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We are at the airport waiting to board our flight. As we seem to have interested folks from different parts of the world who may not know too much about our province, I thought I would start this blog by giving you an overview of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL).
Before Newfoundland became part of Canada in 1949, it was a British Colony. Cupids, a town on Conception Bay, was settled 406 years ago, and is the oldest continuously settled official British community in Canada. Most of the early permanent settlers came from southwest England and southeast Ireland although the French also settled here and in the 17th century Newfoundland was more French than English. French is still spoken in Port au Port Penninsula, on the western side of the island, with English spoken everywhere else. Just off the coast of south west Newfoundland, St. Pierre et Miquelon are islands that are still a colony of France. There is a regular ferry service between Fortune, NL and St. Pierre et Miquelon.
Geographically, the capital of St. John's is on the same latitude as Paris, France and Seattle, Washington. In size, Newfoundland and Labrador is a little smaller than California, slightly bigger than Japan and twice the size of the United Kingdon. NL covers 405,212 sq. kilometers (156,453 sq. miles) with over 29,000 kilometers (18,000 miles) of coastline. By itself, the island of Newfoundland covers 111,390 square kilometers (43,008 sq. miles).
The population of NL is 510,000, of whom 181,000 live in St. John's. While there are some larger towns, vast areas are sparsely populated.
In Newfoundland there are no snakes, skunks, racoons, poisonous insects or arachnids. There is also no ragweed - allergy sufferers rejoice! There are over 120,000 moose and it is home to one of the world's biggest caribou herds. They also have some of the continent's biggest black bears.
Note: This information was taken from the official Newfoundland and Labrador web site.
My son married a lovely young lady from Yakeshi, Inner Mongolia, China. Mongolian: ᠶᠠᠠᠠᠰᠢ ᠬᠣᠲᠠ (Ягши хот); Chinese: 牙克石; pinyin: Yákèshí
We had a wedding in the US but her family also wanted to have a traditional wedding in China. DH and I have never being to China so this was an exciting opportunity for us! We spent a few days in Beijing doing touristy stuff and then flew to Hailar. There is only one flight a day on Air China that we took at 6 in the morning. Yakeshi is about an hour drive from Hailar on a beautiful toll road with no cars on it. I wish we took pictures of free roaming sheep and cows along the way. The original free range meat.
The family met us at the airport. We were greeted with a shot of a traditional Chinese spirit from a traditional leather vessel. Nothing says welcome like a stiff drink at 9 AM. We were supposed to have a three shots (may be they were joking) but family took pity on us and limited it to one only.
By Panaderia Canadiense
Wow, this is my third foodblog for the eGullet…. Welcome! I'll be with you from Palm Sunday through Holy Sunday to give you all a taste of the veritable food festival that is Easter in Ecuador. As usual, I intend to eat on the streets, visit a plethora of small shops and vendors, and talk about (and eat copious amounts of ) the specialty dishes of the holiday.
A bit of background on me and where I am. I'm Elizabeth; I'm 33 years old and since the last foodblog I've ceased to be a Canadian expat in Ecuador, and become a full-fledged Ecuadorian citizen. I run a catering bakery out of Ambato, and I deliver to clients on the entire mainland. I've got a large customer base in nearby Baños de Agua Santa, a hot-springs town about an hour downslope of me to the east; I'll be visiting it on Wednesday with close to 100 kg of baked goods for delivery. Ambato, the capital of Tungurahua province, is located almost exactly in the geographic centre of Ecuador. It's at an average elevation of 2,850 meters above sea level (slightly higher than Quito, the capital) - but this is measured in the downtown central park, which is significantly lower than most of the rest of the city, which extends up the sides of the river valley and onto the high plain above. We've got what amounts to eternal late springtime weather, with two well-marked rainy seasons. Ambato has about 300,000 people in its metro area; it's the fourth largest city in the country. But maybe the most important thing about Ambato, especially to foodies, is that it's a transport hub for the country. Anything travelling just about anywhere has to pass through Ambato on the way; it gives us the largest, best-stocked food market in South America. I have simply staggering variety at my fingertips.
This view, which was a teaser for the blog, was taken from my rooftop terrazzo. It is a fraction of the panorama of the river valley that I see every morning, and since Easter is traditionally somewhat miserable weather-wise, the clouds stick to the hilltops. The barrio you can see in the middle distance is Ficoa, one of the most luxury districts in the city. Ambato is notable amongst Ecuadorian cities for having small fruit farms (300-500 m2) still operating within city limits and even within its most established barrios - it's from this that the Ambato gets one of its two sobriquets: The City of Fruits and Flowers. The tendency for even the poorest barrios to take tremendous pride in their greenspaces gives the other: The Garden City. My barrio, Miraflores Alto, is a working-class mixture of professors and labourers, and my neighbours keep a mixture of chickens, turkeys, and ducks in their yards; someone down the hill has a cow that I frequently hear but have never seen. Consequently, if the season is right I can buy duck eggs from my neighbours (and if the season is wrong, entire Muscovy ducks for roasting.)
Today, I'll be doing my largest fresh-food shopping at the Mercado Mayorista, the largest market of its kind in South America - this place covers nearly 30 square blocks, and it exists to both buy and sell produce from across the country. Sundays and Mondays it also opens up to a huge, raucous farmer's market where smaller quantities are available for purchase. Sunday is the day of the freshest food and the largest number of vendors. And I'm going to cross more than half the city to get there - I've moved since the last blog, and my new house, on the slopes of the river valley is further away than the old one on the high plain. I promise to take many pictures of this - particularly close to the High Holy days, the Mayorista is alive with vendors and there will be special sections cordoned off for sales of bacalao, truly enormous squashes, and if it follows the previous years' trends, a festival of Hornado (about which more later). Apart from mangoes, which are just finishing up their season, it is harvest time across the country, and the Mayorista will be well stocked with all manner of fruits and vegetables.
To start us off, I'll demystify one of my teasers a bit.
The Minion head that peeks out of my cupboard every day belongs to my jar of ChocoListo, the Ecuadorian equivalent of chocolate Ovaltine. Since I gave up coffee for Lent, it's my go-to morning beverage. ChocoListo normally comes in the plain white jar with orange lid that you see in front of the Minion; that's now my hot chocolate jar because I just couldn't resist when the company came out with the specialty jars. I firmly believe that one is never too old to have whimsical things!
Pannukakku has become a new favorite in the McAuley household. (LCBO Food & Wine, winter season 2016). We've been using Maple Syrup...made with DH's help in a local sugar shack...but the recipe actually calls for birch syrup.
Does anyone know where to buy it in Ontario? Any grocery stores carry it? Specialty stores? Toronto? What about in the Cambridge/Kitchener/Waterloo area?
Salsa Para Enchiladas
3 ancho chiles
2 New Mexico chiles
2 chipotle chiles
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 TB flour
2 TB vegetable oil
1 tsp vinegar
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp dried oregano
2 cups broth, stock, or (filtered) chili soaking liquid
Rinse, stem and seed chiles. Place in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil. Cover and remove from heat and let soften and cool. While the chiles are cooling, gently sauté garlic slices in oil until they are soft and golden brown. Remove the garlic from the oil, with a slotted spoon and reserve. Make a light roux by adding the flour to the oil and sautéing briefly. Drain the chilies and puree them with the garlic slices and half of the liquid. Strain the puree back into the saucepan. Pour the remainder of the liquid through the sieve to loosen any remaining chili pulp. Add the roux to the saucepan and whisk to blend. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan, bring to a boil then and simmer 15-20 minutes. Taste and add additional salt and vinegar if necessary.
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