Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It's smoking hot and I decide to bake

What was I thinking? We're in the middle of heat wave and instead of sitting in a tub of ice water, I turn on the oven to bake a cake. And you remember that I don't cook a lot. 

Well, I had the kitchen to myself and wanted to bring something memorable to our friends' crabfest. And we had a fridge full of rhubarb.

This is a no-fail recipe but sweetie says I make it better than anyone. For that reason it makes my "signature dishes" list.

I love that this recipe breaks all the baking rules that I learned in my high school home ec class. You don't need to separate the wet ingredients from the dry ones, and you don't need to cut the butter into the size of small peas. You simply mix everything up, bake and serve. 

Rhubarb cake recipe

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup butter (melted is okay and easier to mix)

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup sour milk (to make sour milk, mix 1 cup milk with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice)

2-3 cups of chopped rhubarb

Topping: 1/3 cup white sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all but the topping ingredients together and put into a greased 9 x 11 baking pan.

Sprinkle with the topping mixture.

Bake 45 minutes in a 350 F degree oven

That's it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Canada Day: What it means to be Canadian

Like most Canadians I take being Canadian for granted. We're not raised on a diet of patriotism. We don't sing "O Canada" at the start of every day. We simply ARE Canadian, sometimes with apologies, but never with regret. 

I come from a family of immigrants, my sweetie is an immigrant, many of my friends are immigrants, as are my neighbours [note the Canadian spelling]. We're a nation that embraces diversity through a multicultural policy. We are not a melting pot. Our cultures are fused, not melted.

Our revolutions are quiet ones but that doesn't mean we're not passionate.

We can vote freely, without intimidation or violence but we take democracy for granted. Our last federal election recorded the lowest voter turnout in our history. We need to be more vigilant to protect our democracy. Voting is the least we can do. 

Our sweeping generalizations:

  • We don't worry about concealed weapons.
  • If we're sick, we know we can get well without having to sell our home.
  • We can sponsor our partners for immigration, regardless of gender.
  • We can marry the one we love, regardless of gender.
  • We can serve in our military regardless of sexual orientation.
  • We don't have to join the military to get low-cost post-secondary education.
  • As long as we have Qu├ębec we will never be "American"
  • We call our money loonies and toonies, and we don't miss the bills.

As for our stereotypes:

We like beer.

We like hockey. 

We believe in Sasquatch, particularly after beer.

Of course, it's not a perfect place. We don't have hot, sunny beaches in the winter. Because it's Canada Day I'll save my rants for another day.


Please share your stories of what it means to be Canadian.