old Market Square to work on some new pages in our sketch books.  old market square sketchingWinnipeg, we decided, is a beautiful place indeed on a fine fall afternoon!

Other posts……….

Autumn’s Beauty on the Black Sand Beaches of Iceland

Autumn is the Perfect Time for Writing

Autumn Dreams Are in the Air

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Finally a Ripe Tomato

dave and his tomatoesAs most of you know this summer my husband Dave grew tomatoes in a planter near our home in the Exchange District.  He was excited every time he would see some of the green tomatoes on the vine start to ripen.  But he never actually got to pick a ripe tomato because someone always beat him to it.  He didn’t really mind. He was happy that people in the neighborhood were harvesting and enjoying the fresh tomatoes he’d grown but he decided before the end of the growing season he’s like to eat at least one ripe tomato from his vines.  

tomatoe and bananaSo……… he did a little research and found out that if you picked green tomatoes and placed them in a paper bag with a banana they would redden indoors.  Apparently bananas contain ethylene gas which ripens tomatoes.  So Dave tried it. He picked some green tomatoes stuck them in a bag with a banana and magic! In a couple of days he had ripe tomatoes.  Finally he got to have a tomato sandwich with one of his own tomatoes. 

Other posts………

They Don’t Grow Tomatoes Like They Used To

Homegrown in Newfoundland

I’m Married to a Guerrilla

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It’s Burger Week

Winnipeg’s Burger Week for 2018 ends today.  We were pretty busy so we only had one night to go out and try one of the more than 120 burgers on offer at various restaurants across the city.  Wednesday Dave got home late from a golf game so we figured we’d just go to Hermanos, the restaurant in our building. Their burger was called the Montivedeo.  Spicy bacon, cheese, tomato, lettuce, red onions, egg, banana peppers, ground steak patty, confit garlic, black pepper aioli all on fresh jalepeno and black sesame seed bun. Pretty darn delicious! Hopefully next year we’ll have time to try a few more of the burger week offerings but considering we only got to have one this year we made a pretty good choice.

Other posts………….

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What’s a Boston Cooler?

Whenever we visit Dave’s home stomping grounds in southern Ontario he likes to make a stop at the Dairy Freez. It’s a place he has been going to since he was a child.  Founded in 1954 by Clarence Wright the Dairy Freez is a three generation family business.  Clarence’s granddaughter Arlene is the current owner and she and her husband live in her grandparents’ home right next door to the busy food establishment.  The Dairy Freez is located between the communities of Essex and Cottam. Yesterday morning we went to Essex to watch our great-nephew play baseball.  Our nephew is the coach and the game was a nail biter with our team coming from behind to score a victory.  After all that excitement we were hungry and decided it was the perfect time to make our ritual stop at the Dairy Freez. A great-niece of ours was working behind the counter so we waved and said hello before placing our order with one of the ‘car hops’ who will serve you at your car or at one of the many picnic tables to be found on the nicely landscaped grounds behind the Dairy Freez. Dave had his traditional chili dog and we shared some of the delicious fries and the signature drink offered by the Dairy Freez, a Boston Cooler.  It is made with ice cream and Vernors.  Vernors is a local ginger ale created by a Detroit pharmacist James Vernor in 1866 and sold primarily in Michigan and southern Ontario. Our sons always looked forward to having Vernors on our annual trips to Ontario since it wasn’t available in Manitoba. Yesterday was sweltering hot here in southern Ontario so we definitely appreciated our icy Boston Cooler. 

Other posts…………

Driedger -Top Chef Junior

Homegrown in Newfoundland

Old Bastard’s

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Trying Something New

kombucha tea


Note:  A SCOBY is an acronym for……..symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. You can get a SCOBY from a friend or grow your own.  

Other posts………..

I Drank A Beer in Austria

English Tea with the T-4’s

Putting the Port in Porto


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Hildegard’s- A New Winnipeg Coffee Shop Named For a Saint

Saturday we tried a new Winnipeg coffee shop and bakery that just opened!  It is named after Hildegard of Bingen a German composer, poet, writer, mystic and abbess who lived from 1098 to 1179 and was canonized as a saint in 2012. In some of her writings Hildegard extolled the benefits of a grain called spelt.  Hildegard’s Bakery specializes in spelt goods.  

Hildegard’s is on the corner of Portage and Maryland and is housed in an old building with huge windows that let in tons of light. There are plants everywhere.  I was intrigued by a cool living art piece on the wall. 

The Hildegard’s website says their baked goods are handcrafted and healthy and made from local products.   We chose the delicious lemon saskatoon scone and the apple muffin to go with our coffee.  

Saturday was opening day at the bakery and it was busy!  We know we will be going back.  Maybe we’ll see you there. 

Other posts……….

Gunn’s Bakery

Meet You At the Folio

Different Daily Bread

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Putting the Port Into Porto

Since my husband Dave has a glass of port every night before he goes to bed taking a port tour in Porto was a MUST on our visit to the city. 

The river front is lined with signs for all of the different port houses located there

Porto is world-renowned for its port wine. In fact port wine originated here and gets its name from the city. Other places in the world produce fortified wines too but only those from the Douro Valley in Portugal are legally allowed to be labeled as port. David our tour guide started by asking each of the participants in our tour group to say where we were from.  There were folks from different parts of the United States- Washington, Maryland, Wisconsin, Illinois,New York and people from Romania, Ireland, England, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Poland and five of us from Canada.  We walked across the Luiz Bridge to the Gaia side of the beautiful Douro River where there are dozens of port houses along the quay. Up a narrow alley we found our first port house Quinta de Santa Eufemia. In this port house we tasted a ruby port and learned all about the oak barrels the port is stored in and the cork used to stopper the bottles. 

On the way to our second port house we saw this amazing piece of street art called Half Rabbit. It is by an artist named Bordalo II. Porto is famous for its street artists many of whom have gained international recognition. This piece was made from trash and discarded items found around the city of Porto. One half has not been painted so you can see what those items are. Next up was the Ramos Pinto gallery. The original owner of this gallery used all kinds of lewd posters to sell his wine around the world in the 1800s.  We saw the posters as well as the original owner’s opulent office that included a throne for customers to sit on.  But were not allowed to photograph the posters or the office. I tried to get a good picture of our tour guide at this winery because both Dave and I were just blown away by how much she looked and sounded like our friend and former Steinbach neighbour Ingrid. We tasted two ports at Ramos Pinto a white and ruby.  Dave and I had such a wonderful time visiting with the young people who shared our table. One couple was from Toronto where the fellow was a graduate student in medicine and his wife a speech pathologist.  They both had parents who came to Canada from India to make a better life for their kids. They had traveled back to India with their parents to see relatives many times so we compared notes on our India travels. The young man had played soccer in his earlier university days and had participated in an international tournament in Shenzhen China.  We visited Shenzhen at least once a month when we lived in Hong Kong. So we had lots of shared experiences about Shenzhen to discuss.  The young woman had just been to Winnipeg to celebrate a friend’s 30th birthday. So we talked about The Forks and Winnipeg restaurants. The other twenty something guy at our table was from New Zealand, had just returned from a year of back packing through Latin America and now had a job in London.  I become so heartened about the future when I meet young people like this. Articulate, bright, well-educated, well read, hard working, interested in seeing the world, helping others and broadening their horizons. Our last port house visit was to Porto Cruz. First we went up on the rooftop terrace of the port house.  It was packed with people all enjoying the absolutely stunning views of Porto it provided. While Dave chatted with a woman who owned a gourment food company in Ottawa, I took some shots of the city from the roof top. 

We tasted four kinds of port here, white, roseau, tawny and vintage. I had a great time visiting with the couple across from me. He was from Germany and she was from Australia. They fell in love when his work took him to Australia for a year. She is  visiting him in Europe now and they are trying to decide if they can make a long distance relationship work.

At this port house our guide David gave us lots of tips for how to smell port, swirl our port glass and hold it properly. drink port so we can really enjoy the flavor, and what kinds of foods go best with each type of port. The white port was my personal favorite. At this last port house Dave was deep in conversation about golf, baseball, hockey and the March Madness basketball tournament with a recently retired businessman from Wisconsin. He and his wife have just started tackling their travel bucket list.

We loved our port tour in Porto. Although drinking the port and learning about how it was made was great, visiting with the other people on the tour was definitely the highlight. The world is a much smaller place than we realize and we have so many things in common with our fellow human beings.  

Other posts……..

Roll Out the Barrel

Three Wines for Three People

Remembering Yalta


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