Thursday, July 19, 2018

Persians, Yarn, and Art

If you haven't been to Thunder Bay, Ontario -- and you probably have not -- then you are unlikely to know that a pink-frosted pastry called a Persian is the official food of this city on Lake Superior. We wanted to taste the best so we headed to:
I know, it looks modest, but this is one fine pastry. The frosting recipe is a closely guarded secret, but it is fabulous -- tastes a bit like strawberries.
The name for the pastry comes from General Pershing, not the Persia of the Middle East.
The pastry -- and The Persian Man -- fit this down-to-Earth city perfectly. It is very much a city of the Upper Midwest, struggling with loss of industry but scrappy and making a come-back. It has lots of fun little art galleries, which we toured. 

And then there is yarn!
Who can resist a store with this sign outside?
Olives and Bananas is named after the owner's children's favorite foods. Cute, huh? Definitely an unusual name for a fiber shop. This darling downtown store is filled with colorful yarns, but I wanted local yarn -- and I found it:
This is a Fire Fly Fibre Arts kit for a shawl designed by Fire Fly owner and dyer, Maggie Erickson. The kit contains the yarn for a Fringe Frenzy Shawl, which I fell in love with as soon as I set eyes on the store sample. Maggie lives and works in Thunder Bay, so this is perfect souvenir yarn -- and thus does not count as stash yarn.

On our way back to Grand Marais, we stopped at the Thunder Bay Art Museum, where we saw an amazing exhibit of the art of indigenous artist Christi Belcourt.
Her paintings are incredibly beautiful -- and reflect her deep love of her people and the Earth.
She is very concerned with proposed oil and gas pipelines that could affect waterways and has made some stunning banners to convey her concerns:
Do check out her website, which I linked above. I admire so much the way she has combined her talent with real world issues.

Now, to end on a sweeter note. I have a sort of obsession with candy bars you can't buy in the States, so we had to stop at a convenience store, where I picked up a few of my favorites:
You might guess that the Coffee Crisp is my favorite. I'm wondering why I only bought two? Calories? Silly me.

As we came back into the States, the customs agent asked us, "Are you bringing back anything purchased in Canada?

"Yes," I replied, "five candy bars and three Persians."

He had a good laugh.


  1. I live in Ontario, and I've yet to make it to Thunder Bay! (I'm south of Toronto)

    Aren't Coffee Crisps the best? Our McDonald's used to have Coffee Crisp McFlurries, and they were ah-mazing!!!

  2. I've been in Thunder Bay!!! But sadly, only driving through. I hadn't realized there were Persians or I would have had one (or three) and those coffee crisps are so good! Enjoy. Love your new yarn and I love the name of the shop - very clever. I wish we had had more time in Thunder By as I would have loved to visit the galleries. Sounds like you are having a great vacation!

  3. Im laughing too! Great border answer. LOVE YOUR YARN find lady!

  4. Now I have a hankering for a Persian and I don't even know what they taste like. LOL The yarn you bought is gorgeous too!!!!

    Wait didn't declare your yarn?????? LOL

  5. Thunder Bay is a gorgeous area! It sounds like you had a marvelous trip!

  6. Still chuckling about your declaration at the border crossing. 😁 The yarn is gorgeous and will make a stunning shawl.

  7. Oh, wow....yarn AND good things to eat. I don't know where to start. I haven't been to Canada in ages. I need to get a passport and take a road trip if only for those Persians!

  8. My husband loves coffee crisps and we buy a ton of them when we visit his parents in Canada for home. I do love the name of the yarn store, clever :) Looks like a great time!

  9. Knitting with that yarn while eating a Persian (or two) sounds like my idea of heaven. It sounds like a really wonderful trip!

  10. Sounds like an amazing trip and I love the shawl kit for a souvenir!

  11. Yarn shops can be very enticing, can't they? Love the name of that one! (We have one here called Mad Cow, talking about different names.) Love your yarn and the pattern, too. We've not been to Thunder Bay, but I've read a book set there by William Kent Krueger whose mysteries all take place in the area around northern MN.