The joy of my own cooking
One of the things Dr. Oz said on an Oprah episode this week about childhood obesity is that too many families scarf down food mindlessly in front of the television. What a travesty, he said, because no one takes the time to savour the food, to enjoy the textures and spices and contrast in the food that someone has taken the time to make. (You definitely lose extra points if it’s microwave meals: too much sodium, he said)
A few Christmases ago, one of the in-laws gave me The Joy of Cooking, the 40th anniversary edition. I didn’t pay much mind to it during my schooling years because I had the funds the support a culinary journey that seldom went beyond microwave meals and sandwiches. Here in Ross River, I’ve got nothing but time and it is actually enjoyable to flip through that book and pick out yummy-sounding dishes that I can make. I write all the ingredients missing from my pantry on the grocery list I bring into Whitehorse on my next trip. I return well-stocked and ready to try out ratatouille, corn bread, peanut butter pies and try out a game meat marinade for the moose roast in my freezer.
Taking the afternoon to stir, combine, whisk and bake is really very enjoyable. It is totally fulfilling to hear silence followed by praise around my dinner table from the husband or the guests we invite over. After all, meals should be shared, and the more around my table, indeed the merrier. Last night we had another couple over for my first moose roast and it was one of the most enjoyable foodie nights I’ve had in awhile. The red wine vinegar-based marinade made for excellent tasting moose and great gravy. The Yukon Gold mashed potatoes turned out just fine and husband’s garlic creamed pasta shells (his one and only specialty so far!) were finished right off before we all loosened our pants a bit and had tea with brownies. Tea caps off dinner like no other, I must say.
I definitely believe food tastes better when made from scratch and with attention and love. You digest that, and I think it makes a difference. It really is a shame there’s no English equivalent to the saying Bon appetite! But that says something, doesn’t it?
Make a meal, sit down and enjoy it, draw it out.
I studied the Steven Truscott case in my third year youth criminal law class in university. The point of the study was to come to our own conclusions based on the evidence because, as that point, the case had not received its federal review yet. Truscott had gone through a jury trial a bazillion years ago, (1959) but the resonant arguments about evidence, rushed testimony, crappy lawyers and suspicious area drivers let us all participate in a real-life game of whodunit.
It was always important to me to remember that it was not a game, that, in fact, a boy had gone to jail and nearly received the death sentence as a result of the jury’s verdict. As a scholar, however, I found it incredibly interesting to dissect the clues, compare and contrast them with cases from today and dig deep into my own soul and moral code to decide for myself if I thought he had done it.
I definitely think the investigation is an excellent example of how not to run a murder investigation, the process was certainly rushed and clearly geared toward blaming someone—anyone—so the town of Clinton, Ontario could rest easy knowing the killer of 12-year-old Lynne Harper was being punished. Truscott, a boy himself at age 14, was put through a legal circus and clown court that today’s Greenspans would certainly tackle. He spent 10 years in jail and 40 on parole.
I can’t go into the details of the investigation (at least as far as the public knows them to be) only because they are too detailed and exhaustive for a blog entry. But the one clue that gives me the “reasonable doubt” our courts ask for is the necklace: How did Truscott know exactly where Harper’s necklace was hung up in the woods surrounding Clinton, after it had been ripped off of her? That one minute detail is my doubt. Everything else I’ve read and seen reassures me that guilty or not, Truscott did not receive justice in the academic sense of the word, and as our Charter defines it.
The justice department decided last year that the 1959 trial was a miscarriage of justice. The department did not clear his name or label him one of Canada’s wrongly convicted. Today Truscott received a $6.5 million settlement package.
Did he do it?
I definitely believe that unless someone else comes forth with clear evidence, or a confession, of killing Harper, only Truscott will ever really know if he did it.
More info: http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/truscott/
Another night in Ross
Overheard as I set out a box of pizza at husband’s desk at the police department. He was in the jail cells section negotiating with a drunk guy:
Scene: Drunk guy is only mildly drunk and husband agrees to take him home as long as drunk guy agrees to stay inside for the rest of the night. Drunk guy agrees.
Husband: Okay, well I need your word that you’ll stay in, so I need you to shake on it.
Guy extends left hand.
Husband: No, no, no. You’ve got to shake with your right hand (Tries to get extra reassurance the drunk guy still has the motor skills and cognizance to determine left from right)
Drunk Guy holds back, begins to get angry.
Drunk Guy: No, man
Husband: Yup, it’s got to be the right hand, that’s how you shake on it.
Drunk Guy: No, man, with my left (voice rising)
Husband: Dude, give me your right hand and shake on it or you’ll be in cells tonight. Come on, I’m doing you a favour.
Drunk Guy: I don’t have a right hand!
Husband: What are you talking about? You’re starting to lose my trust here. Now, shake.
Drunk Guy: No, I mean, I don’t have a right hand!
He is very angry now and holds up his right arm, which comes to an end with a stump after his wrist.
Husband: (sheepishly) My bad. Alright, let’s get you home.
Oh, the things we have to discuss over dinner.
Labels: Ross River
Stroke Leaves Canadian with New Accent
I had to read the article under this headline to believe it. Not that one can believe everything reported. Believe it or not, I understand that journalists can get things wrong, especially initial reports. Anyway, this sounds crazy doesn’t it? Waking up from a stroke with an accent from a locale you’ve never visited? I guess if you’re going to acquire an accent, a Newfie one wouldn’t be the worst. I think I’d want a Spanish one, like Penelope Cruz.
The article made me think of the life skills teacher at our school, who is a Newf with a very thick accent. I thought it was hilarious this guy was working with kids whose own speech patterns and communication skills were extremely delayed and regressive. The poor angry kids who are spoken to by a guy spouting words so fast and in so thick an accent they don’t know if they’re getting lectured, punished or praised. (Many also lack the skills to correctly interpret tone of voice, though they certainly have good days)
That teacher retired this year, and told me he was thinking about taking a speech pathology position up in a remote community called Old Crow. Goodness gracious, who comes up with these ideas?
Labels: weird curiosities
Canada Day in the Country
I watched the CBC’s live coverage of the Canada Day show on Parliament Hill this morning. It was a little mournsome, as it was all so familiar and evoked major nostalgia. I could envision my friends and family, painting maple leafs on each other, barbecuing, drinking, and putting those paper flags in their ponytails, getting ready to make the trek downtown, where crowds frequently erupt singing the national anthem and everyone joins in.
On TV, I watched the cannons go off, the PM shake hands awkwardly with people in their traditional dress and people wearing as many red maple leafs as possible. I had sort of written off this Canada Day, knowing it could never compare to an Ottawa Canada Day. I even pitifully texted all my Ottawa friends, wishing them a happy Canada Day, envisioning them walking the downtown streets blocked off from traffic wearing goofy hats and flags in creative ways.
But then there was a Canada Day miracle. Husband/lead cop in town was asked at the last minute to organize a Canada Day parade. Now, when Ross River residents say “parade” what they mean is organizing all the emergency vehicles (police, fire, ambulance) to form a convoy with sirens on and wailing. Each vehicle pastes Canada flags and Canada balloons all around it, and the occupants prepare freezies and Canada Day tattoos and candy to throw out at the kids.
I thought this was hilarious, driving through town with sirens blazing, no doubt irritating all the hung over drunks. More importantly, a whole slew of kids started following the “parade” on their bikes, collecting the strewn freezies, tattoos and candy. They were so happy! People waved to us from the balconies and drove out in their cars to follow. It was too funny; I smiled ear to ear tossing freezies and laughing the whole morning.
To top it all off, a mother and her daughter hauled out their ice cream truck, for this once-a-year occasion, and drove around ringing their bells selling ice cream to everyone. They made a killing and I got an ice cream sandwich.
It was totally not the high-budget, staged spectacle of national TV, but it was just enough to make me forget about what I was missing at home. Happy Canada Day!
Labels: Ross River