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Sunday, April 17, 2016: Rite of spring

Did I bring spring from Vancouver? Last week it snowed three times in Ottawa and after I’ve arrived on Thursday it’s been lovely, hitting 21C  (70F) today. It seems the whole city was out in shorts and I helped my family with a rite of spring  – changing from winter to summer tires, and cleaning the car inside and out, especially the salt stains.

Today was another fantastic meal in Ottawa. We went for brunch to Benny’s Bistro in the Byward Market, a small but attractive room tucked in behind a French bakery. I had the roasted forest mushrooms with aged white cheddar and potato dumplings, peas, pesto, greens, beets, preserved lemon crème fraîche and white truffle vinaigrette ($18). I’m usually a pretty fast eater, but I took my time savouring this excellent dish’s complex flavours.

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Ottawa’s two half-Japanese Jews

Also this weekend we visited the one-day Makers Market at Makerspace North with more than 40 handmade artisans and food vendors, including illustrator Yoko Feinman, who creates beautiful cards and prints. Her company is called Art Freed, which was the business alias of her grandfather, Aaron Feinman. It’s interesting that Yoko practises her Japanese mother’s Buddhism, while in our family it’s the father’s Judaism.

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