Posts Tagged Canada

Wake up to a Mediterranean Sandwich (Recipe from the Falcon Lake Deli)

I just saw a Subway billboard that read, “A great sub ahead of time! Now open at 7am.” I wondered, “Who wants a sub at 7am???”

Then I remembered the first Saturday I waited tables at my parents’ Falcon Lake Deli. They wanted me there at 9am. I didn’t have a clue why they needed a waitress in the morning when they didn’t even serve breakfast. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Pittmans’ Restaurants

The following text appears on the cover of the Pittman’s on 44 menu. I wrote it a few years ago when my brother and his wife took over the restaurant from my parents. (Items in parentheses are my added comments and do not appear on their menu.)

Pittman’s

At the Perogy Patch and Deli: My Baba, My Mom, My Dad (he had just been in a car accident), a Kielbassa and Some Pyrisky Buns

On 44 is where it all began 20 years ago when Barry and Phyllis Pittman opened the Perogy Patch and Deli in Lockport on the corner of Highways 44 and 9. They began their family business making and serving the wholesome foods that Phyllis had been eating and helping to cook since childhood. After establishing the Perogy Patch and Deli, Barry and Phyllis opened the Perogy Patch Café on Main and St. John in Winnipeg. At that point, Barry decided to retire from his job as a Federal Meat Inspector and join in with the restaurant business full-time by taking over the Parkside Ford Cafeteria. (This cafeteria was later purchased and managed by my cousin Cheryl). Read the rest of this entry »

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Melty Brie with Garlic, Red Pepper and a Year in the Life of Pittman’s on 44

My brother Mike and his wife Angela (owners / operators of Pittman’s on 44) spend spring gearing up for summer. They plan new menu items and get the staff (mostly students) into shape before May Long hits.

From that weekend on it’s non-stop insanity. I know because I’ve had a spin in the whirlwind of a beach-town restaurant myself.

Cottagers, campers and road-trippers continuously trample the craggy shores of the Whiteshell Provincial Park until Labour Day Weekend. And then: Read the rest of this entry »

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When Life Gives You Lemons

One night last week my mom posted on Facebook that she and my dad were cozily waiting out the blizzard that was blowing through Manitoba. I woke the next morning imagining snow on the ground. I looked out the window at lush palm trees with a bright blue backdrop and felt lost. I plastered a smile on my face and went upstairs to get my toddler ready for the day. I asked, “What do you want to do today?” He said, “Go to the park, Mommy!” And why not? It is *sigh* 82 degrees out there after all.

Swings, slides, sand (lots of digging) and a couple of hours later, J and I were walking home from the park singing our ABCs. From behind a hedge I heard, “Who’s doing such nice singing?” J pointed and shouted (very very loudly), “Wook Mommy! A wady!” There was a woman in her yard gardening. She chuckled, “A boy with such a nice voice deserves an orange. Come around back and I’ll give you one.” J ran to her and began happily plucking oranges from her tree (never mind that we have about a million on our own trees at home). She then asked J, “Do you like lemonade?” He nodded his head vigorously. “If I give your Mommy some lemons, will she make you some?” We both nodded our heads vigorously.

As we watched her picking round bumpy lemons from her tree I thought, “I wish we had a lemon tree…oh wait, we do have one…but its lemons are small and seedy and taste bitter and …OH MY GOD…they definitely don’t smell like this…would it be weird to bite through the peel and eat the whole thing here in her yard? What if I just stand here holding it up to my nose while breathing deeply?”


After many thank yous we headed home for lunch. Once there J insisted that he didn’t want any lemonade. After all, if life gives you oranges shouldn’t your mom make you orange juice?  (How he’s not sick of the stuff by now, I don’t understand). I, on the other hand, had been given lemons and when life gives me lemons I make Citron Pressé.

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Thanksgiving Stories

We moved from Canada to Florida nearly two years ago. Last year around this time I wrote the piece found below. The phrase “It IS Thanksgiving Here” is in response to an episode of the podcast Cast On. Cast On is meant to be listened to while knitting (or crocheting or spinning). But this particular episode, called ‘Thanksgiving Special: A Snow Day,’ is not related to the fiber arts. It is instead about a particular day in the life of the show’s host, Brenda Dayne. She’s an American woman living in Wales who has not celebrated Thanksgiving in years. The reason is, as she says, “It’s not Thanksgiving here and Thanksgiving is not something that can be faked.” With nobody else celebrating, it doesn’t really feel like a holiday, until one day when it suddenly does. It’s a lovely broadcast. I think of it often.

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Baby it’s Warm Outside: Roast Pork and Canadian-Floridian Braised Cabbage

While my friends and family back in Canada look out the window at that storm, I’m sitting in balmy warmth remembering childhood holidays filled with waves upon a tropical shore. The white blanketed images that I’ve seen posted on Facebook (it’s up to your knees out there!) make me want to cook something warm and comforting while listening to the fireplace roar. But in this Central Florida November heat, do I really want to be near a fire, or even worse, slaving away in a hot kitchen? The answer is no.

This roast pork recipe is exactly what I’ll need for a comfy but simple Sunday dinner this weekend. It’s hearty but is brightened by the oranges from my backyard tree, now heavy with fruit. The ingredients are prepped and then cooked in one roasting pan in the oven, thus reducing the amount of time I’ll have to spend in a hot kitchen.

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