Snowy Day Food Blogging

The weather here today is horrific — blowing snow obscures everything, it’s minus -7° celcius, and expected to drop to -15° , and I have no intentions of leaving the house if I can possibly help it. Unfortunately, Solo is out of goat’s milk, so I don’t really have much choice. Sucks to be a responsible pet owner, doesn’t it?

Thrive Dog FoodI have another reason for leaving the house today – I’m going to pick up some sample packs of Honest Kitchen dog food from our local distributor. He’s actually the Canada wide representative for Honest Kitchen – he just also happens to be located here in Durham, a town with a population of about twenty people. It really is a small world sometimes.

I’m going to try switching Ellie over to Honest Kitchen, in the hopes she’ll find the texture easier to eat. She has a hard time eating kibble, even if it has been soaked. Honest Kitchen is a dehydrated food, as opposed to a kibble. The basic ingredients have been dehydrated, and you then re-constitute them with water before feeding. This results in a food with a ‘pudding’ like texture.

Apparently, not all dogs like it, so I’ll start with just some samples and see how Ellie tolerates it.

As for Sean and I, we’re eating Jamaican food today. I’ve got oxtail stewing down in the slow cooker, and tonight I’ll fry some plantain, boil some yellow yam and Irish potato, and make a batch of coconut rice and peas. For dessert, we’re having fresh made banana fritters. Since I can’t get ethnic food out here, I’ve had to learn to make do with what we can cook here at home.

PhoNext week, we’re going to get together the ingredients to make Pho, the Vietnamese noodle soup we ate at least once a week in Toronto.

Every block in our ethnic neighborhood had a decent Pho place on it, and I really miss being able to just drop in and grab a huge bowl filled with noodles, broth, seafood and bean sprouts. Sean likes his plain, but I love my Pho with a squeeze of lime and a dash of chili sauce.

Here’s a simple recipe for rice and peas —

Serves: 4-5

1 medium sized can red kidney beans
1 can coconut milk
2 cups of rice
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 table spoon oil
1 scotch bonnet pepper (whole, do not chop up)

Drain the liquid from the can of beans into a measuring cup and add the can of coconut milk and enough water to make four cups of liquid. Place liquids in a pot with beans, onions, garlic, thyme and oil, bring to a boil. Add rice and stir for a minute. Reduce heat to Medium-Low. Place scotch bonnet pepper on top of liquid and cover tightly for 30 minutes or until rice is cooked. Remove scotch bonnet pepper before serving.

This recipes can also be made using other peas.

Happy Boxing Day

If you live in a Commonwealth country, you’re celebrating Boxing Day today (likely by shopping for discounted Christmas items). If you live in the USA, you probably have no idea what Boxing Day means.

In the most simplistic terms, Boxing Day is simply the day after Christmas, December 26th. The history of the term ‘Boxing Day’ is generally taken to refer to the British habit of gifting their servants and tradespeople with boxes of food and fruit on the day following Christmas (an early version of a Christmas bonus). It’s also been suggested that it refers to the habit of the Church of handing out alms to the poor on this day, taken from the tithes gathered in the Church poor boxes throughout the year.

There may also be a more decidedly pagan history behind the name. Tradition says that the Wren, or King of the Birds, was captured in a box during Solstice festivities. The boxed wren was then taken from house to house, where householders would ask him for the boon of a successful year and bountiful harvest. This tradition is mentioned in the classic book of English mythology and magic, the Golden Bough.

Wikipedia explains the common protocols for decided when Boxing Day will be celebrated:

In common usage, 26 December is continually referred to as Boxing Day whichever day of the week it occurs on. If it falls on a Sunday then in countries where it is a Bank Holiday the Statutory Holiday is moved to Monday December 27th to ensure a day without work. As Christmas Day would therefore be a Saturday, Tuesday 28 December is also declared as a holiday in lieu.

We’re celebrating Boxing Day by eating leftover Turkey for lunch, and Pho for dinner, from the Vietnamese restaurant around the corner from my daughter. After we drop her off, we’ll eat a big bowl of noodle and seafood soup. Then I’ll try to find someplace where I can buy an industrial sized box of puppy pads.

Here’s a photo of Mae’s puppy boy, taken last night. He’s almost completely better.