Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oh, Canada. Eh!

I haven't made a post in a while, and that's because I was on a family trip to Canada! We started at Niagara Falls, went to Toronto for a day and a half, and then came back to Niagara. For anyone who hasn't seen the falls there, it's definitely worth it! They are just beautiful!

Before going on the trip, I was thinking about what kind of food is Canadian, and all I could really think of is maple syrup! That's pretty sad. Once I got to Canada, however, I found a few Canadian foods that I haven't really seen anywhere else. One is poutine, which is fries with cheese curds and gravy. I thought it was very tasty!

Another one is called a butter tart. It tastes like caramel in a tart shell with a few raisins threw in. Overall, it was too sweet for me.

I also went to a dinner show called Oh, Canada, Eh! They had pretty normal food, like chicken, potatoes, veggies, and maple cake for dessert. It was fun and pretty entertaining! They gave us some history of Canada and sang lots of Canadian songs, not one of them being Oh, Canada.

Apart from performing, all these people were also waiters! Ours was the woman on the left.

While in Toronto, we went to the Royal Ontario Museum. As far as museums go, in my opinion, Canada has the best ones! A few years ago, I went to the Royal British Columbia Museum and it was the best museum I've ever been to. The R.O.M was just as good! They had a special exhibit on the Chinese Terra Cotta Soldiers, which was fantastic. We went to a few other sections of the museum after that, like dinosaurs, Native Cultures, birds, gems, etc. and didn't even see half of the sections. It's a massive museum!

After 5 hours in the museum, we were hungry, and had already asked the concierge how to get to Little India in Toronto. After taking the subway and the bus, we made it there and found a great restaurant with tons of outside seating. The food was wonderful, the best on the whole trip! We got chicken tikka masala, naan, chicken biryani, a lamb dish and a veggie dish.

Did you know there are over 100 wineries within an hour of Niagara Falls? While we only went to 4 of them, i could tell that there is great quality wine to be found in Canada. One type of wine I've only seen here is Ice Wine. They wait until it is 15 degrees outside and the grapes on the vine are frozen solid, and the press the grapes frozen. The flavor is sweeter and more concentrated, and I love it! It's more expensive than regular wines; we saw a bottle for $80! My favorite winery was 20 bees, the wine was great and it was the least expensive place we found. Out of all the wines I tasted, the type I liked best at every winery was Gewurztraminer, a nice white wine.

Here is what I spent a week in with my family. I have to tell you, by the end of the week, I was starting to get a little stir crazy in such a close space with 3 other people!

After I got back, I picked a ton of stuff from my garden. Try and guess what this is:

Give up? It's a yellow cucumber! Yes, I was confused too. But I cut it up and tasted it, and lo and behold, it tastes just like a regular cucumber!

We also got a TON of tomatoes, all kinds. My favorite thing to make with tomatoes in the summer is salsa. It's really the only way I'll eat tomatoes raw. I made the first batch yesterday, and it's the best one I've ever made! It was super easy too! Here's the recipe (and it's a mild/medium salsa):

4 cups of tomatoes, seeded and halved
(I used 6 roma, seeded, and a bunch of little yellow tomatoes. If you use big ones, drop them in boiling water for a minute to remove the skins)
4 garlic cloves
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 oinion, chopped
2 jalepenos, one seeded, one not
2 dry chipotle peppers, reconstituted in 1/2 cup warm water (and reserve the water)
2 Tbl olive oil
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
a handful of cilantro

Directions: Put all ingredients into a food processor or blender, including the water used for re-hydrating the dried peppers. Blend until it's the consistency you like!

I ate mine with some Food Should Taste Good olive chips! Yum!

Long post, I know! Just one more thing. I made some dog treats today! Doggie Peanut Brittle.

Enjoy the rest of the week!


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