Friday, February 15, 2013

Review: Roaming the Big Land Flavours of Canada by T.A. Keenleyside


This book chronicles one writer's travels across Canada. He travels to every province and territory for various reasons and over the span of a lifetime. He makes passing reference to the food eaten, the traditional foods of the area, and how the food affects his experience of the area. I have travelled somewhat extensively throughout Canada so I enjoyed reading about the places that I have travelled over the years. He quotes a reference to Canadians as “understated, a little dorky” (17) which is a perfect way to describe us! After each essay is a recipe written by Keenleyside's wife, Dot. The essays vary in quality and interest but overall this book is a fun read.
I really enjoyed the short essay by Dot entitled “Taking Stock”. Here is an excerpt.
“Have you ever noticed how many people check out your fridge? I don't mean just kids. For them its a survival instinct. I mean adults who should know better. You'll be standing around the kitchen, maybe having a drink with a few friends, thinking about getting dinner ready, and someone opes the fridge. Just opens it, in an offhand manner, like opening a can of club soda. As if it's the most natural thing in the world. As if no one in their right mind could possibly be offended. Then they kind of lean against the door, still chatting amiably, and snoop. Out loud. Saying things like, “Wow, lobster! Is that for tonight?” or “What's this stuff?” The kind of intrusive snooping that focuses everyone's attention on the contents of your fridge.” (141)
This paragraph is so illustrative of the way dinner parties work. Everyone is in the kitchen and someone pokes his head in your fridge. Forget cleaning under the couches, clean the fridge before a party!

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