Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oh Canada!

After a long but amazing week this sailing foodie has finally returned from the Great North!  Over the past week I have been lucky enough to have work take me from Montreal to Nova Scotia! My trip involved cars, planes and SHIPS!

First things first, being a native New Englander' I have always loved the country to our north but honestly never gave it much thought.past wow they play really good Hockey and isn't their bacon oh so tasty. Well that is no more my friends... in my short time there over the past week I experienced so many wonderful places, people and food that had me thinking this girl could move there! From perfect pubs to scenic views Canada stole my heart!

I thought since I can't get into too many details about the ships or my job (pretty sure my bosses would not be cool with that) that I would share with you all why I have this new found love for Canada eh' and also some fantastic things about sailing the Atlantic Ocean in October.

Why I love Canada eh'
  • They way they talk:  Oot and aboot, eh',  Right (the end to any sentance) So charming!
  • Cheese curds!
    • Hello people of USA why do we not have these tasty nibblets in Massachusetts.  Not only are they a crucial part of Poutine (french fries + cheese curds + gravy = HEAVEN (and a coronary... but whatever it is so good!)
  • Gravy!!!
    • I try to eat healthy and make smart choices most of the time when I go out. However, when you are in a country that slathers gravy on everything then it is just plain rude not to participate. Pretty sure it cures all that is ailing you.. Long day at the office? Have some gravy.  Flying all day with only mini peanuts to eat, order an entire lunch covered in gravy!  Huzzah you instantly feel right with the world!
  • Big burly men - and their complete and utter obsession with Hockey
    • This country breeds giant manly men!How can a girl not swoon over a land known for strong men who love cheese and sports and the sea!
    • I know I should be dreaming of the well to do' financial guy in the great suit.. but honestly all this sailing foodie wants is a 6'4" burly lumberjack who drinks beer, watches sports, thinks I am funny and loves food!  Too much to ask for?
  • Underground walkways
    • How? you ask is Canada such a wonderful place if it spends the majority of the year covered in a blanket of snow?!   They go underground!  That is correct people, the city of Montreal has designed miles of tunnels, shopping areas and shortcuts downtown all UNDERGROUND!  It rained the two days I was there, if I had chosen I could have done all my activities with little to 0 need for an umbrella!  Genius!!!  Listen up Boston and take note!
  • Montreal Pubs
    • In a town that is full of young professionals, imports, college students and devout hockey fans, Montreal has managed to perfect the pub!  At a small pub off of St. Catherine's street a co-worker and I went for a late dinner.  We arrived  to a packed pub of happy people, eating drinking and talking.  As we sat we noticed that a small Irish band was setting up. They played well into the wee hours of the morning some of the greatest Irish and American tunes I know! Everyone was happily singing and dancing!
  • Rickard's Red & White 
    • My heart may belong to several other beers(Yuengling, Guinness & Harpoon) but when in Canada there is one tasty brew that I will choose.  Produced by Molson (hello can you get more Canadain!) this beer comes in several styles.  My personal favorite is the White, which is similar to Blue Moon.

  • Tim Horton's
    • So not only does TH make delicious coffee and see to have a location on every corner in Canada but they also make these things called Oatcakes.  Anyone, anyone!  How I have I lived 30 years with trips to Canada nearing the 20s and never in my life enjoyed one of these buttery treats?!  I refuse to look at what the nutritional value (if any) is of these and instead DEMAND that a Tim Horton's be built in Boston or someone in CA ship me oatcakes on a regular basis!
mmm.. but this tiny cup is a Medium?!?! so tiny!!!!

ok, part 2 of my trip was spent on-board one of the vessels that I work with.  All I can share is that this chica sailed the Canadian Maritimes for several days in utter grimy ship greasy bliss!

Why I love sailing!
  • Sea Breeze 
    • I can not think of a better feeling than being on a weather deck of a ship and taking in the smell of the shore, feeling the sea mist on your skin or the sun shining down on you.  Perfection!!!
  • Smell of Diesel fuel
    • I will fully admit I was that kid that loved the smell of gas stations... probably was a good hint to my career now.     It is more than that though, I think now the smell of diesel fuel brings me back to my college days at MMA.  For 2 months every year we picked up the anchor and went to sea to learn and train.  When I smell diesel fuel I am instantly transported to those carefree days with friends crossing the ocean!
  • THE VIEW! 

those pics say it all....
  • Constant cardio!
    • Getting a great leg workout just walking 6 flights of stairs every 10 minutes
  • Eating my weight in traditional Ukrainian food! 
    • We have a Ukrainain fleet onboard so the cooks whip up the tastiest breads and dishes for the guys.  A little bit of home at sea....

Mushroom & egg omelet with bacon and "sausage" to us Americans, that would be a hot dog!
 Perhaps not my first choice for breakfast (hot dog at 7am????) but other than that the eggs were cooked perfectly!
Pan seared fish w/ salad, crunchy potatoes and dill chicken soup
I think the dill soup that our ships cooks make is sheer perfection! Just the right amount of herbs, salt and yummy veggies.  Depending on the cook you might find chicken in your soup or a veggie style.

Dessert plate for my room :)
 I had mentioned to the cook that I was not a big dessert person (especially after the big dinner) but she insisted that I finish my meal! While working in another part of the ship she slipped this goodie try into my room.  How sweet!
Heaven on a plate!
Have you ever had one of those moments when you think you are just going to have another insignificant meal and then out of nowhere BAM! your taste buds are assaulted with sheer perfection? Well my friends, that is what happened to me the 2nd morning onboard.  The cook handed me this plate with no fanfare.  I was assuming pancakes with a sour cream/creme fresh  like topping.  What I actually had in my possession were two perfectly cooked pancake/donut/beignet hybrid like treats!  In one bite I was hit with crunchy outer edges, fluffy insides that was sweet and hearty at the same time. Mixed with the tart cream sauce was pur joy.  The only sad thought was I couldn't have more and the cooks english is pretty limited as is my Russian so exchanging recipes was out of the question....  I will dream about these billowy pancakes for years to come!

I hope you enjoyed reading why this girl loves being at sea and the reason behind when if I ever happen to randomly pick up and move to Canada at the drop of hat!
Tomorrow is the 2nd post for Friday Favorites!  I am thinking comfort food but am open to reader's request!