Not only have the temperatures plummeted below freezing for the best part of the last 2 weeks, but we’ve also had our first few snow dumps unseasonably early. It may only be mid October, but life in the most northerly city across North America has had us hunting out our woolies, gloves, hats, scarves and snow pants much earlier than usual. Not only that, tools have had to be commissioned and the snow shovel has been pressed into service to remove the accumulation of snow on the drive and pavement – serious stuff indeed. Maybe it’s a freak weather event which with any luck, may disappear later this week – but there’s no escaping the certainty that by the middle of next month it’ll be here to stay and won’t disappear till next May. Brrrrr ……..
On the plus side, the snow slopes are getting excited. Last year, everything had to be delayed by a few weeks as the snow was later than usual – this year, Mother Nature is making up for it and with this early blast there may be chance to get some early season skiing or cross-country skiing underway. Let’s hope so.
Last week, in amidst all this excitement, Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving – our second one since our arrival. A year ago, I embraced the festivities with attempting to emulate a ‘typical’ Canadian thanksgiving meal – roast turkey and all the trimmings. For those that remember, (and should you wish to relive the event, click here), we discovered to our detriment that a dish entitled ‘candied yams’ which we took to be dessert, should’ve actually been an accompaniment to the savoury main course. We’ve mastered many elements to living in Canada, but this whole mixing of savoury and sweet together has us foxed each and every time. With this in mind, I thought we’d better play safe so asked my many Canadian friends for a dessert recommendation. ‘Pumpkin Pie’ was the resounding cry – so procure one I did.Now imagine the scene ….. it’s snowing outside, we’re 4cm deep in snow and are heartily enjoying our roast dinner. To be honest, it was only the lack of ‘Jingle Bells’ resonating from the speakers and you would’ve been mistaken for thinking it Christmas dinner. Anyhow, back to dessert ….. husband and kids all declared their enthusiasm to try the pumpkin pie, and were looking forward to this with anticipation. Even the cat appeared from her bed – lacking in some of her senses now she’s at the ripe old age of 21, but her sense of smell is still functioning perfectly and the lure of the roast cooking was obviously too much for even her to ignore. Main course consumed, and the dessert was brought out with great ceremony – husband & I even poured a glass of Canadian ice wine to sample in its honour.
There’s a silence that often prevails after a dessert is served – everyone heads-down, maximising their delight, savouring the sweetness and aroma, wishing it would never end. Well, after the first mouthful was consumed, the stunned silence epitomised the collective feeling about the dessert choice and we wished it would end. And end quickly. Unilaterally, (once we’d struggled to swallow our first mouthful), and very similar to the current US Presidential Elections, we were challenged to find the merest glimpse of positive endorsement that would see this dish as a preferred candidate for future events, and were grasping at the smallest elements of the pie which were least repellant. It was a traversy. To say there was immense disappointment, was an understatement. We shall be leaving the delicacy to my Canadian friends to consume in entirety in future.
Our track record with pumpkins has not been a resounding success so on a positive note, our future use of them will be exclusively as decorated outdoor exhibits during Halloween …. mwah ha ha …..