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Archive for July, 2012

Thank you so much to everyone who entered by sharing their holiday food stories. Each one evocative of place and food. I loved every single one, whether long or short!

As there can only be one winner, the prize goes to Alice Gro and her story about eating tripe in France. She left both Susan and I hungry and laughing…though not necessarily for tripe.

Previously undiscosed: Alice also wrote the story about sailing into Bequia’s harbour and staying for the roti. So appropriate, given the setting of the novel! And Keiko Mori has given me permission to publish her name as the writer of the “Tea in the crypt” story.

So thank you again, and congratulations to Alice! I’ll be in touch to get your mailing address so I can send your copy of Susan M. Toy’s “Island in the Clouds.”

Meanwhile, here are the entries:

  1. Received by email, the first entry for the giveaway contest comes from Kamloops, B.C.:

    “I think it is marvellous to travel and get cooking ideas from where you have been.
    Recently I was in London where my granddaughter treated us to English Tea at St. Paul’s Cathedral. It was a wonderful experience and I laughingly say that “We had tea in the crypt”, because that is where the tearoom is.
    So I learned what a “tea” consists of and so on my return I have been able to treat my friends to cucumber, salmon and egg salad sandwiches (with the crusts removed), scones with strawberry jam and double Devon cream and meringues and cupcakes.I was delighted to find that I could buy the cream at Safeway that is actually from Devon.
    I was very surprised at how extremely delighted and thankful everyone was with the event. I actually made tea with loose tea and I think that it does make superior tea.
    So I told my friends that that was my souvenir for them as everything in England I found very costly.And, a gift that they do not have to put on a shelf and dust! It is when you go away that you realize how fortunate one is to live in Canada!
    The husband of one of my friends commented, “You are going to an English Tea at the home of a Japanese woman?” I am Canadian but my ancestry is Japanese.
    I have enjoyed your column and many of your recipes and stories of Mennonite life.
    Thank you,” (name withheld)

    *posted by Darcie*

  2. on July 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Replywhatlooksin

    Another entry!
    Marion Soames writes:
    We were sitting at a rustic picnic table enjoying first of the season radishes. I went to take a second bite of my radish and half (yes half) a worm was wiggling back at me. Never took a bite of a radish for the rest of the trip. Marion

  3. on July 1, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Replywhatlooksin

    And another by email!
    “Hi Darcie

    Well! Today’s Courier article whipped me back to the summer of 1994 at whip-lash speed! Six of us had picked up a 45′ sloop in St. Lucia and began a month long sail along the fragrant Windward Islands (St. Vincent, Granada, Cariacou, etc.) of the Caribbean. After an especially hard day of sailing, we found our anchorage for the night in the stunning little harbour of Bequia. I can still easily recall the brightly painted cottages along the shore, the warm humid tropical air, and steel drums easing the soft evening breezes.

    As it turned out our boat had some mechanical issues (as they always do), and we were obligated to spend several days at this anchorage. (Shucks!) Taking our little dinghy ashore we were accosted with the mouth watering scents of street food! Well, these tired, hungry salty dawgs could hardly restrain ourselves. After a saunter around the harbour, we all converged at the Roti stand. We discovered three types of rotis:
    1. Local (i.e. with bones – chicken necks, backs, and bits of dark meat
    2. Goat
    3. Boneless (for the “softies” i.e. tourists)
    I’ll admit we all opted for the third kind and all became Chicken Roti affectionados on the spot. Over the next couple of days, we seemed to find our way back to that Roti stand several more times – our on-board galley got little use at that anchorage.

    I’ve never tried to make roti back home, but you’ve inspired me to try, so this July, when some of the ship-mates from that trip come to town, I’ll surprise them (or try to!).

    So, Darcie, thanks for the memory, and the inspiration!”
    (name withheld)

  4. I should preface this anecdote with the comment that my husband and I have fairly eclectic and adventurous palates. In fact, my husband has stated that the only food he will not try is tripe.

    Some years ago we were travelling by car through Germany to Provence, France. Along the way we were enjoying the local foods and wines of the regions we passed through. With my Mennonite background I found my German was good enough to make pretty good choices in the restaurants. We entered France from Strasbourg and our first stop was the lovely city of Dijon.

    It was mid-afternoon, so we decided to stop for a snack and our first French wine at a lovely sun-dappled restaurant patio. “Leave it to me, “ I said when we were handed an all-French menu. After all, I had had one year of College French. With some confidence I selected a couple of “small plates” that I thought would go nicely with the red wine my husband ordered.

    When the first dish arrived – you guessed it! – it was a plate of tripe, beautifully napped in a golden Dijon sauce. Oh my! What a dilemma for the husband: abandon this incredibly delicious smelling tripe dish, or abandon his aversion? Well, we are foodies after all, and yes, we did hold our breaths and dip into this amazingly redolent dish. And yes, it was amazing! We tucked right in and then cleaned up the sauce with our crusty bread so there was nary a smear left on the plate.

    “Delicious”, we both sighed.

    Interestingly though, we have never eaten tripe since, and we never travel without our trusty IPod dictionary either!

  5. Hi Darcie,

    While recently on a Disney Cruise, my husband, brother-in-law, sister-in-law and I spent an evening dining at the adult-only restaurant aboard the DISNEY MAGIC. I enjoyed a meal of roast beef, cooked to perfection and steamed vegetables that were delightful; but the best part of all was dessert. It was the most delicious, sweet and gooey, chocolate-filled tart I have ever devoured.

    Keri Michaud

  6. […] has been running a contest in her food column and over at her blogsite, Nice Fat Gurdie and there’s still another day to enter! You’ll win a copy of my book! Go to […]

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