Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A New Fence and a Dud Event

This summer we got a new fence with new gates at the back and front! I like it and so do our neighbours. Our neighbours on the right were especially excited because this fence allows enough light in their yard for them to grow a garden. So they tore up a stretch of lawn and have a nice crop of vegetables and flowers growing.

I've speculated that with a new fence like this (and finally a gate at the front of the yard) we could even get a dog if we wanted. *sigh*

If you're interested, our fencing was done by Rob and Larry at Nordic Fencing. We're very happy with their work and their product. And, bonus, they're a locally owned and operated company. Check them out if you're thinking of a new fence.

Along with a few fence photos, here are a few other garden shots. The various lilies are at various stages. The dark orange and red ones are done and the yellows have just busted out. The whites will be next. I love our monkey paws or kangaroo paws ... or whatever they're called ... this year. They like that spot in the middle of the garden. I picked the last of our peas tonight. I didn't cook a single one. They're just too good raw.

Tonight we took in what has always been my favourite Saskatoon summer festival - Taste of Saskatchewan. Click on the link for details and menus. It was a spontaneous decision. We thought that with it being a bit cooler and windy perhaps it wouldn't be so busy as usual. We might have been right. The lineups weren't bad at all. That said, Kevin and I both give it a giant, disappointing THUMBS DOWN this year. I probably won't even go next year. I remember how disappointed I was to miss it for the first time since it started while I was having chemo. In fact, I think I was in the hospital when it was on two years ago. It seemed like extra punishment to have to miss my favourite summer event.

Kevin's and my mutual opinion this year was that some of the participating restaurants should be embarrassed by either the quality or the quantity of the dishes they were offering. I remember having the cheesecake in phyllo a few years ago (from Rembrandt's) and it was very good and a decent size. What they gave this year ... while calling it the same thing ... didn't even resemble cheesecake in phyllo. In fact I only found one little flake of phyllo. If not for it I wouldn't have thought there was any. And the serving was so tiny! More like a taste, which wouldn't have been bad if it had been a 1 ticket ($2.50) item but it was a 2 ticked ($5.00) dessert. They should be embarrassed! A particularly awful item was the beef skewer in a Pita from Peter D's. The beef turned out to be ground beef, which was a little surprising, and the Pita was so thick and dry that it was like eating chalk. It couldnt' even be made to "wrap" around the ground beef skewer. Kevin had just got his and we were looking for a place to park when we saw Carla from Kyle (and her kids) and she had just abandoned the same dish. I wish we'd run into her before we ordered ours because she was right. It was really too awful to eat.

We had Chorizo Sliders from Avocado's and they were quite good. Everything else we tried was just "meh". The Biranyi Basmati Rice, Chicken, and Middle Eastern Spices from Peter D's ... and the Mango Chicken Wrap from Somewhere Else Pub and Grill. I must say that the Black Forest Torte from the German Schnitzel Meister was quite good (but not exciting) and was real bang for your buck. It was designed to be a dessert for two. It was more like a small cake. The people working at the German Schnitzel Meister get credit for being festive, at least. That's another thing that seemed to be missing from the festival in general. The Schnitzel booth was the only one we visited where the people working there seemed happy to serve you and it's not like anyone was busy when we were there. And it's only day 2 of the festival so it's not like the people working it should be burnt out yet. A festival needs a "festive" attitude, I think. It seems to me that it used to be that way. Both Kevin and I got the distinct impression that the purpose of the event seems changed in that it now seems like more of a money grab instead of an opportunity to showcase, promote and try some new flavour sensations.

I hear that the Deep Fried Mars Bar is very good! The lineup at Wing World was testament to its popularity.

I must say that the dishes we chose to try weren't necessarily the most interesting but Kevin was really hungry by the time we got there and needed to get something substantial fast. Substantial can be hard to find. And even though we walked the circuit a couple of times, nothing was really grabbing us unlike previous years where it's been "What shall we try first?" A lot of "meh". Another disappointment was that in previous years most of the booths displayed examples of the dishes they were offering. But this year hardly any booth did that. This wouldn't be so bad if the booths had done as one booth did and posted large photos of the various selections. It's really hard to know what some of the dishes might be without seeing a photo or example.The vendors don't seem that interested in luring people to their booths in my opinion. Jerry's would be an exception with their Rider banner and Rider Pride Roughrider ice cream, which we didn't try but I was curious about. I already know their Artisan Gelato is good.

The best part of the whole event is, as always, bumping into people friends and neighbours.

All in all, like I said, a disappointing TWO THUMBS DOWN for Saskatoon's 2011 Taste of Saskatchewan.

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1 comment:

  1. Hey Heather,
    My name is Liz. I have come across your blog when I was checking out the comments section of Ann (Breast Cancer? But Doctor,,, I Hate Pink. I am very happy for your new fence, the flowers look rather lovely. I am also sorry that breast cancer touched you as well as Ann, I hope you are feeling well.
    That said, since your blog is a great resource for someone going through cancer I wanted to reach out to you to see if you were interested in a new online social support network (that I am the community manager of!) called I Had Cancer. It is a new and free social support network focused on connecting people (fighters, survivors and supporters) based on experiences with cancer so that they can easily communicate with one another and share information. I would love to tell you more if you are interested, so please let me know! I would love to send you an early-access pass with extra invites for others you may know going through this journey.

    Either way, thank you. Take care and best regards. - If anyone would like info on I Had Cancer please email me.


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