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CaliPoutine

eG Foodblog: CaliPoutine - Diversity and Deviled Eggs.

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Good morning.

I'm Randi. I live in Exeter, Ontario, Canada( pop: 4,400). You might be wondering where in the heck Exeter is. I wondered that too when I met my spouse and she told me this is where she lived. Exeter is about 25 miles north of London, Ontario. We're also about 2 ½ hours from Toronto. I moved here in December 2002 right after I graduated from law school. I left Long Beach, CA to live here because I married my female partner, Robin. If you're not aware, Same-sex marriage is legal in Canada and we were the first same-sex couple in this county to tie the knot. gallery_25969_665_281242.jpg

Here we are, I'm on the left.

To say that I've experienced culture shock would be quite an understatement. I'm very much a big city girl, having grown up in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and then Southern California. I took for granted the ability to eat out at 9pm, to run up and meet friends for coffee at one of the plethora of coffee shops in Long Beach , or to find any ingredients I needed without any trouble. My life has changed dramatically, and this week I'll introduce you to rural country life. Robin( username: Bennett) will be making frequent guest appearances here as well.

When I moved here, I brought my two “ boys” with me. Oliver is 6 and Harley is 5. Oliver is a black and tan smooth standard dachshund and Harley is a wirehair dachshund. They would eat themselves to death if given the opportunity. Like a lot of semi-obsessed pet mothers, I often cook for them. They wont touch their bowls of kibble until I put a little bit of people food on top. Often its some of what we had the night before, but other times I'll boil them some chicken or vegetables.

gallery_25969_665_79348.jpg

and here are the boys, Harley and Oliver.

Now, a little culinary background:

I graduated from college when I was 32, I took 2 years off and then went to law school. Due to a bunch of weird regulations here, I doubt I'll ever practice law in Canada. My next option would be a cross-border commute, but that would entail us moving closer to the border( we're 62miles away now) and Robin finding another job. That might happen one day, but for now I'm looking into finding some type of work in the food business. I attended the culinary program at UCLA Extension in my early 20's. I enjoyed it immensely, however I didn't complete the program because I couldn't afford the tuition. I put myself thru college working as a private chef for families. Luckily, I never had a problem finding a job. I did the grocery shopping, planned the menu for the week and cooked each night. It was the perfect job for me at the time. However, all that changed for me when I started law school, I basically stopped cooking. I had no time and a teeny little kitchen so I lived on El Pollo Loco and sandwiches. When I moved here, necessity forced me to become a much better cook that I ever was before. I had plenty of time to read cookbooks and source out ingredients and experiment. We occasionally eat out in London, but honestly, when we do, its not because I think I'll find some extraordinary place to eat, rather its that I just don't feel like cooking.

So on to the week:

We were in Ft. Lauderdale last week and we ate out a lot. Robin and I are both really sick of restaurant food. We ate out some great meals last week, but I think my favorite meal was one that I cooked with Robin and my best friend. I'll talk about that meal and post some pictures.

I'll be cooking dinner at home this week. I also plan on baking some dog biscuits. I brought back a jar of something that you'll see soon. I have no idea what to do with it, so hopefully, someone can help.

Please feel free to ask as many questions as you want. You can also PM me regarding anything that doesn't pertain to food. I'm an open book.

And now, I'm off to the gym. I dont eat breakfast before I work out. Be back later.

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You say that there are no decent restaurants in Exeter. What about Tim Horton's. :-)), :-)).

Seriously, I actually visit Exeter(for about an hour) each year.

Porkpa

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Good morning Cali! Have you been buying asparagus from the vendors by the side of the road around London? :wub: I gather you've also been foraging at the Menonite markets in Waterloo and St-Jacobs. I remember packing coolers with icepacks and heading out from London at 5 am to be there an hour later, munching on some sausage bun for breakfast and then bringing home the most extraordinarily fresh produce and dairy products. Looking forward to your blog!

Cute, cute canines! What sweeties!

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You're in farming country, right? You must just be beginning to be able to get local produce. :smile: Do you often have to drive to somewhere bigger to stock up on less-common food supplies?

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Oh to have a passion. *smile * When my wife asked me what I was passionate about, I was a bit perplexed. I wasn't so sure that I could identify anything in my life that I really felt passionate about. Sad really, now mind you, I love a lot of things. Golf, curling, working out at the gym, antiques, some gardening, and the list goes on, but I wouldn't necessarily consider myself passionate about any of it. It's something I admire about her though, my oh my does she have a passion.

She's a total foodie, and I reap all the benefits. Before Poutine(my nickname for Randi) came into my life, my palate and my life's food menu were pretty boring, pretty basic, and pathetically convenient. She has introduced me to things that I probably would never have crossed paths with, polenta, bulgar, matza ball soup to name a few. I laugh when I go into work and brag about the gourmet meal that I had the night before, I describe it and then define it.lol

I'm from the country, not necessarily a farm, but I have lived my life in small town Ontario. I pass through one stop light on my way to the office and one can find a field of cows on either end of town. I have enjoyed introducing Randi to this way of life. It was a hoot watching her walking up the lane way with a pail of feed for the horses at the farm where we took our niece for a riding lesson. Or the excitement she exudes when we stop at a road side stand that has the honour system. Help yourself to any of the fresh produce, melon, corn, herbs, etc and drop your payment in the container. “You'd never see that this California” is a familiar phrase. I buzz during the spring, summer, and fall with the opportunity for exploration and discovery with her. During the winter, different story. I haven't quite figured out a way to ease her into snow squalls, blizzards, road closures, and trying to find a path to get the wiener dogs out through the snow for a pee.

I am looking forward to this blog. I suspect it will provide that same sort of buzz for me. I see it as an opportunity to show a few more foodies, and folk from around the globe the experiences in small town Ontario. And I hope you all like deviled eggs, it's a staple in this area. Any BBQ I have ever taken my wife to, guaranteed there will be deviled eggs on the table. She was amazed by that. Me, I am accustomed to it.

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Ladies, let me just say that it sure will be nice to see some home cooking after the frantic two weeks of Derby that I've just been through.

And, er....sorry about that thing where I replaced Candian Bacon with Country Ham for Derby Eggs Benedict :unsure:

Looking forward to your blog!

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Looking forward to your blog and to meeting you both in a couple of months in Ann Arbor. As a once-a-year visitor to your part of the world, I'm wondering if you ever go to Stratford or St. Mary's to eat.

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Oh to have a passion. *smile * When my wife asked me what I was passionate about, I was a bit perplexed.  I wasn't so sure that I could identify anything in my life that I really felt passionate about.  Sad really, now mind you,  I love a lot of things. Golf, curling, working out at the gym, antiques, some gardening, and the list goes on, but I wouldn't necessarily consider myself passionate about any of it.  It's something I admire about her though, my oh my does she have a passion.

She's a total foodie, and I reap all the benefits.  Before Poutine(my nickname for Randi) came into my life, my palate and my life's food menu were pretty boring, pretty basic, and pathetically convenient.  She has introduced me to things that I probably would never have crossed paths with, polenta, bulgar, matza ball soup to name a few.  I laugh when I go into work and brag about the gourmet meal that I had the night before, I describe it and then define it.lol 

I'm from the country, not necessarily a farm, but I have lived my life in small town Ontario.  I pass through one stop light on my way to the office and one can find a field of cows on either end of town.  I have enjoyed introducing Randi to this way of life.  It was a hoot watching her walking up the lane way with a pail of feed for the horses at the farm where we took our niece for a riding lesson.  Or the excitement she exudes when we stop at a road side stand that has the honour system.  Help yourself to any of the fresh produce, melon, corn, herbs, etc and drop your payment in the container.  “You'd never see that this California” is a familiar phrase.  I buzz during the spring, summer, and fall with the opportunity for exploration and discovery with her.  During the winter, different story. I haven't quite figured out a way to ease her into snow squalls, blizzards, road closures, and trying to find a path to get the wiener dogs out through the snow for a pee. 

I am looking forward to this blog.  I suspect it will provide that same sort of buzz for me.  I see it as an opportunity to show a few more foodies, and folk from around the globe the experiences in small town Ontario. And I hope you all like deviled eggs, it's a staple in this area.  Any  BBQ I have ever taken my wife to, guaranteed there will be deviled eggs on the table.  She was amazed by that.  Me, I am accustomed to it.

:laugh: my mom was born in barrie -- i cant think of one family event that didnt involve her pulling out the special deviled egg plate!

it looks something like this

i am glad i am not the only one who knows about the deviled eggs. i am sure that if i went home tomorrow mom or gram would have a dozen eggs on the boil for my welcome home dinner :raz:

happy blogging!

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Im back and its time for breakfast. Because you cant find a decent bagel in this area, whenever I go back to Florida, I always lug some home.

Breakfast this morning.

gallery_25969_665_369057.jpg

A scooped out well toasted sesame bagel, with a shmear of light whipped cream cheese(1.99US) and some smoked salmon tidbits(4.49 US for 8oz)

Fortunately or unfortunately( depending on how you look at it), I'm not a coffee drinker. :biggrin: In fact, I dont enjoy hot beverages at all. I think I'm that rare breed that doesnt require caffeine in the morning to face the day :smile:

However, I am a big milk drinker. Skim(nonfat) only with ice. I like my beverages extra cold.

gallery_25969_665_188824.jpg

Before I left, I packed Robin a lunch.

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2 slices of 100% Whole Wheat bread(1.89CAD loaf), a smidge of light mayo, slightly more spicy brown mustard, 1 slice provolone cheese( 3.99lbUS), deli turkey (2.50US 10oz container) and a sprinkling of baby arugula(2.99 US for 5oz)

I also gave her a serving of sans nom aka no name cheezies( .97CAD for 200grams)

Btw, Im fascinated by the difference in food costs between Canada and the US. I do a lot of my food shopping in Michigan because of that. In fact, I was just there yesterday. I'll be posting the prices so you can see too. There are some startling differences.

I'm off to do some errands.

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I too live in rural ontario(southeast of Ottawa). Has it's good points-was just out gardening in my jammies and no one could see me. Can fart outside and no one can hear :biggrin:

I've started ordering food stuffs online(bonnie stern has a great selection)

Oh yes, the devilled eggs-need to jazz them up with a little sprinkle of paprika on top(I do believe I have a tupperware egg tray in my cupboard somewhere hmm and I have NEVER made devilled eggs in my life).

Looking forward to the rural blog experience

Sandra(where I live isn't even a town, it's a village)

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One more before I leave.

In the teaser, Soba metioned french fries, gravy and cheese curd. This French-Canadian dish is called Poutine. Robin IS NOT French-Canadian and I actually dont care for Poutine at all. Robin gave me the nickname before we met( I wont bore you with the story) and since I'm from California and the user name Poutine was already taken, I'm now Calipoutine.

I was reading the new issue of Fine Cooking on the plane back from Florida. My mouth was watering as I perused the recipe for carmelized onions. I knew just what dish I wanted to incorporate them in. Kasha and bows. I had some mediocre kasha and bows at Whole Foods last week and I knew I could make it better. While in Florida we ate a lot of “Jewish” foods. I am Jewish, but more culturally than anything. Growing up, we used to celebrate all the big holidays, but all that has fallen by the wayside for me. I loved reading Pam's Passover blog as it took me back to my childhood and all our family sedars.

I bought a whack of Vidalia onions(.49USlb) yesterday and I'm going to attempt to carmelize them today. I consider myself a good cook, but I've been known to burn more than my share of pots. I've had to get used to cooking on an electric stove. In California, I had a gas stove and boy did I take it for granted :rolleyes:

Im making a roast chicken tonight, along with some oven roasted vegetables. Robin also requested I make some oven roasted potatoes. While sunning ourselves at the pool( Can you tell I really miss Florida?) Robin picked up my new issue of fine cooking and there was a recipe for oven roasted potatoes using a technique I've never tried before. The recipe called for russetts so I picked up a bag yesterday( 1.66 US 5lbs bag) I often have a problem finding bags of russetts in this area of Ontario.

The boys are sitting at the door patiently waiting for me.

I'll let you all digest!!

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Im back and its time for breakfast.  Because you cant find a decent bagel in this area, whenever I go back to Florida, I always lug some home. 

I also have bagel issues, as a transplanted New Yorker living in Toledo. Have you tried the Tim Horton's bagels, though? I find them to be pretty decent, especially toasted. They aren't as good as Zingerman's bagels, or NY bagels, but they are pretty darn good in a pinch. I often get a toasted everything with veggie cream cheese.

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Welcome! I'm eagerly awaiting the unfolding of your blog! I can already tell I'm going to need a glossary now and then. To wit:

I bought a whack of Vidalia onions(.49USlb) yesterday[.]

Perhaps I need a whack upside the head, but what is a "whack" of onions?

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I bought a whack of Vidalia onions(.49USlb) yesterday and I'm going to attempt to carmelize them today. 

:sad: I have onion envy! I've seen nary a Vidalia this season in the local grocery stores and it's bummin' me out. I love carmelizing them, too (though most in the Onion Confit thread are of the "don't carmelize sweet onions" camp :raz: ).

Oh, and you two need to throw a couple of "eh's" into your posts or I'm not going to believe you're in Canada. :wink:

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As I read your blog, I am surprised to find so many food items I've never heard of. I hadn't expected Canada to be so... exotic?

What are cheezies?

Why do you suppose deviled eggs are so popular there? Do they taste anything like curried eggs? Do folks make them spicy?

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Seeing that picture of your milk made me nostalgic for my childhood! I remember those bags so well--and the mad searching for scissors whenever we finished one.

Oh, and Tim Hortons! The place I went for donuts after piano lessons!

Can't wait to read more of this blog.

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Have you considered making onion confit?  As Emeril would say, that's a way to kick it up a notch!

Soba

I thought about that, but I really want them for tonight. I want to incorporate them into my kasha and bows. I dont think the confit texture would work well in that dish. Any opinions?

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What are cheezies?

If I may, Cheezies are cheese-flavoured crunchy corn snacks that leave telltale radioactive orange residue on the fingers of those who eat them. Hawkins Cheesies are the originals, though there are many other kinds. Ah, the snacks of childhood...

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Welcome! I'm eagerly awaiting the unfolding of your blog! I can already tell I'm going to need a glossary now and then. To wit:
I bought a whack of Vidalia onions(.49USlb) yesterday[.]

Perhaps I need a whack upside the head, but what is a "whack" of onions?

LOL. When I first met Robin, I didnt understand a lot of what she said( sometimes I still dont, LOL). A whack would be "Canadian speak" for a large quantity.

I've picked up a lot of her phrases and the same for Robin. I laugh when I hear her say schlep or mishegas( yiddish for crazy) in her cute Canadian accent, eh?

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Heck, Exeter is Bright Lights, Big City compared to Glencoe, down the road from you, where my father grew up! And you know, I remember some of the best meals I've ever eaten coming from my Grandmother's Southwestern Ontario kitchen.

You're right about the disparity in food prices across the border. When I'm in Ottawa visiting my parents I'm stunned at how expensive some food items are, and how cheap others. (But in Chicago, I can't find a selection of Digestives in the cookie aisle. You lucky duck.)

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Im back and its time for breakfast.  Because you cant find a decent bagel in this area, whenever I go back to Florida, I always lug some home. 

I also have bagel issues, as a transplanted New Yorker living in Toledo. Have you tried the Tim Horton's bagels, though? I find them to be pretty decent, especially toasted. They aren't as good as Zingerman's bagels, or NY bagels, but they are pretty darn good in a pinch. I often get a toasted everything with veggie cream cheese.

I actually had one the other day. However, I asked the person who took my order if my bagel could be scooped, toasted and the cream cheese spread on BOTH sides. I swear I could see an eyeroll. The person making my bagel, toasted it first and then couldnt figure out how to scoop out the doughy bits. I think she was slightly perturbed with me.

Anyway, they are ok when a bagel craving hits. or more accurately when I want some lox( smoked salmon)

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Good morning Cali!  Have you been buying asparagus from the vendors by the side of the road around London?  :wub:  I gather you've also been foraging at the Menonite markets in Waterloo and St-Jacobs.  I remember packing coolers with icepacks and heading out from London at 5 am to be there an hour later, munching on some sausage bun for breakfast and then bringing home the most extraordinarily fresh produce and dairy products.  Looking forward to your blog!

Cute, cute canines! What sweeties!

Nope, no asparagus yet. I just got back to Canada on Friday, we were gone for 2 weeks. I'll have to make a trip to London this week. There are a few things I want to check out. We had planned on going to St. Jacobs on Saturday, but I think we have something else in mind.

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Hang on a minute...Cheezies and devilled eggs are Canadian???

I thought we were famous for back bacon and maple syrup?

Aren't cheezies were just North American junk food in general?

Will my passport be revoked?

cm

Edited to add; thanks for the tip on the Vanilla Beans way back. What a great deal!


Edited by Chef Metcalf (log)

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Hello,

Im back and I just finished lunch. I had the same lunch that Robin did, however my bread was toasted. I also had one of these.

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A half-sour pickle from Trader Joes(2.69US) and this.

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a new diet coke with splenda. My *favorite* diet soda is diet dr. pepper. However, I saw these cute little mini's( actually its 12oz) at Meijer yesterday for 50cents so I picked up 6 of them. I enjoyed the taste. It doesnt taste like regular coke, and it doesnt taste like the original diet coke. I usually always add a squirt or lemon or lime juice to my normal regular diet cokes and I didnt have to with this.

One of the things I really like about living here is this.

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I've never had a fresh egg before I moved here. The taste is incredible, and two years later Im still amazed by the honor system. I cant imagine ever seeing this in Long Beach. The eggs were actually cheaper today. There was another sign off on the side that said the eggs were 1 dollar a dozen. I asked the farmer why and he said because they come from pullets( I have no idea what a pullet is) and consequently they are smaller.

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