Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Land of Niagara Falls, grizzly bears and more lakes than anywhere else on the planet (though I haven’t actually conducted a planet-wide study). More importantly, this month at least, home of the 2010 Winter Olympics! Here are a few great sites other than the famous falls.
Rocky Mountain High -- These are some of the most beautiful mountains on earth. The Canadian Rockies have sharper, more jagged peaks than the American side and offer breathtaking scenery. You can get there by car through the national parks of Banff and Jasper. Start in Calgary or Edmonton. While you’re in the area, don’t miss the serene beauty of Lake Louise and Morraine Lake.

Surf’s up! What? Surfing in Canada? Check out Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast. The park includes Long Beach, a stretch of wide, sandy beaches. In addition to its dramatic scenery, this beach is considered a surfer’s paradise! You can get there by car from Nanaimo or Victoria through Port Alberni. Kayaking and whale watching are also popular activities at this location. Here’s a link:
Prefer cities? Canada has two of the cleanest and prettiest. Visit metropolitan Vancouver in the southwest corner of British Columbia, on Canada’s west coast. Of course, it might be a little crowded this week and chock full of Olympians. Or…try Victoria, a smaller city at the south end of Vancouver Island.
Do you speak Canadian? Canada is the only place I can think of that has two distinct languages -- English and French, the latter spoken primarily in Quebec. Of course, here in the U.S we have New Orleans, which sort of has its own language. If I were young and single and some New Orleanian guy called me “cher,” in that fancy accent, I’d probably melt into a puddle.
My favorite Canadian food is…Okay, what DO they eat in Canada? With all those lakes and coasts on three oceans, fish must be a regular menu item, but how does one describe Canadian cuisine? No one ever says, “I have SUCH a craving for Canadian food” or “Honey, let’s go out for Canadian tonight.” I had to turn to the Internet for a true Canadian recipe. This one sounded much better than the Canadian Bacon with Maple Glaze.

Maple Syrup Upside-Down Cake

1 cup maple syrup
1 Tbs. butter, softened
3 Tbs. sugar
1 egg
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp. cinnamon or nutmeg
½ cup milk
¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350° degrees. Measure butter, sugar and egg into bowl. Beat with wooden spoon or electric mixer until creamy. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon (or nutmeg) together. Add dry ingredients and milk, a little at a time, alternating between the two, to the creamed butter mixture. Stir until well blended.
Measure syrup into a small saucepan. Heat syrup until it boils and pour into a generously buttered 8-inch square baking pan. If using chopped walnuts, add them to the hot syrup.
Scoop up the dough in four large balls and drop them into the hot maple syrup. Using two forks, stretch dough by the edges of the balls until the dough forms one large mass. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
Serve warm, with ice cream or whipped cream. Serves 16.

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