I haven’t spent a lot of time in the kitchen this past week, so I took a little trip down my photo’s and came across this. One of our favorite memories of spending time in Moosonee is the impromptu meals that just require a cook stove, a flat surface, propane and a beer or two.
This garage cookout was during a trip Mrs. Canuck came to visit her brother Tony and he was more than happy to slice up some moose meat and take out a bag of walleye. Fresh wild ingredients treated with nothing more than a little oil, salt, pepper and onions in the moose make for a tasty meal that leaves you wanting more.
The moose is slow cooked and the walleye pan fried crispy. Behind the scene, you don’t see the turkey fryer going for the 10+ lbs of potatoes that were double fried to crispy deliciousness and in this house, doused with malt vinegar while I run to escape the pungent smell.
Is there a meal family cooks for you that you ask for?
Happy 86th Birthday Morris, whoever you are.
Last night we drove from Timmins to Barrie for a little getaway with Granny Canuck and Mrs. Canuck to stop at Casino Rama in Orillia and take in some good restaurant eats and a little minor shopping. A mandatory Barrie food stop for the traveling crew is “The Mandarin”.
Yes, it’s a Chinese buffet filled with fried food, sugary sauces and overeating indulgence like you’ve never seen before and we enjoy every calorie. While we were having dinner, the usual banter of staff danced about to sing happy birthday to an elderly couple sitting close to our table. We clapped with our sticky fingers and sang with the rest, only to find out the gentleman’s name was Morris, having dinner with his lovely wife and turning 86. Once the excitement died down, I looked at my Mom and instantly knew what she was thinking.
Over the course of many years, we have all taken turns to pay it forward to unsuspecting dining couples, drive-thru customers, and coffee-goers. One of my fondest memory is an elderly couple in their turquoise 1960’s Thunderbird behind us in the Dairy Queen drive-thru on a Sunday afternoon. We paid for their ice cream and drove away. A quick look in the mirror we could see the sheer surprise and delight on their faces as they were told their ice cream was on the silver vehicle driving north.
Tonight, we asked our server to make sure we picked up the tab for their dinner. Normally we get to sneak out and leave them wondering; but in this case, the server who wasn’t too sure of our intentions pointed directly at us when they asked who paid the bill. We all turned 50 shades of red and tried to sneak out; but before we could Mrs. Morris came to our table with tears of joy in her eyes and hugged my Mom. On our way out, we shook the hand of our new friend and made our way to the hotel.
This isn’t a challenge to anyone to pay it forward, I’m not posting for a pat on the back, I’m posting because as I posted before, it’s the little things in life. My Dad would sometimes do this, as cheap as he was. Tonight we did it for Morris and Mrs. Morris to make his day a little extra special and a story he will remember long into his 90th birthday.
We did it in part for ourselves, the little thing that reminds us of Dad. He would be even happier knowing it was two seniors. After all, they get a 20% discount.
My rotation is done in Moosonee and I’m sitting here on the Ontario Northland Train writing this blog post and will post it once I have the internet once again a little further south.
The train has been a vital part of Moosonee since 1932. The construction was started in 1921 and construction was completed on July 15, 1932. Since it’s opening it has carried many a local passenger, tourists, groceries, cars and even homes.
Up until 2012, the ONR was subsidized by the provincial government where there was the discussion of privatizing the ONR. While I prefer to keep my blog politics free, an agreement was made after the ONR provided a report to the government to restructure and sell of ONTERA their telecommunication’s division.
I remember as a young boy traveling the train just before Christmas to visit my Nanny in Moosonee. Three families would all cram into her 2.5 bedroom base house, the presents almost flowing into the kitchen and wake up to the smell of bacon, coffee, and cigarettes. I can vaguely remember the Commodore 64 computer the family got that sparked my love for all things electronic. After Christmas was done, we’d repack all our gifts in boxes, load them on the train, unload in Cochrane and drive back to Timmins.
Now, twenty plus years later, I continue this routine working in Moosonee. In this case, we bring our clothes, foods that are difficult or expensive to get up there, like rye flour for pumpernickel bread.
If you would like to read a little more about the history of the Ontario Northland Railway, please have a look at the ONR Wiki. If you have any specific questions, please let me know and I will try my best to answer or find someone that might have the answer.
** Historical information provided from Wikipedia.