Welcome to Canada! Kate and I are having a wonderful time visiting friends and family. It is her first trip to this area, and it’s about my fourth. We are in Ontario, south of Ottawa, near the St. Lawrence River. Our hosts are Dick and Judy Dickins, and we could not have asked for more gracious friends/relatives. They are sharing their house with us and have been just super nice about everything. We all know it can be difficult to have company invade your home, but they are just wonderful about it. Thank you, thank you, Dick and Judy!!
We drove all day last Wednesday (Sept 8th), spent the night just east of Toronto in Whitby, Ontario. Next morning we checked out of the motel, went to the Sunrise Grill for breakfast. We enjoyed sharing an order of Eggs Benedict made with peameal bacon. Here is a simple defnition of peameal which I copied from another site: “Peameal Bacon is a boneless cured pork loin rolled in cornmeal, not what is commonly known in the United States as “Canadian Bacon” which is basically a smoked ham.” You might call it a ‘pork cutlet’, and I love it! After our breakfast we drove for another 3 hours or so, arriving safely in Brockville, Ontario. My son Bret works in Brockville at Future Shop (sort of like Best Buy), so we stopped in for a surprise visit. We had lunch with Bret then went on the rest of the way (about 15 km) to D & J’s house near Maitland. We were greeted there by the trio of border collies Bandit, Murphy, and Riley – great dogs, all!
In addition to Dick and Judy we were also happy to see Bret’s wife Lisa (beautiful girl!), and the DG’s (darling grandchildren) Emma and Luke (aka Lukey). Just to explain, Dick and Judy are Lisa’s parents. I’ll plan to do a follow-up post with some photos – I don’t have all them ‘at hand’ right now. I had a great time introducing Kate all ’round, and she blended in perfectly, as I knew she would, with her ready smile and friendly nature. She became instant buddies with Emma and Luke, and over the course of our visit has spent a lot of time with Emma, showing her how to do stitchery, and Emma is loving it! Kate is really enjoying her time here, getting to sleep late every morning (well, kinda late), and on several of the morning has arisen to find that Judy has constructed another batch of spelt muffins (using spelt flour). Another borrowed definition: “Spelt is a species of wheat that has been grown since 5000 BC.” The spelt flour gives the muffins a particular ‘graininess’, which is quite pleasing – they are somewhat crumbly and slightly sweet, very good!
We have been out on a few sightseeing forays, and on one of our outings we went to a county fair (Spencerville Fair) to entertain the kiddoes and to see what’s going on in this part of the world, agriculturally speaking. We saw lots of farm animals (yes, Kate is now even MORE insistent that we need chickens or goats or water buffaloes or something). We stopped at a food booth to stoke up on calories, and Kate and I shared some poutine, the national fast food of Canada. Poutine is a dish consisting of french fries topped with fresh cheese curd, covered in brown gravy (usually turkey gravy). I know, I know, it sounds revolting, but give it a try, you might be surprised. It’s not something you’d want to eat a LOT of, since it’s probably about 7,000 calories, but we enjoyed sharing a serving.
Yesterday we went to Merrickville, Ontario – I had visited it a couple of times in the past and really loved it so I wanted to have Kate experience it as well. Son Bret went along as our driver and tour guide – as it happens, Lisa used to live there, so it was a familiar place to the family. We stopped in for a sandwich and coffee at “Brewed Awakenings” and shared an order of soup and sandwich. We had beef/barley soup(really good soup) and a grilled chicken panini sandwich dressed with red onion marmalade. My GOSH that was a wonderful sandwich!! We inquired about the marmalade and were told that we could purchase some right down the street at Mrs. McGarrigle’s mustard shop, so we went there straightaway and grabbed some to take home. Do plan to visit Merrickville when you’re in the area.
When I get my photos together I’ll plan to do an additional post, but I think I’ll wrap this up for now.
We’ll be seeing you Americans in a few days!