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What's a cracker? Christmas crackers aside, the crackers I'm referring to are basically just twice baked bread. Surprisingly enough, American's claim that crackers were invented in 1792 in New England primarily for the purpose of having a bread-like food that could survive long periods at sea, or in your kitchen cupboard. Eventually the National Biscuit Company was formed which we now know as Nabisco - I'm more partial to their Shreddies than their crackers.

I suspect the concept of drying bread into a…

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Hot Cross Buns 

Food has always been an important part of family celebrations. Each holiday had it's traditional foods that have their origin partly in my Scottish heritage but perhaps even more strongly in my mother's Mennonite background since she did all of the cooking in our house. Food was such a central part of family life that even the threat of punishment for childhood misdeeds was to be swatted with a wooden spoon.

The kitchen was the centre of my childhood home and where my mother, a university trained chemist…

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Dyngus Day 

Chocolate Babka


For several years now a small group of friends and neighbours have celebrated Dyngus Day.

It began when my wife and I were in Buffalo and saw a poster at our hotel promoting Dyngus Day celebrations. Further investigation revealed that Buffalo hosts the largest Dyngus Day outside of Poland. I mentioned it to a good friend and it turns out he had a Polish grandmother and her pierogy recipe. In the 1980's my parents helped a group of five Polish dancers defect to Canada who I refer to as my…

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Accounting for Taste 

My ninety-five year old Dad's cardiologist recently put him on a low salt diet. He's finding that without salt his food has lost its taste and he's lost his appetite. He suggested I write something about taste.

How do we develop taste? If you ever fed a baby, you've witnessed a human discovering taste - the expression of shock or delight when a new food is introduced - even something like pureed carrots that the average adult would consider pretty mundane. Our taste evolves over time depending upon our…

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Time Buffet 

I've always enjoyed a good buffet. My ultimate experience was the Carnival Seafood Buffet in Las Vegas. Seeing their massive live tanks on television caused me to venture off the strip in search of the ultimate seafood eating experience. I was greeted by a crowd milling about the steam tables carrying plates heaped with every type of seafood imaginable. Fueling up before heading into the casino to play some slots and watch the free Mardi Gras show. The pinnacle of citizen experience in the modern American…

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