A Face Mask for the People

Face masks are what we need now for our essential trips outside the house. I made some masks for my family based on the pattern “A.B. Mask – for a Nurse by a Nurse”, by Jessica Nandino. You can find the pattern and instructions at Instructables.com. My masks have a layer of cotton flannel on …

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Baking with Parsnips: Maple Parsnip Scones

My friends and family were in a Facebook thread about the next underrated vegetable that needs to be on menus everywhere. Remember when kale was a star? Kale salad, kale soup, sauteed kale, kale chips. We tossed around suggestions for the next lowly vegetable. A few people mentioned “parsnips”. Wouldn’t you know it—the next day …

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Kitchen Skills and Motivation


Do any of these apply to you? You’re spending more than you want to on dining out You’re appalled at how much food you’re throwing out You wonder why the fridge and cupboards are full, but there’s nothing to eat. Getting a nutritious and tasty dinner on the table in a timely and affordable manner …

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Fine dining in Verona at the Cangrande Ristorante & Enoteca

Of all the cities in which to celebrate romance, Verona in northern Italy is a front runner. Besides being known as the land of Romeo and Juliet, it’s a city full of colour, beauty and historical interest. It has frescoes, romantic bridges, churches full of pink Veronese marble, and a castle with a working drawbridge. …

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Tunis: Vibes of the City

First impressions We arrived in Tunis late in the evening. The taxi (50 DT or $25 CAD) whisked us to the Ibis Hotel near the edge of the city’s core. The first thing we noticed was that we had to pass through metal detectors as we walked into the hotel. I assume that this security …

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Tunis, Tunisia: Ancient city, new democracy

In late October, we made a 5-night trip to Tunis, the capital city of Tunisia. It was our first time in North Africa, and our first trip to an Arab country. Why we visited Tunis When you think of touring North Africa, do you think of a trip to Egypt or Morocco? Well, Lee and …

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Thyme is a perennial shrub that is grown in several places in the world. The picture above was taken in the hills behind Nice, above the medieval village of Tourettes-sur-Loup. The thyme plants are the low greyish-green mounds. Standing at this particular spot, you can see the Mediterranean. The coast is just 14 km away. …

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Fast, Cheap, or Good?

Hong Kong ready to eat duck and pork

I have some workdays that drag into the evening. Sometimes I don’t have a meal plan or the ingredients for supper. In the past, I would start thinking about what restaurant I could go to. I do something better now. Fast food, cheap food, and good food Here’s a quote attributed to Jim Jarmusch: “Fast, …

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Make jelly like an artisan

Any fruits can be made into jelly if you add a box of commercial pectin. The method is foolproof: follow the instructions to the letter and after a 2-minute boil you will have a product of perfect consistency. But what if your fruit contains natural pectin? You could still go with the commercial pectin method. …

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At the Boquiera Market

Barcelona, September 2009 Dried chilis, herbs and spices, pastes, olives—essential ingredients for Catalan cuisine.