I spent a very pleasant long weekend in Calgary, visiting old friends and having occasional excursions to sprawly bits of the city on shopping missions or the green and pleasant farmers markets in Calgary and Millarville.
I’d been to the Calgary Farmers Market a couple of years ago, but this was my chance to have a gander in summertime. We paused for a Ukranian lunch of cabbage rolls and sauerkraut to fortify ourselves before our own lamb burger supper.
Saturday we leapt out into the day good and early to get to Millarville for the farmers market there, which was booming. It’s a good mixture of food and other things – everything from ostrich eggs to mead to fresh fruit and veg. The rodeo was about to commence so there was a bit of calf roping going on in the background, and a buckin’ bronc that was attracting a youthful ridership. We repaired to the countryside for a stroll and a cup of tea with some locals before heading back to town.
I spent the evening in Spruceville with the lovely and talented Susan Bruce, dining on some excellent Nepalese takeaway from The Himalayan, and chewing the fat, and later putting the icing on the cake with a big fat gelato from Amato.
Calgary still has a few good independent bookstores, hanging on in a world of big box, car-friendly shopping. Owl’s Nest Books is one of them, and I dropped in here to pick up a copy of dee Hobsbawn-Smith‘s delightful new work, Foodshed.
We supped one night at Le Villa, where the (Alberta) lamb chops (why oh why do they insist on raising our hopes and calling them a rack??) were exquisite in every way. I had ordered the tasting menu, so prefaced them with a pair of oysters Rockefeller (they were ok: I like Ferris’ even better, though it’s unfair to compare a prairie restaurant with a West Coast one) and concluded with a strawberry Grand Marnier crepe which was unremarkable, and perhaps even an intrusion after the lamb. But such is the fate of the taster, and I do make my sacrifices carefully.
And then, after a spell more moseying and visiting, it was time to high tail it to Kelowna, where I we are perching at the tail end of the ALECC conference, which concludes tomorrow.