Smells Like Canada Day

In Food on 11/30/2009 at 4:34 pm

With the Great Turkey now in a better place, I have been reflecting on the seasonal nature of food.  Operating under the impression holiday food associations are relatively normal, I will share some of my personal favorites.   (Although this post is not about honky tonk food but I have consumed the below *ed items in a honky tonk at least once.)

Thanksgiving: Pumpkin cheesecake – my sister makes a delicious study, though this year my niece ate the majority of my piece.  I’m completely lactose intolerance but supplement pills were discovered by science purely for us intolerants to enjoy pumpkin cheesecake and queso.  Cranberry sauce – my mom makes two, sometimes three types of cranberries.  Regular, jalapeno, and when she is feeling saucy (!), Grand Marnier.  Yow!

Christmas: Tamales*- handmade, pork wrapped in mashed corn goodness.  Bundled tin foil comes out of the freezer, into the microwave and out as Hot, Tasty Christmas.   Salmon salad – family recipe people either love or think is completely disgusting.  I am still recovering from the shock that mayonnaise is an ingredient but I love it just the same.  In a quest to convert to the salmon salad flock, here is the recipe:

Canned salmon, red – avoid the grey as my mother duly noted “No one wants to eat a grey salad”, Potato – Cooked and Peeled, Sour pickles, Onion, Mayonnaise, Lemon juice and Black pepper.  Mix in bowl.  Portions are entirely dependent on how much you want to make.  More mayo for spreading factor, less for plating.

New Years: Black eyed peas*and cornbread*- standard fare in the South Texas region to bring good luck for the rest of the year. This tradition supposedly dates back to the Civil War when Union troops typically stripped the countryside of all stored food, crops, and livestock, destroying whatever they couldn’t carry away.  Since Northerners considered “field peas” only suitable for animals, they were left for locals to consume.   Food snobbery has its beneficial moments I suppose.

Easter: Beans*- one Christmas I was visiting my parents.  The early morning bean-making smells emitted from the kitchen caused my sleepy brain to immediately think of Easter as beans with homemade pico de gallo was the family contribution to the annual Easter picnic.   Deviled eggs* are standard spring time fare, considered Easter food due to their ubiquitous presence at previously mentioned picnics.

Provisions have much to do with holiday popularity.  Perhaps if lesser-celebrated holidays had associated foods then perhaps everyone would eagerly anticipate Groundhog Day or Columbus Day.  Here are some potential food traditions for less thrilling calendar holidays:

Groundhog day: Nutria – a large, herbivorous, semi aquatic rodent with webbed hind feet and a round nearly hairless tail, meat is lean and low in cholesterol.  I ate this once while living in Louisiana.  Light tasting and definitely in abundant supply.  This shares the top spot with pigeon as odd things I have consumed.  Nutria would work nicely because it looks like a groundhog but isn’t nearly as cute due to it rat-like tail.

Ascension Day: Soufflé – To commemorate the bodily ascension of Jesus into heaven how about a light, fluffy cake baked until puffed up, served as a savory main dish or sweetened as a dessert?  So airy and delicious, you’ll feel like raising your fork to the sky.  Hallelujah!

Canada Day: Maple syrup – Because, as everyone knows, Quebec, Canada, is the majority producer of the world’s supply of maple syrup.  Since the United States is the leading consumer, what better way to say Thanks Canada! than utilizing something emblazed on their national flag.

Columbus Day: Lemon Meringue Pie – To honor those brave sailors who suffered through scurvy, a disease resulting from a deficiency of vitamin C.  Since citrus = no scurvy, have some pie and remember how Columbus was the King of Making It Up as You Go!

(references: Wikipedia, Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

Random animation history: On January 24, 1961, Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, was involved in a near-fatal car accident. He was left in a coma for three weeks and emerged from this state only after a doctor began to address him as Bugs, as efforts to talk directly to Blanc had been futile.  The doctor said “How are you today, Bugs Bunny?“, Blanc answered in Bugs’ voice and the rest is history (he lived 28 more years).


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