Crabbing in Victoria

First of all, a happy belated new year! How has 2012 been treating you so far? I’ve started a new job, and thus the lack of updates. Sorry!

Pinkydoodles, Egg-tart and I had a good Christmas and New Year. Just lots of yummy food and drinks. We watched the fireworks from our apartment in KL. Wonderful.

Well, we are almost up to speed as to where I should be blogging soon. This will be the last post about Canada (for now).

Man, I’m longing for a quiet boating experience like how I did on Vancouver Island in Canada.

So, in the East of Canada, we stayed with my uncle and aunt on Victoria Island. This is the view from my uncle’s canoe. It was peaceful and not too cold for an autumn’s day. Super sunny means a great time to go crabbing!

Just plonk a crab cage with some chicken meat as bait into the ocean. Then canoe back to the shore and enjoy a cup of tea (yes, my aunt and uncle’s house is just by the seaside!). An hour later, my uncle and I took the boat out again to collect the cage. Voila! Dungeness crabs for dinner.

By the way, you need a license to fish crabs, and only of a certain size can you take them. Small ones we threw back.

So our first try was good. However, our luck ran out after that. The rest of the afternoon we got something else and it scared the crabs away.

Damn you, starfish! We caught so many of these big echinoderms.

No matter, the canoeing was so fun and the water was so clear I could see the bottom of the sea.

So come dinner time, we cooked up a crab feast. Well when I say we, I mean my uncle.

Man I wished I wrote down what was the recipe. All I know is it’s got a bit of curry powder, and things you’d put in for chilli crab. Hey uncle, if you are reading this, maybe you can tell me the recipe? 🙂

The crabs were served in the wok. It was so yums!

To drink, Papa Salvatore selected:

Inniskillin Okanagan Chardonnay 2009. Yep, Inniskillin is also found in British Columbia. This chardonnay was good. Smooth, bit of oakyness and goes so well with the crab.

Since my aunt likes a more sweet wine, this was selected: Niersteiner Spatlese, late harvest. It was indeed sweet, but not sickeningly so and mildly floral. I really don’t like sweet wine, but this was quite drinkable.

We sat down and ate in silence for a while, savouring the juicy crabs. It was that good. Pair it with some lovely chilled wine, it became fantastic!

Crab fishing was so much fun. I wish I could go back there soon and do it again.

OK. Until next post. Adios!

-M.

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Niagara winery: Inniskillin

Can you believe this view???

When in Canada, you should visit this wonderful place at least once. The scenery is breathtaking!

Since this is a food blog, I’m obviously ain’t gonna stop at showing you this natural wonder. Nearby, in a place called Niagara-on-the-lake, you will find lots of winery dotted around. We went to one of the most famous Canadian winery, called Inniskillin.

Inniskillin is most famous for its icewine. Apparently, they beat many of the European winery when competing in this category.

The tour of the winery costs only $5. Cheap if you compare that with wine tours in Europe. Here’s our guide showing us the grapes for icewine.

Apart from icewine, they also grow other grapes such as Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. I was surprised that Pinot Noir was able to survive Canadian climate.

They let us try the Pinot Noir grape. Yums.

After the tour of the winery (this included the usual tour of cellar, where you see all the vats and barrels of wine being stored.) it was time for the wine tasting. Unfortunately, we found that with the exception of the icewine, the wine given were a real let down. So what was all the fuss about Inniskillin? (apart from the icewine).

Well of course we went on to try their other wines on offer inside their shop, for a small fee.

Here’s the pretty cosy interior of the shop.

The wine list on offer.

My, what a difference they were from the wine that was served.  I’m sorry, but old world wine still trumps new world when it comes to blending good reds in general. We all agreed that their whites were pretty good though. Here are the ones we think were worth buying:

1. Pinot Noir Rose. They may not have made the best red Pinot Noir, but their Rose was pretty smooth and fruity. Perfect for those who   are just starting on wines or those who like the sweeter, fruitier wines.

2. Three Vineyards Chardonnay. Crisp white that is blended just fine. A little oaky yet subtle sweetness. I’m not the biggest fan of chardonnay but this one is very drinkable.

3. The best of the whites I think is this 2010 Legacy Riesling. Dry yet mineral wine but easy on the acidity. I love this one. Of course, this had to be more expensive than the other two! LOL.

By the end of the day, a crate of rose and half a dozen of the Riesling were bought (Sugamama’s bf is the major buyer here, since we can’t be bringing so much wine with us.) A very good and tipsy day out. I have to say that the tour was only so-so, very basic talk on wine so is good for beginner wine buffs. Well, for a fiver I don’t think you get much better deal than this, though. If you are a big wine fan like Papa Salvatore, then go there, skip the tour, and give the wines a taste at their bar. Five bucks can get you several tasters!

-M.

 

UPDATE: I meant to put this up but I forgot. Here is a short and dizzy video of me on the boat going into the Horseshoe Fall in Niagara.

Oktoberfest, Kitchener-Waterloo

I know I know, it is December already. I would like to mention about the Oktoberfest I experienced while I was in Waterloo/Kitchener since it was my first ever going to an Oktoberfest. Man, why didn’t I go to Germany when I was in the UK? I could have gone to the Oktoberfest there.

Anyway, in the former town of Berlin (that’s the old name for Kitchener-Waterloo I was told), the first wave of immigrants were from Germany, hence the name of the town. The name of the place was changed, but some of the culture was retained, hence the Oktoberfest.

I was told the Oktoberfest here is the second biggest in the world, and so we could not miss the opportunity to go. Unfortunately, the night that we went was a STUDENT’S NIGHT.

The festhallen were full of young people (many drunks came in later). The music was so loud I wondered if this makeshift tent hall was a night club. There was one or two “traditional” Oktoberfest songs played, but after that the clubbing music started.

Here’s Sugamama pouring beer into our complimentary plastic mug for a more Oktoberfest feel. Looks like an advert for Bingeman’s. For the record, Canadian ale is more like an IPA than the typical British ale. The lager type beer is ok, but I prefer German beer still. Too bad didn’t have any here.

After witnessing police arresting a few drunks, girls waving mugs of beer around (and then drenching themselves with it) and had one of the worst sauerkraut in history, we quit the festival early. So glad too as we left the tent, Back Street Boys was being played inside. Oh dear.

Maybe if we had gone on another night (like for seniors…?) we would have enjoyed this festival season. But I think we out grew the teenage/early 20’s drunk party mayhem of our time. So next time, Kitchener-Waterloo. I’ll be back again to experience the real Oktoberfest…

…or maybe I should just go to Munich.

-M.

St. Jacob’s Market, Waterloo

So on with my journey in the East of Canada. Waterloo is a small town possibly most famous for the makers of Blackberry, RIM. There is a farmer’s market every Thursday nearby, and so Sugamama brought me and the parents to have a look at the produce mainly from this group of people called the Mennonites.

The entrance of the market was aptly decorated with corn stalks since it was autumn. Signs were proudly shown to have several countries I think to signify the influence of culture in this market.

More autumn themed decorations around the market.

To be honest, I did not know Mennonites exist until I came here. I only thought there were Quaker and Amish colonies. Look at the fresh sweet corn. Going for real cheap too. There were so much to see here. Lots of fresh produce from the Mennonites, including honey and maple. There was also cooked food and other non-grocery items like flowers, pots and clothes being sold.

For lunch, we had pork and chips (uh, fries) from this shop. I saw the sign for pigtails and I wanted to try it since I haven’t had anything like that before.

Here’s our lunch. Sugamama tried the ribs (picture above), while I had that pigtail (below). It was good! Two old men sat opposite us on the bench enjoying their pigtails (away from their wives they said, as they were not allowed to eat pigtails) and were like “I’ve never seen anyone eat a pigtail with such manners before. You gotta get in there!” Yeah yeah, I just feel self-conscious about using my hands in public.

And for dessert: Apple Fritters! The shop is in the covered part of the market.

The sourness of the apples were balanced out by some simple vanilla ice cream. Sugamama just loved this combo.

We went back happy with a large bag of corn and some fruits from the market.

-M. (and Sugamama)

Happy Belated Canadian Thanksgiving

Oh hey, it’s been a while. Just a quick update though. Been having fun in Toronto city in Canada and got to have a thanksgiving dinner with some Canadian and Malaysian people.

So Canadian thanksgiving is like a couple weeks earlier than the USA one. Our thanksgiving dinner was somewhat a mix of food cultures: Malaysian, Chinese, and even Russian. Oh there is that turkey as well (it’s already been sliced up). Can you spot what’s what in this photo? Btw, I didn’t cook these.

Also, the weekend weather was great. We got to wear summery clothing for a while. Here’s a picture of Ontario Lake from Toronto.

I still forgot which side of the road I should be looking and also not to get into the driver’s seat. The buildings here also seem so spread out. But all in all, this city is nice to be in. Some more updates when I find the time to write them. Till then, I hope other members of Teambudu will pitch in.

-M (with Sugamama).