Granville Island is the perfect place to find a unique gift for any loved one.
One of my favorite things about October is the endless possibilities with pumpkin recipes! It’s the time when I finally accept summer is over and start getting creative in the kitchen again. Last week Glenda from the Granville Island farmers market insisted I try cooking my pumpkin dish with one of her Hubbard pumpkins. I probably never would have grabbed one if she didn’t explain to me that although green on the outside, it was bright orange on the inside and actually has a more solid meaty texture, with a sweeter flavor that the normal old squash. Sold! I wandered around the island collecting the rest of the ingredients and excitedly headed back to my desk at work, just itching to get home and cook up a storm.
Now, I decided to add a bit of a twist to roasting my Hubbard pumpkin. Why not roast it in a pool of Granville Island Pumpkin Ale?! This is another fabulous thing about October and since it’s half way over, you had better make sure you scoop up a few bottles of this delicious seasonal sensation before it is completely sold out.
There are 4 key parts to making this – Pumpkin, Chicken, Veggies & Buckwheat Noodles
Get the pumpkin in first since it takes about an hour to roast. Cut it into pieces, smother in coconut oil, pour on some Granville Island Pumpkin Ale and sprinkle with yellow curry powder.
While this is roasting you can prep your veggies & throw in a wok.
In this dish I used:
Just steam in the wok with a few splashes of water – after about 8 mins and the water is evaporated add a can of coconut milk – a few chili flakes – 1/2 a stick of cream cheese & yellow curry powder to your desired spiciness.
Cut up the pumpkin when roasted and add to the wok with some of the juices from the roaster. Add cubes of chicken, mix it all together and then scoop onto a bed of noodles, quinoa or rice. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
This is a pic of Glenda I took when she won runner up in the Granville Island pie baking competition this year. Be sure to find her at the farmers market she has the most delicious selection of produce from her farm, she grows without any sprays or pesticides. The Granville Island farmers market is in the Triangle Square every Thursday from 9am – 3pm.
I really want to meet the guy who doesn’t like to laugh. I know how I’d cure him: I’d expose him to a genre of comedy that is not based upon punchlines, one-liners, satire, or any of the other elements that pop in to our head when we think of funny. In short, I’d take him to see an improv show.
Not that I assume you, gentle reader, lack a sense of humour, but it’s important to understand the effects of improvisational comedy, and why you should see the Vancouver International Improv Festival (VIIF) at Performance Works on Granville Island.
Improv is more than your Whose Line is it’s Anyway B-listers trying to crack wise in order to get a group of middle-age couch potatoes to laugh. It’s performers dealing with unexpected or absurd situations. It’s about the struggle that an improviser has with his fellow performers. In many ways, it’s about how playing with the idea of trying to be funny is funny.
“Every large city now has a healthy improv scene”, says Kaitlin Fontana, one of the show’s Directors. She notes how improv is blossoming and increasing in profile, especially in North America.
VIIF itself is on its twelfth year. While Festival Director Alistair Cook originated it as more of a tournament, eventually the Festival transformed into an event based on collaboration more than competition, and now it acts as a showcase some of North America’s best improv troupes.
Local heavyweights like Sunday Service sit along Canadian stars such as Picnicface (whose show just premiered on the Comedy Network) and American powerhouses such as ImprovBoston. Each troupe brings their own unique take and spontaneous creativity towards improv.
In many ways the design of the festival seems to reflect this unpredictability. “We like to be surprised with the performers we choose,” Kaitlin notes, who herself is a noted improviser, as well as a respected journalist. She notes that each year’s festival is not planned in advance particularly systematically – the variety and unpredictability of the performers are what is attractive to the festival’s organizers.
Two shows – 7:30 and 9:30 – will run every day until October 1st, so you still have some time to head down to Granville Island and enjoy some side-splitting humour, which is actually a needlessly gruesome way to describe the festival as tremendously funny.
Note that while ticket pre-sales are finished, there are still tickets available at the door. For more information, be sure to check out the festival site here.
So take some initiative, PVR your TV shows, and go laugh at some real comedians.
I had the pleasure yesterday of wandering around Granville Island with Jan and Sarah, who are responsible for making the spectacular Wooden Boat Festival happen every year.
My tour of the festival started over in the Picnic Pavillion (behind Cat’s Social House) where amongst the enthusiastic banging I was introduced to Granville Island veteran David Bradford. David runs the artists and artisans association and also has a boat building company on Granville Island called Alder Bay Boat Company. He spends approximately 25 hours cutting all of the hulls (the main body of the boat) for the kids and then monitors the ‘organized chaos’ and lends a hand when needed. To build a boat it is free for kids with a recommended donation of $2 and $15 for the over zealous parents The whole concept is to present the materials and let the kids creativity take over.
David also teaches the Family Boatbuilding activities where families build their own 12 foot dinghy (Bevin’s skiff) over the course of the 4 day festival. These activities have taken a 1 year hiatus but will be back next year. You get to launch your boat and go for a row before taking it home! If you are interested write a short essay describing why your family should be chosen. Deadline is July 15, 2012 and cost is $400 per family, email email@example.com.
On our way over to the triangle we bumped into some of the festival musicians who gave me an impromptu performance in the parking lot. They are with the The Jerhico Folk Performers and will be singing loud lusty sailor songs around the market all weekend. Click here for a schedule of events.
In the triangle, which is the area between Liberty Wines and La Baguette, there are gorgeously crafted smaller boats and canoes.
The big boats are strung along the north side of the island and are all judged on 13 varing categories such as oldest boat, best traditional construction, best modern construction, best sailboat, best small boat etc.
The Scandinavian in me was drawn to ‘Munin’, a 40ft 1/2 scale replica of the 9th century Norwegian Viking ship, Gokstad. You can actually reserve seats for a two hour outing in the Heritage Harbour. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Scandinavian Community Centre for more info.
John Hammond creates exquisite woodwork detailing along the sides of Munin.
Make your way down to take part in the festivities and even vote for your favorite boat until August 28th. Set Sail, me matey!
More pictures on our facebook page
If you are lucky enough to venture to Granville Island and come across Byron Bertram‘s outdoor show make sure and stop to enjoy it! He is an gut-splitingly hilarious and has constructed a well-oiled show that is sure to impress.
He started out by learning how to juggle at a theatre program in East Vancouver, then gained confidence performing for audiences on Granville Island and in English Bay over seventeen years ago. Beginning with a saxophone/juggling hybrid of a show, Bertram eventually composed a skit combining hilarious jokes, jaw-dropping fire juggling stunts and a seemingly impossible straitjacket escape. When asked the big question ‘why street theatre’ Bertram responded, ”I love gathering people together, there is just something oldschool and communal about it”. He is genuine and engaging with an inherent gift for thinking on his toes and making people laugh.
Bertram does have a general structure to his show but he changes it up every time and doesn’t stick to set a script. His talent for comedy truly compliments his street theatre and he plans on inventing more comedy sketches in the future. Some of his existing sketches and stand-up can be found on youtube, check ‘em out for a good chuckle.
It’s a bit tricky to plan for Bertram’s Granville Island show since the buskers do a draw at 10:00am every morning to find out when and where they will be performing. To stay in the loop like him on facebook and follow him on twitter.
This Recipe puts a lively Granville Island twist on the mundane tuna melt!
Thick cut rye bread – La Baguette
Avocado & Chives – Four Seasons Farms
Crab Cakes – Longliner Seafoods
Sharp White Cheddar Cheese – Benton Brothers
Pop in the oven until the cheese is melted then top with some of PJ’s AMAZING hand chopped Mango Chutney.
Easy as pie and so delicious!