A love letter to Canada…
November 26, 2010 § 2 Comments
Take a look at the view from the window nearest to you. And now take a look at this:
Yeah…I know which one I prefer.
That, by the way, is the view from the deck of my aunt and uncle’s cabin, hidden deep in Ontario’s cottage country. I’m lucky enough to head out each year for Thanksgiving (no, not the same as American thanksgiving – honestly.)
And this a just a short note to say that, despite all its inevitable problems, well – Canada, I just fucking love you. So much. And not just for your beautiful lakes and howling wolves and the constant access to Tim Hortons. But for three very specific reasons.
Firstly: if you’ve ever met me, you’ll know that I’m, um, just a little bit of a coffee addict. It is in Stratford, Ontario, that I have found the (previously regarded as mythical) perfect cup of coffee. Not kidding. Not only the best cup of coffee, but the best coffee shop, best muffins and prettiest ever baristas. If you should find yourself in Stratford (perhaps on a Justin Bieber pilgrimage) then you owe it to yourself to head over to Balzac’s.
Secondly: one of the most amazing bookshops – Fanfare Books, again in Stratford. Russian novels handpicked by translation, graphic novel adaptations of ever single full-length Holmes book, feminist classics you’ve previously had to order and wait for, more volumes of Shakespeare studies than I’ve seen in Stratford (England) and a rainbow-coloured kids section? Pure joy.
Finally: Canadian breakfasts. Specifically, the full Canadian breakfast my aunt conjures up after a spot of canoeing as the sun rises. Just – just book yourself a morning off – go outside, get cold and exhausted and hungry and come home to this.
* Fresh filter coffee with cinnamon and maple syrup
* Grilled thick cut bacon
* Soft scrambled eggs
* Buttermilk pancakes – with so much maple syrup that it spreads all over the bacon and eggs, uniting your food into one heavenly mess of glory.
It will make you a better human being – I promise.
Little pieces of paradise (aka buttermilk pancakes)
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tbsp sugar
1tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking (bicarbonate) soda
2 cups buttermilk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. With a balloon whisk roughly beat together all ingredients
2. Heat a skillet or non-stick frying pan to a medium heat, oil lightly (an oil mister is your friend)
3. Pour on ladles of batter – cook until bubbles rise to the surface, flip – cook until risen – each pancake will take three to four minutes
4. Keep warm on a plate in the oven – then devour and feel better about the world