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.
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.
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.
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.