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Happy Gourmand

Turning leaves, new and old

Oct 3, 2015 / 5:00 am

"Just before the death of flowers, and before they are buried in snow, There comes a festival season when nature is all aglow." ~ Anonymous The author of this quote is unknown, but it is certain...

Finish on a good note

Sep 26, 2015 / 5:00 am

As we approach the holiday season with all its meals, parties and treats galore, I thought it might be a good idea to get us prepared. Being able to comfortably digest all those goodies helps in one's enjoyment of the event, so I am offering a few tried-and-true digestive aids this week....

An apple a day...

Sep 12, 2015 / 5:00 am

It is apple season, but that is not so much what I'm going to talk about this week. Rather, I thought it would be fun to look at some of those everyday expressions we use that involve food items. Some of the stories behind them are quite intriguing. And of course, some of them come out of...

Shifting gears

Sep 5, 2015 / 5:00 am

It’s happened again. I wasn’t paying attention and it snuck up on me. Just when I was getting into the groove, too… You know what I mean, I am sure. I am talking about the ominous turn of the calendar page. It is September. Summer is over. Even though I have put it down on the...

Feeding the horde

Aug 29, 2015 / 5:00 am

This past weekend we hosted a family reunion for my Icelandic relatives. It truly was like having an invading horde at the house, and given that my family is of Viking descent it seemed somewhat fitting. It was a barrage of noise and movement, and a seemingly endless array of meals and coffee to...

The Okanagan at its finest!

Aug 22, 2015 / 5:00 am

The Okanagan has been known for its fruits for generations. People from around the world come here in summer to pick, buy and eat the many varieties fresh and in season. This year Mother Nature sped things up a bit, so we have already enjoyed much of the bounty. Peaches are almost done, and the...

Times they are a-changing

Aug 15, 2015 / 5:00 am

It used to be that families regularly ate together at a dining room table, and children were told to clean their plates, or there would be no dessert for them. Meals for the most part had a certain familiarity: cereal or toast for breakfast, a sandwich or soup for lunch and meat and potatoes with...

I am...happy

Aug 8, 2015 / 5:00 am

In recent years we seem to have transcended the stereotype that paints Canadians as almost-like Americans but with a colder climate and a funny accent, thanks in no small part to those beer ads that advertise all the passions Canadians have. All the wonderful pastimes we enjoy are certainly part of...


Aug 1, 2015 / 5:00 am

Summer is the season that seems to be the most anticipated and the one that flies by the fastest. My garden works in the same way... everything sprouts and grows and flowers and then all of a sudden I am in a rush to make sure we enjoy it all. Radishes and lettuce first - we eat salad like rabbits....

What makes it all go round

Jul 25, 2015 / 5:00 am

We had our little summer break last weekend and enjoyed ourselves immensely. We ate leisurely meals, we stopped at the side of the road to enjoy the view, we chatted with locals in shops, we danced the night away, we gazed at the stars. It was a truly glorious experience. Now we are back in the...

Be bop, blues and breakfast

Jul 18, 2015 / 5:00 am

Yes, readers, it's that time of year again... I'm off to the good old U.S. of A this weekend for our the annual Wauconda Sock Hop and Antique Car Show. My dance partner and I have become the token Canuck contingent at this little community event, drifting back in time with the locals to the...

Tastes of summer

Jul 11, 2015 / 5:00 am

Every season has its flavours but dining al fresco lends an extra-special air to the tastes of summer. The pleasure of dining outdoors is something we regard as slightly decadent in Canada, what with our cold winters and short summers. Here in the Okanagan we are blessed with some of the best...

As Canadian as...

Jun 27, 2015 / 5:00 am

Sitting on the edge of summer with our national day of pride upon us, I am reminded of that phrase our neighbours to the south use: “As American as hot dogs and apple pie”. It doesn’t sound like much of a meal, and I am not sure where they cornered the market on apples being...

Daddy's princess

Jun 20, 2015 / 5:00 am

Isn't it funny how Mother's Day and Father's Day differ? Everyone seems to think that Mother's Day is about paying Mom back for all the hard work she does, almost a guilt trip as often she is doing more than her share for the whole family. But Dad's Day is a quieter affair; get...

Here comes the sun

Jun 13, 2015 / 5:00 am

I was very touched this week, feeling the power of Mother Nature in those times it can make us seem small and insignificant. It happened a few times; once I was left feeling overwhelmed with joy at being able to experience life, another time I felt helpless and ashamed to be representing our...

Food trivia tidbits

Jun 6, 2015 / 5:00 am

This week my brain is mush, what with the start of the busy summer season and a ridiculous summer cold that I really don't need :) So, I'm regaling you with some water cooler talk, tidbits you can share around the dinner table that will amaze your guests with their banality! What the heck,...

Time for dandelions

May 30, 2015 / 5:00 am

Phew, I feel better. I was beginning to despair that I would not be enjoying summer enough with all the work we have. But then, for the first time this year I sat outside after work just a short while ago, with my feet propped up and a beverage in my hand, enjoying the warmth of the sun on my face....

Eat your crusts!

May 23, 2015 / 5:00 am

Do you remember hearing your parents say that when you were young? The rest of the comment was usually reinforced with the fact that there were children starving in Africa. Guess what? There are still children starving in Africa (as well as many other places) and there are reports and studies...

Ready, set...go summer!

May 16, 2015 / 5:00 am

When I was a kid I dreaded the May long weekend. It was the time when my mom planted the back yard and vegetable gardens, and my dad made sure the lawn was mowed, and the garage got cleaned up for summer use... it was a weekend for chores. We didn't have a pool or a boat, so there didn't...

Give Mom a break

May 9, 2015 / 5:00 am

It's that time of year again when we are all supposed to give Mom a break. Cook a meal, clean the house, walk the dog ... Pitch in a bit extra as a way of saying thank you for all she does. Perhaps too Mother's Day is a chance for the rest of us to walk a mile in Mom's shoes? Moms -...

BBQ Tips

About the author...

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

She says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had.

Happy Gourmand is about enjoying life and living in the moment. Sharing that joy with others is how I keep those good vibes going."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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