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eG Foodblog: Kerry Beal - ChocDoc in the Land of the Haweaters


Kerry Beal
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Hi Kerry,

Tell us about Cafe in the Woods!

My husband is from S. Ontario, and we keep meaning to visit Mantoulin. You have given extra motivation. Looks beautiful.

Cafe in the Woods are a series of small, intimate concerts held at the cross country ski clubhouse during the late fall and winter. Artists and bands come and play to a group of about 40 people. European style desserts and coffee are served. The audience is often heavily weighted with musicians and they frequently end up jamming with the band at the end of the evening. It is a great night out, and the price is right.

Where in S. Ontario is your husband from?

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Kerry, how does Kira figure into meal planning? I know that I try and make things accessible for Heidi for meals, but that she won't eat meat readily or easily, so I usually try and have something available that I can add bits of very chopped meat to for meals. If all else fails, I add hard-cooked eggs to smushy dishes. And, where does the nanny fall into play?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Kerry, your little snapshot tales about island life are reminding me of a song done by a folk trio called "Women, Women & Song," hailing from Vashon Island (in Puget Sound, near Seattle). The lyrics of the song, entitled--what else?--"Island Life," concentrates on an apparent foible of the Vashon community, that all the residents seemed to be related to each other--if not by blood, then by marriage (and divorce, and marriage, and ... :laugh: )

(Somewhat) more seriously: I too am digging the idea of an international potluck featuring wild game and sushi. :smile:

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Well, I got close while trying to identify the location of this blog when Susan posted the teaser pics -- I said Great Lakes. I was chickening out -- I really meant to say The Bruce, where I summered every year until I was twenty. Close enough. I'm thrilled to have this trip to Manitoulin Island, a place of myth and wonder to me when I was growing up -- I think I then believed it was completely populated by First Nations citizens.

I'm confused: why can't you swerve to avoid hitting a deer? The forelegs of a deer once smashed through my windshield, and I wish, for its sake and mine, that I'd swerved!

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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In my Manitoulin musings I forget to ask my question: When did you know you loved patisserie et confiserie? Was your Mum a splendid baker, or your grandmother? Who were your mentors?

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Kira's birthday is going to have to wait until tomorrow for posting. I spent two hours arranging everything, added a couple of extra photos, which requires jumping back and forth between 2 accounts and everything I was working on disappeared.

I can't face the thought of spending another 2 hours at it right now. I'm sitting on this hard wooden bar stool, cause I don't have a remote modem at the condo here, and my ass just won't take it.

I'll answer questions right now, then in the morning when I'm fresh I'll try again.

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Kerry, how does Kira figure into meal planning?  I know that I try and make things accessible for Heidi for meals, but that she won't eat meat readily or easily, so I usually try and have something available that I can add bits of very chopped meat to for meals.  If all else fails, I add hard-cooked eggs to smushy dishes.  And, where does the nanny fall into play?

Meals are a challange when we are out and about in the car. You need bibs, spoons, dishes, food. It often means that you wait to do things until after she has eaten.

However she is getting better at eating various foods, so we can now often find something she will eat if we get stuck. Of course that's as long as we have the bibs, bowl and spoon. Things aren't as spontaneous anymore.

The nanny is the best thing that ever happened to us. She allows me to work without worry, and when we go places together we make a great team. Not to mention, that even though she is not a physio (2 previous nannies were) she is the best hands on physio we have ever had. She has an instinct for it.

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Kerry, your little snapshot tales about island life are reminding me of a song done by a folk trio called "Women, Women & Song," hailing from Vashon Island (in Puget Sound, near Seattle). The lyrics of the song, entitled--what else?--"Island Life," concentrates on an apparent foible of the Vashon community, that all the residents seemed to be related to each other--if not by blood, then by marriage (and divorce, and marriage, and ...  :laugh: )

(Somewhat) more seriously: I too am digging the idea of an international potluck featuring wild game and sushi. :smile:

When I lived in the Queen Charlottes they used to say there are no women on the islands, just men with no balls. Described most of us pretty well. Hard to determine male or female in a plaid jacket.

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Kerry your daughter is absolutely beautiful,is her name a take off of yous? I'm so glad you are brave and confident enough to share her with us and everyone else in your life, it teaches people to be more tolerant when they meet others that are maybe a bit different. I have a daughter with Down Syndrome and we started signing with her when she was 6mo. old and it was one of the best ideas that anyone ever gave us for so many many reasons. My daughter Rachel was the 1st child with a disability ever to be (Included ) in our school district from pre kindergarden thru 8th grade. She is now in 10th grade in our local High School and swims for the Special Olympics and her mother and I are very proud of all she has done and continues to do. Now to keep this about food I must confess that she has a weight issue and is almost Willie Prater snydrome in some ways. She would live on nothing but Carbs and some protein if left to her own choices for meals. I think if she could have it her way she would have Mac & cheese for breakfast ,lunch & dinner with mashed potatoes or scrambled eggs thrown in ever other meal for dessert. The most positive about her diet choices is that she loves any kind of seafood you'll give her especially shell fish which because of her other medical issues are not real great options. Anyway I think that this just might be on of the more interisting blogs I've yet to follow. Thank you. Bill.

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Well, I got close while trying to identify the location of this blog when Susan posted the teaser pics -- I said Great Lakes. I was chickening out -- I really meant to say The Bruce, where I summered every year until I was twenty. Close enough.  I'm thrilled to have this trip to Manitoulin Island, a place of myth and wonder to me when I was growing up -- I think I then believed it was completely populated by First Nations citizens.

I'm confused: why can't you swerve to avoid hitting a deer? The forelegs of a deer once smashed through my windshield, and I wish, for its sake and mine, that I'd swerved!

You can't swerve because you will hit another car head on. So if the deer dies or you die, it's OK, but you can't endanger another human.

Where did you spend your summers on the Bruce?

Manitoulin, while not entirely populated by natives as you had once believed, certainly has a fair number. An interesting thing is happening here, all the towns are changing their names to native names and the natives are changing their last names back to native names. When the Jesuits came to 'convert the heathens' they changed Indian names to something easy for them to pronounce, so you have a lot of Coopers, Recollets etc. Native names are composed of different vowel/consonant mixes than we are accustomed to and some names are rather long. I was doing a physical on a woman one day, and you have to fill out the name on a little glass side. Her name was 26 letters long. I got up to about the 8th letter and asked her to continue to spell it for me. Unfortunately she herself got lost after about the 10th letter.

I was talking to a woman here one day, she said she had moved around a lot as a child. I asked the usual question about whether she was an army brat, and she got rather quiet, and said "well no, it's not very socially acceptable to talk about these days, but my parents were missionaries". I remember as a kid thinking how romantic it would be to travel around the world, meeting all kinds of people. Living with my head in the clouds as I do, I hadn't realized it had become politically incorrect to be a missionary.

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Kerry your daughter is absolutely beautiful,is her name a take off of yous?  I'm so glad you are brave and confident enough to share her with us and everyone else in your life, it teaches people to be more tolerant when they meet others that are maybe a bit different. I have a daughter with Down Syndrome and we started signing with her when she was 6mo. old and it was one of the best ideas that anyone ever gave us for so many many reasons. My daughter Rachel was the 1st child with a disability ever to be (Included ) in our school district from pre kindergarden thru 8th grade. She is now in 10th grade in our local High School and swims for the Special Olympics and her mother and I are very proud of all she has done and continues to do. Now to keep this about food I must confess that she has a weight issue and is almost Willie Prater snydrome in some ways. She would live on nothing but Carbs and some protein if left to her own choices for meals. I think if she could have it her way she would have Mac & cheese for breakfast ,lunch & dinner with  mashed potatoes or scrambled eggs thrown in ever other meal for dessert. The most positive about her diet choices is that she loves any kind of seafood you'll give her especially shell fish which because of her other medical issues are not real great options. Anyway I think that this just might be on of the more interisting blogs I've yet to follow. Thank you. Bill.

I understand completely. I would live on nothing but carbs for long periods of time too if I didn't have other people to feed.

Kira's name was chosen from a book. A fair amount of negotiation took place (ie that name sucks - no way!) before we settled on Kira. A few names that kind of rhymed with it were also in the running for a while.

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[...]So can I hear your amazing island experience that involves food?  I think this is a perfect place for it, being on an island and all.[...]

OK. My parents, brother and I visited Sumatra in 1976 and spent most of that two-week trip on Pulau Samosir in the Toba Batak land (pulau is Indonesian and Malay for "island"). While we were on a ferry going from Prapat on the "mainland" (in Sumatra but across Lake Toba from Samosir), some friendly Bataks told us that they would be having a second burial the next day and that we should join them as guests. The Batak people disinter the bones of ancestors about 60 years after they have died, rebury them permanently, and have a big celebration. There were two kinship groups represented, the wife-givers and wife-receivers, and one of the groups adopted us for the purposes of the ceremony. There was a lot of dancing and many people were dressed in colorful clothing. Pigs were roasted on spits over wood fires with an amazing mix of spices. The roast pig was so spicy and so uniquely delicious! That second burial has to be the best serendipitous adventure I ever had while traveling.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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[...]So can I hear your amazing island experience that involves food?  I think this is a perfect place for it, being on an island and all.[...]

OK. My parents, brother and I visited Sumatra in 1976 and spent most of that two-week trip on Pulau Samosir in the Toba Batak land (pulau is Indonesian and Malay for "island"). While we were on a ferry going from Prapat on the "mainland" (in Sumatra but across Lake Toba from Samosir), some friendly Bataks told us that they would be having a second burial the next day and that we should join them as guests. The Batak people disinter the bones of ancestors about 60 years after they have died, rebury them permanently, and have a big celebration. There were two kinship groups represented, the wife-givers and wife-receivers, and one of the groups adopted us for the purposes of the ceremony. There was a lot of dancing and many people were dressed in colorful clothing. Pigs were roasted on spits over wood fires with an amazing mix of spices. The roast pig was so spicy and so uniquely delicious! That second burial has to be the best serendipitous adventure I ever had while traveling.

Great story! Thanks for the telling. It's amazing how good a well roasted whole pig can taste isn't it?

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Kerry, without breaking patient confidentiality (!)  (spot the lawyer in the room), can you give me an example of one of these amazing names?  If you can spell it, that is... ;)

Ok, not sure about the legality here. I'm looking in the phone book now, so no patients were mentioned in the making of this post.

The town known as West Bay when I was young is now known as M' Chigeeng.

A random name picked out of the phone book, so I have no idea of it's meaning is Bebamikwae. Others are Kitchikake or Mahgagahbow or Maiangowi.

I used to be able to go out into the waiting room and make a pretty good try at pronunciations, these days I'm in the weeds.

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Kira's Birthday Party

Excuse the paucity of good photos of the cake and everything. Somehow with a number of young children running around, filled with sugar, the photography suffers.

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My very favorite hot dog buns and something I can't get where I live in southern Ontario. I should just start making my own.

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Malou, making Kira a traditional filipine birthday dish, fried noodles.

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The finished product. They were yummy. Also yummy, filipine spring rolls.

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Production line for chocolate treats. Dipped oreos, maple creams, pretzels and red liqorice. Gummy bark with gummy pigs and worms. I also made some almond bark.

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The table set with all the treats.

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A bowl of gummy treats, pigs, worms and gummy fruits.

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Mushroom pate with fresh Ace Bakery Baguette. Not seen is the olive and lentil dip and the bathenjane with toasted greek pita pieces.

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The birthday girl, just before the first guests arrive, having just fallen of the chair onto the carpet, screamed until she was taken out for a 10 minute stroll.

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Just after putting on the burgers the propane ran out (of course). So we still have bits of raw burger clinging to the grill.

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Burgers transplanted to the stovetop. No picture shown of the sheer quantity of grease that produced on the walls, stove and counters.

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Nicki, a guest, gives Kira a lovely little stuffed lynx. Very soft, a big hit with Kira.

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Pictures of the candle blowing were a blowout. So before and after only. Kira ate half the piece and loved it.

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As the sun sinks slowly in the west, goody bags were produced, and we discoved the tensile strength of gummy worms in our attempts to divide the bark.

I hope you have enjoyed the birthday, I'll post a couple of other pictures separately because I accidently deleted them and I've learned my lesson about trying to bring in more in the middle of posting.

Thanks for all the suggestions about microsoft word, unfortunately on a Mac I haven't got it, but I'll fool around with Pages over the next while and see if I can produce a word file.

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It all looks amazing? Does Malou make her own wrappers for the spring rolls?

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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It all looks amazing?  Does Malou make her own wrappers for the spring rolls?

No, we bought these ones in Sudbury in July when we were here and left them in the freezer. We didi fear for them when the power was off for 5 days, but they were fine.

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What a nice birthday party for your gorgeous little girl. 

Kerry, your energy and your giving spirit seem endless.  Thanks for sharing this week with us. It is truly like taking a virtual vacation.

I sure didn't feel like I had any energy left last night after the post disappeared into the ether. But I'm back again this morning. I am whining a bit today however. I seem to have developed a bit of arthritis in a couple of joints of the middle finger of my right hand and I'm totally screwed trying to get the lids off things.

I know, I know, I should see a doctor, but they are all quacks you know! Instead I'll wander into physio this morning and see if someone can do a little accupuncture or ultrasound and make it feel better. What's the line - physician heal thyself?

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In my Manitoulin musings I forget to ask my question: When did you know you loved patisserie et confiserie? Was your Mum a splendid baker, or your grandmother? Who were your mentors?

Sorry Maggie, missed this question last night. My mother was an amazing woman. She was good at everything she turned her hand to. I learned a ton about baking and cooking from her. She was not afraid to try anything. I still have her hand written cookbooks and the millions of clippings from various sources that she had collected. You know the old story about realizing you have more clippings than you can ever try before you die, that is when she decided to pass them on to me.

Also my granny. Now my granny was made up to two women actually, granny and Minnie, the Cowichan Indian woman who lived with her after her husbands death. From granny I learned a lot of buns and breads, lemonade concentrate, pull taffy, other candy and from Minnie I learned to make smoked salmon (Indian Candy variety), how to gut and bone a salmon, how not to gut a dog fish, and how to catch those fish.

One of the first things I remember trying on my own was crepes Suzette, sounded so classy in the cookbook. Says something about my parents that they would let a 7 or 8 year old kid flambe booze in the kitchen by herself. The only fires I ever started as a child were outside, so I guess it wasn't too dangerous.

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My breakfast this morning, what my mom would call cheese toast. Basically just old cheddar melted on bread or baguette. The crispy bits that hit the cookie sheet are the best part. And yeah, I am going to put ketsup on it (sacrilege I know). Accompanied of course by about a gallon and a half of orange pekoe.

Now a couple of left over photo's from last night's party.

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A very poor picture of the inside of the cake. It was delicious as always. This is what I call 'Gary's chocolate cake', a recipe I put together in my attempts to get that mix cake texture.

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This is just a close up to show the tensile strength of gummy worms.

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And finally a little something from Malou to illustrate a point. In the filipines, for a birthday centrepiece you take a bunch of weiners on skewers with marshmallows like this and stick them in a pineapple. We didn't have a pineapple or enough weiners to do it properly. However enough wine makes it seem possible.

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Kerry, wonderful blog.  My armchair traveling is going very well! 

Any chance on you sharing your cake and icing recipe with us?  I have been having chocolate cake issues lately  :sad: .

Sure, I'll try to get it posted later tonight.

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What a nice birthday party for your gorgeous little girl. 

Kerry, your energy and your giving spirit seem endless.  Thanks for sharing this week with us. It is truly like taking a virtual vacation.

I sure didn't feel like I had any energy left last night after the post disappeared into the ether. But I'm back again this morning. I am whining a bit today however. I seem to have developed a bit of arthritis in a couple of joints of the middle finger of my right hand and I'm totally screwed trying to get the lids off things.

I know, I know, I should see a doctor, but they are all quacks you know! Instead I'll wander into physio this morning and see if someone can do a little accupuncture or ultrasound and make it feel better. What's the line - physician heal thyself?

Thank you so much for blogging. I also feel like I'm escaping when reading and seeing the pictures. What a beautiful place!

And reading about your poor arthritic finger, the physio in me(physical therapist here in the states) wants you to get an oxo can opener and a paraffin dip stat!

Looking forward to the rest of the week.

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      with a little salt, and then drowned in the "tea" brewing in the wok.
       
      This is  油茶 (yóu chá) or Oil Tea. The tea is made from Tea Seed Oil which is made from the seeds of the camellia bush. This dish is used as a welcoming offering to guests in homes and restaurants. Proper etiquette suggests that three cups is a minimum, but they will keep refilling your cup until you stop drinking. First time I had it I really didn't like it, but I persevered and now look forward to it.
       

      L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.
       
      Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use.
       

       
      Let the eating, finally, begin.
       
      In no particular order:
       

      Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato
       

      Bamboo Shoots
       

      Duck
       

      Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed.
       

      Egg pancake with unidentified greenery
       

      Stir fried pork and beans
       

      Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum)
       

      Pig Ears
       

       
      This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs. We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it.
       

      Stir fried Greens
       
      Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice).
       
       
       
       
      Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious.
       
      Roll on dinner time.
       
      On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
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