7.19.2007

odds & ends, mostly canadian

You may remember my asking about your produce and food buying habits - organic vs local vs what's available.

I took advantage of not working weekends for a while to shop at Mississauga's farmers' market. It was a great treat for me. I tried to remember to bring a fabric shopping bag or two, and I bought corn, berries, cherries, tomatoes and nectarines. The quality was excellent, the atmosphere friendly and it's very nearby.

Much to my surprise, however, most of the produce sold there was not grown in Ontario! When I asked about that, vendors told me that their growing season is so short, if they only sold their own produce, they could participate in the market for only a month or two. But they are still local farmers, and I think it must be better to buy from them than from Loblaws. The quality was certainly better. So when I saw Ontario-grown produce - tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, raspberries and cherries - I bought it. But I also bought corn, nectarines and plums from various eastern States.

When we get back from our short trip, I'll be back to working weekends, so my farmers' market days are over for the time being.

Friend of wmtc Ferdzy has a new blog about local food, appropriately titled Seasonal Ontario Food blog.

* * * *

Allan and I have a bad habit of getting into TV shows just before a station replaces them with reruns of some other show. Most recently this happened with "Sons of Butcher".

I had seen previews or fleeting glimpses of this cartoon show ever since moving to Canada. But I didn't know what it was, and I never looked into it.

Recently, while unemployed, I checked it out - and loved it. I knew Allan would like it, too. Rock-and-roll self-parody, skewering religion and government, and silly sex-crazed young men. What's not to like.

When we moved to Canada it was on at least weekly, and sometimes every night. Then we started watching it - and it went off the air. Teletoon has replaced it with back-to-back "Family Guy"s, which we really don't need. I like Family Guy, but it's already on Global and the Fox affiliates. Only Teletoon had Sons of Butcher. Damn.

I know about the "Red Green" connection - Steve Smith was SOB's executive producer - but I haven't been able to find out if all the Smiths in the credits are related to him. Anyone know?

* * * *

This reminds me that I have not seen a single movie since Opening Day. Not one. We used to watch movies on off nights, or when there's a day game, or sometimes when our team is on the west coast. But now when there's no game, we just want to hang out in our backyard.

And, since I expect the Red Sox to play in (and win) the World Series, I won't see a movie til November.

I never even finished my movie list from the 2006 baseball season. I might have to give up on the list altogether.

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Canada Post has released a set of "Canadian Recording Artist" postage stamps, featuring Anne Murray, Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Anka and Joni Mitchell. I love this, since no living person is ever honoured by a US postage stamp.

The stamps come in sets of eight, two stamps per artist, in decorative packages featuring one of the artists on the cover. Allan - frequently at the post office to mail CDs and DVDs all over the world - told me about them and I asked him to bring one home. He couldn't find one with Joni on the cover, but here's what they look like inside.

joni stamp001


I love that picture of Joni. I have a headshot from the same series on the wall near my desk.

Many friends and family from the US have mentioned how attractive Canada's currency is. I always show them the pictures, too - kids playing hockey, art work, animals. It's so refreshing to see something other than dead presidents and strange symbols on the bills. These stamps are a similar idea. Living, breathing Canadians. A nice touch.

7 comments:

Ferdzy said...

Oh wow, thanks for the mention!

Actually, check out the farmers market hours - around here, a lot of them have a midweek day that they are open as well as Saturday.

M@ said...

kids playing hockey, art work, animals. It's so refreshing to see something other than dead presidents and strange symbols on the bills.

Not to mention -- literature! The Hockey Sweater and In Flanders Fields are featured on our bills.

I'm not 100% a fan of that poem, especially in the second part when it starts going on about The Torch and that kind of bull, but it's important Canadian literature either way. And seeing the written word honoured on currency, well, that just makes me hopeful.

(New life goal: get my writing on the currency! If Roch Carrier can manage it, then surely...)

L-girl said...

Actually, check out the farmers market hours - around here, a lot of them have a midweek day that they are open as well as Saturday.

The one in Mississauga is open Fridays and Sundays. I might be able to go on Friday mornings, before Allan needs the car for work. I'll try.

L-girl said...

The Hockey Sweater and In Flanders Fields are featured on our bills.

Really? I didn't know that. Which ones?

I had to memorize Flanders Fields in jr high, but I'm probably one of only 25 Americans to do so. Everyone in that one English class.

I'm sorry to say I didn't know the poem was Canadian. I assumed it was British, like all that other WWI poetry. Oops.

And seeing the written word honoured on currency, well, that just makes me hopeful.

It's fantastic.

(New life goal: get my writing on the currency!

That, on the other hand, is not fantastic. :)

M@ said...

Oh, ack, called on it. I believe the 'Ockey Sweaterr is on the fiver, and Flanders Fields is on the ten. I don't actually have the Ready to check my math on that, but holy crap I'm right thanks to a couple o' wikipedia checks. Phew.

I had to memorize Flanders Fields in jr high, but I'm probably one of only 25 Americans to do so. Everyone in that one English class.

I had to live through recitation after dreary recitation throughout my school years. It wasn't until I was in university that I began to see it a little differently -- when I started to draw parallels between The Torch and Bloody Old Rupert Brooke. But as I say, it's part of our literary history and there's nothing like poppies-row-on-row to evoke Canadian emotion. (In my interview today, this image was evoked, with great effect let me tell you.)

I'm sorry to say I didn't know the poem was Canadian. I assumed it was British, like all that other WWI poetry. Oops.

Two things here. First, the world needs more Wilfred Owen -- Now More than Ever (TM). So that's okay. Just reading war poetry will soon be a subversive act in some quarters, I imagine, so any exposure is good exposure.

Second, there was a really interesting story in recent years (predating the WMTC emigration) where John McCrae's medals were put up for auction. They were expected to fetch $30 to 40k, but first-generation Canadian and clothing manufacturer Arthur Lee scooped them up for over $400k, and immediately donated them to the McCrae House museum in Guelph.

Canadian identity is a tough thing to pin down. But there's something perfectly Canadian, for me, in the idea that someone comes to this country, makes a gazillion bucks in the textile industry, and says, to hell with it all, I'll protect this little corner of Canadian history.

If that ain't Canada, please, tell me what is.

redsock said...

To Do:

Get SOB on DVD!

James said...

First, the world needs more Wilfred Owen -- Now More than Ever (TM).

I wonder if it would be possible to stage a production of the War Requiem (Text) in the National Mall.

Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And builded parapets and trenched there,
And stretched forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! and angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him. Behold,
A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.
But the old man would not so,
but slew his son, -
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.