Our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner, alongside an autumn bouquet of golden maple leaves, sea grass, crimson rose hips, salal and quaking aspen we gathered along Center Island roadsides in Monday’s sunshine.
HAPPY CANADIAN THANKSGIVING, a day late.
Maybe it’s because we live on a small island where there isn’t enough to do. But it’s also because my dear wife, Barbara, loves to cook, especially sage-rich dressing, butternut squash, cranberry sauce and savory mushroom gravy. So when we sparked on celebrating Canada’s Thanksgiving this year, on the second Monday of October, the day after the Hunter’s Moon lit up the night sky, the idea resonated like Diana Krall singing “Fly Me to the Moon.”
Mind you, our special dinner wasn’t in place of the traditional American observance on the fourth Thursday of November. This just gave us an excuse to cook and eat a bunch of that good food twice as often.
There’s some justification, too, in that Barbara’s Grandpa Burns was from Nova Scotia. And these days reverting to her Canadian roots has more and more appeal to her. (But that’s a whole other rant.)
From an embarrassingly quick read of Wikipedia, I’ll tell you that Canadians eat pretty much the same menu for their harvest celebration as folks south of their border, though the everyman’s encyclopedia notes that their variations on turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie might include baked ham, salmon, wild game, something endearingly known as Jiggs dinner (corned beef and cabbage, named after a now obscure comic-strip character who liked it), apple pie and, yes, even the occasional gooey Nanaimo bar. Oh, Canada!
Our Monday repast didn’t include turkey or anything Mr. Jiggs liked, because we pretty much eat vegan these days. But the plant-based bratwurst from the Beyond Meat folks, served with a nice truffle mustard, went quite nicely with sage dressing and all that other good stuff.
Alas, we had nothing in the cabin with which to celebrate Nanaimo, which happens to be Diana Krall’s birthplace, just 68 miles northwest of here as the pigeon guillemot flies.
Maybe next year, eh?