We left England on a rainy day in January. It was a mixed bag of emotions. Leaving the known, venturing out in the uncertain. All our earthly possessions packed in ten suitcases. The memories attached with them, the emotions tied with them were a mere function of weight now. What was the accepted baggage allowance, is this better as cabin or checked baggage?
Canada will be our new home. Two young kids in tow we crossed the Atlantic.
As we stepped outside the temperature controlled interior of the airport, an icy cold wind slapped our faces. The first breath in, felt like a knife cut through my lungs. We struggled to cover every inch of our skin behind the woollens. ‘First time in Canada eh?’, remarked the cabbie, closing the trunk of the cab. As he drove off on the right side of the road, we had our faces stuck to the inside of the windows. There was knee deep snow on the ground. The trees, the roof tops of the houses were all white. Jet lagged, anxious, cold we started our new life.
It didn’t take long to get over the anxiety. The thirty below cold temperatures were compensated for, by the warm heart of the people around us. Children switched ‘Zed’ for Zee. They discussed ‘Canucks’, ‘Flames’ and ‘Oilers’ now, in place of Manchester United. We carved pumpkins to decorate our house for Halloween. Guy Fawkes night remained a distant memory.
Years of living in this country has changed me too. I now know that a puck has no relationship with the duck family. I do not get impatient or honk the horn when waiting behind a truck in the middle of the road, to let the driver chitchat with the driver on the opposite side. After all it is only traffic being held behind me. Whenever I hear the expression ‘size of a loonie’, I do not look for my tape measure to run behind the bird to measure its dimension either. It is the dime being referred to not the bird.
Proudly decorating the Canadian flag, the Maple leaf is the emblem of Canada. Red and white are Canada’s official colours.
We celebrated ‘Canada Day’ on July first. I found this recipe in the People magazine. Their’s was the adult version, I have modified it to a family friendly version.
With watermelon available in plenty and the temperatures at high twenties, this sure was a party pleaser. I didn’t have an exact size lollipop handle, hence used my forks instead. Not only did it work well, it was a topic of hot discussion too.
Seedless Watermelon 2 to 3 lbs.
Honey 4 Tbsps
Water Half cup
Dried mint leaves 1 tsp
Maple leaf shaped cookie cutter
Lollipop sticks, if using 24
Slice the watermelon into 1/3 inch thick slices. Use the cookie cutter to stamp out the Maple leaves.
Boil the water and honey to make a syrup. Let it cool.
Pour this syrup into a baking dish, and soak the watermelon in a single layer for about 4 hours.
Insert a lollipop stick in the centre of each maple leaf, and sprinkle the dried mint leaves. Serve right away or slightly chilled in the fridge.
If using forks like i have done, I’d be careful biting into it.
You can use orange or any other juice instead of honey. If you are looking for the adult version, use any liquor of your choice.
I used dried mint leaves, as that’s what I had at home. Feel free to substitute it with fresh ones.