Coming Up: A Taste of the Arctic

My lunch break yesterday was a departure from my regular sandwich or salad. Instead, I sampled pitsi and maktaaq and tuttuminiq quaq.

…Intrigued? Then you might want to check out A Taste of the Arctic! (That’s dried Arctic char, beluga skin, and raw caribou, if you were wondering.)

taste of the arctic previewAs I munched on (more than a few) pieces of candied Arctic char, I watched as meat was expertly  sliced with sharp ulus, traditional Inuit made blades, and learned more about Inuit culinary customs (apparently the eye of the fish is a treat that people fight over!).

Bannock, the quintessential bread, was the only food on offer that was familiar to me, but I was pleasantly surprised by all the new things I tried. One of the ulu-yielding women drew similarities between the raw fish and meat we were eating and Asian sushi, something that doesn’t seem so unfamiliar. Raw, smoked, dried, candied, or frozen, it was neat to see fish and meat prepared in so many ways on one table. (The most traditional way being “pulled straight out of the water and served” I was told — talk about catch of the day.)james bay (3 of 3)

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Cookie Swap Thanks and a Product of Canada [Maple Cookies]

Landed in a Ottawa yesterday, in a winter wonderland. Am now cozy by the fire, presents wrapped, holiday tunes on, poodle at my feet, surrounded by family and so happy. Holiday bliss!

[From @tomshap's instagram]

[From @tomshap’s instagram]

Came home to discover treats waiting for me in the freezer — the cookies I received from the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! Thank you so much to Megan at the bold baker, Destini at The Healthy Wife, and Lisa at Je Suis Alimentageuse, for the delicious goodies! They were shared with family and friends over tea this afternoon — lovely.
(You can find the recipe for the Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies we sent out here!)

Cookie swap goodies -- thank you!

Cookie swap goodies — thank you!

During the last week of school in Spain, my 7th graders decided to have a dessert party to celebrate the start of the holidays.  Students got together in groups of two and made different desserts that are typical to Spain or Andalucia and several of them spelled out my name on their dessert, which was adorable.  I decided that I should make something Canadian to share and so I treated myself to some pure Canadian maple syrup from the biggest department store in Huelva (I had to search in the international food section!) and made these sweet maple cookies.
This was my first time creaming butter and sugar together by hand — I was so happy that with a little elbow grease these cookies came together easily and gave everyone a little taste of Canada (they were a hit!).

Excited to find maple syrup in Huelva!

Excited to find maple syrup in Huelva!

Maple Cookies in Huelva

Maple Cookies in Huelva

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It’s so nice to be home for the holidays — definitely the best Christmas gift this year, by far! Merry Christmas to you all, I’m off for my long winter’s nap! xo