In praise of chain grocers and frozen French fries

In praise of chain grocers and frozen French fries

Speak in favour of one thing and everyone will automatically assume you’re against its opposite. It’s a tempting but flawed logical leap that happens all the time in the food community. I’m sure it’s not unique to food, but this is where I’ve noticed it…

Alberta Cottage Wine & Mead Directory

Alberta Cottage Wine & Mead Directory

The following is a listing of Alberta’s current cottage wineries. Alberta introduced the cottage winery licence (Class E) in 2005 as a value-add proposition to diversify existing agricultural operations, such as U-pick fruit farms (which often barely break even). Initially there were minimum production requirements…

Eating Haida Gwaii: Green Gaia

Eating Haida Gwaii: Green Gaia

The soup was great, but the community values were outstanding. We knew we’d have to stop in as soon as we discovered there was a place in Masset describing itself as an organic vegetarian cafe – more or less the diet we’ve adopted in recent…

Eating Haida Gwaii: Charters Restaurant

Eating Haida Gwaii: Charters Restaurant

Hungry and haggard from air travel, we stumbled into Charters about an hour after they had opened for dinner. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of a large house overlooking the harbour in Masset, just a quick two-minute walk from Copper Beech House.…

Eating Haida Gwaii: initial thoughts

Eating Haida Gwaii: initial thoughts

Haida Gwaii is weird. That’s a massive generalization and far too vague to mean anything, admittedly, but I haven’t been able to find another way to articulate my thoughts about the place yet. So, this post will be the first in a short series about…

Recipe: golden rutabaga & parsnip soup with mushrooms & microgreens

Recipe: golden rutabaga & parsnip soup with mushrooms & microgreens

This earthy soup could also be called “Early Spring at the Farmer’s Market.” It features two overlooked root vegetables that are among the last of the previous season’s veggies still available at market stalls in early spring, when only the greenhouse and microgreen growers can…

Starting Seeds Indoors & Cold Stratification

Starting Seeds Indoors & Cold Stratification

Though it still seems early in the year, gardening season is well underway in Edmonton. Last Sunday I bought a number of seeds from the annual Seedy Sunday, mainly from Harmonic Herbs—a 15-acre farm up near Barrhead. I picked up some veggie cultivars, both common favourites and some more…

Cold frame gardening in Edmonton

Cold frame gardening in Edmonton

The earth is damp and aromatic with the rich scent of early spring. The day is unseasonably (unreasonably) warm—11 degrees at the very beginning of March—and that warmth is predicted to hold steady through the next week at least; it could very well be the…

Book review: Oxford Companion to Wine, 4th edition

Book review: Oxford Companion to Wine, 4th edition

If there’s one book I recommend all wine enthusiasts possess—no matter their level of knowledge or interest in wine—it’s the Oxford Companion to Wine (OCW). Yes, it’s an encyclopedia: bloody heavy and astonishingly comprehensive. It’s also fun to read, despite what you might expect from…

Vancouver Island wine & spirits

Vancouver Island wine & spirits

The thing about being an editor for an alt weekly paper while maintaining a full-time day job is that it’s really difficult – okay, almost impossible – to get enough ahead on your writing that you can break free of the weekly article grind and…