Thursday 29 September 2016

You Don't Need Those Unclogged Arteries Anyway

So, further to my last fascinating post about potatoes, today's informative item is all about Canada's potato-based contribution to the health food scene --


In Quebec where this dish originated, poutine is pronounced "pooTIN" and in English Canada where it has now spread, poutine is pronounced "pooTEEN."

Poutine consists of beautiful greasy French fries smothered in beef gravy and cheese curds.

That's right -- cheese curds, as in Little Miss Muffet's "curds and whey." Cheese curds are rubbery and kind of squeaky when you eat them. They are crucial to the dish because cheese curds do not melt very much from the heat of the fries and gravy and so retain their shape and chewiness. Sometimes bad restaurants or evil people will try to pass off fake poutine with grated or cubed cheese (typically mozzarella) but accept no substitutes! Ugh, that messy melted cheese -- not legit!

And of course, I was just kidding about the health food aspect of poutine. If you ever visit Canada, don't let us BS you that way, eh?

Poutine, of course, is horrifyingly but deliciously high in fat and calories --

But on the upside, poutine is still healthier than certain other bad habits you could acquire.

It's pretty easy to find poutine being sold now in every province of Canada.

Even McDonald's serves poutine up here.

Canadians love poutine so much, we've decided to change the words of "O Canada" to celebrate what has become our National Dish --

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Potatoes in the News

Over the past month, three quirky Canadian news stories about potatoes caught my eye (get it? get it? sorry). Links in the text are to the original news item.

Yes, it's been slow around here lately and I am reduced to this.

1. The Spud of Honour

[photo courtesy of
PEI Potato Board/Facebook]

"Tate the Tater," industry mascot for the Prince Edward Island Potato Board, was invited in August to attend a local PEI wedding. The groom, not surprisingly, works on a potato farm and the wedding took place on another potato farm. Who wouldn't want a real "bud the spud from the bright red mud" at their wedding? (to quote Stompin' Tom for the first and last time in my life).

2. The Little Potato

[photo by
The Associated Press]

One of the more interesting facts to emerge from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's recent trade trip to China is that he is known in that country as "the little potato." It's a play on words because the Chinese word for "potato" apparently sounds just like "Trudeau" but without the "r" in it. I wonder if this means they called his old man "the big potato?"

3. Smite the Unbelievers, O Lord!

[photo by
Gaston Lebreaux]

About a month ago, the latest Holy Sign from God revealed itself in a potato that was being cut up for supper at a Quebec seniors' residence. Devout residents are now drying out the Holy Potato so it can be preserved in a custom-made display case in the dining room. No word yet whether the seniors' residence has become a place of pilgrimage.

Some sceptics suggest that the markings may be the result of "hollow heart," an affliction found in potatoes grown in heavily irrigated soil during wet seasons. This condition causes cells to die and results in brown tissue at the centre of the spud.

Thursday 22 September 2016

Equal Night and Day

May the first fruits of Mabon's harvest bring you the promised balance of the Autumn Equinox.

Bright blessings to you all!

Monday 19 September 2016

Another Year Gone ALREADY?

HOW many years have I been doing this now?

Wow, I'm kind of a GRIZZLED VETERAN, aren't I? Perhaps it's time to TAKE STOCK. Here's what I've learned in the past eight years --

You will meet some GREAT PEOPLE in the blogosphere! Enjoy them!

But blogging does tend to take A LOT of time. You have to be DEDICATED to it.

Sometimes you will be a HERMIT while blogging.

Never let blogging run away with your LIFE, your COMMON SENSE or your PERSPECTIVE.

There will be days, perhaps even MANY DAYS, when you wonder WHY THE HELL you bother (especially at the START of your blogging career).

You've got to blog for the right REASONS and with the right ATTITUDE. That's the only way it will be FUN!

You've got to do it because you LOVE it!

So yeah, BRING IT ON! I'm ready for another year!

Friday 16 September 2016

What Does $613.7 Million Buy These Days?

A brand spanking new downtown arena for our hockey team, the Edmonton Oilers, that's what! Yes, they are one of the worst teams in the NHL. Thank you for feeling compelled to point that out. But things are gonna turn around any day now, just watch!

Rogers Place is shaped weird, you say? No no no, it's supposed to look like a big drop of oil from above.

There now, does this graphic make that clearer?

See, it's sort of just like the Oilers' logo with its drop of oil!

I live on the edge of downtown Edmonton -- oops, pardon me, downtown Edmonton has just been rebranded and is now called The Ice District instead -- about 4 blocks from the new arena. Everything within two square blocks around Rogers Place is also under construction with more office towers, apartments, hotels, restaurants, a casino, museum, luxury cinema, etc etc etc. The new arena and all the surrounding growth it's attracting are going to transform downtown Edmonton and make it vibrant again in a way that it really hasn't been for the past 50 years.

Here's a cool time-lapse video of the construction period from March 2014 to August 2016, boiled down to a little over a minute:

And here's what the Oilers' new dressing room looks like. Pretty swanky, eh?

So, boys, get your asses out on the ice and start winning some goddamn games now, okay? Return us to the glory days of Gretzky and Edmonton's five Stanley Cups! That's not too much to ask in return for all our tax dollars, is it?

Wednesday 14 September 2016

Tiger Tiger Ice Cream!

A quick follow-up note to last week's post Twenty Questions Times Two --

Before that post, I did not realize tiger tiger (or tiger tail) ice cream is only available in Canada. But all the mystified comments from American and British readers taught me otherwise! So just to let everyone in on the secret of how it tastes -- tiger tiger is a strongly orange flavoured ice cream with a thick swirl or stripe of black licorice in it. YUM!

In an understated and restrained manner, Wikipedia simply notes that tiger tiger ice cream "is popular with children." I take this as a subtle and somewhat snide suggestion that tiger tiger's flavour might be considered (shall we say) too garish for a more sophisticated adult palate. Well, FEH to that assessment. All who are young at heart enjoy tiger tiger ice cream!

Monday 12 September 2016

Rabbit Week AGAIN?

I was out of town this weekend at a work-related retreat, so I didn't have much time to put together today's post. Therefore . . . here's some miscellaneous rabbits!

It's important when discussing the art and science of rabbitry to know all the correct technical jargon --

I like the nature-based artistry found in this wild rabbit art. Makes me think of Watership Down.

And how about this steampunk interpretation of Alice's White Rabbit!

This distinguished upper class Bunny could have been painted by Rembrandt himself!

Are you a fan of Wonder Rabbit? I am.

And I'm also a fan of another rabbit heroine -- Officer Judy Hopps of the Zootopia Police Department!

Thursday 8 September 2016

Twenty Questions Times Two

Here's another quirky quiz that I swiped from Anne Marie in Philly over at From My Brain To My Mouth. She told me "DOOOOO EEEEET!" so how could I not?

Links within my answers usually lead to old posts of mine on that topic, if you're a masochist who wants more gruesome details.

1. Are you named after anyone? Debbie Reynolds. That's what I get for being born in the 1950s.

2. When was the last time you cried? Chopping onions.

3. Do you like your handwriting? I have beautiful handwriting because I'm so old we were taught and actually practised penmanship in school.

4. What is your favourite lunch meat? I do love a nice deli-style corned beef on rye if I can get it.

5. Do you have any kids? Not that I'm aware of.

6. If you were another person, would you be friends? Hell no, I wouldn't give that bitch Debra She Who Seeks the goddamn time of day.

7. Do you use sarcasm? See #6.

8. Do you still have your tonsils? Yes, last time I checked. However, I seem to be missing 18 inches of colon, in case anyone finds it lying about.

9. Would you bungee jump? I second Anne Marie in Philly's answer to this question -- FUCK NO!

10. What is your favourite cereal? Probably Multigrain Cheerios. I'm so boring.

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Always. My Rare One never does but I've learned to leave that issue alone.

12. Do you think you're strong? Strong like bull, baby.

13. What is your favourite ice cream flavour? Tiger tiger (also called tiger tail).

14. What is the first thing you notice about people? If they have a nice smile. No, really.

15. Red or pink? Pink is better. Red usually means a communicable disease of some kind.

16. What is the least favourite thing you like about yourself? Nothing. It is SUCH a burden to be perfect. My Rare One might disagree on this point so don't ask her, okay?

17. What colour pants and shoes are you wearing right now? My green Kermit the Frog pyjama bottoms and blue-and-white fleece slippers. I know -- ROWRRR!

18. What was the last thing you ate? A protein bar.

19. What are you listening to right now? Eurythmics Greatest Hits CD.

20. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? Burnt Sienna. I just love the name. SO much more evocative than "brown."

21. Favourite smell? Wild clover growing on the prairies.

22. Who was the last person you talked to? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He asks for my advice ALL the time.

23. Favourite sport to watch? Hockey, of course.

24. Hair colour that's real? Yes, I have never dyed my hair. It used to be a beautiful chestnut brown but is now considerably frosted over.

25. Do you wear contacts? No. The thought of putting anything in my eye freaks me right out. I have only ever worn glasses as a consequence.

26. Favourite food? German pancakes with icing sugar and fresh lemon juice. Bet you didn't see that one coming! (Okay bj of Sweet Nothings, I know you did!)

27. Scary movies or happy endings? Oh, happy endings every time!

28. Last movie you watched? Captain America: Civil War. Six times. I can't help it, I'm obsessed with Steve 'n Bucky.

29. What colour shirt are you wearing? Red t-shirt depicting the World's Largest Perogy statue in Glendon, Alberta.

30. Summer or winter? Any true Canadian will pick winter. It's hockey season, eh?

31. Hugs or kisses? Depends on who is on the other side. Sometimes a firm handshake is all they get out of me.

32. Favourite sweet food? Sky-high lemon meringue pie. That's My Rare One's fave too.

33. What book are you currently reading? Tuck Watley: Freedom Fighter Fighter by Bryan Pedas and Brandon Meyers (the boys from A Beer in the Shower). FUNNY AF!

34. What is on your mouse pad? Traditional Hawaiian art.

35. What did you last watch on TV? An episode of RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race. Go Ginger Minj!!!

36. Favourite sound? The beautiful song of the western meadowlark.

37. Rolling Stones or Beatles? The Beatles yeah, yeah, yeah.

38. What is the farthest you have traveled? Tahiti and French Polynesia.

39. Do you have a special talent? Ask My Rare One *wink*

40. Where were you born? In a one-horse prairie town in the middle of nowhere, Manitoba, Canada.

WELL, I certainly feel like I bared my soul in THIS post! Hey, if anyone else wants to do the same, please feel free to steal the quiz and answer it too! I'd LOVE to read your answers!

Monday 5 September 2016

Happy Labour Day!

Greetings, fellow wage slaves! I hope you're getting a statutory holiday today. It will give us all the leisure time necessary to enjoy a few LOLs about the Wonderful World of Work!

Okay now, back to work, you!

Thursday 1 September 2016

"Stump Kitchen"

Here in Edmonton, there's a delightful young woman named Alexis Hillyard who hosts her own very funny YouTube cooking show in her apartment's teeny-tiny galley kitchen. She specializes in making vegan and gluten-free fare. But what I like most about her is the fact that she is not slowed down one bit by having only one hand. She's got a great attitude, a wonderful sense of humour and is just loaded with personality!

Here's an intro video if you want to see more!

And this next video is my all-time favourite episode where Alexis and another stump buddy named Molly make sushi rolls! It's a little longer to watch but well worth the time to do so!

We should ALL have such joie de vivre!