Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fishing on the Great Lakes

Great Lakes Perch

The Great Lakes comprise the largest body of water for fresh water fish. We live on the Great Lakes waterways with the water's edge at our back door and we also boat so fishing just comes naturally. We commonly catch pickerel, bass (large and small mouth) and perch from our dock, a few fishing holes and occasionally from the boat. Bass season is wonderful! There are several areas that combine a marina with a campground. So in the wee hours of the morning the campers are awakened as the bass boats head out for a day of fishing. They return mid afternoon then all is quite until dusk then they fire up these huge cast iron fry pans and the party begins. They gladly share some of their catch. It is an every night fish fry!

In the early spring Lake Erie is the place to head for fresh smelt. Smelt are a bit bigger than finger sized fish that are a pain to clean but make for a tasty pan fried meal. You can fish for smelt or simply buy it but virtually all the restaurants along the Canadian edge of Lake Erie will have smelt on the menu. The rivers and tributaries draining in the surrounding area provide more fishing opportunities as well. Fishing for catfish is a rather popular activity so it is common to see folks sitting along the bridges spanning creeks and streams along the roads.

None of the fish mentioned are clearly Canadian and of course there are a lot of kinds of fish available in the Great Lakes that I haven't mentions. What is Canadian on the plate pictured from one of our fish fries is the French fry sauce. Instructions for frying the fish can be found on my cooking blog here and here. The dip pictured is Fry Dip made simply with Miracle Whip® or mayonnaise and enough prepared yellow mustard to give a creamy yellow colour. This is wonderful on French fries and something specific to Canada. If you don't want a heavy dip for your fries then another favourite fry condiment is white vinegar. You will find it in little carafes in restaurants along with malt vinegar (English influence) and in little packets at the fast food restaurants. Some border town American restaurants will have white vinegar for fries but not very often and once you get beyond a mile or two of the border forget it.


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