From candles to homestyle cooking

Thanks to dear prairie expat poet Nancy – she’s here in Saskatchewan in spirit, and certainly by email – for pointing me to a lovely UK poetry site, Poetry PF where I saw some familiar names and faces, and lots of good poems.

But dropping out of the virtual clouds and back to earth where we’re enjoying balmy -10c weather with sunshine and heaps of ornamental hoarfrost… who’d visit Muenster without stopping for a sniff at the Canadian Prairie Candles shop? Just the place to thaw your frozen nostrils on a fine winter’s day. They have a staggering selection of scented votives, very reasonably priced. Among the dozens of seriously intoxicating flavours we investigated today were Let It Snow; Plum Spice; Wedding Day; Blackberry; Freshly Mown Hay; Bailey’s Irish Cream; and (oh yum) Banana Nut Bread. We have long admired their custom made grain elevator candles, but it’s worth noting they’re writer-friendly in there, so if you want something different for your book launch, talk to them about having a candle made from your book cover.

And my, we do enjoy an annual trawl of the treasures at The Muenster Consignment Centre. This year we spotted, among the everythings, a reading lamp whose stand was a glow-in-the-dark fist; a couple of old flip-down toasters (working) suitable for use in a hermitage; red cowboy boots; a siwash (Cowichan) sweater; an old painted cowboy lunchbox. We did not buy it all, because as the saying goes, if you have everything, where do you put it?

The Muenster Family Restaurant is only open till 4 on weekdays, but its kitchen is blessed with Shirley, one of the former cooks from St. Peter’s Abbey. She made Kathleen, Mari-Lou and me a dandy brunch today, eggs as we like ’em and lovely bacon and hash browns, with a generous hand on the coffee pot. The lemon-poppyseed muffins were warm and wonderfully lemony. Across the room we spotted fellow literary diners Paula Jane and Kimmy; from the oo-ing and ah-ing going on during their soup course, they were having themselves a noteworthy bowl, and we left them tucking in to some very special cheeseburgers with crinkle cut fries and gravy.

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