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Sunday, 14 January 2018

DIANA . . . and a French Canadian Ragout


Walking Companion

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Diana visited friends in September and emailed us:
Winnipeg has a back to nature place known as Fort White . It has everything . Stuffed polar
bears, buffalo, and turkeys. Wild on the loose , in one particular room, are prairie dogs (they
were so fat).
But the highlight were the pigs. I have always known pigs to be squealing, messy and
potential biters. At Fort White as soon as they saw us at the fence they immediately
sauntered over. The pigs rested their backs to be scratched, petted or massaged.
It wasn't gross. The experience was quite pleasant.
On the other side of the farm yard were chickens. A chicken was loose and frantic
to get back with her other friends. We surrounded the chicken and placed her on the
right side of the fenc . That chicken was immediately surrounded by other chickens .
It was amazing to see. This pouring out of emotion .
My friends told me that I had leaned on the electric fence to get the chicken  HA HA , the fence had been turned
off .

Diana enjoyed a FehrWay bus tour to the Maritimes in the fall with her friend, Susan.

Kakabeka Falls, Ontario: one of the stops along the way


Diana remarked on the wonderful food she had all across Canada and particularly in Quebec. Here's one of the postcards she sent:
Here's a French-Canadian classic from THE LAURA SECORD CANADIAN COOKBOOK.

Ragoût aux Pattes :  Serves 8 to 12


3 or 4 pork hocks
Cover hocks with water in a Dutch oven.  Bring to a boil.  Skim.
1 onion
2 cloves
1 celery stalk
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
            Simmer covered for 3 hours.

                Meanwhile, brown flour.
1 ½ cups unbleached flour
            Set flour aside.

1 ½ pounds ground pork
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
            Form into small balls.  Roll in browned flour.

            Take pork hocks out.  Cut them in half and set aside.
            Start oven preheating to 350 degrees.
            Whisk about one cup of cold water into browned flour.  Then whisk in hot pork liquid until runny.  Whisk all this back into the Dutch oven.  Cook and stir until thickened.  Taste for seasoning.
            Drop in meatballs.  Cover and cook in oven for 30 minutes.
            There will be LOTS of gravy. 
            The cookbook says to serve with mashed potatoes.  I’d also recommend putting the gravy on French Fries (like a poutine) or rice or noodles.