Thursday, October 21, 2010

Canadian Thanksgiving

The Turkey, finally done.
 It's finally fall... and in Canada, that means thanksgiving! I, however, have never cooked a turkey in my life, let alone a full thanksgiving meal. The first thing I did, perhaps a habit I picked up from my mom, was make a list of EVERYTHING I was going to need. So, a week before thanksgiving, my boyfriend and I do our weekly grocery shopping trip... Only to find that the store we usually go to doesn't have quite a few of the things we need.

One thing I noticed after moving up here is that quite a few of the grocery stores, especially the ones closest to us, are about the size of a drug store. In the states, all of the grocery stores are huge. And you can always find everything you need and then some. But here? No. We frequently have to go to 2 or more stores to find everything we need.

Boyfriend carving the turkey
So, after our first grocery store, I'm still missing turkey bags, poultry seasoning, stuffing meant for inside of the turkey and the ingredients for green bean casserole. What grocery store selling turkeys for thanksgiving doesn't have poultry seasoning and non-stove top stuffing? Apparently Fresh Co. So, we easily find poultry seasoning and stuffing at our next stop, but no turkey bags and no French's Fried Onions, which has the recipe for green bean casserole on the back. We probably went down the same two aisles looking for these two things 10 times each. Finally, I make the boyfriend ask, because I don't like to ask anyone about anything. The guy tells us to look on the same aisles, but gives us the location of where we should find what we're looking for. We find the turkey bags; there is only one brand, not the brand I know of and they are on top of the aisle. Not on the top shelf, the top. I'm not sure how I was supposed to know to look there and I wonder how Canadians cook their turkeys without a turkey bag (which is the only way I ever remember our turkeys being cooked). Next, it's another ten trips down the same aisle looking for French's Fried Onions. Only, they aren't there. The boyfriend asks again. The employee takes us to where they should be; they aren't there. He finally takes us to the Asian food aisle and finds some bag that has fried onions, but not French's. I call my mom for the recipe, but she's not home. I try to look it up on my phone, only to not have service in the massive store. I guess what the recipe is, and luckily I was right.

Table set

Thanksgiving Monday rolls around, and we have everything we need; I just have to figure out how to cook this turkey that has been taking up my whole fridge the past two days defrosting. I call my grandma, our resident turkey expert to figure out what I need to do. I'm not entirely sure what I'd have done without her help.

It was an ordeal, but at least I'll know what to do next time this rolls around... for us, that's about a month away.
The Credit River
 Last weekend, while the dog and boyfriend were still sleeping, I started looking for some place to take a walk. We usually just walk Freyja around our neighborhood. But, we're right off the QEW, literally, like I can see the concrete sound wall from our driveway. And the compression breaks of those big trucks tends to freak Freyja out.

I do a bit of research and find this trail, that now for the life of me I can't remember, that runs right next to the Credit River. So we drive over to Erindale Park, lattes in hand, hoping it's not just a bike trail like most of the sites say. It was a gorgeous day and I was quite surprised to see that once you were on the trail, you didn't even feel like you were in the city. The boyfriend was focused on all the fisherpeople (there were women too and I do try my best to be PC), who were fishing for salmon which run this time of year. We didn't see anyone actually catch a fish, but we did see a few dead fish (courtesy of Freyja and her nose) that had likely already spawned and the boyfriend was quite jealous.
Freyja leaping for a cookie

 Freyja did pretty well, although she was pretty terrified of every dog (thanks to the husky next door), bike and stroller. I ended up buying her a harness to use when we walk her after this; it'll be way easier to pull her along when you don't have to feel guilty when she starts coughing from pulling her so much.

Freyja finally gets her 2nd wind towards the end

At one point, I saw a yorkie, who wasn't any bigger than her, coming down the path and turned to Freyja and said, "If you're scared of this little thing coming down the path, I don't think you have the right to call yourself a dog anymore..." Freyja just looked at me confused, as usual and the boyfriend started laughing. However, as the yorkie and it's owners neared, she just cowered and hid behind our legs. Hopefully taking her on a walk like this regularly will make her less afraid of other dogs; especially ones that are about her size. She loves people, though, especially little kids, so we do have to stop fairly often so she can say hi and everyone can comment on how little, cute, soft, etc... she is. The trail is actually quite long (12 km/7.5 mi), so we only did about 3.5 miles, but Freyja made it the whole way!
Back at the beginning

We definitely plan on making this a weekly weekend event, though. As long as its "warm" enough that I can still feel my fingers.

We'll be carving pumpkins, and likely brewing and knitting, this weekend, so stay tuned for some more photos!

1 comment:

  1. Your post is very cute but it does look like you struggled a wee bit with your Thanksgiving although your turkey and stuffing look scrumptious! We do have larger grocery stores that do have everything you're looking for under one roof ~ Loblaws, Highland Farms & Fortinos to name a few ~ and then we have the 'budget' grocery stores that have less selection but cheaper prices on what they're selling. I usually go to a couple of different stores to find all my stuff. I also shop in advance of the big holidays or everything is picked through and sold out! And now, I must confess .... I have NEVER cooked a turkey in a bag! As as matter of fact, I've just taken a poll around my office and nobody ever has! Must be the "American" way! School sounds exciting ~ good luck! Thanks for sharing all your photos. The Credit River is lovely. Take care!