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September 2012 Archives

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Information sharing with municipalities

Ida Chong, B.C.'s Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister, says the province promises to share more information with municipalities, when it come to First Nations negotiations.

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Bid for .eco domain

Big Room has spent the last five years gathering an international group of environmental heavyweights to support its bid to manage the ".eco" domain.

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Cyberbullying

A teenager from Halifax remains anonymous as she sues her bullies for defamation and the court ruled in her favour.

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The Garden Path:

Super Duper Compost

Build a pile, ideally 4-foot x 4-foot in size, in no more than 6-inch layers at a time. Make it 'Super Duper' by adding comfrey, nettles or dried horsetail, because these plants are 'bio-accumulators' containing valuable nutrients that make high-quality compost. TIP: Leaving food waste out prevents problems with rodents.

Ingredient List:

Manure (cow, sheep, horse, llama, goat or chicken-can be fresh)

Leaves (TIP: store in circular wire cages in fall)

Herbaceous prunings

Weeds (avoid weeds in seed or pernicious weeds)

Spoiled hay

Grass clippings

Nettles (in season)

Comfrey (in season)

Horsetails (in season)

Seaweed (follows winter storms)

Wood ash (uncontaminated)

Sawdust and fine woodchips (not cedar)

 

The Do's and Don'ts of Composting

Do mix layers of carbon-rich materials with nitrogen-rich materials. For speedy breakdown the ideal ratio of compost is 30: 1 Carbon:Nitrogen.

Do provide aeration, by allowing air to flow freely through the pile. (Free palettes work perfectly!)

Do make sure the pile is moist for the aerobic bacteria to work. Keep a hose running on the pile as you turn it from one bin to another.

Do avoid compaction by adding no more than a 6" layer of material at a time.

Do not build compost piles too big - no more than four feet high and four feet wide.

Do avoid weeds that have gone to seed, unless you heat compost to reach the high temperatures needed to destroy weed seeds.

Don't compost diseased plant waste, pet litter, toxic chemicals and any pernicious weeds such as couch grass, ivy, mints, goutweed or morning glory.

Don't use cat, dog, pig or human feces in the compost, because it can spread infectious disease or parasites.

Do avoid large quantities of seaweed with high salt levels. The salt preserves the compost pile instead of decomposing it!

Don't use meat and fish scraps that attract animals and flies; grease and oil do not break down. To avoid attracting rodents keep kitchen waste in rat proof composters, or bury in trenches around the garden, covering with 9" of soil.

Do add 'activators' to your pile to accelerate decomposition. One of the best you can add is fresh manure, steaming with microbes! Empty bins in fall, and apply 2" layers of compost as protective winter mulch. Feeding the soil and smothering weed seeds at the same time is what I call 'organic weed & feed'.

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Rate my professor

We take a close look at the popular website and hear about new research that's questioning the rankings.

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Not just a pipe dream

B.C.'s mayors and councillors are supporting an initiative to decriminalize marijuana and tax it. Reporter Les Leyne tell us why this campaign is gaining traction when others have gone up in smoke.

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Highway of Tears investigator

RCMP are asking the public for help after a breakthrough in the case of a murdered teenager in northern B.C. But how much hope is there for closure in other similar cases? We hear from private investigator Ray Michalko.

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Food Matters:

Honey

Sweetening the pot. Don Genova tells us about a special feast featuring honey.

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Decriminalization American-style

As B.C.'s mayors get set to vote on changing the way we regulate marijuana, we hear about efforts to legalize pot in Washington State

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Decades on the Highway of Tears

In light of the RCMP's recent break through on the Highway of Tears,  we talk to former tribal chief Mavis Erickson about the years she spent working with the families of the missing.
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Film Reviews:

Preparing for tsunami debris

Preparing for the unknown. As tsunami debris approaches our shores, the province is solidifying plans for what to do with it all. We get the details from B.C.'s environment minister Terry Lake.
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Boessenkool resignation

Premier Christy Clark's Chief of Staff is resigning and has apologized for a recent incident where he behaved inappropriately. We hear the latest from Vancouver Sun reporter Jonathan Fowlie

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Resurrecting Rattenbury

Homegrown tenor Richard Margison is back in Victoria to sing in a new opera about the life of Victoria architect Francis Rattenbury by Tobin Stokes.

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Coming Up:

Friday

Getting cold feet? Our relationship columnist wonders if your pre-wedding jitters might be telling you something.
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State of the Arts:

Dyeing, spinning, weaving and knitting

Arts columnist Jennifer Chrumka tells usabout the ever-popular fibre arts scene on Vancouver Island.

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A move towards decriminalization

A new citizens' initiative aims to change the way police in B.C. enforce marijuana laws. We hear from former Victoria city councillor and advocate Philippe Lucas.

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A legal victory for sex workers

Sex workers are celebrating a supreme court ruling that allows a challenge of Canada's prostitution laws. We'll ask a local advocate how this will affect life on the streets.

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The Hobbit turns 75

It's been seventy five years since Tolkien's book The Hobbit was first published. We celebrate the occasion with local author Robert Weirsema

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Bookclub:

Two memoirs

Looking back on life. B.C.book reviewer Nikki Tate-Stratton looks at two recent memoirs.

 

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'Allegeny, B.C.' by Rodney DeCroo

'Hope, Faith and Empathy' by Monique Gray Smith

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Time For Wine:

Choosing a vineyard location

Pouring a glass. Time for Wine columnist Troy Townsin is officially back for the fall season. He recommends some great B.C. wines.

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Quails' Gate Pinot Noir 2010 $25

Burrowing Owl Pinot Noir 2010 - $30

Calliope Rosé 2011 - $14

Red Rooster Bantam 2011 - $15

Jackson Triggs Okanagan Estate Reserve Riesling 2011 - $14

 

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Film Reviews:

Midnight Children and The Master

Katherine Monk reviews two new films.

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Food Matters:

Pairing food with beer

Say goodbye to pretzels and peanuts, say hello to charcuterie and braised short ribs. Don Genovas has some tasty ideas on pairing food with beer.

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Be a star for a day

Have you always dreamed of joining a chorus line or belting out a Broadway hit?  The Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria wants you to be a star for a day. We find out how.

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Childhood obesity and sugary drinks

New numbers show that a third of Canadian kids are overweight or obese. Would a ban on giant soft-drinks help?

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Elizabeth May on proposed oil takeover

The leader of the Federal Green Party says the Chinese takeover of Nexen is a bad deal for Canada.

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Raise A Reader

We'll find out what the Greater Victoria Public Library is doing to encourage kids and their families to put their noses in books.

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Are Canadians still marrying?

Statistics Canada is telling us that the face of marriage is changing in this country. We'll find out who's tying the knot these days.

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A fascinating slip-up

Premier Christy Clark is backpedaling today, after saying Victoria has a "sick culture". It's just the latest gaffe to create a political firestorm. We ask Royal Roads professor David Black why.

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Death on the street

We  hear about a disturbing increase in the number of deaths of homeless and street involved people in recent months.

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Criminalizing HIV

We find out why people living with HIV are worried that their disease makes them a target of the law.

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The Garden Path:

Roasted red pepper jelly

 Roasted Red Pepper and Chili Jelly (Makes 3 pint jars)

This jelly is sweet and tangy with a bite from the chili peppers. It's one of our favourites with egg and rice dishes, and goes perfectly with a plate of cheese and crackers.

8 sweet red peppers, roasted

1 onion, roughly chopped

4 red chili peppers, halved and seeded

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup (250 mL) water

1 cup (250 mL) white wine vinegar

1½ tsp (7 mL) sea salt

2¼ cups (535 mL) sugar

Pomona's natural pectin

Puree the roasted peppers, onion, garlic, chilies and water in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Press the puree through a sieve using a wooden spoon, extracting as much as you can- ideally 3 cups (700 mL). In a saucepan add the puree to the vinegar and salt. Mix in the sugar and add the pectin, stirring into the liquid until they have dissolved. Bring to the boil stirring for 4 minutes. Hot pack into sterilized pint mason jars and process in a water canner bath for 15 minutes. See below:

How to Process High-Acid Foods

Wash Mason jars with hot soapy water and rinse. Fill a canner or large pot with water and heat it to boiling. Using tongs, completely immerse the jars in the boiling water. Allow the water to a simmer at 180F (82C), leaving the jars immersed until ready for use. Place the lids and metal rings in a small saucepan of water heated to 180F (82C), but do not allow the water to boil. Leave the lids and rings in the hot water until ready for use. TIP: Do not use recycled lids if the rubber seal has already been set.

Ladle hot food (hotpack) into the hot jars to prevent cracking from a sudden temperature change. (TIP: Use a wide mouth funnel). Leave ¼ inch (5 mm) of headspace for jams and jellies. Leave ½ inch (1 cm) of headspace for fruit, pickles, tomatoes, chutney and relishes. Using a sterilized non-metallic utensil, remove any air bubbles in the jar, and readjust the headspace if necessary. If the jar rim is sticky, wipe with a clean wet cloth. Centre the snap lid on the jar, and twist the metal ring securely over it, but do not over tighten. Place the filled jars on the rack of a canner; when full, use oven mitts to lower the rack gently into the canner bath, three-quarters full of boiling water, so that water covers jars by at least 1 inch (2.5 cm).

Put the lid on the canner and bring water back to a rolling boil. Process for the time recommended by the recipe. Turn off the heat and remove the canner lid. When the boiling water becomes still (approximately 5 minutes), carefully pull the rack up out of the canner by its handles, without tipping the jars, and place it on a heat-proof surface.

Using tongs, space the jars on a heatproof surface, and leave to cool upright, without adjusting the metal rings. After cooling, check that all the lids are sealed. Sealed lids curve inwards and do not move when tested. Jars that have not sealed can be refrigerated and consumed within 2 days. Remove the metal rings if desired, and wipe the jars clean if sticky.

Label with food and date it, and store in a cool, dark place. Food processed this way will keep well for up to 12 months.

... Read more »
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Coming Up:

Monday

U.S. authorities are dealing with a new and deadly superbug. House doctor Brian Goldman tells us if Canada is at risk.

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Tattoo youth

Jo-Ann talks to tattoo artist Chris David about the laws preventing minors from getting tattoos without parental permission.

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Independents Vicky Huntington and Bob Simpson

The legislature will be quiet this fall but two independent MLAs are taking their call for democratic reform to twitter. We hear from them.

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Poet Catherine Greenwood

Victoria poet, Catherine Greenwood is a finalist in the 2012 CBC Poetry Prize. We meet her and hear her read her prize-nominated poem.
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Joseph Norris

Residential school survivors have two days left to file for compensation from the government. We hear how difficult this process can be from a former student.

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Rooting for the home team

An NHL lockout could be good news for the Victoria Royals. We'll get a season preview from super-fan Mike Salkus.

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The Lady Justice mural

We meet some of the people who are getting in touch with their inner artist in an effort to support the justice community in Victoria.

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Homeless soccer star Joan Mathias

A Comox Valley woman has been tapped to play for Canada at the Homeless World Cup of Soccer in Mexico. We check in with Joan Mathias about being selected.

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Dan Mangan

The Juno-award winning singer-songwriter is back in Victoria to play at the Rifflandia festival. We catch up.

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Food Matters:

Feasting on figs

They are still coming in from local trees, a rare treat in late summer. Food columnist Don Genova on making the most of the bounty of figs.

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Anemia in athletes

Low iron levels are now being blamed for Paula Findlay's last-place finish at the Olympic triathlon this summer. We'll hear from a physiologist why her condition wasn't detected sooner.

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Coming Up:

Wednesday

Food Matters columnist Don Genova will be by with some recommendations for snacks made with local ingredients to go along with local beers.

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Film Reviews:

First Position, Samsara and Island President

Moving into First Position. We'll get a preview of a critically-acclaimed documentary all about the trials and tribulations of becoming a ballet dancer

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Fighting tooth and nail

John Frank Jr. has lived to tell the tale. The 38-year-old man from Ahousaht was at his job working in a gravel pitt when he suddenly found himself fighting for his life against a cougar

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Raring for Rifflandia

We check in with music writer Mike Devlin on what to expect for this year's Rifflandia music festival.

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Making up a deficit

The B.C. government plans to freeze salaries and reduce spending to make up for a billion-dollar deficit. But is there another way? We ask an economist.

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Canadian Homeless Soccer Team

A Comox Valley woman has been tapped to play for Canada in the Homeless World Cup of Soccer in Mexico. Find out more about Joan Mathias and her team at Street Soccer Canada
 
 
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Remembering Rosie

Lorraine Foster and Patricial Duval have been friends for forty years. They are performing their annual tribute to Rosemary Clooney show this week. We meet them

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Roadblocks for craft distillers

B.C.'s New Democrats say liquor laws need to change to help craft distilleries get their product to you. We get reaction from local gin-maker Valerie Murray.

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Ron Mattson

Ron Mattson was fired by the Ministry of Health last week. He says he's done nothing wrong. We hear from him and his lawyer.

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The Garden Path:

Preserving plums

Our gardening columnist Carolyn Herriott drops by with some tips for how to stay well-stocked for the winter.
 
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Dried Fruit Compote
My favourite way to get healthy servings of orchard fruit in winter is to start the day with fruit compote--alone or combined with yogurt and granola, or on top of steaming oatmeal. It's as easy as selecting a mix of dried fruit in the evening and pouring boiling water over it to just cover. The secret is to leave the fruit to rehydrate at room temperature for a few hours or overnight without putting a lid on the bowl. The compote will store in the fridge for up to a week, and the longer it sits the better the syrup becomes. TIP: Add a cinnamon stick and/or a slice of lemon during soaking to make the syrup even tastier.
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Time For Wine:

Cowichan Valley Wine Festival

Troy Townsin talks about the upcoming Cowichan Wine Festival and recommends several local wines to try.

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22 Oaks Pinot Gris 2011- $20

Pinot Noir Averill Creek 2009 - $26

Alderlea Clarinet 2009 - $22

Cherry Point Coastal Red 2010 - $17

Rocky Creek Ortega 2011 - $20

 

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Michelle Stilwell

Bringing home her medals and some great memories of London.  We check in with island Paralympic champion Michelle Stilwell.

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A place for Cowichan elders

A first of its kind seniors home has just opened on Cowichan tribal land. We'll hear about the project and the interest it's drawing from across the country.

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Connor Gaston

A young Victoria director saw his film premier at the Toronto International Film Festival last week. We check in with Connor Gaston.

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A future Chicago Cub

Fresh off a silver medal performance at the junior worlds, a young Victoria baseball star has even more reasons to smile. We ask Jesse Hodges about his big news.

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Margaret MacDiarmid

More details are emerging about the alleged misuse of confidential medical information at the Ministry of Health. But there are still plenty of questions, we put them to health minister Margaret MacDiarmid.

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Policing the police

B.C.'s Independent Investigations Office opens its doors today. We'll talk to Judge Thomas Braidwood, the man whose recommendations helped make it happen.

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Bookclub:

Nobody's Dog by Ria Voros

We've all heard the old truism, "A dog is a man's best friend." This week on Titles and Tate we hear about a book that celebrates that special connection between people and their pups.

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State of the Arts:

Artlandia

Celebrating music and visual art. Today on State of the Arts, we'll find out why Victoria's Rifflandia festival is more than just a long lineup of great bands.

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Coming Up:

Friday

 

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Billing for bud

The founder of the Cannabis Buyers' Club of Canada is facing a $150,000 dollar tax bill. But Ted Smith sees a silver lining.

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Misuse of medical information

B.C.'s health minister has called in the police to investigate allegations of misuse of medical information.

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Anita's Revolution

"Anita's Revolution," Shirley Langer's new novel, tells the story of how the youth of Cuba in the 1960's went out in brigades to teach literacy.

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Film Reviews:

The Words and Looper

Katherine Monk reviews two new films.

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The making of a great speech

Wowing the audience. President Bill Clinton fired up the crowd at the Democratic National Convention last night. We find out from political science professor Janni Aragon what makes a great speech.

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David and Rachel Calder

Making sacrifices. Three-time Olympian David Calder and his wife Rachel join us. He's just back from his final games as an athlete. We'll talk about London, and the challenge of life as an Olympian, and raising a family.

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The Garden Path:

Saving seeds

Saving seeds. Our gardening columnist Carolyn Herriott tells us about the benefit of harvesting your own seeds.

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Carolyn's Seed Saving Tips:

Tomato seeds should undergo a wet fermentation process for a few days, which eliminates seed-borne pathogens and allows dead seeds to float to the surface of the water. Choose tomatoes that display desirable traits such as high yields, early ripening, disease resistance or excellent flavour.

 
Cut the tomatoes in half. Squeeze the seeds and pulp into a container, and put a plastic label in for identification. Leave the seeds to ferment for four days, during which time a white 'scum' forms on top. This dissolves the gelatinous seed layer, preparing the seeds for future germination.
 
After four, but no more than five days, rinse the seeds in a large bowl of water. Good seeds sink to the bottom. Gently pour the floating 'scum' off, repeating the rinsing as many times as you need, until all that's left in the bottom of the bowl are clean seeds.
 
Give these a final rinse through a sieve; tapping off excess moisture before spreading the seeds over a plate to dry. Label the plate, so you don't muddle up varieties being collected.
 
Place the plates of seeds in a sunny window for a day or two to dry them. Crumble the seeds with your fingers to separate any that are stuck together. Leave them in a warm place for a few more days to thoroughly dry. Store the seeds in labeled, airtight tubs. Tomato seeds stored properly will germinate for at least five years
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Basque Beef Bourguignon

It's all about the flavour. This is a recipe that you'll never see in another cookbook. Its Basque-chef Roger Dufau's version of the traditional wine-soaked braised beef that is on countless menus but which constantly disappoints. ... Read more »
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Giller nominee Marjorie Celona

Making the list. We hear from a Victoria-born author whose debut novel has launched her into literary stardom.

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Quebec's new day

La Belle Province elects a separatist Premier then the victory party is marred with violence. We talk with a former Quebecker about the mood in his home province.

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Christy's new cabinet

Renewing the party or recycling familiar faces? Premier Christy Clark overhauls her cabinet after several ministers call it quits We talk with one of the faithful few, new Aboriginal Relations minister, Ida Chong.

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Annapolis Cider Vinegar & Poppyseed Dressing

Across Canada apple cider vinegar is being made in small, artisanal batches. In Cambridge, Nova Scotia, Boates Farm is producing what they are calling a "balsamic style apple cider vinegar."  When I picked up a bottle at their great roadside stand, I immediately thought of a recipe that came from The Garrison House Inn, a small lovely country inn that I'd visited in Annapolis Royal well over two decades across.  This is my version of the recipe that has been a standby in my own kitchen since 1987.  I use it on all sorts of salads but it's great when you have some fresh sliced fruit from local strawberries to blackberries strewn on top of the greens.

1 egg
2 tbsps (30 mL) granulated sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) grainy or plain Dijon mustard
1/3 cup (50 mL) Boates balsamic style apple cider vinegar or any other
fine apple cider vinegar
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) coarse black pepper
¼ cup (60 mL) finely chopped green onion or garlic chives
1 cup (250 mL) canola oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) poppy seeds

In a food processor combine egg, sugar, mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper and green onion.  Process till smooth.  With the motor running, pour in the oil slowly in a steady stream.  Stir in poppy seeds and refrigerate till ready to use.


From Anita Stewart's CANADA: The Food, The Recipes, The Stories (Harper Collins Canada 2008)

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A political education

We'll check in with a young Victoria woman living in Montreal and  hear what's at stake for students in today's Quebec election.
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Port Alberni school goes chalk-free

We hear about the brand new, state-of-the-art high school in Port Alberni, that opens
it's doors today.
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Seeking young singers

The highly acclaimed Victoria Children's Choir is looking for a few more kids who love to sing and  want to discover the joy of harmony.

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Coming Up:

Monday

We are hoping to hear from health minister Margaret MacDiarmid about what she herself is calling "troubling" allegations of misuse of confidential medical information. Also Jennifer  Chrumka  will take a look at some of the amazing local artists taking part in Artlandia -- a popular component of the Rifflandia festival.

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Remembering the Urban Peasant

James Barber's extensive cookbook collection is coming up for sale. We'll check in with the late food icon's wife about what's in the collection, and why she's selling it.

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Romney's rhetoric

Mitt Romney is still struggling to get voters excited about his campaign. We hear from Royal Roads professor and political watcher Gil Wilkes about what Romney's Republican Convention speech did for him.

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Quadra Island's new golf course

Teeing up. After twelve years in the making, a new golf course opens on Quadra Island. We talk to community volunteer Mary Pirie about what the big launch means for the small island.

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Film Reviews:

Big Boys Gone Bananas, Lawless and The Possession

Katherine Monk reviews three new films.

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