Thursday, November 29, 2007

Be French for a Day

This Saturday, there will be two events celebrating the pleasures of French culture in Vancouver.

Once again we will be participating at the Marché de Noël 2007 . It's a charming little market that embraces and supports the francophone artist community. Market hours are 10h00 to 15h00.

Avez-vous faim? Drop by the adjoining Salade de Fruits for lunch or a light snack after you shop. We've dined at this cozy café bistro for breakfast, lunch and dinner (not all in one day!) and have never been disappointed.

If all zis is not enough French culture for you, zen you should pop by Edie's Hats down at Granville Island for a taste of la vie parisienne.

Bonne journée!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Pledge

Thanks to all of you who pledged to buy handmade, officially or not.

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

Our day at the Dunbar Community Centre was ROCKIN' and it's all thanks to those of you who chose to stay home and buy locally handmade goods. We were concerned about Black Friday and the soaring Canadian dollar affecting our sales this weekend, but it soon became evident that many of you did not feel the need to turn your gift buying experience into a competitive sport!

Many hardcore customers braved the near-zero temperatures waiting for the doors to open, but I'm certain it was better than a three hour wait at the border!

On behalf of all independent artists, designers and crafters, thank you for your support!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bon Profit!

The fertile land and warm, sunny Mediterranean climate definitely makes everything in Spain taste better. Eating in Spain is a social experience that is the nucleus of Spanish culture. Coming back to Vancouver was a bit of a culinary let-down, as impromptu gatherings with family and friends are not so easy when you don't live in a small town like Sóller.

Here are blurbs of some very memorable foods we enjoyed and very much miss.

An unbelievably yummy cup of café con leche is available at every bar/cafe for only 1.25€. No need to queue or ramble some lengthy description to a perky barista only to receive a mediocre beverage. Just good, honest coffee.

Ensaimadas are a traditional Mallorcan pastry that is often imitated, but never duplicated. This delectable sweet is worth the price of the plane ticket to get there!

The endless assortment of olives and cured hams from the local market can make a grown man cry of happiness. Tease him with patatas bravas baked in duck fat and that will send him over the edge.

Cocas are a Mallorcan pizza that are often served as appetizers or snacks. It is similar to their French cousin, la pissaladière.

I could not eat enough figs during our stay. Always keeping an eye out for a fig tree, my brother-in-law taught me that the best tasting figs are the ones that you steal. I got use to his little disappearances during our strolls :o)

It is without a doubt that the flan (also known as crème caramel) is the quintessential comfort food. You can keep your Ben & Jerry's cuz I've got flan - and none of that store-bought kind either.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Tojo's Mojo

September 2002...we were in the midst of moving from a 2200 sq ft home to a 900 sq ft apartment. This was character building at it's best. Darkness had set upon us and the lighting hadn't been set up yet. We were fatigued and hungry, so we stopped momentarily to discuss dinner. We stared at the stacks of boxes around us and cooking was not an option.

After ten years of being a host family to a plethora of international students, we decided to call it quits and move on to a different lifestyle allowing us more freedom. At our last meal with the students, they presented us with a gift certificate for Tojo's (knowing that is was up there in our list of favourite sushi bars). *big appreciative smiles*

We have been fortunate enough to dine at Tojo's several times in the past, but never at the Omakase Bar. This was the only seating available on such short notice on a Saturday evening. Upon arrival our seats were not ready, so we indulged in drinks of umeshu on the rocks while we waited. The first time I tried this delicious plum liqueur was on our first date in nineteen eighty-seven. I fell in love...not just with the drink.

When it was time to plunk ourselves at the bar (literally, as we were sooo tired), we were putty in the hands of Tojo san. He asked us if we had any food allergies or preferences and we gave him the green light to knock our socks off.

It was an evening of multiple mouth orgasms. Under the spell of our ever so charming host, Tojo san ensured that we were satisfied with each and every morsel of tapas-sized dishes we consumed.

We raised the white flag before we crossed the line of gluttony and asked for the bill. Leaving with a MUCH lighter wallet and most definitely sated, the pleasure was all ours. Tojo's omakase bar is an experience not to be missed, especially one of his little parchment parcels...gochiso sama deshita!

Friday, November 02, 2007

¿Back Into the Groove?

We've been back for two and a half weeks from our Spanish holiday and are JUST getting back into the groove of things. Leaving behind the warm and sunny island after a FABulous time with family and friends was a difficult journey. I will elaborate on our trip in another post...promise.

Tomorrow we start our winter roadshow beginning with St. Thomas Aquinas High School in North Vancouver. With over seventy-five vendors participating in this 21st annual show, STA is always a crowd-pleaser. Come by and say hello, our booth is in the gymnasium in front of the bleachers.