Today we have a very special and different Ten at Ten in association with Food Bloggers of Canada to celebrate Canada day on Monday. We’ll be offering Foodies100 bloggers the chance to post on Food Bloggers of Canada later in the year, before then please do go and explore and discover some great Canadian sites! It is well worth having a read of FBCanada too – they have some great articles and resources!
Today’s Ten at Ten is brought to you by Food Bloggers of Canada – an organisation created so that Canadian Food bloggers can connect, network and find resources to expand their blogging knowledge. Founded in 2011 by Mardi Michels, Melissa Hartfiel and Ethan Adeland, FBC’s goal is to provide a friendly place for food and beverage bloggers to come together, learn, share and socialize, all with a uniquely Canadian perspective and Canadian resources.
We at Food Bloggers of Canada are thrilled to be writing today’s Ten at Ten and because it’s Canada Day on Monday, July 1st, we asked our members to share their best Canada Day memories with you.
We immigrated to Canada in 1996, by 1998 I already had a babe in arms, a bungalow and a picket fence. We were the only brown family on Chandler Drive, a street filled with Canadians with the biggest hearts. They taught us how to do everything, home reno projects, lawn care, gardening – but most of all, they thought us how to be proud of this beautiful land we adopted by celebrating each Canada day as a family. We lined the street with chairs and every family brought food and drinks. Our little kids would snuggle in blankets while the adults set up the fireworks. And together everyone’s eyes would light up with wonder … Oh Canada!
Sometimes when kids make friends, the rest of the family is a bit of a crap-shoot, to be honest. Is the older sibling an obnoxious antagonist? The younger a screamer? Are the parents a bit off? A lot off? Clingy? Aloof? You just never know. A couple of years ago we met a family that I am so thrilled to have completely meshed with. Our kids, while opposite genders, are the same ages. When they play, it’s like watching a single unit. And the parents are fabulous. We love getting together with them, even without the kids. But food? It gets interesting. We’re nut-free omnivores who don’t like seafood. They’re pescaterians who occasionally but rarely eat chicken. Dad is diabetic. Mom is gluten/soy/egg/dairy/yeast free, also for health reasons. There are four children, all with vastly different tastes, between us.
And yet last year when we all got together for a Canada Day barbecue, we enjoyed a feast. There was a corn pasta salad, oodles of vegetables, a delicious hummus with green olives, our assorted grilled proteins (and a marinated portobello mushroom), popcorn, and even some “treats” like veg chips and pea crisps, For dessert we enjoyed “ice cream” made from frozen bananas. We were all well full by the end of the meal and no one felt like they’d missed out on anything.
We’re getting together again this year to feast and watch fireworks and celebrate. And we’re all looking forward to it.
To be honest my Canada day memories all run together because they all involve similar experiences – food, fireworks and family & friends. In fact, my childhood was spent on the east coast and adulthood on the west coast but every year it was similar – BBQ, potluck, sitting near the water watching colourful explosions in the sky. One thing that is always included though and always memorable is eating nanaimo bars – a very Canadian dessert (named after the City of Nanaimo located on Vancouver Island). Canada Day wouldn’t be the same without them!
For me, Canada Day revolves around the Fireworks! We have a big family BBQ – potluck style. When we were younger, we used to have a big block party, which included Karaoke, bike parades (where we dressed our bikes up with streamers and balloons), burgers, hotdogs, potato salad and jello desserts.
Afterwards, we head down to the lake to grab a good spot to watch the fireworks (our city is built around a small lake so we don’t have to go far). When we were young, our parents would let us camp out in the backyard with all the other neighbourhood kids! Now that we are all grown, we usually head back home, and make s’mores over the fire pit in the backyard!!
I was born in Scotland, but came to Canada as a small child at the very end of the days of immigrating by ship. My childhood was spent on a farm on the huge vegetable growing area north of Toronto, Ontario, known as the Holland Marsh. I moved to the city of Barrie, on the shores of beautiful Lake Simcoe, after high school and in 30 years I’ve never found a good reason to leave.
It wasn’t until I had my first child that I really started to make Canada Day celebrations a must. When he arrived, in 1990, I wanted to start all sorts of wonderful traditions with him – Canada Day, camping trips, Halloween, Easter, family barbecues, and beach picnics. He wasn’t an only child for long. He was followed by a brother the following year, and by 1996 my husband and I had 5 children including twins.
Canada Day was always a fun and inexpensive event we could do as a family. If July 1st was hot and sunny, we would pack up lawn chairs, towels, blankets, sand toys and snacks and head to one of Barrie’s 4 beaches. We learned early on that small children are often afraid of the noise of fireworks, so we usually establish ourselves away from the main beach where all the action is, but you can certainly still get a great view! If Canada Day was cool or rainy, as it can sometimes be, we would go to a grassy park with a good playground along the waterfront instead. In recent years, my sister, her husband and 3 children would join us too.
Just before dark, the beach would become alive with crowds wrapped in blankets and little ones dancing with sparklers on the water’s edge. At 10:00 p.m. comes the big show and all the oohs and ahs! That is Canada Day for us in Barrie.
Being a newcomer to Canada I didn’t really have a clue on how one is supposed to celebrate Canada Day. After going to see the fireworks and spending time with friends and family in the great outdoors here in Halifax, NS I kind of got the hang of it. Canada Day has now become the day when we head out in the morning, spend time outside celebrating with other haligonians at the Halifax Commons and then coming back home to have a nice BBQ on the deck.
The day concludes with the amazing fireworks being shot from the MacDonald Bridge. Just beautiful.
Last year’s Canada Day was probably the most memorable one for me. Why? Because it involved tasting a lot of decadent treats! I joined a 2-hour Canada Day sweets tour organized by Tasty Tour, a guided walking tour dedicated to sweets, chocolates, cupcakes, pastries and various edible delights. Designed specifically to celebrate Canada’s birthday, this Canada Day tour took us around Kensington Market where we had to opportunity to try various Canadian treats such as pecan tarts, considered one of Canada’s quintessential dessert. It was also at the tour that I tried a Nanaimo Bar! I’ve documented the whole tour on this blog post:
Here is a post that I wrote, summing up my best Canada Day memory, driving the Dempster Highway. Not really a food post but it definitely talks up Canada and my love of the North.
Canada Day has always been an all day affair from the time my daughter was ‘knee high to a grasshopper’; a chance to celebrate who we are. For many this is just another long weekend but Canada Day is an opportunity to gather in every community from coast to coast to coast to celebrate the vision of our ancestors. We celebrate with community events, backyard barbecues, family picnics and plenty of fireworks in each and every community across the country. Canada is a melting pot of cultures, sights and sounds which holds true for our culinary diversity as well.
Not only were we wearing red and white T-shirts and sun hats (the colours of the Canadian flag), but, we also enjoyed a feast of red and white dishes… from appetizers to dessert. I dreamed up a red and white menu that celebrated the Canadian spirit. After all what is a celebration without food!!! And what is Canada Day without red and white somewhere in the picture, or as in this case the star of the show. We wandered downtown and along the waterway with thousands of other people to have a giant Canadian flag strawberry birthday cake, listen to music and enjoy the sunshine. Afterall we are a tourist town with many attractions and greenspace. Packing a picnic lunch consisting of red and white food such as red potato and radish salad, Caprese Salad, Lobster Rolls (always an ever changing patriotic menu and fun to put together).
We would watch as new Canadian citizens were sworn in, we swam at the beach, we ate and then ate again, then waited until dark to watch the fireworks over Lake Okanagan. We wandered slowly out of the park with our little girl sleeping on her daddy’s shoulder tired, sun-kissed and happy to have shared this day with our own families.
My favourite Canada Day memories are those when we also had our large Italian-Canadian family reunions. Family from Toronto, New York, Fort Lauderdale and Montreal would gather at my cousin’s house in Prevost, Quebec to celebrate Canada Day and our Italian heritage. There was lots of food as our aunts and uncles would bring their signature dishes. My uncle Tony would make his famous panelle (Sicilian chickpea fritters) and my aunt Maria would bring her caponata (eggplant relish) which was the best. There were Italian sausages and hot dogs on the BBQ and desserts galore. Games and activities were planned to entertain the children and there was always a sing-along.
Some of my aunts and uncles, as well as my parents have passed away since then. I have treasured memories of those Canada Day celebrations where we celebrated old and new traditions.