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 005 “Not all those who wander are lost” -J.R.R. Tolkien


Still stands the forest primeval; but under the shade of its branches
Dwells another race, with other customs and language.
Only along the shore of the mournful and misty Atlantic
Linger a few Acadian peasants, whose fathers from exile
Wandered back to their native land to die in its bosom.
From the poem,  “Evangeline”by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Canadian Food

As we get ready to celebrate Canada 150 it is time to find out what is Canadian food. A few items on the list surprised even me. 

I used to live abroad and had Coffee crisp bars sent to me. I didn’t know they were only in Canada, eh?  Also liked Kitkats for dipping in tea and coffee. But they were more international. 

I ‘ve made Nanaimo bars and like extra butter in the second layer. 

Of course there are pancakes with maple syrup but I didn’t know butter tarts were Canadian. 

I have seen Canadian pizza on the menu even abroad.  It is often pepperoni, bacon, mushrooms and cheese. 

There is also Hawaiian pizza invented by a man in Ontario. It has tomato, ham, pineapple and cheese. Some people add green peppers and mushrooms. 

And California maki rolls may be Canadian too I read.  They have avocado, cucumber and imitation crab.  Guess we often don’t name things after ourselves. 

Our Chinese restaurants have plum sauce for egg rolls.  Not sure what others have.  It is not made from plums though.  Pumpkin I believe. 

The above Canadian food link mentions many foods from Nova Scotia though I would add we have one of the biggest blueberry crops. Also shrimps and scallops though they seem to be exported a lot.  Smoked mackerel is nice.  Australian  and B.C. visitors have raved about pan-fried haddock.  

I like Canadian wine and cheese too.   There are lots of craft beer and I saw people buying Canadian Iceberg Vodka for Caesar day today.  See a previous post to understand this yummy drink. I just found out that this vodka is actually made from pure iceberg water in Newfoundland. 

We try any foreign thing we can as well.  After all we have many immigrants and many people love to travel. Many cities have large communities of people from elsewhere and sometimes they create fusions or twists on things. 

But when I think of Canadian food I think of fresh and simple ingredients.  We used to have clam bakes and corn or lobster boils on the beach. All you needed was butter and salt to season.  Vinegar for lobster.   Mussels have replaced clams and are done in a broth but can still be dipped in butter or vinegar. There are seafood chowders preferably with fish, seafood and potatoes with a roll. 

Also when you get fresh beets, corn, potatoes or green beans you just add butter and enjoy.  Love fresh strawberries or peaches. 

This is why you won’t ever see Canadian restaurants abroad.  It is mostly fresh local food done simply. You have to be there to enjoy it and relax in the wilderness or small town or city preferably. You may even see some wildlife. 

See you for Canada 150 this year!

Six Mile Falls

Recently I did a long hike on the outskirts of Halifax and in the middle I relaxed in the warm spring sun for half an hour. Feeling the sun on your skin and listening to the mellifluous sound of falling water is a tonic for the soul. 

Relax and enjoy as nature slowly warms our hearts once again. 

Maudie and Art and Life

  • So I saw the movie Maudie today.  It will be released in other countries eventually such as the US, UK, France,Germany, Spain, Australia and Japan.
  • It was great because usually I’m wondering when a movie will be over even if I mostly like it but today I didn’t want to know
  • It is about an NS artist and you can see her painted house and more at the Art Gallery of Nova  Scotia in Halifax
  • Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins are great though not Nova Scotian though Hawke has a summer place here
  • The movie was shot in Newfoundland though it looks like NS-I think it is generally rockier, hillier and colder there  and very interesting to visit
  • The movie was great because it put together the basics of an excellent story-compelling characters, interesting plot and significant scenery. I just read The Quiet American.
  • Maude Lewis came from Marshalltown, NS near Digby which is famous for yummy scallops and balancing rock and whales are nearby
  • This movie has interesting life themes we all can relate to. It is doing very well and beyond initial projections

Spring in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia 

      It was yet another warm spring day and I was taking a hike with my Jamaican friend who is still experiencing her first year in Canada. 

      It was nearly 20 degrees and she had fleece lined tights, boots and a heavy hoodie. I was hot in lighter, looser lounge pants and a light cotton cardigan and breathable sneakers. 

      It has been a nice April and things are budding. We spent nearly 3 hours walking, talking and sitting on benches.   

      My friend is petrified of animals, especially dogs.  Everyone and their dog was out that day with a dog or three. In some countries dogs are not so often kept as pets. 

      She’s even afraid of chickens which no doubt roam Jamaica more than Canada. She did grab my arm when she saw a ring necked pheasant running away. I had already mentioned hear their screeching call. I said that no one had ever been hurt by a pheasant. 

      I spotted this cute carving from a distance.  My friend also climbed the tree.

      She touched the North Atlantic for the first time and said it was freezing in April. I thought it was cold. Perspective. 

      A great time was had. She really enjoyed getting out of the city though luckily it doesn’t take long here and that’s one thing people like. 

      I’ve met other newcomers here from Syria, Iran, Turkey, Jordan, Colombia, Cuba, Nepal, Russia, Eritrea, China, Korea, India, Egypt, Vietnam, Germany, Britain and the list goes on. 

      At this time of year I salute new beginnings. 

      The Ides of March

      Tomorrow is the Ides of March which I have often associated with my change.   We recently had the full moon.   There are usually some fierce winds which are happening now as the final winter storm blusters in.  Already it has transitioned to rain here though central Canada and the northeastern US are getting more snow. 
      Change is coming whether we want it or not and the winds of March will  bring it on.  You can make the change you want or it will be forced upon you. 

      See the streetlight in the background.  There is a bag wrapped around it clinging on but it has since been blown elsewhere. 

      March will bring change.  My favourite date is March Fourth (forth) which is a command and comes at just the right time. 

      Spring is coming next week and if you just changed your clock you have already sprung forward. 

      Old man winter is blowing cold air in a last burst of power until maiden spring comes in. 

      After the Third Nor’easter/ That Pre-spring Feeling 

      • For some reason there is an orange line in the sky
      • Hi.  Ah what a difference a week can make.  Last week we were awaiting the third storm in one week and now it’s evening and the window I thought I ‘d open for five minutes has been open for two hours. 

      There is the sound of traffic again infiltrating my indoor space. The smell of outdoors come indoors again like line dried clothes brought in after time spent outside.  

      • Below see a sidewalk finally coming back after a week. Some snowplow operators were not home much. 

      My senses are more alive like meeting a lover after a three to four month absence. I feel it all more than ever.  Like a light kiss after a prelude to more.   I know something good is coming.  

      • It’s been a few months since I stood outside for any length of time. You can hear and feel a difference in the air. You smell hope. Today I was outside after a meeting with people embracing change and as I was talking to a woman I felt the sun caress my cheek.   It was the first time in a long time I could physically feel hope. 

      The sun’s angle has recently changed.  Days already feel longer. I know this is true as young men rev up their engines and  I saw two people getting ticketed today. 

      Interesting stories from newcomers lately. They love it here after they get  used to the first winter.   People from the Middle East or Asia are the main ones moving here although anything is possible.  

      So I didn’t get the snow pics as planned but got some of piles melted days later and saw snow transported to places where it could die like  unused golf practice areas.  

      • There are weird  snow walls on the roadside.  Like levels of something.
      • Things are melting as seen on my balcony and the next one. 

      One scoop from the Chronicle Herald in Halifax is that Justin Trudeau placed Ivanka in her father ‘s chair.          

      I said things looked sweet between them.  

      We feel a fresh change is coming. Anything is possible.   As cold ice melts so returns the sun to its rightful position.   And snowmen eventually become nothing.   

      We are in a meltdown. 

      I find the balance of life among the four seasons. 

      Nor’easter # 2 

      Well Nor’easter #1 was such a hit I decided to come back with #2. 

      Well the first one was just a warm up.  This is the worst weather I’ve experienced in a long while. 

      I’m reminded of the Netflix series Trapped set in Iceland where the characters wander around in the same blizzard conditions except they rarely do up their coats. I feel like quite a whimp in comparison. 

      Many TV shows are now seeing the value of moody weather in the mix.  Canada has some new wintry shows. The Killing featured the wet west coast and was a take on a Danish show. 

      No longer is life all palm trees and sun though hot places have problems too. If you were in Australia right now you’ d be blistering in 40+ heat or running from wildfires. Everyone has something. 

      That said I have been trapped inside today. Most things are shut down and transit is down. So I will only tease you with pics as I couldn’t even venture out on the balcony as the wind was so high.   This is the first time I have experienced this. 

      I see a neighbour tried to dig out his car and gave up. The snow is up to the base of windshields. It’s wet and sticks to windows so that you can hardly see out.

      The wind was predicted to reach over 100 kilometres/hr.  The snow looks a few feet deep.  Predictions were up to 60 cms.  It was very white today.   Visibility low. 

      There were always cars on the roads but not many. OK if you slid a little. The journalists were out and surely emergency personnel. A team with army style vehicles drove people around such as a guy going for radiation treatment. 

      The guys clearing things were top notch.   There was never too much snow on the roads.   I will now praise all of the above people who often only hear complaints. 

      Today there were no flights out of Halifax but Prime Minister Trudeau did manage to fly out of Ottawa to meet President Trump. 

      By all accounts it went better than expected. PM Trudeau even acknowledged our storm in his post meeting speech. I may be already pre-voting for him. He covers all areas of the country as he should. You are voted in for all and not just the richest. Glad he gets that. 

      Oh and I liked the pics of him and Ivanka. Sweet. 

      More pics of our monster storm will follow when I get outside tomorrow.   Below is in reverse order just during the early morning.