It has been a while, my friends and I apologize. I was in a distant land called Iqaluit, Nunavut. For those of you who are unlearned in Canadian geography, Iqaluit is the capital of Nunavut, located on the 59th parallel on Baffin Island and was created during the Cold War for the Distant Early Warning (DEW) line; a line of radar stations to watch for nukes from the Soviets.
I obviously wasn’t up there to inspect the radar system. My best friend is working up there, sadly. We went hiking and I took over 200 photos in 3 days! There is a raw beauty up there, a raw beauty that I would like to revisit in the summer. I find the terrain to suggest a mountain peak and that sort of thing really appeals to me!
Up in Iqaluit we went to the Frobisher Inn “The Gallery” for dinner one night. It was expensive, like pretty much everything else up there, but the food was incredibly good. We sampled the Arctic Cassoulet which is caribou, musk ox, game sausage, smoked bacon, duck confit on “great northern beans” and the “Froburger”. The cassoulet was heavy on the beans, but it was decent. If you like beans, you will love it. The “Froburger” was delicious and filling. Half of the burger is plenty. It is served with onion rings.
I made some of that chicken corn chowder and some crepes whilst up there with flour, potatoes and peppers that I smuggled up in my suitcase. It was received well; that corn chowder is my new favourite soup!
Another thing I noticed about the North is the amount of people who speak Inuktitut regularly. There is also a great amount of pride about Inuit culture. This made me smile as I have often heard that Canada has no culture. In my travels I have proved differently. The only provinces I have to visit are Quebec and Prince Edward Island and Yukon Territory, and of the provinces and territories I have visited, each region has a unique attitude and certainly unique food.
Now that I am back in Toronto, I suppose an update is required on what I have kept myself busy with here in the Big Smoke. Chef school has me smiling everyday. I have noticed that my palate has been improving, that I am enjoying food much more than I ever have. I have found myself eating slower, savouring each bite and looking forward to the next meal. This is a huge change from my lifestyle in Alberta which was more about wolfing down a meal to gain fuel for my body.
I have been copying out my notes in an illustrated book for later use. It is hard to keep up with the lessons as we learn three recipes per day!
On the topic of art, I have tried my hand at painting and produced one and a half paintings so far. Other than my family and friends, pretty much the only thing I miss about Alberta are the mountains and that becomes evident in my artwork.
Well friends, that’s it for today, I am volunteering tonight at Soup Sisters.