Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment. Cheers! - Bethany

Thursday, June 21, 2012

This Little Piggy

Mid-way through staycation and my vow to eat well around town has not faltered. I could really get used to this. That's a bad thing. (But oh.so.goooooood ...)

Yesterday, it was a belated Father's Day affair with Hubby at Mill Street Brew Pub. More of those amazing carnitas, a flight of brew samples and a little slice of carnivorous excess called Piggy Delight. It's a flatbread with pulled pork, smoked pork belly and chorizo sausage drowning in BBQ sauce and mozzarella cheese. That little piggy was some tasty.

As if that wasn't enough cooked swine, we hit the annual International Chicken & Rib Cook-Off on Sparks Street today to get our fix of Camp 31's ample racks and monstrously huge piles of pulled pork. We smuggled in some Kichesippi Heller High Water in our stainless steel water bottles and sat in one of the few shady spots to down our grub. That little piggy was divine.

I walked off the meat sweats on a trip to the National Gallery of Canada, where the Van Gogh exhibit was in full swing. I always get a kick out of the visitors wearing audioguides; it's like watching small children play team sports. One huddled clump of scurrying feet all chasing after the ball at once. Except this clump is moving in unison from one masterpiece to another, slack-jawed in their intense concentration as they are spoon-fed a big dose of someone else's opinion (along with some history, which, I'll admit, is useful.)

I did much of the show in reverse to avoid the crowds, and then found myself immersed in still life painting ... on an iPad. For me, this is often the best part of the special exhibits at the Gallery: the Studio. An interactive art lab often geared towards kids, it's a brilliant creative outlet for artists of any age who want to get busy while the inspiration is still bubbling.

This time around, they had three iPad stations facing a large vase of flowers. Object was to recreate the bouquet à la Van Gogh. Your choice of medium: watercolour? Pastel? Oil? Marker? It's all there. Virtually. And after one tentative smear of virtual paint with a virtual palette knife, I was virtually sucked in.

I have no idea how long I sat there. It was a long time. And now I simply must get myself one of those nifty little toys.

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