To Europe with Love

It’s that season when we start to think about family farther away.  How can we keep those ties across so many miles? When I was a child I remember parcels coming from Europe at Christmas time. What excitement there was as those boxes were opened by immigrant families missing people back home! These days it is just as likely to see parcels shipped in the opposite direction.

If you are one of those people who are sending blessings back to Europe, you can now ship for less at The European Pantry. We are an official depot for Polimex shipping. Here’s how easy it is:

  1. PACK: Wrap breakables well and pack tightly. Unlike some shipping agencies your longest dimension will not determine your shipping rate. However, large light weight packages can sometimes cost more than  a small heavier package. So I encourage people to pack efficiently. You must not exceed 120cm on any of your sides and the total of your 3 sides added together should not exceed 220 cm.
  2. CALCULATE: If you are wondering about the cost to send your package, you can use this formula: length x width x height/6000= volume weight. Compare this to the actual weight of your package. If volume weight is more than the actual weight then the volume weight will determine your chargeable weight. Round up to the next half kilogram. A parcel to Poland will cost $2/kg for surface transport or $6/kg by air + $15.00 delivery fee. Most other countries  are $3/kg surface or $7/kg by air + $20.00-$35.00 delivery fee. You can call us for your destinations’s rates or visit Polimex’s website which has a rate calculator.
  3. MARK: the shipping address and return address in permanent black marker on your package. We will affix a shipping document but we always want the package properly labeled just in case the documentation gets pulled off.
  4. BRING: your package to our store with your shipping info. Please have the cellphone number and/or email address of the recipient to help the deliverer make contact. We will help you fill out the declaration/shipping form and do the final fee calculation. We will also give you some information about duties and insurance.
  5. SHIP: packages are picked up from The European Pantry on Fridays. Most surface transport packages will be delivered in 4-7 weeks. Air packages will arrive in 5-10 days.

Bring Home the Colour!

Michelle's quiltIn the past, I have tended to choose safe colours as I decorated my home. A few years ago, our daughter-in-law, Michelle, made us this beautiful quilt using the colours she perceived made me happy. When I chose my shirt that morning I had no idea we would be receiving this beautiful gift. Clearly, Michelle knows me very well! Her gift pushed me out of my comfort zone into my joy zone.

So when I started renovating our kitchen in 2016,  Michelle’s quilt became my inspiration.  Instead of fabric, the pattern of our new kitchen is made up of old bricks, dark beams, reclaimed cedar shelves and pale wood cabinets. I was a bit scared when I started to paint the cabinet cases red but no regrets. To balance the red, I brought in some greens. This was my first test of Fusion Mineral Paint products. I guess the fact that we now sell Fusion paints shows that I am a solid convert.

The faux distressed plaster wall was so much fun to make! With several coats of FMP Tough Coat it has stood the test as a back splash for food prep. The cedar shelves attached to that wall are an extra point of pride. Who would have thought the original 100 year old painted window sill could become so beautiful! It is amazing what hemp oil can do…after some strenuous stripping.

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Our kitchen floor is another example of deconstruction beauty. Layers of old flooring were removed to expose the old floor boards. There were a lot of holes and wide cracks to fill but paint covers a multitude of imperfections.  I used a 50-50 blend of FMP colours “Lichen” and “Plaster” for the base colour. Then I highlighted the cracks and knots with “Lichen”. I wanted the floor to look like old planks without worrying about vacuuming crumbs out of the cracks. A couple coats of FMP Tough Coat finished off the job for extra durability.

Maybe you can’t  make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear but you can make a warm inviting room with some very raw materials, elbow grease and excellent paint.

Bringing colour home is all about discovering your own joy zone. What attracted me to being a FMP product distributor was the prospect of helping other people discover the palate of their joy zones. When you visit The European Pantry you not only can bring home the bacon….and cheese, chocolate, teas, seasonings, etc…. you can also bring home your joy colours. Come for a visit and let us help you discover your joy zone.

You can read more about our kitchen renovation here: The Year of the Kitchen

 

Unique Summer Thirst Quenchers

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Our summer supply of alternative non-alcoholic low calorie European beverages has arrived! You can wow your guests with unique quenchers but once you taste them you might not want to share…. these are delicious refreshing drinks!

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Our classic soda pops may have more typical calorie ratings but their taste is anything but ordinary.

And don’t forget mineral water from natural springs in Romania!

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The Kitchens We Love

BCE92475-0FB0-45BA-A537-0868D878337CThere are those kitchens where more memories are made than any other place on earth. I remember when my Oma and Opa moved to Fruitland, Ontario. There was an apricot tree there. Oma baked the most delicious sand cakes filled with apricot jam. Years later I realized that this must have been a new recipe she developed or borrowed to use up an abundance of fruit that year. This in itself might appear unexceptional if not for the fact that she was quite elderly already. As young persons we do not always pause to really observe and understand the elderly. They are often merely part of the backdrop of our lives. As a teenager I saw nothing of myself in my Oma’s wrinkled face. She has been gone for almost 30 years now but the memory of her readiness to innovate with new ingredients whispers through the years to me as I cook and experiment in my kitchen.  It tells me that I am very much her grandchild.

E200517D-CC1C-49B5-A590-7E056A95E22EKitchens are often the hearts of our homes. Being greeted by the aromas of supper cooking after a long day at work makes our labour so much more worthwhile. Special conversations happen over a cup of tea and a slice of our favourite cake.  Bruised knees and feelings are comforted by a sweet treat. At the heart of these kitchens, however, are the cooks who make these places special.  These are the people we celebrate with more of our “Handmade Kitchen” signs. Whether you call her Gramma, Nana, Nagymama, Mom or something totally different you can honour the special cook who is making memories for your family by commissioning a personalized sign at The European Pantry.

Cuisine Enrichment Workshops

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Unravel the mysteries of fine food while exploring the world of colour!

Contact us if you are interested in our Kitchen Decor Painting & Cuisine Enrichment Workshops.

Watch this spot for more information!!

A Good Sign

 

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The sun comes up. It is a good sign: a new day, a new beginning.

I love what is solid, tried and true but I also love new beginnings! I have to remind myself to look over my shoulder and see where I have been because I am always excited about new challenges and opportunities.

For a long time I have been wanting to add to our selection of kitchen articles and gifts.  But as I pondered our commitment to the concept of “The Handmade Kitchen” I wondered how we could do both.  I love creating things but my responsibilities for keeping the shelves at The Pantry stocked with goodies from all over the world limit my time for creative endeavors. Yet……

My friend Charmaine Stulp is my hair stylist. She has been making people feel beautiful about themselves for a long time. Yet… she, too, was yearning to explore her creative side further. Charmaine is my type of girl! She is happier in a lumber yard or home repair center than in a clothing store…unless it is a thrift shop.  So it wasn’t surprising when she announced a new business venture she was starting with another friend. Both of them are hair stylists, hence the name of their new business: Scissors to Saws.

One morning…the time for new beginnings…an idea came to me.  By partnering with local artisans, I could honour our commitment to “The Handmade Kitchen” and I could encourage creativity right here in Niagara. So if you have been by the store lately, you will have noticed new handcrafted and hand-painted gifts appearing on our shelves. The signs are the work of my friend Charmaine.  We will be reaching out to other local artisans but today I would like to introduce Charmaine and let you see some of her beautiful work.  You will be able to buy her signs off the shelf here at The Pantry, commission her to make you a personalized sign or attend one of her very fun workshops.

Our first line of signs is “bon appetit”. It doesn’t matter what your language is, everyone has an expression that means “Enjoy your Food!” The line of signs will also enable you to honour the mothers in your life with personalized messages like:

  • Everything Tastes Better at Grandma’s (or Oma’s or Nana’s or Nagymama…)
  • Mom’s Kitchen: Satisfied Tummies Since (insert the year she became a mom)

We have some great other new ideas that will be coming and we also hope to offer kits that will enable you to create at home. We will keep you posted!

Read more about “The Handmade Kitchen” Here.

Connect with “Scissors to Saws” Here.