“My first authentic Canadian food experience”
Dana McCauley spoke at the end of the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference and issued a Call to Action to all which motivated me to initiate this project. She has participated in my Food Trends posts for the past couple of years, is an intelligent and humorous tweeter, and one of the judges on Recipe to Riches which has a new season coming up soon. I was delighted when Dana, from Toronto, Ontario, decided to participate. Her story will be found on our Facebook page every month and this post is not to be missed as she recaptures her “tea-soaked madelaine moment.”
I chose an authentic first Canadian food experience inspired by Spring. My mom’s potato salad is a family signature dish at the onset of the new season. There are others that I have written about over time. I chose this common prairie dish because we have all eaten a version of it from coast to coast, that is relatively similar from region to region. There are versions of potato salad that morph into radical variations in many parts of the world, so what are the common elements of a Canadian Potato Salad? Russian Salad is one of my favourite variations.
I have read Sarah Galvan for years. She writes at All Our Fingers in the Pie in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, and I had the pleasure of meeting her in April at the Slow Food Canada Conference in Osooyos, British Columbia. Finally! Sarah’s bread looks exactly like the white bread my grandmother, my mother, and the neighbouring Hutterites use to make. I look forward to having my mother scrounge around for her old recipe, and to making both, myself.
Liane Faulder is our local food writer at The Edmonton Journal. She also blogs at Eat My Words in Edmonton, Alberta. She and I shared her first authentic Canadian food experience. She writes about an Alberta Farm to Table dinner that defined our prairie terrior to a “T”. Liane has also published a book about a story very dear to her heart: The Long Walk Home: Paul Franklin’s Journey from Afghanistan. Liane writes for a living as do others within this project. I devour her wordsmithed Wednesday articles. I would like to see greater participation with main stream food writers in this project. It is not an easy ask, but it is an important one.
Valerie was the first food blogger I have followed that I met and we have a more personal connection through our writing, now. She writes at More than Burnt Toast in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. Grab a large cup of coffee and plan on sitting to read her post when you have a good chunk of time, but do make sure you take the time. She writes about her childhood in the Maritime Provinces and the significant contribution of cod fishing to our Canadian food culture. “There are few places on earth that continue to live on inside of you… filled with old-world charm… that exist in every corner of Newfoundland and Labrador. The real spirit and traditions of Newfoundland survives in the small fishing villages that cling tenaciously to the rocky, exposed shores as well as in my treasured food memories.”
Nicole at Culinary Cool from Regina, Saskatchewan, offers an authentic recipe for Canadian Bannock coupled with her grade one memory of eating it for the first time. Another recipe on my list.
Julie Van Rosendaal at Dinner with Julie from Calgary, Alberta, has invested herself completely into this project with all three of her on-line blogs participating. Above, she shares her incredible strawberry rhubarb jam recipe. Is it the season, or what? Below, Elizabeth Chourney-Booth shares a story about Anne Murray’s Cherry Cake on the newly launched site: Rolling Spoon that Elizabeth and Julie created: “this site is “a little bit kitchen, a little bit rock n’ roll.” Ya gotta stop by and sink into the connection between Canadian Food and Canadian Music plugged in at this site.
We are so fortunate to have Kathryne at Food Musings from Winnipeg and Lester Beach, Manitoba, participating in this project as she will “flavour” future posts with her Metis food heritage. Currently, she is our lone Manitoba participant, as well. Corn. Can we all relate? Not just animal feed in this part of the world. Stop by for a good read about Morden Corn, a specialty in Kathryn’s neck of the woods. Her sister is writing a cookbook, and the family blueberry pie recipe is also included.
Who doesn’t love a butter tart? Well, Rosemary at Quench Magazine from Brampton, Ontario, didn’t until she tinkered a bit with the old tried and true recipes. What she discovered is a new, mouthwatering, family favourite.
Hélène Péloquin writes at La Cuisine d’Hélène in Ottawa, Ontario. My first visit to her site a few years back found me leaving a comment that entered me in a contest for tea. I received a massive box of teas and everything imaginable. That was easy. I have been attached to her, since. Love her home food recipes the best and got to spend some nice time with her at FBC2013 where we had a lot of laughs. It is her daughter that has generously offered free translating for the initial project posts, tweets and badges to get our Canadian French speaking and writing cohorts involved in the project, and we now have several that will be chiming in next month, as a result. Yes, the contribution of one influences many. Hélène shares poignant stories and photos about growing up on the farm, and her family’s recipe for Sucre à la Crème, a famous Eastern Canadian homemade sweet which I was served by my gracious bed and breakfast hosts at the Vallée de la Battiscan. Unforgettable.
Merry at MerryWithChildren from Calgary, Alberta, prepares us for these rainy Spring days with a recipe for the famous Canadian Caesar Cocktail. She is our only “non-Canadian” participant and provides a perspective of an American living in Canada for almost 10 years with her Canadian husband.
Gisele Godbout from New Brunswick is our second French speaking and writing participant. Isabelle is our first, but will post next month. Gisele managed to post her first authentic Canadian food recipe out fast! At Dans Les Casseroles de GG she shares her Soupe aux pois traditionnelle or Traditional Pea Soup. She doesn’t share a personal story, or the history of the soup, but she shares her authentic recipe, so her post was easy for me to read as I can read recipes en français. My mom made a similar soup, and we were provinces away, though the difference is significant: with a smoked ham hock. I must say that Gisele’s soup looks yummy and Marie from Celebration Generation recalls this traditional soup was always a highlight of the Festival Du Voyageur festivities every February.
Dan at Dan’s Good Side from Calgary, Alberta, is a busy fellow. Hailing from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, he “highlights the magic that is a seabuckthorn berry” by sharing his recipe for Seabuckthorn Berry and Shallot Vinaigrette. I have tasted ice cream made with these berries, but could not put my finger on the flavour. Have lived here all my life, and never these berries growing on a tree, or tasted one fresh. Did see them sold by the bag at our Local Italian Centre Shop, so know I can make Dan’s recipe. Dan is also famous around these parts for his Start from Scratch initiative aimed at “informing post-secondary students on the ease of preparing a quality, home-cooked meal.” The progam is now active in three locations and he is looking at expanding to Vancouver in the fall.
I met the lovely Jennifer Schell very briefly at The Market of Taste event hosted by Slow Food Osooyos at the Slow Food Canada National Conference in April of this past year. She was at one of the booths selling her hot-off-the-press cookbook: The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker. I bought it. She signed it. We chatted briefly about her speaking at the Okanagan Wine and Food Writers Workshop the following week, as I had attended the year prior. The word is out. The Okanagan Valley is the Napa Valley of the North and Jennifer’s cookbook is timely. She writes from her site, An Okanagan Cookbook in Kelowna, British Columbia, and as a first generation Canadian from German decent, shares a poignant story of her farming family’s ability to provide everything for themselves from their own hand…and a recipe for her Oma’s Prune Kuchen.
Hans Peter Meyer at Bon Vivant Vancouver Island from Courtenay, British Columbia, has written a piece titled “From flavour to soil to flavour” and paints a childhood memory of eating berries….nom… nom…
Deborah at in the stewpot from that happening place called Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, has provided us with her blue-berry muffin recipe with a “twist”.
Marie at Celebration Generation from Winnipeg, Manitoba, currently living in Minnesota bakes beautiful bread. Wouldn’t you agree? It used to be that the right of passage for a young prairie gal was to bake a great loaf of white prairie bread. How many Canadians reading have never baked your own bread? Get thee to a bread baking class. It is one of the most cathartic, ethereal, back-to-basics Canadian food experiences. Marie has experienced regional Canadian food in a variety of locales through her travels and it is clear her contributions to this project will be compelling.
Barbara Bamber from Calgary, Alberta, writes at Just a Smidgen and has whipped up one of my dad’s favourite cakes that I haven’t had since my own childhood. Lazy Daizy Cake. Anyone else familiar with it? The icing was to-die-for, but I would pretend I didn’t like it at all so I could give mine to my dad who was crazy over it.
Some did not participate in the first post, but 58 did. If you are interested in participating, wonderful.
I have opened a spreadsheet and will be cataloging the topics and recipe by region to see what evolves through the year.
Sorry the round up was late. Family member in the hospital unexpectedly took the bulk of my scheduled time. (All is well.)