Yearly Archives: 2013

  • The mind changer: Peanut butter and apple galette

    Editor’s note: The Ontario Apple Growers supplied me with the apples to write this post. However, all the research, the recipe and story that make this post are my own.

    Perhaps you remember my chocolate chip cookie-loving boss.

    Since September, his vice has been pumpkin spice muffins from Tim Hortons.

    Admittedly, he convinced me those sugar bombs stuffed with a glob of tooth-aching icing and pumpkin only in spirit were worth eating after he plunked one on my desk one day in an attempt to corrupt — er, convert — me.

    I’m going to blame my caving in on being pregnant. I still have 16 weeks to play that card as an excuse for eating food I normally never would, so I’m going to use it.

    Except when I’m eating an apple with peanut butter.
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  • My favourite local food finds of 2013

    Something about this time of year that makes me reflect.

    Or maybe I’ve spent too long in newsrooms and like a reflex reaction — or bad habit — I feel compelled to compile a list of some sort to sum up the year that was.

    In an effort to satisfy either need, I present you with my five favourite local food finds of the year. These are locally made products or Niagara- grown foods that I enjoyed for the first time this year and they have fast become favourites.

    The stuff of cravings, pregnant or not. Items to which I’ve given precious permanent shelf space in my pantry and always seem to have room for in my belly.

    I share them with the hope you’ll give them a try and find yet another Niagara great.
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  • The Canadian Food Experience Project: A holiday breakfast tradition for the traditionless

    I don’t like Christmas.

    In fact, I may have said once or twice that I even hate it. Not in a Scrooge kind of way, though I’m sure it all sounds very bah humbug.

    In the first draft I wrote of this post, I probably went a little overboard in my explanation why and in the end, I feared, it sounded like the perfect accompaniment to the world’s smallest violin.

    For the sake of brevity or something vaguely resembling it — it is the holidays after all, and who isn’t pressed for time — I loved Christmas until I was 11 and each year had its traditions, including opening our gifts on Dec. 24, like many good German families.

    I remember how torturous dinner was every Christmas Eve because it seemed to take forever for people to clear their plates. I swear my parents ate slower than normal, just for kicks. And in my excitement to rip glossy paper to shreds to get at my loot, I had no appetite anyway.

    Being a good German family, we always had a real tree and we were never lavished with gifts. We got one larger, meaningful present and few small items that went with it — like the Wham! and Cindy Lauper tapes I got to go with my Sanyo ghetto blaster when I was 8.
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  • A whole latke love (and questions)

    My family’s history is shrouded in one huge question mark.

    After my Oma died in August, I realized it probably always will be, and more than curiosity, I’m filled with regret. The last few times I saw her, I relied on our German-English pidgin to decode our past, but it’s as though time only started with her parents and not a moment before.

    The story is even murkier on my mother’s side. My Oma can spin a good yarn, but even my mom thinks there are details conveniently left out of the story. Aside from punctuality and efficiency, denial and shame are also German strengths, particularly for anyone who lived through the Second World War.

    For those born during and after the Nazi reign, that shame is shared. Being born in Canada hasn’t lessened it, though I don’t deny my German heritage. My pride becomes so swollen at times, especially during a World Cup soccer match, or when I meet someone from Germany and start yammering about how it’s my favourite place in the world to visit.

    Still, I have learned rather awkwardly that there are people offended by my ancestry — that 12 unfathomable, horrific, inexcusable years that happened fewer than 7 decades ago have negated centuries of better times lived by an otherwise proud and good people.

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