Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Regional Canadian Food: Hodge Podge

I really wasn't sure what regional food I should write about, so last week, I asked my many expat friends what Canadian foods they miss. The answers were really interesting (and might provide ideas for future posts). Along with many, many varieties of junk food for savoury and sweet cravings, here are some of the things that were listed:
- for the Prairie folks: Taber corn (the super-sweet corn grown in Taber, Alberta), saskatoons, Alberta beef, green onion cakes, pierogies, cabbage rolls
- for the maritimers: seafood (crab cakes, fish cakes, scallops, mussels, lobster), Hodge Podge, blueberry grunt, donairs
- butter tarts, Nanaimo bars, cucumber / sweet pickles, maple syrup

Hodge Podge

Since it's about now that new potatoes and green beans appear at farmers' markets, I'll share my recipe for Hodge Podge. This is a classic early-summer Nova Scotian dish, and every family makes it a little differently, depending on the veggies that grow in their garden (or their local farms'). Here's how I make it:
- 1 cup fresh green and/or yellow string beans, washed, ends snapped off
- 12 fresh new potatoes (the smaller the better), washed, skin left on
- 12 baby carrots, washed & peeled (I find more overwhelms the other flavours)
- 1 zucchini, washed and sliced into coins
Throw it all into a saucepan on the stove with 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, and cook until fork-tender (about 10 minutes). Reduce heat and stir in a cup of whole milk, a couple of pats of butter, some fresh chives, and salt and pepper to taste. 

I serve this as a side dish (it serves 4-6). I've seen versions of this that add cooked seafood at the end; Out Of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens calls for the addition of salt pork. You can also vary which vegetables you use and what fresh herbs you add.

This post is part of the Canadian Food Experience project (also on Facebook) proposed by my friend Valerie Lugonja, who is a board member of Slow Food Edmonton. The project began June 7th, 2013. As we (participants) share our collective stories across the vastness of our Canadian landscape through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity through the cadence of our concerted Canadian voice. Please join us. 

No comments:

Post a Comment