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Grasping the Nettle (with Care): How to Put a Delicious Spring in Your Step

By |February 21st, 2013|

Foraging: a great excuse for a walk in the woods, Tim Pawsey photo Depending on where you are, chances are it’s almost Spring—which means that nettle season is here! If you know how to handle nettles they can be the most delicious and beneficial of ingredients. Perfect nettle territory: woods and streams are your first clue, Tim [...]

Changing it Up: Less Words. More Images. But Not Always …

By |February 19th, 2013|

QWERTY-O-DODO - TP Photo I’m thinking of trying something different for this blog: making it more visually driven. I know some people appreciate the “longer read” which I still occasionally manage. However, judging by the stats, nowadays more people are drawn to imagery than to text. I’m also just as inclined to snap [...]

Be Careful Opening that Bubble—Even More So with a Sabre!

By |December 28th, 2012|

Sumac Ridge founder Harry McWatters sabers a bottle of Steller's Jay with a ski, pre 2010 Winter Games (Updated Dec 14, 2013) Last year the New York Times ran an interesting piece that explored the history of the Champagne cork. It wound up with a quick lesson on how to sabre. The only [...]

Julia Child: the Original Great Communicator?

By |August 16th, 2012|

Julia and sardines—from My Life in France At least one loyal reader questioned my unabashed reverence towrds Julia Child (who would have turned 100 today) in last week’s Vancouver Courier column, suggesting that I had overlooked truly great culinary writers such as MFK Fisher and Elizabeth David. My response was that the column  was as [...]

At Okanagan Crush Pad It’s (even more) All About the Eggs

By |June 9th, 2012|

Okanagan Crush Pad continues to add to its burgeoning winery empire, last week welcoming a flock of chickens to the team. In true Crush Pad style, the dozen or so Rhode Island Reds (with more to come) are housed in what may well be the most impressive chicken coop we’ve seen in years, complete with [...]

Feds Farmers’ Loan Actually Funds Imported, Not ‘Canadian Wine’

By |September 7th, 2011|

'Government of Canada Invests in New Technology for Canadian Wine', ... says the headline. Really? Not so fast. The key words here are ‘Canadian wine.’ Andrew Peller Limited has received a $1.04 million interest free federal loan to upgrade (and effectively double) bag-in-box production at its wholly owned Calona Vineyards subsidiary in Kelowna, and at Andrew [...]

A Tasty Adieu to Harry Potter

By |July 15th, 2011|

The Hired Belly’s better half is lovingly referred to as Partner in Calories, who, for many years, has been making cameo column appearances. It was 'P-i-C' who first turned us onto Harry Potter, dragged our initially cynical self to the very first movie; and has since shared her passion for J.K. Rowling's truly [...]

Victoria’s Best Elevator View—and Other Uplifting Secrets of the Hotel Grand Pacific

By |July 13th, 2011|

When we were judging the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards of Excellence in Victoria, B.C., we stayed at the Hotel Grand Pacific, which, it strikes me, is one of the capital’s better, if largely unsung hotels.  In fact, we’ve rested our head on HGP’s pillows a number of times over the last few years but [...]

In Praise of Spitting: Random Thoughts on Wine Judging

By |July 2nd, 2011|

In anticipation of next week’s BC Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence announcement, we thought we’d revisit this column about wine judging that ran in the North Shore News a while back. Some folks have moved on to other things but ... well, you’ll get the gist.   Sometime this summer, when you were [...]

When the lens speaks louder

By |June 27th, 2011|

One of our few regrets, we never seem to have enough time to get the photograph we really want. Images are becoming even more crucial these days, especially in the more visually driven on-line world. We like this shot of winemakers Howard Soon and Stephanie Leinemann for any number of reasons, none the [...]

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