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Liam’s lowdown: Winter is for eating, forget skiing

For outdoor enthusiasts, living in Revelstoke is a dream. There are mountains up the ying-yang, it’s a skiers paradise and it has bike trails up the wazoo. Needless to say, there’s lots to do.

However, one thing I’ve learned since I moved is Revelstoke is grey, esp during winter. Dark, grey and 6 p.m feels like midnight. As I said, I know the area is a skiers paradise, but that doesn’t change the fact that winter views from the city are limited. And so, what to do? I can only make so many cups of tea in the evening (it’s hard to sleep after ten cardamon chai), and I’m afraid to fall down the Netflix rabbit hole. Yes, yes those numerous outdoor activities described above are an option, but when it’s dark and there’s falling slush from the sky, I prefer my slippers and central heating.

Perhaps it’s time to explore the kitchen and maybe cook a little. Winter isn’t only a time for skiing, it’s also for eating.

Here are some iconic Canadian inventions and perfect for dirtying that kitchen on a winter’s night. Any surprises?

Nanaimo Bars – Yes, this treat is actually from Nanaimo, B.C. It’s first known recipe is from 1952. In 1986, the city’s mayor launched a contest to find the ultimate Nanaimo bar recipe. The winner Joyce Hardcastle became a local celebrity and even starred in a segment of Pitchin’ In with Lynn Crawford. In a news article Hardcastle is quoted saying, “the trick is using unsalted butter. It makes the bars a bit more mellow.”

Flapper Pie – It’s a vanilla custard pie topped with meringue, or if you’re in southern Saskatchewan whipped cream. According to Wikipedia the graham cracker cream pie dates back to the 19th century but became the flapper pie in the 20th century. It’s a Canadian prairie staple.

Butter Tarts – Is there anything better? So simple, just butter, sugar, and eggs surrounded by flaky pastry. If you ever meet someone that doesn’t like butter tarts, avoid that person. You deserve better.

Blueberry Grunt – Perhaps one of my favourite named desserts. This stove top dish is thought to be an adaptation of an English steamed pudding. The ‘grunt’ comes from the sound the dumplings make while being steamed.

Pouding chômeur – My dream is to one day swim in a bathtub of pouding chômeur (also known as unemployed man’s pudding). I’d move to Quebec for this dish alone. It was created by female factory workers during the Great Depression in Quebec. It’s a basic cake batter on which hot syrup, caramel, or maple syrup is poured before baking. According to Wikipedia, at the depth of the Depression, stale bread was used in lieu of cake batter.

Enough food talk, I think I have to excuse myself from this column for lunch. One can only write about food for so long before the stomach grumbles and Liam doesn’t survive hunger well. I know I only provided sugary embalmed examples, but-gosh-darn-it-it’s-my-column-and-I’ll-do-as-I-please.

Happy eating this winter!

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