Canadian (Easy) Bakin’

International Year of Light and Light-based Technology World Tour Stop 5:  O Canada

International Year of Light and Light-based Technology World Tour Stop 5:
O Canada

Well, it’s a new month, which means a new stop on the United Nations International Year of Light and Light-Based Technology 100-Watt Culinary World Tour, or “United Nations International Year of Light and Light-Based Technology 100-Watt Culinary World Tour” for short. This month, we make our shortest trip of the tour, hopping in my car and driving an hour north to cross the St. Lawrence Seaway and enter Canada.
So why are we heading to Canada in May? For Victoria Day, of course. This is, to the best of my extensive holiday knowledge, the first and only day celebrating Victoria Posh-Beckham, former Spice Girl and current wife of some guy with lots of tattoos and apparently no shirts.
Now we must ask: what is the most Canadian food? A year or two ago, I would have said something like Canadian bacon, a term that may have originated in Canada, but is now almost exclusively American. Kind of like William Shatner. But then, a year or two ago, my eyes were opened to the beauty, majesty, and gravy that is poutine.
For the uncultured few who don’t know the glory of poutine, it’s simple: French fries, gravy, and cheese curd. How will we handle these three ingredients? For one of them, it’s easy. We’ll just buy it at the store. You see, the county I live in has a person-to-cow population ratio of 2:1. Dairy is huge here. In town we have a dairy store that proudly proclaims over 75 kinds of cheese, all of it locally made. We always have a bag or two of cheese curd in our refrigerator.

Lewis County's top two exports: dairy and snow

Lewis County’s top two exports: dairy and snow

How about the gravy? Well, faithful readers will recall previous mention of a vegetarian daughter. We’ve found a vegetarian brown gravy recipe that’s easy to make and tastes pretty darn good, considering it doesn’t have any actual beef in it. The recipe makes about two cups of gravy, so scaling it back to make an Easy Bake Oven portion would have been a little difficult (as in “add half a thimble of flour to two drops of melted butter”). Plus, we already had some in the refrigerator, so I just warmed that up.
It all came down to the French fries, the only part that would actually come through the Easy Bake Oven. Faithful readers (both of you) will recall the same problem with March’s Fashion Week Cleveland Polish Boy. I took the same approach, Julienning the fries and Easy Baking them for what felt like two days, but it was more like 40 minutes.

Raw taters (do they call them taters in Canada?)  ready to Easy Bake

Raw taters (do they call them taters in Canada?)
ready to Easy Bake

Once they came out, I threw a few small chunks of the cheese on and topped the whole thing with enough gravy to choke the cow whose life was, ironically, spared by the fact that it was made with vegetable broth. In about two mouthfuls, it was gone.

Ready to eat

Ready to eat

So there you have it. Next month, we’re off to the Philippines in honor of Philippine Independence Day. Anything in particular you’d like me to try? Just tell me what you want, what you really really want.

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7 Responses to Canadian (Easy) Bakin’

  1. HFBrainerd says:

    No doubt about it, this is my favorite EBO recipe thus far. Nicely done, Dave.

  2. Dave, you crack me up. Enjoyed today’s post, as always.

    I went to a second hand store between this post and your last and saw an Easy Bake Oven for resale. I thought about it for 10 seconds and decided my grandson was too young to help me make all these great International dishes. Maybe when he gets older and if that oven is still there…

    There is a town about 10 miles from here, Ellsworth, Wisconsin, that is known far and wide for their cheese curds. As you may or may not know, Wisconsin was the “dairy state” until California took over the title.

    One of your faithful readers.

    • I’ve seen a few Easy Bake Ovens at garage sales/”antique” stores lately. They’ve all been the newer kind with the heating element, not the light bub. Not quite the same.

      California might call themselves the dairy state, but I have yet to see San Francisco 49er fans wearing giant cheese wedges on their heads at games. Until then, I think Wisconsin still holds the title.

  3. Heather G says:

    Poutine – I’m gagging as I say it. Love french fries, love cheese and love gravy. But together. Can’t say I’ve even tried it, shame of me. But no. I don’t like mushy fries. We’ll have to save that for my golden years when I loose all my teeth and am force fed baby food, gnawing away at it with my gums. That’s incentive to brush my teeth and floss. : )
    I guess I lose my Canadian status. Four generations down the drain. : (
    Great post.

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