Friday 10: Canadian Thanksgiving!

It's Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday, so I'm writing this on Thursday and getting ready for a drive up to Muskoka. After all of my years in Canada, having Thanksgiving on a Monday still feels odd to me, but I love being able to celebrate it twice a year. I'm really looking forward to visiting everyone, getting out into the country, and relaxing. 

We were hoping to go on a long hike through Algonquin Park before the winter comes, but I injured my calf and should be resting it. I'm not very happy about it. I tried to convince S that I was feeling good enough to do a little hike yesterday morning. Then my leg swelled again at night after some light walking. Whoops! We will still drive up to see the fall colors, but I may have to be tied down in the car. 

Algonquin Park, Whiskey Rapids Trail, Summer 2012

Algonquin Park, Whiskey Rapids Trail, Summer 2012

I'll be back on Tuesday, hopefully with a full belly and some great photos! In the meantime, I put together a collection Thanksgiving, travel and food links for the week.  


#1 Some fast facts about Canadian Thanksgiving. While the origins of Thanksgiving are a little murky and sometimes debated, Martin Frobisher, an English explorer, is often suggested as the originator. After landing in Newfoundland in 1578, he held a feast to give thanks their safe passage across the Atlantic. This was 42 years before the Pilgrim and Wampanoag Thanksgiving in 1621 in Massachusetts. 

#2 & 3 So what did they eat, anyway? The First Nations origins of Thanksgiving foods. And look at what the Pilgrims/Wampanoag might have eaten for their harvest feast. Spoiler: No pie! The horror!   


#4 Giving Trippy a look after hearing about it on Go Fork Yourself. It's a travel site that allows users to ask questions about places and "destination experts" answer them. The idea is that the best answers get voted up and rise to the top. 

#5 Following the trail of N. Howard (Jack) Thorp through New Mexico. (via NYT Travel)

Thorp’s New Mexico is a place of overlapping cultures and harsh beauty, of cowboys and their whooping, hollering animal calls. It captures the mesquite and cat-claw thickets of tornillo bushes and encounters with the “wild and wooly” cow men of Roswell and Carlsbad.

It sounded like my kind of place.


#6 I loved this Foodie Originals video of Joseph Johnson, a sous chef at Michelin-Starred Mélisse in Santa Monica. The passion and dedication it takes to work in the food world always  (via Eater). 

# 7 This Pumpkin Chili has become a staple in our house. It's healthy, filling, and so easy to make. I usually omit some of the sugar and add extra chili powder and cayenne for some heat. Don't let the pumpkin throw you off, it's very mild!

# 8, 9 & 10 Lastly, I'm heading off to make some portable snacks for the weekend: Salt and Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas (a great alternative to chips), Pumpkin Oatmeal Anytime Squares, and, maybe some Healthy 5-Ingredient No-Bake Granola Bars (via Oh She Glows and Minimalist Baker)

That's it for this week! I hope you have a lovely weekend and, if you're Canadian, you eat lots, spend time with loved ones, and celebrate the things you are thankful for. Bring on the turkey! 

A lazy cottage weekend

On Saturday morning, S and I packed up the car and took a drive to cottage country to spend the weekend with his family. 

Cottages are really popular in Ontario. Starting in May, usually around Victoria Day, the main highway heading north out of the city fills with streams of cars packed to the gills with people and stuff each Friday. 

I didn't really understand the appeal for the longest time. Partly because I've lived in rural Ontario for most of my time here and partly because I'd never been to a real cottage.

The first time I went to Muskoka, though, I got it. Beautiful scenery. Cozy little cottages. Friends and family, fishing, swimming, reading, playing games, and simply doing nothing. La dolce far niente Canadian style.

We got to Bala early in the afternoon and, after some hellos and a quick hot dog, we basically beelined it to the dock. It was a gorgeous, quiet, warm day and both of us immediately decompressed. 

We spent the rest of the day spending time with everyone, laughing and catching up, reading, fishing off of the dock, and eating lots. 

When the sun started to set, we walked to the point and were treated to a gorgeous sunset. It felt like we had the whole river to ourselves. It was a perfect way to end the day.

The next morning, we all sat on the deck and drank coffee while watching fish jump in the river. A huge crane swooped by and landed on a nearby bank. He waited patiently and then dove into the water for some breakfast. We decided to follow suit and had a small feast before I ran back down to the dock to do some more reading. 

It was another beautiful, almost cloudless, warm day. I laid down to do some reading but nearly fell asleep as the wake from the boats gently rocked the dock.

I think we all wanted to stay longer, but S and I had to get on the road before traffic got too bad. The whole weekend was just what we needed: family, fun, warmth, water, nature, total relaxation. 

Hello, summer! We're so happy you're here.