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Happy-Gourmand

National Jam Buster Day?

I was thinking about Canada Day coming up, and celebrating our culture, and it occurred to me that there are lots of food days for celebrating too. (Did you know that there is a Tapioca Day, Bologna Day and even Sneak Some Zucchini on Your Neighbour’s Porch Night?)

What would be a Canadian food day? What is the quintessential food that Canadians consume on our national holiday?

Well, as you are no doubt aware, gentle reader, the essence of Canada is tied intrinsically to its complex roots and multi-cultural mosaic of people all woven into one delicious buffet.

There is no one answer for you. But, in case you are looking for a new idea of something to sample or wondering what else is on the list besides your favourites, here is some food for thought (or celebrating…)

Many of the celebrated food days are linked to American business, but they are simple associations: there is no political or historical significance to National Butterscotch Pudding Day (Sept 19 in case you are a fan), and National Horseradish Month was created when the National Horseradish Information Council simply requested it go in a published calendar of events (it is in July, if you are keen to support it).

Interestingly enough though, apples are one of the longest celebrated foods, now enjoying three months of festivities. Apparently they do help sales of apples, so I suppose that is good at a grass-roots level.

But back to Canada, July is Hot Dog Month, but those are known to be almost as American as apple pie, right? The Canadian version of apple pie is to have it with cheddar cheese.

You have probably heard of Montreal smoked meat and flipper pie, and there is sugar pie and Red Rose tea (“Only in Canada, you say? Pity!” Remember those TV ads?)

Of course, we in the West would like something to celebrate too, wouldn’t we? Wild rice from Manitoba is getting closer, or how about the Bloody Caesar cocktail? it was invented by a bartender in Calgary in 1969 but I guess a cocktail is not really food.

 Well, how about jam busters? Did you know that is the Canadian prairie donut? If you're not from Manitoba like me, perhaps you call them Jelly Doughnuts. I knew I loved them as a kid. (Specialty Bakery makes delicious ones with jelly that squish out the sides if you bite them in the right place.) 

June 8 is their day on the calendar.

You can incorporate some of Canada’s blend of cultures if you enjoy a Chinese buffet or a Lumberjack’s Breakfast. Both were invented in the 1870s in the shantytown of Gastown (Vancouver) when men from various European backgrounds worked in long days and wanted a hearty meal. Or you can celebrate National Picnic – and Grilling - Month (July) and take your family to the beach to ring in the real start of summer.

Any way you slice it, I think the important thing is to remember to celebrate: the idea to “eat, drink and be merry” has been around for a long time, so we should make sure we are proficient at it!

One day I couldn't find was Cherry Day, so maybe we should push for that to be an Okanagan holiday. I know we have plenty of cherries with our one tree. Here is one of my favourite cherry recipes, if you get tired of just eating them out of a bowl.

CLAFOUTIS

This is a French classic, a simple recipe that works for dessert, or brunch if you feel like it. Serve it with whipped cream or yogurt, or even maple syrup if you want a Canadian twist. Bon Appetit!

  • 500 g/2 cups black cherries
  • 100 g/2/5 cup flour
  • 125 g/ 1/2 cup fine sugar (fruit sugar, not icing sugar. Regular white sugar will work if need be.)
  • 4 eggs, the fresher the better
  • 5 mL/1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250 g/1 cup milk
  • 37 mL/2-1/2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • pinch of salt
  • 10 mL/2 tsp sugar mixed with 1 mL/1/4 tsp cinnamon for dusting
  • Wash and de-stem the cherries. Pit them if desired. (The original recipe says not to pit them, as leaving the pits in adds to the flavour.)

In a large bowl or your electric mixer, beat the eggs till frothy. Add the sugar and salt and beat again. Gradually add the flour while still beating, to avoid lumps. Add melted butter and mix. Lastly, stir in the milk.

Butter a baking dish (shallow preferably, but casserole type will do). Pour in cherries, then pour batter over fruit.

Bake at 190 C/375 F for 45 minutes. Upon removing from oven, sprinkle cinnamon sugar over top. Serve lukewarm if possible.

 

              

 

 

 

 



More Happy Gourmand articles

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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