Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Canadian Food

As I’ve mentioned many times before I would spend time in Canada every summer. Place where we stayed was run by a wonderful family. Every family member was part of the business and had specific duties for their guests.

My favorite was Emma. She was the matriarch and her duty was food. She baked bread every day. All fruits and vegetables came from her garden. All meat came from her farm animals. Eggs, milk and butter came from her animals as well.

I have, in the past and continue to be critical of my mother’s cooking. Though my sister disagrees with me; I insist that my mother was and probably still is a terrible cook. My time in Canada made me absolutely fall in love with Emma’s culinary touch. Everything was always good.

One morning I announced that I was going to travel through the woods and visit a lake a couple miles away. Emma kindly packed me a lunch. I knew where I was going so I wasn’t going to be lost, but she knew that I wouldn’t return until late afternoon.

I arrived at the lake around Noon, and the walk there had made me hungry. I was looking forward to having lunch during my entire walk. I ceremoniously opened the bag and removed the foil wrapped sandwiches. The bread was beautiful and its scent kissed my nose as the sandwich rose to my lips.

My first bite sent a strange feeling to my brain. This was something I never had before. It wasn’t particularly good or bad, just foreign to my American palate. Before risking a second bite I paused to open the bread. Cucumbers? A cucumber sandwich? What the hell is this? Who feeds a cucumber sandwich to a kid not of British herritage?

I plowed on, and found I actually enjoyed them by the time I got to the second sandwich. Oddly that was the last time I ever had one, but this memory has me wanting to try one again.


Anonymous Moosehead said...

Yep...cucumber sandwiches. Never did get that and they have never crossed my lips. My Dad used to eat them all the time but then again..he used to slurp back raw oysters which to me is akin to clearing the back of your sinus cavity and swallowing after sloshing it around your mouth for a while. Aphrodisiac?? Puullleeease...just give me a blue pill. Speaking of...don't those guys in the viagra ads look contented? Bastards...rat bastards...all of 'em

5:49 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

God Guy! Good think no one was there to watch as you chewed on that food.! And what about Emma....

6:03 AM  
Blogger Hahn at Home said...

So, this Emma...she still around?

6:36 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Now you've got me trying to think of other unique Canadian (or British) foods. Do you have Yorkshire pudding with roast beef? Do you sprinkle sugar on sliced tomatoes?

6:44 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Moosehead, I don't know, but those guys in the band playing Viva Viagra look like they are getting ready to do one another.

Auntie, I was alone in the Canadian wilderness. No one could see.

Lori, I was actually in contact with relatives of the Family. Emma is now living with Alzheimers in a care center. I'm sure I'll be writing about her again.

Beth I've had Yorkshire, but sugar on tomatoes, that's sick. I used to do something I learned from some Canadians in the far North. That is to put a pat of butter in a cup of tea. It's actually pretty soothing.

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Janet said...

Cucumber sandwiches were one of my mother's standards, and she's German--not English. I actually love them. They have become a kind of comfort food for me. They always remind me of summer and make me feel nostalgic.

11:06 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

So are you supposed to peel the skins off the cucumbers? Also what do you put on the bread? Butter? Mayo? What are the variations?

11:21 AM  
Anonymous walter richards said...

Oh! Oh! Mum's bad cooking story:

After one Thanksgiving dinner, my mom was making "leftovers" for dinner, and couldn't figure out why she had two small containers of gravy (when she'd normally use one medium/large container). But, seeing the gravy was different shades of brown, she figured it had been different nights, and so combined them for warming and re-serving. The taste was horrible, and ruined anything it touched. Most of that night's dinner had to be thrown out, due to that gravy.

Lesson: When combined, pumpkin pie filling and gravy are fit for neither dinner nor dessert.

And I swear one time she actually DID burn water, but can't recall the details for that story.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Cucumber sandwiches are popular with many(not myself) here. The place it really struck me as being a strange favorite was Japan. They even have cucumber flavor soda!! YUKKO!!!!!

2:07 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Why 2???

2:08 PM  
Blogger Columbiacontrolfreak said...

You have not eaten english food until you've had a dish of clotted cream. In this country we call it spoiled milk!

6:29 PM  
Blogger Auntie said...

My favorite english foods are Steak and Kidney Pie, Toad in the Hole, Bubble and Squeak, Bangers and Mash, Trifle, and Spotted Dick.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Mmmmmmm bubble & squeak, bangers & mash, and fish & chips!! Great snacks all, especially at midnight with 'Greenwich Mean Time Porter':)

10:04 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Walt, it's a wonder we survived.

CCF, way to make a guy want to throw up at 5AM.

Auntie, Spotted Dick? WTF? Have any of you ever seen the Two Fat Ladies on the Food Network a few years ago? They used to make all this English food and then stuff it all with bacon.

Mike, Taddy Porter used to be a favorite of mine. French wine and English beer.

5:20 AM  

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