We Call Them Food Misdemeanors, Not Food Crime

I know its been a while since I’ve blogged. I have been busy. I know that is no excuse for not writing here. Except for oscar picks… which I lost the bragging rights to.

On with the foood! I had a brainstorm earlier this week, recalling a conversation and making a combination. Apparently the best burger combination includes 80 percent beef, 10 percent pork, and 10 percent lamb. Combinations there of can be tweaked as per recipe and who is cooking it. Personally, one of the best burgers I’ve ever had was ostrich. The beef and pork combination got me thinking about how to apply it with chili. Then it hit me.


I started off with white mushrooms sliced, one green pepper, one large jalapeno pepper, some diced tomatoes and onions, and 10 slices of thick cut back bacon. Add some oil and slow simmer in pan to get things going. I let this combination cook for a couple hours in my ultimate gigante frying pan, cast iron, porcelain coating. Couple of hours on low did the job, then… overnight in the fridge.

Then into the slow cooker first thing the next morning with brown beans and some hamburger. Stirred up every 4 hours, finally finished up after 14 hours for… Ze uber chili.

The jalapeño brought out more of a bold juicy flavor that countered the onion flake that in the herb and spice mix. The beauty of cooking chili longer is that the flavors mellow and blend. I push for 10 hours on slow cooking. Some say that cooking chili that long maybe overdoing it. I say the blending of the flavors makes an extremely different meal each time you cook it.

Plus I was really busy and slow cooking rocks. Put everything in, come back and stir at 6 hours.

Next time, I think I will do the equivalent of a half/half. Beans, hamburger, chili + spices, and chocolate stout cooked up. Then an hour before serving, just stir fry up the bacon, jalapeño, onion and then deglaze with harp ale. Mix it up… now that’s a food misdemeanor.

I’m still

Wait! BONUS! Since it’s been so long since I’ve blogged in a while, might as well do another great post on cooking.

Ultimate French Toast via Nutana Bakery.
Basic recipe for french toast… which isn’t french cooking at all. One of the original recipes calls for stale bread, wine, orange juices and sugar, which is leaning towards an interesting bread pudding in my opinion.

Two different styles of french toast, dessert style with vanilla and regular style for ultimate sandwich making. Dessert style involves sweeter combinations like powdered sugar, favored in the southern states of the US. Or skip the sugars and vanilla, just use bread and egg and then place slices of smoke ham, turkey, and swiss inbetween two slices for a Monte Cristo sandwich.

But my preferred, style of french toast is getting a cinnamon loaf from Nutana bakery. Per slice of bread, one egg, and just enough milk to coat the yolk.

If you are in Saskatoon, do stop by Nutana Bakery and get one of their double chocolate doughnuts. It is truly a brilliant art they perform there, some of the best baking you can find in western Canada.

I’m still here, burp,

It’s Library Week! Bring on the Burlesque! Wait… What?

It’s Saskatchewan Library Week! Hooray! Bring on the Burlesque! Wait… What… back that up again…

Let me explain.

This evening at Lydia’s Pub on broadway, the Saskatoon Public Library brought us an evening of story tellers. The annual event Stories in the Bar brought us all story tellers for all ages, and tastes.

Yes, yes, the burlesque, it is a form of story telling… I’ll get to that.

The gracious and charming Jenny Ryan hosted and with some great improv comedy (I’m on rollerskates!) introduced the acts and had give aways. Guess which famous movie librarian and get a romance novel. Titles with the words, forbidden, desire, Ramone, billionaire, brides on the run… Lots of fun. Anyways, onto the acts!

Lori Tkachuck from the librarys children department brought the slightly turned fairy tale of Sleeping Ugly. A winding tale with many parables and as all good fairy tales go, come with a good morale.

Shannon Swekla, former children librarian, (as described as Mother Goose meets Captain Morgan) brought out finger puppets. (Okay, the burlesque, just wait, I’ll get to it.) Suddenly I’m drinking a pint of Alexander Keiths Red, and the entire bar is doing kindergarten singalongs. I can almost feel the glaring stare of Mrs. Yaworski from beyond the grave giving me a stern look. Not because I was drinking beer, but I was making notes and not singing along. Needless to say, it was fun.

Then there was another act, and then a quick break.

Curtis Peeteetuce brought us some heartfelt and very personable stories from his life. Great guitar playing, and brought the story of his ‘Great-Great-Great Grand Uncle Allmighty Voice’. Even he had problems figuring out the connection. A great song inspired by the man and the story of freedom.

One of the virutal reference librarians, Joe Geary brought us a fairy tale. Not the cheerful Disney everything is sparkly, and songs about happiness. This was Grimm’s Fairy tales material. He calls himself the Story teller to the Broken-Hearted. At first, I thought, wow, Saskatoon Public Library cloned Garrison Keillor! But no, Joe is a great story teller, and left me a little chilled. You couldn’t hear the crowd breathing, he was that good of a story teller. Cheers.

Don’t worry, I’ll get to the burlesque, just wait for it. Sheesh! It was really good, but just wait for it!

Saache Heinrich (pronounced Sage… I think) another librarian, the Childrens Librarian for the Wheatland Regional Library. A new piece from her, as she brought out her fiddle and played and told the tale of the young girl learning music. I hear the tones, and I’m six years old, my Nana (great grandmother right from Scotland) is telling me a story of fiddles, and how the song can entrance and captivate people. The song itself is a story. Great blend of music and story.

Then there was the Karpinka Brothers, great sounds. First impression was very influenced from Barenaked ladies and from other great canadian acts. Also reflected how they plan to tour libraries. Great songs, catch their next show if you can.

Oh yes, what was I forgetting… Nothing. The Rosebud Burlesque had three numbers, and as always, just like my hints throughout this blog… It’s the tease that pleases. You may think burlesque is about sex, but it’s not. It’s everything but. The Queen of Tarts amazed us, as she did find her tarts. (Decalled pasties for the win.) As well, Miss Manners had a nice day in the park. And there was the beat poetry of a turtle, who had problems getting out of his shell. That’s right, his. Something for the ladies. Which was the most crowd pleasing as the majority of the crowd were women. The beauty of burlesque is that it is story telling. It’s tongue in cheek, it’s teasing, it’s comedy. It’s local artists, and there isn’t enough support for them in these days of instant download entertainment. Get outside, take in a talk or music show.

A lot of librarians and friends thereof and it was not the usual crowd at Lydias, but it does indicate a new push in the right direction for libraries. They are now going beyond the stereotype. They are high tech with free wifi. They have an impressive dvd collection. Want audiobooks for your ipod? They have downloadable versions that expire! It’s these little events that help bring exposure to what the public library system has become. Modern. Fun. A little bit of Librarians Gone Wild tonight? Maybe, maybe not, but if anything, I had a great time.

I’m still here,

P.S. By the way, ran into the ever funny Dave aka @mmmerf afterwards. Great guy, really funny, did a bang up job at Barcamp Saskatoon 2010. Check his stuff at his Blog in Progress at Our Story So Far…

P.P.S. This makes my 750words for today. 750words.com for all your instant get your journalling done for the day website.

P.P.S. If any of the librarians or speakers want their websites featured here, please drop me a note! Real artists fear obscurity!

Wait for it… http://www.rosebudburlesque.com/home.htm

Geocaching on 10/10/10

Geocaching 10/10/10

A great event brought a good majority of the saskatoon geocachers (and a few from out of town) to Gabriel Dumount Park. A riverside park that has some excellent walkways, a kids playground, and some really good caches. Check this view. Homemade by C at GC2C70M, was a nice change of pace, as so many other Geocachers in Saskatoon have mentioned – It’s nice to find something larger than a nano or micro. I have to agree. The park is an excellent place to go, it goes from groomed to the wild grasses that a lot of the dog parks have. There are little high spots on the riverbank that you can see the construction on the new south bridge as well. Like this spot.

Geocachers on the trail

Geocachers on the trail

The event put on by Houlagans also had a great game that showed how much your gps can actually lie to you. For most GPS units, you can actually get the zero point where the cache should be hidden. But it’s nowhere near the actual cache. So how does that work? The accuracy and calculations of the GPS units are dependent upon several factors, including how many of them can actually get information to your unit. So don’t always depend on your GPS, use your brain, think like a cacher. Check your accuracy and overhead. Trees, overhead high power lines, buildings can block the signal.

The 10/10/10 date marks the 10 year anniversary that geocaching and groundspeak got off the ground… so to speak. The request for everyone to log 1 cache was to see if they could set a new record. After everyone was done entering and updating their finds, the total number of accounts logging one cache was 78,313. It’s a fun hobby… er sport. It’s a weird mix of the two. Gets me out on the trail and occasionally I get to take a really good photo.

Geocaching on 10/10/10

A Boy and his Dog

I’m hoping it will be a slightly milder winter, at least on the weekends. I’m going to try and get some winter gear together, see if I can get some caches done in the winter. I tried a couple last year, but wasn’t really prepared for it. Either way, it gets me out of the house, and as the infamous BennyKidd has on his signature for his geocaches…

‘You Never Know When You Will Find Your Last Cache SO Enjoy Today And Cache On”

I’m still here,

P.S. This was supposed to be posted on Oct.11… curse you fingers for not scheduling right.

Diefenbaker Park – My Geocaching Waterloo!

Still gorgeous out there, mosquitos surprisingly not as bad as they were earlier this summer. Had to get out and enjoy it as the amount of daylight keeps dropping 3 minutes every day. Plus with the overnight temperatures of 3 degrees, I think that was old man winters postcard. Fall may come a little early this year, and hopefully not full of rain. Just remember, minus 40 is damn cold compared to what we’re having now.

Was on the lookout again for Sask First Residents (GCV3GN), Diefenbaker Park (GC23AW5), Saskatoon Geo-Post Office (GCX13P)… 3 more DNF’s, got scratches. Dief park is my waterloo, I don’t know if its the frisbee golf or what. Can’t seem to find those 3, must try again one of these times, but not solo. The MVA trail was closed, but some people were still using it.

Here’s a few shots that I took.

Beaver Shot!

3 adult geese, and one almost adult gosling.

Sunset over train bridge

About 4.5 inches across, really big print.

Path by the river

All of the above shots were taken within 20m of each other. There really is a lot of great places to explore in Saskatoon. Take the time, get out there, while it’s still (relatively) warm.

I’m still here,

Beer Review – Czech Mate – Paddockwood Beer BONUS Food Misdemeanor

Huzzah! Behold! Food AND drink porn!

Not bad for an improv food misdemeanor

Tonights selection for supper, includes a really good piece of cod and sushi from Charlies Seafood Market. (Located next to Mystic Java, 8th and McKercher.) The cod took really minimal time on medium low heat on the grill. Did a quick little spice rub/coating using rye bread croutons, onion flakes, paprika, chili flakes, black peppercorns, seasalt and some flour. Done on the upper grill, keep an eye on it. I couldn’t find any decent peaches on the way back.

Yes, I said it. Peaches.

I’ve had it before, and the addition of a slice of peaches on cod, is an amazing combination. If it is fresh from deep fryer for fish and chips, make sure the peaches are really cold. The sweetness of the fruit and temperature difference will be able to bring out amazing flavors in any piece of cod. Try it out once, life is too short.

The sushi from Charlie’s is consistently good, great selection for quality that is offered. Smoked salmon with cream cheese, oyster, and octopus. Little drizzle of soya sauce, couple dabs of wasabi, and it is flavor time! Salad is my usual mix of baby greens, croutons, sunflower seeds and russian salad dressing. Because I need to eat more greens, and it works better color wise for the photo.

Onto the beer! I thought I had done a review of the Czech Mate, but I have not. This is an excellent summer beer for those looking to quench their thirst. Those looking for a basic lager will be confused at the complexity of this czech style beer. Slightly cloudy on pour, bright golden hues, tiny bubbles, and really small amount of head. This maybe due to what I’m reviewing are not recently brew. I’ve found that Paddock Wood beer gains extra flavor and mellow tones if you allow the beer to sit for a while. Like a month. Keep it cold and in a dark place, and you will be amazed at the result. Little less on the carbonation after this amount of time. The body is lessened and is not as filling as the recent brewed or fresh from keg. Sharp on the front, mellows out with a hint of the citrus hoppy tartness on the backend which is a signature of Paddock Wood beer. There isn’t much to improve on this. Overall, another good beer from Saskatoon brewers, try it out when you find it.

I’m still here, still up for tasting new beers, trying out new recipes,

The Grit of it all

Deep south, humid and dark with southern gothic secrets, a music style is born. Blues emerges as a dominant form of music to create such guitar and blues men as Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker. From the inclusion of pop and swing from the dance hall days gives birth to Rockabilly; a style that incorporates traditional harder edged country. More studies into Stevie Ray Vaughn, ZZ Top, Carlos Santana, Thorogood.

Johnny Grit is a fun ride down blues and rockabilly backroads with a rock mixtape blaring on vintage vox amp headed towards bar band legend highway. Drum solos and beats that are at times a study in Buddy Rich, other times are almost glossed over. Heavy bass lines only let up for tempo switches which only bring out the rock. Guitar solos at times seemed a little disjointed, but was a reminder that this is only mainstream influenced, not mainstream. Vocals include some of the cleanest rasp I’ve heard in quite a while.

Last nights show was a full house at Buds on Broadway. The release party for their cd Make Liars brought out the old fans of the band and the recently inducted. 11 Tracks on the CD are an overall look at the styles Johnny Grit can perform. From the Tarantino-esque Escape from Mexico, to rockabilly style of Goin’ Back. A majority of these were performed. Cover songs also got the crowd going and fun improv on the Police’s So Lonely with a surprise appearance from Oral Fuentes. Surprisingly mixed in a tribute to Bob Marley, which brought down the house. Yah mon, everything is gonna be allright.

Lot of happy faces across the crowd from all walks of life. From the artsy dreadlocked, pinup corsets and tattoos, truck drivers, blue collar workers, suits and straw fedoras. Complete strangers giving each other head rocking nods in agreement. And the dance floor was not empty either. Grooves, rifts and beats that get guys dancing….

Which brings me to my next point. The strangest part of is what a friend has called the Man-omenon. Whenever Johnny Grit plays, there seems to be a group of guys who are on the front line, fist pumping with the beats and rifts. There were some last night, but reports say that there have been a lot more Dudes. This guitar rock appeals to the dream of every guy who thought they could play guitar but really couldn’t.

Unfortunately for me, I can barely dance, and my musical talent has just stretched to learning how to play the stereo last week.

Live shows will rock, you must attend. Slightly more country and slower tempos on the cd. Reminds me of the difference between the live show of Clutch and the album versions. One thing is for sure, I do know good guitar rock when I hear it.

I’m still here, support local,

Johnny Grit is
Vocals/Guitar Fabian Minnema
Bass/Vocals – Chris Richardson
Guitar/Vocals – Kyle Dixon
Percussion – Randy Farkas
Organ – Ross Nykiforuk
Trumpet – Barry Redford

You can find more information on them on the interwebs

Geocaching : Dry Spell over!

Finally broke the dry spell! Let it reign! That’s right, lately I’ve had a dry spell for geocaching, it’s been DNF after DNF. That’s Did Not Find for those of you who do not geocache.

Just outside of Saskatoon in the hamlet of Furdale, (N 52° 04.526 W 106° 43.071) is a dog park, great trails and a whole lot of people who bring their dogs for free walks and runs.

Don't worry, people looking out for each other

And people looking out for each other. If you lost your keys, check with the main post. Nice area too, lots of smiling people, happy dogs.

Typical Trail

It's right there, can you see it?

The geocache is in the photo. Really.  There are two ridges where the river used to be before the top ridge. It’s in there. You just need to find it. And take lots of photos of the locals, so you get the odd decent photo, such as….

Not my dog, named Harley, found ball. Happy.

There is some serious trees and bushes in the area. Reminds me of the stories my grandmother would tell me. Apparently at one point and time, the farm houses in Saskatchewan would have flag poles so you could actually point out which way to go. That’s some serious tree growth.

Finally made it to the river, and its gorgeous. Sun is beating down, reminding me that I’m a geek and that my melanin has been replaced with useless pop culture knowledge. Even the boys and their dogs agree.

Their dogs are running around, the boys conference

I headed north to find another geocache in the area, and found some interesting tracks. Definitely part of the river when the water gets high enough. But lucky for me, it was wide open to the other paths further north.

About the size of a small grapefruit, if my calculations are correct, that makes for a very large duck. I couldn’t stop there. It was very large duck country.

Beaver lodge or giant duck nest?

By this point, I deduced that Tolkein had to do a lot of walking through swampy places, as I saw the factory from a distance, I had the feeling that I still had a long way to go to Mordor.

Ominous, the geek walked on.

Tricky little squirrel, I almost got a shot of him.

But in this mess somewhere. Squirrel. Didnt think they were this far north. But I saw one. I waited ten minutes perfectly still, but still no sign of it. Then I remembered… Dog park. Squirrel hears sound, dives for cover. It was at this point things started to get dark. Luckily with my GPS, I have updated times for sundown, and did a quick calculation for how far I had to go back.

Moon over treetop

Then ooh, pretty sunset through the trees. It’s photos like these that my mother would love to paint.

Quick drive back into town, and rewarded myself again. With a chocolate malt.

Homestead Ice Cream

There is going to be another post about Ice Cream, and how Homestead is the pinnacle of all ice-cream-dom…empire… There will be another blog post in future.

Got a lot of walking in, pushed bush, learned some lessons. Long sleeve shirts and pants for the area. Need to outfit my geocaching tools with flashlight, extra batteries for gps, and some extra trash bags for finding trash along the way.

May 1st is the CITO event in Saskatoon. That’s Cache In Trash Out. Which while you are geocaching, or just out walking your dog, you see some trash, pick it up. It’s the only planet we’ve got, lets take care of our home.

I’m still here,


For more details visit http://www.geocaching.com

Still haven’t found

… What I’m looking for.

My skills as a geocacher are really novice. Until I actually get good at this, I am going to be logging a lot of DNF’s. In muggle speak, that’s Did Not Find.

I don’t think I’ll call them that.

I’m thinking I’ll be calling the whole exercise ‘Muggleproofing’ a lot of geocaches. I can’t find them. Good, they’ve been muggle proofed. They will be safe for the geocachers.

Yes, the term muggle is in honor of JK Rowlings Harry Potter series. Those who do not geocache or in the know of the worlds fastest growing sport, are called muggles. Sometimes an entire cache can go missing. Somebody decides to take it for their own, and spoiling it for everyone else. The phrase ‘cache has been muggled’ is sometimes reported.

Last evenings venture took me down to Diefenbaker Park. There were 3 geocaches I was trying to find.

A geocache can be a container of all sorts of shapes and sizes. One of my first ones was smaller than a dime and magnetic. When I spotted it, I signed a teeny tiny rolled up log inside. On a really dark night. Some of these have certain themes to them, so bring appropriate swag to trade. Trade even, or replace with better. Some are larger, but from what I’ve learned in Saskatoon, there is a lot of Micro in a Spruce Tree. (MIST is the acronym, I swear I’m going to find the 1920’s cipher telegraph book and use it for … possibly a story.) I can’t find the origin of the phrase, but ‘I use multimillion dollar satellites to find tupperware in the woods’ comes to mind.

I’m in it for the hunt… but so far, the geocache has become the most elusive prey.

The first is in Pioneer Cemetery. This grave site was first setup in 1884, a year after the community of Nutana was established. Even with the age of the plots, it has a certain feel to the place. Interesting seeing the old names and dates on the remaining gravestones as I stalked out where I thought was the geocache. No luck there, time to head over to the next one.

I decided to walk over, as it had been a while since I have gone for a longer walk. You can drive around the Diefenbaker park and stop at the various parking spots. Or do the healthy thing like I did. The second was one close to the public bathrooms. With people nearby training their dog, I broke out the battery drained camera and tried to look like I was going for some interesting upwards shots of the pine tree. When in actuality, I was looking for the cache with little success.

The other part of geocaching is making it look like you belong there. It’s a little suspicious for someone to go digging around a highly public area, looking for a hidden box. It smacks of… ‘well this is where my gun/drug/saffron/toner dealer has hidden my stash.’ I’ve also been known to carry a clipboard and make a few measurements on trees, noting time, staring intently at my GPS. I’ve looked official enough for people not to question what I’m doing. Which is quite strange, considering I’ve never felt like I’ve fit into any crowd.

The third is a Geo-Post Office cache. The idea is to have your postcards move between caches closest to the address. Geocachers from other cities come in, check it out, pick up postcards where they will be next and move them along. Why not use the post office? Because, you are actually getting your fellow Geocachers to move your treasure from one cache to another. How long will it take? Who cares! It’s all part of the fun.

So my plan was just to find this cache. I didn’t have any postcards to drop off, but I could at least log the cache, and then come back later with some kick ass postcard to cousins in the states just to try it out.

If I could find it.

3 in a row for the night. 3 DNF’s. The streak continues.

Main part, it got me out of the house, I walked for a good hour and a halfish. I got to see some of the new path constructions down by the river, which I will return once it dries up some down there. I got to see where the disc golf park is. Maybe I’ll pick that up as well, and suck at it equally as geocaching.

I’m still here, those geocaches are still out there, waiting…

For more information…
Pioneer Cemetary, Saskatoon
Okay, they don’t call it Diefenbaker Park

Maybe next post about Geocaching will be all about the acronyms… Comments?

Strange dreams and other things

Well, due to my current health, (recovery from hemmoroid surgery… size of golfball, around 16 blueberry sized blood clots removed) I have been sleeping on my left side or my stomach on the couch. I forgot to remove my nicotine patch and ended up with some bizarre dreams.

I was a stagehand for a burlesque show at Madonna’s house, then given opportunity to have a few lines for one skit, I changed the line to something that was more comedic. I was then sent off to repair or fix a toilet, then it turned into some weird combination of The Shadow meets reality tv. Who knows what stupidity lies within unrehearsed television, only the subconcious mind knows.

This also may be due to the fact that I left the tv on and this morning had a remote sized imprint on my side.

Like I said, weird. But weird is only a step from what one is normally used to. What lies beyond that corner is a new world, to the brave it is. To those who are stuck in their day to day routine and not with open mind, it’s weird. I do have an open mind, but… fixing a toilet at Madonna’s house?

Writing stuff, been concentrating on another bit of fan fiction for RPCongress.com, yes I am a geek. I play the MMORPG City of Heroes, and to kick start the writing back up again, I’m collaborating with another player. A current story takes the noir detective and the damsel to India.

And I’ll be damned if the synchronicity isn’t coming up all over the place. Random searches for computer information has lead me back to sites coming directly out of India. Television ads for corn chips having a setting in India. Those can be easily explained. Folk fest brought me back to the India pavilion, but I never realized that I’d end up meeting an old colleague. But the final bit of the synchronicity that cannot be explained is my mother lending me her DVD, Bride and Prejudice, a bollywood flick.

Off to the doctor this afternoon, hoping to get some sleep before then, but then I have caffeine withdrawl headache starting, so coffee it is.

I’m still here,

P.S. I will be randomly attaching my meter flash for my quit.
Two weeks, five days, 2 hours, 5 minutes and 7 seconds. 229 cigarettes not smoked, saving $96.20. Life saved: 19 hours, 5 minutes.