Jasmine Mangalaseril 🧁
3 days ago

Video from cellist Johannes Moser about the KW Symphony, the bankruptcy, and the GFM campaign the musicans have set up:

#KWSymphony #WaterlooRegion #Canada #Arts #Culture

Here’s a wayfinding sign on the Iron Horse Trail in Kitchener, Ontario. It features perhaps the simplest possible map. I cycle past it often.

#MapsInTheWild #Kitchener #WaterlooRegion #BikeTooter

A way finding sign on the Iron Horse Trail, a multi-use path. It shows a straight vertical line as the trail, and names cross streets at irregular intervals along the line.the top says “Victoria Park” while the bottom says “Union Blvd.”

Having gotten apple sauce and sauerkraut batches going today, I took a break and headed outside in beautiful cycling weather to ride to Twas Now Brewing. They’re a pico brewery located almost directly across the street from the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex. That’s a hockey arena, among other things. How Canadian is that, eh?

#CraftBeer #WaterlooRegion #Kitchener

On the left, a glass of beer in a mug is sitting on a countertop. It’s a pale gold colour, with a white head. To its left there’s a brown glass growler. It has “TWAS NOW BREWING, KITCHENER, ON” written on it in stylized white text.
Jasmine Mangalaseril 🧁
6 days ago

I didn't realise this would come this quickly.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (KWS) filed for bankruptcy Thursday after abruptly cancelling its upcoming season originally scheduled to start this week.

#Canada #WaterlooRegion #KWSymphony #Orchestra #symphony #Arts #Culture

Jasmine Mangalaseril 🧁
1 week ago

The absolutely lovely Marlene Epp stopped by this morning so we could talk about food, food culture, restaurants and her new book (article forthcoming!)

I baked Peabody's Cranberry-Lemon-Poppyseed loaf. Yes, I'm bad at cranberry distribution, but it's a tasty cake :)

And yes, all those flaggies are the notes I made as I read the book.

#WaterlooRegion #FoodWriting #FoodWriter #MennoniteFood #Baking #Cakes #Food #Mastonom #books

Recipe here:

As seen from above, a plate with a Cranberry-lemon-poppyseed loaf cake, with a few slices cut and laid out sits above a copy of Marlene Epp's Eating Like a Mennonite. Along the non-spine side are oodles of yellow, pink, and purple Post-It flaggies with notes.
Cait the Encourageable
1 week ago

#MillionBigotMarch #WaterlooRegion

So today was the big anti-trans protest across the country, which stole the name of a Black event (whatever, colonizer) to make their hate of trans kids known. They also called themselves Hands Off Our Kids, or HOOK, which was very funny to me, as he's the villain in that children's story.

We had, I believe, the edge in numbers on them. Tactically, we outmanoeuvred them - they'd planned to have people on the street honking in support, but we filled the space between the fountain and the street (and much of the fountain, to be honest). So passing motorists only saw a wall of queers, and the honks were for us.

The chalking team had been out last night and done an amazing job of chalking all over the plaza. Messages of trans love and joy were everywhere.

A lot of city councillors were there - I didn't see any MPs or MPPs, but doesn't mean they weren't there. Media people were there too, I saw Craig Norris and Joe Pavia from CBC, and reporters from CTV, CityTV, and the Record, that I was able to recognize.

All in all, it was a good counter-protest. No one got arrested from our side, so safety team did well.

Proud of my people today. We done good.

Darcy Casselman
1 week ago

Can’t be much more clear than this sign, right?

#WaterlooRegion #NoSpaceForHate

A cardboard sign with hand-written lettering that says “Trans Rights ARE Human Rights”.

The little cartoon figure in the corner really makes this one 😀

#WaterlooRegion #NoSpaceForHate

A cardboard sign with had lettered text that says “We Support Queer🩷 Youth” In the bottom right corner there’s a cartoon person with a word ballon that says “I support trans youth”.

This stuff is serious and should be taken seriously.

#WaterlooRegion #NoSpaceForHate

A cardboard sign with had-written text that says “Gender affirming healthcare is suicide prevention” and a heart and a flag.

I’ll share four photos of signs in this thread. I like that this one uses an Oxford comma 😀

#WaterlooRegion #NoSpaceForHate

I hand-written cardboard sign. It has the text “Celebrate Love, Joy, & Acceptance” and a long horizontal rainbow on the bottom edge.

There was a counter-protest at Kitchener City Hall this morning (as there was in many cities) against hate groups and in support of trans and LGBTQ+ people. Naturally I biked there 😀

It looked like “our side” far outnumbered the hateful side. I’ll be curious to see reports on numbers.

Organizers had asked that people not take photos, for safety reasons. I asked a small number of peope if I could take photos pf their signs, though, as I wanted to share something here.


Craig Sloss
1 week ago

If you are in #WaterlooRegion, join us on Wednesday to show that our community stands against hate!

A poster advertising the event "Queer Youth Defence"

September 20th Kitchener City Hall 9 AM 


What's happening? 

A hate group “Hands Off Our Kids” is using anti-queer rhetoric to take away the rights of youth in determining their own identities. We are denying them a space to spew their bigotry and queerphobia, and protecting the rights of youth to safety and privacy. 

What to bring? 
- A face mask (we will also provide masks)
- Sunscreen
- Anti-hate banners / signs
- A hydrating drink
- A first aid kit, if possible
- Earplugs and/or sunglasses

What about safety?
- Wear a face covering to prevent doxxing
- Do not take any pictures / videos of allies
- Arrive and leave in groups
- Avoid direct confrontation with bigots
- More info soon on our safety plan
Jasmine Mangalaseril 🧁
1 week ago

The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony cancelled its 2022-2023 season (including the Youth Orchestra program) on the weekend (the season was to start tomorrow).

The Symphony's musicians have started a GFM -- if you can, and want to, please consider a donation.

#WaterlooRegion #Canada #Music #Orchestras #symphony #fundraiser

In Waterloo Region, annoying to see that even toy cars are considered an "everyday essential". Indoctrination into car culture starts with children.

#ActiveTransportation #WaterlooRegion

A display stand in a grocery store for Hot Wheels toy cars. A sign on the stand says 

Jasmine Mangalaseril 🧁
1 week ago

My latest article is up! This time, I hang out with Chef Dan McCowan and chat about his new gig as executive chef at Conestoga College’s Bloom, a functional restaurant that's open to the public *and* educational space.

At the School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts, he works with a team of specialist chef and hospitality intructors, in an award-winning, state-of-the-art facilities, to guide the next generation of chefs.

#FoodWriter #WaterlooRegion #Restaurants #Chefs

Jasmine Mangalaseril 🧁
1 week ago

And worse: was told by a friend that the Youth Symphony held auditions *last week* and sent out payment reminder notices to parents.

I'm holding my tongue on the crisis management and crisis comms on this until the announcement is made, but really...this stuff just doesn't happen all of a sudden.

#WaterlooRegion #KWSymphony #Symphony #Orchestra #Canada #Arts #Culture #ArtsMatter

Jasmine Mangalaseril 🧁
1 week ago

Oh gosh, this is getting worse. No refunds to ticket holders nor to those enrolled in the KW Symphony Youth Orchestra program (that one, I believe, is C$600pp). Tax receipts only.

#WaterlooRegion #KWSymphony #Symphony #Orchestra #Canada #Arts #Culture #ArtsMatter

Jasmine Mangalaseril 🧁
1 week ago

Seeing messages online that the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony's season (which was to begin on Wednesday) "will not be commencing" and the youth orchestra's activities for the 23-24 season will not be proceding.

No reasons given. The KWS calendar went blank and the site is now down.

It seem *very* sudden, esp as they were posting job notices over the past six weeks.

Hopefully it's a minor blip and not something catastrophic.

#Canada #Arts #Culture #WaterlooRegion #Symphony #Orchestras

Jasmine Mangalaseril 🧁
2 weeks ago

As far as I'm concerned, Jasminepalooza/birthdaypalooza is still happening. After getting my curls coiffed, I stopped by Poppy's (have been hearing a lot about them) for their eponymous bagel sandwich (Montreal smoked meat, pickles and more). Messy, meaty, tangy all on a fresh-baked bagel made in the Montreal style. I can't believe I ate the whole thing.

#WaterlooRegion #Food #MontrealStyleBagels #Mastonom

The Poppy on a sesame seed bagel. One half is cut-side up, displaying the meaty, pickley, saucey filling.
Bob Jonkman
2 weeks ago

At 3pm Eastern time on CKMS #CommunityConnections I'm playing the music of local musicians in @waterlooregion, several of whom have upcoming concerts. Listen to CKMS-FM 102.7 #RadioWaterloo or online at and see the music list at

How many #WaterlooRegion musicians are in the #Fediverse?


Jasmine Mangalaseril 🧁
2 weeks ago

FYI, my food columns appear in a Metroland property (Waterloo Region Record), but one that is not losing its print edition.

"The bankruptcy will spare the company’s daily newspapers — including the Hamilton Spectator, Peterborough Examiner, St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review, Welland Tribune and the Waterloo Region Record — which will continue both in print and online."

*edited for clarity.

#Canada #Journalism #Metroland #WaterlooRegion

Back in September 2019 at a meetup that was a part of the Fluxible UX Festival, City of Kitchener’s Darren Kropf took us on a cycling tour of then-new cycling infrastructure, and shared a vision for the near-future with us. It’s been great to see the dramatic changes since then as new infrastructure has been created.

#BikeTooter #ActiveTransportation #WaterlooRegion

14 people stand next to their bikes and with their backs to the viewer. They are watching and listening to a man in the background. The people are wearing a variety of clothes, most of which aren’t cycling specific.
Jasmine Mangalaseril 🧁
2 weeks ago

Interesting day with a lot to think about. Met up with a friend for a coffee at Kitchener's Aura-La and introduced her to their chocolate babka. Alas, I forgot to take a pic (they are beautiful things), but I stopped off again, after taking Cardapoppy grocery shopping, and got a mini lemon bundts, just in time for my afternoon coffee.

#WaterlooRegion #Bakeries #Cakes #Mastonom

A blue and white ceramic beaker of coffee next to the babka  and fork on a quarter plate. The plate has a colourful map design. The babka's top is iced with flecks of pink, yellow and white.
Jasmine Mangalaseril 🧁
3 weeks ago

And, while wandering around Uptown Waterloo, I got one of the last of the season's peach pies from The Sweet and Savoury Pie Company.

Peach pies are the bestest pie.


#ItsMyBirthday #WaterlooRegion #Food #Pies #Baking #Mastonom

A small double-crusted peach pie in a box. The golden hand-crimped crust has two steam vents: one, a circle, and in it is a star.
Jasmine Mangalaseril 🧁
3 weeks ago

More Birthdaypalooza-ing! Spent part of the afternoon at Waterloo Bookfest. Great to see so many local authors and publishers and run into writerly folks I know!


#ItsMyBirthday #WaterlooRegion #Authors #Books #Poetry #Cookbooks #bookstodon

Local poet, Chris Banks (who happens to be my friend's partner) was there with his latest book. Hoping to get get to its book launch in a couple of weeks :)
Sarah Tolmie (a friend of a friend) holding a copy of her latest collection of "contemporary weird short fiction" Sacraments for the Unfit
And it turned out an old acquaintance and community builder, Cam Dearlove, wrote his first novel! Here he is holding a copy of Investigation of Mars.
And while I met some lovely new-to-me authors, I loved the premise of this self-published cookbook: introducing young children and babies to spices (Yes! Young people eat spices! Billions of us, when we were babies, have, for millennia!).  Here's Zahra Habib holding a copy of Spice Baby!: 100+ recipes to spice up your baby’s life.
Jasmine Mangalaseril 🧁
3 weeks ago

Pics from last night dinner at @oddduckwp Tasty, fantastic food made and served by fantastic people :)

Info in alt-text


#Mastonom #Food #WaterlooRegion

Melon done five ways
Background Forbidden Rice with vegan demiglace, mushrooms and romano beans.

Foreground: Octopus with peppe relish, roast mushrooms and mandarina balm
Odd Duck Menus from 08 September 2023
Vegan, GF earl grey cake with tamarind caramel and nectarine-wood sorel sorbet.
Jasmine Mangalaseril 🧁
3 weeks ago

Pics from last night dinner at @oddduckwp Tasty, fantastic food made and served by fantastic people :)

Info in alt-text


#Mastonom #Food #WaterlooRegion

Melon done five ways
Background -- forbidden rice with romano beans and mushrooms with a vegan demi-glace.

Foreground octopus with pepper relish on roasted garlic puree with mandarina balm
Vegan, gf earl grey cake with tamarind caramel and nectarine and wood sorrel sorbet
Odd Duck menu from 08 September 2023
Jasmine Mangalaseril 🧁
1 month ago

And a few pics from last night's Edna Staebler potluck dessert buffet (including the Edna corner that overlooks her cottage).

Since Rose Murray would have been there (she passed away one month ago), I decided to make the Tres Leches Cake from Flavours of Canada, which she co-authored with Elizabeth Baird.

It was lovely night and so good to catch up with people I've not seen in *ages.*

#Desserts #EdnaStaebler #Food #WaterlooRegion #Mastonom

The Edna display -- her silver coffee and tea service, with a framed watercolour portrait and a painting of her cat.
The dessert buffet -- 10 plates of desserts. A range of cakes, squares, cookies and pies.
My contribution -- an overhead shot of the Tres Leches cake from Rose Murray and Elizabeth Baird's Flavours of Canada. The cake is topped with Chantilly cream, toasted coconut and fresh blueberries.
The Tres Leches cake, topped with Chantilly cream, toasted coconut and fresh blueberries. A couple of slices removed, showing the cake's squidgy, milky crumb.

And finally, since she was clearly a person who cycles, I asked her if she knew about the @CyclingGuide mobile app. After a moment's hesitation, her eyes let up with recognition and she said that she does indeed know it, and had been one of our early testers. We chatted a bit more as I loaded beer into a pannier, and then I left her to the other folks waiting in line. She said this had made her day. I told her the same for me 😀.

#BikeTooter #WaterlooRegion

When I was paying for my beer, the cashier was very interested in the ORTLIEB panniers that I had with me. I'd seen them recommended here on Mastodon back in July, and had discovered that a fine Kitchener bike shop called Black Arrow Cycles carries them. She looked closely at them, we talked about how well they work for me, and she took a few photos.

#BikeTooter #WaterlooRegion #ShopLocal

As long as I was in the neighbourhood, I decided I'd cycle over to a nearby LCBO (that's an Ontario government retail outlet for alcohol) I hadn't been to previously and get some beer. That also went well, and I picked a few good-looking beers, some of which I've enjoyed before and some of which were new to me.

#BikeTooter #WaterlooRegion #CraftBeer

Ok, here's a cycling story that ties together a few things I've posted about previously.

I posted recently about the large number of apples that our sole apple tree has produced this summer. We're making apple sauce, and peeling apples by hand is tedious, so I wanted to get one of those old hand-cranked apple peelers. Happily, Lee Valley carries them so I figured I'd cycle out to get one. That worked well.

#BikeTooter #WaterlooRegion #Apples

Spotted in downtown Kitchener: a foot rest and handrail for cyclists stopped at the intersection of Water Street and Duke Street. Let’s see more of these!

#BikeTooter #Kitchener #WaterlooRegion

View from behind of a person on a bike, stopped at a red light in an urban setting. Their right hand is on a rail and their right foot is resting on a different rail. There are buildings all around.

My latest food adventure is up! Not a restaurant review per se, but a literal around-the-world graze at St Jacobs Market! I mentioned about 10 spots offering everything from chinchin to churros, including wonton soup, doubles, and bao.

And yes, I did stop in for my sentimental favourites – fritters, pierogis, back bacon sandwich: all are just as tasty as I recall:

#WaterlooRegion #FarmersMarkets #Restaurants #FoodWriter #EatLocal

If it's the Civic Holiday Long Weekend, it's also Food Day Canada. This year, I commemoratee the sparkly and lovely Canadian food writer, Rose Murray, who passed away a few days ago.

Chili pulled pork and coleslaw (tweaked) from Canada's Favourite Recipes, with the pork's extra sauce going into my baked beans (yum).

I think Rose would have approved of it.

#FoodDayCanada #CanadianFood #FoodWriter #WaterlooRegion #Mastonom

A plate with a pulled pork sandwich, coleslaw and baked beans. The top bun is off the sandwich, revealing rings of yellow and red pickled peppers; under the meat is a slice of cheese.  The coleslaw is tinted orange from the Korean dressing I used (I hate mayo). The beans are saucy, but not too saucy.

Today I learned about Twas Now Brewing, a “pico brewery” in a residential garage in Kitchener. So I had to cycle out there. Lovely ride, and I picked up a few of their beers and had nice chats with folks at the window. I’m enjoying their NEIPA right now.

#BikeTooter #Kitchener #WaterlooRegion #CraftBeer

Closeup of. Red brick house with a window in what had been a garage door. Above the widow there’s the text “TWAS NOW”, the name of the brewery. There are people at the window buying beer. In the right foreground there are 2 bikes parked.
A 1 litre brown bottle stands on a wooden surface. White text on the bottle reads “TWAS NOW BREWING KITCHENER, ON”. Behind the bottle is a buff-coloured brick wall.

My latest food article is up and in The Record!

This time, I’m writing about Bailey’s Local Foods and their 15th anniversary.

What started as a family’s search for fresh, local food has turned into a food hub, community, & year-round online farmers’ market and community for those interested in organic, sustainable, and local food!

#WaterlooRegion #FoodWriter #Journalism #FarmersMarket #BuyLocal #Organic

Cycling Guide
3 months ago

We're delighted to be on the front page of The Record, our local newspaper, again today, this time with a little focus on Cycling Guide Foundation. And the piece includes a mention by @uxmark of "surveillance capitalism ", so that's pretty cool 😀

You can read the piece by Terry Pender online.

#BikeTooter #Cycling #WaterlooRegion

I spent 3 years following @oddduckwp's progress from idea to pop-up to restaurant and I am *thrilled* that my article about what they’re doing is out!

SO much to say about them. Community-supported restaurant focussed on sustainability of product, practice, and people. Supporting supporting small, independent farmers, the way the menu is built, living wage-certified employer no-tip.

#FoodWriter #Restaurants #Sustainability #NoTip #Canada #WaterlooRegion #EatLocal

Grand Porch Potty spotted at Grand Porch Party today. Someone is sure having some fun 😀

#WaterlooRegion #GrandPorchParty

There’s a portable toilet structure on the left. On the right there’s a sign with the words Grand Porch Potty written on a banner that looks like a roll of toilet paper.
A corrugated cardboard sign that says “Welcome to the Grand Porch Potty”. It has a picture of a toilet with a smiling face and the words “Enjoy your stay!!!”

Today was the Grand Porch Party, a wonderful music festival that takes place on house porches in a residential neighbourhood in Waterloo. It’s always a wonderful experience. Here’s @onionhoney performing this afternoon.

#WaterlooRegion #GrandPorchParty #Music

Four musicians on a porch are gathered around and singing into a single microphone. From left to right, the musicians are also playing guitar, banjo, mandolin, and double bass.

I went for the manti and I'm glad I did

My latest review is up! This time, I'm at Antalya, a new Turkish restaurant, in Kitchener's Williamsburg area!

It's in today's Record and online here:

#Restaurants #RestaurantReview #WaterlooRegion #TurkishFood #FoodWriter

I found a bit of a local doughnut trail, with six spots from Elmira to Cambridge where you can pop in & out for a dozen (vs restaurants that serve them as desserts), so I nibbled along for this round-up.

+100 flavours, so there's something for almost everyone from those who want plain cakes to longjohns topped with cereal and bacon. Some offer vegan and gf!

It's a tough gig, but someone's got to do it.

#FoodWriter #Mastonom #doughnuts #Donuts #WaterlooRegion

My latest restaurant review is up! This time I’m back in dtk, at Pho Vietnam K&W to graze on some delicious Vietnamese dishes.
There's a lot to choose from here and it's all delicious and aromatic, and we sampled A LOT.

You can read about the restaurant and the dishes in today's Record, and online:

#RestaurantReview #WaterlooRegion #FoodWriter #VietnameseCuisine #Mastonom

Cycling Guide
5 months ago

We’re pretty pleased that Cycling Guide made the front page of The Record today. I ( @uxmark ) cycled out to St. Jacobs with reporter Terry Pender last Friday and had a great conversation.

#Cycling #BikeTooter #WaterlooRegion

Which, of course, isn’t to diminish the joys of grain-related bike errands to breweries. This afternoon, my son and I biked to and enjoyed patios at Short Finger Brewing and TWB Cooperative Brewing in Kitchener, capped off with the patio at Arabella Beer Park. All hail unexpectedly warm days in April

#WaterlooRegion #CraftBeer #BikeTooter

Two bikes are locked against a wall. TO the right of the bikes there are a pair of bright green doors, and above the doors is a sign that says Short Finger Brewing Co.
A rustic sign extends from a red brick wall. The sign says TWB  Cooperative Brewing.
A grey brick wall has a sign made of white lettering that says Arabella Park Beer Bar

Not all my grain-related bike errands are to breweries. This morning’s was to Grainharvest Breadhouse, a lovely bakery in Waterloo.


A brown paper bag is lying on counter. Printed on the bag is “grainharvest breadhouse inc.”, along with illustrations of a pretzel, a loaf of bread, a bagel, and a croissant. Not visible are the pretzels inside the bag.

Empty raised garden boxes, but filled with potential. Looking forward to the harvest!

#WaterlooRegion #Garden

In the foreground there are wooden frames containing raised garden beds, with no plants in them. In the background on the left are trees, shrubs, and a picnic table. In the background on the right is the porch of a yellow-brick house.

It was easier to get my next review out this week rather than next – and what a place it is. This time, I’m at dtk’s new takeaway sushi market The Humble Lotus.

Lots of good things to say here. The draw is creative fresh-made sushi by the piece (you can get it by the roll), but also SE Asian grab-and-go bowls. Jared Wood and My Nguyen are doing awesome things here.

#WaterlooRegion #Restaurants #Canada #RestaurantReview #Sushi #BeTheChange

Ending the day with recipe testing for an upcoming #WorldOfFood column. The pot is now in the oven for a slow braise.

#FoodWriter #MagazineColumnist #WaterlooRegion #RecipeTesting #IndigenousFood #Canada

Ingredients for recipe testing bison shortribs,, turnip, sugar, herbs and spices, leek, maple syrup, broth, hominy.
Searing shortribs in a cocotte with lots of fond developed.
Sautéed turnips and leeks.
Pot of shortribs ready for a braise in the oven. We can see spices, greens, cedar, sage, hominy floating about.

@notjustbikes Progress is slow, for sure. But in Waterloo Region it’s very visible, with new cycling infrastructure opening regularly. Kitchener is really focussed on creating and expanding a cycling network. And Waterloo’s recently elected mayor, Dorothy McCabe, biked to city hall in snow on her first day of work as mayor. Is it perfect, or even great yet? No. But it’s going in the right direction. #WaterlooRegion #Kitchener #Cycling