When Tania told me that she, Ivonne and Sam were planning on bringing Blogging By Post to Canada and wondered if I'd join in, I jumped at the chance. I've also thrown my hat in to host a future event.
This is such a great thing for several reasons: Canadian foodblogs and Canadian foodbloggers are popping up everywhere, we represent a good cross-section of the country--east and west coasts and the bits in between, both official languages, urban, rural, veg and carnivorous, and of course our passion for food (and writing about it) ranks up there with everyone else (but then, I'm very unapologetically biased).
Here we are, with the first Canadian Blogging By Post, hosted by Sam, with a suggested theme of chocolate...mmm...chocolate.
What to do, what to do...
I want to highlight my part of the world's food traditions--good hearty meals, using great, fresh, simple ingredients...farm-to-table, back garden to kitchen table. Unfortunately, apart from chocolate cakes and chocolate puddings, I really couldn't think of something that used chocolate in a way that complimented local fare.
Then, I remembered a maple-chocolate syrup recipe I came across a while ago.
Many people think of la belle province when they think of maple syrup--and rightfully so: Quebec produces something like 80% of the continent's (if not the world's) maple syrup; Ontario produces quite a bit of the sweet stuff, and has been ranked second or third in production. There are a number of sugar bushes in the area and my dear friend Kim has re-patriated her family's patch of sugar maples.
Okay, I've found a syrup...now I need to put it on something (well, I don't, the syrup is awfully good on its own). Then I remembered a classic, local pairing...apple fritters and maple syrup all golden brown and warm, sometimes with a dollop of whipped creme. It's a staple of the local market.
Fritters are incredibly easy to make. All you need to do is peel, core and slice an apple, coat the slices in a very simple batter and deep fry until golden brown.
I'm still not 100 per cent yet--my stupid human trick is the ability to stand on my bad foot for about five-10 seconds before the pain gets to me (or I fall over--whichever comes first). I am feeling a lot better...and I missed tinkering in the kitchen, so I made a curry (will blog about it later). It took me longer than usual, and I was tired from standing, so I decided that dessert (said fritters and syrup) would be a cooking by proxy opportunity, with the exbf as my kitchen minion.
Today's learning was: when you core an apple, use a cutting board...not your hand, thigh nor any other body part (groin, forehead etc).
Sigh...it's always an adventure with him. But he did very well.
The fritter recipe is from the great Edna Staebler's Food That Really Schmecks and is her mum's recipe. Unfortunately, this wonderful book has been out of print for a few years so, if you want a copy, you'll have to either find it in a forgotten corner of a book store or hunt for it through a used bookseller or in rummage sales.
Apple Fritters from Edna Staebler's Food That Really Schmecks, p158
2 or 3 apples
1tsp baking powder
1 beaten egg
Putting it together
Peel, core and slice the apples into 0.25" rounds. Set aside.
Sift together the flour and baking powder.
In a bowl, mix together the egg, sugar and salt. Alternate in the flour and milk, mixing well between additions--if the batter is too thin, add a bit more flour as you want it fairly thick.
Heat vegetable oil to 375F.
Dip the slices into the batter and fry until golden brown on all sides. Be careful about how you handle them: if you prick the fritter, it will absorb oil. When done, blot them on kitchen towels.
You can eat them plain, with sugar, cinnamon sugar, honey, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, maple syrup, ice cream or any or all of the above.
The recipe for the chocolate-maple syrup can be found on Epicurious.com at this link.
I, of course, decided to gild the lily and serve them with vanilla ice cream and the chocolate-maple syrup.
Yummy yummy yummy.
tags: Canadian Blogging By Post Chocolate Maple syrup Mennonite cooking
Before the nonsense: 44 cups; 3 free coffees, 1 free doughnut
Now: 43 cups, 7 free coffees