Saturday, July 1, 2017

Oh Canada's 150th (And a Recipe)

Happy 150th birthday, Canada!  You aren't my native land, but you are only around 180 miles from where I live in upstate New York.

I haven't visited you, Oh Canada, since 2008.

My loss.

I wanted my Canadian readers to know how much I love their country.  I love your 150th logo, too, despite the fact that it had its share of controversy.

The best part of Canada Day, for me, is the custom of cities and towns serving Canada Day cake.  Although not traditional, I bet this easy dump cake would make a great birthday cake.  It's relatively low in calories, too.

1 box angel food cake mix
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple in juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or 175 degrees C if you are in Canada).  Mix the two ingredients.  Pour into a 9 x 13 cake pan, greased.  Bake until golden brown.  Cool before serving.

If I was making this into an American Independence Day cake, I would serve with strawberries and blueberries.  But, it sounds so good, I may just bake it today (despite the heat and humidity).

Speaking of independence, I wanted to share my only Canada Day experience with you.

For many, many years I took Independence Day for granted.  I shouldn't have - I grew up in a neighborhood where a lot of Holocaust survivors had settled, and I met other immigrants - from Cuba, from Romania, from China.

But I had never spent an Independence Day away from the United States until 2008, when my spouse and I found myself leaving the United States for Canada, on our way to Saint John, New Brunswick.

We had always wanted to see the Bay of Fundy, and that was the week my spouse was able to get off - the week following July 4.

At the U.S./Canada border, a Canadian border agent questioned our motives for visiting Canada and looked at us funny - like we were about to commit some kind of crime.  Why, after all, would two Americans want to leave their country on July 4, this most important day in our history?

We were finally allowed in, and quickly realized we were in a place where July 4 was simply the day between July 3 and July 5.  No big deal.  And, we realized, there would be no fireworks.  No parades.  No nothing.  Crickets.

Well, we had asked for it, leaving our native land.  It did feel a bit lonely, I admit.

I love fireworks.  I love 4th of July fireworks even better.  What had I been thinking? But, so be it.

After a long drive, we arrived at our lodgings in downtown Saint John, New Brunswick. We wandered down to the waterfront, hungry.  After deciding on a restaurant, we sat at an outdoor table and put our order in.   And then we overheard the people at the next table, excited about the fireworks Saint John was going to have, a short walk away, that night.

July 4 fireworks in Canada?

It turned out that we had arrived on the first decent day in July.  The Canada Day fireworks had been delayed by rain on July 1.  And on July 2.  And on July 3.

July 4?  The weather finally cleared up.

So, that evening, my spouse and I stood in a patriotic crowd of Canadians who celebrated their birthday, three days late, with fireworks.  Somehow, I felt right at home.

I'm so glad they held their fireworks up just so we could join them on July 4.  Who says Canadians aren't some of the friendliest people in the world?

So, once again, Canada, happy 150th birthday wishes from this American.

Day 1 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost

21 comments:

  1. When I arrived in Victoria, BC for my son's wedding, the customs agent wanted to know why they didn't get married in Michigan. Guess he missed the lecture on tourism dollars and hospitality.

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    1. Maybe the grumpy customs agent I ran into got transferred?

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  2. I can so relate to this! One year I spent July 4th in London. It was odd to think about the significance of that once it dawned on us that it's not something they celebrate! In my defense, I was young.

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    1. This (and my experience) reminds me of the joke from my childhood "Is there a fourth of July in England?" We would say no, and the retort was, "so, what day comes between the 3rd and the 5th?" Funny how we grow up with certain beliefs.

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  3. You are doing better than me, I haven't been to Canada since 1977. I love your story about visiting the country on the 4th.

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    1. I think we are both overdue for a visit.

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  4. Happy 150 Birthday to our good neighbor Canada!

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    1. I hope we can remain on good terms for many years to come.

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  5. Replies
    1. It was, Songbird. But it was also a long, uphill climb to our lodgings - who knew that Saint John was hilly? My knees would not be happy now.

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  6. Happy birthday to beautiful Canada .God has a way of taing care of things we really want!Glad you could celebrate.

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  7. I've never been to Canada, but we're planning a trip there next Summer. I'm really looking forward to it. I can't wait to try that cake! My family will love it.

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    1. I am going to make the cake tomorrow, and will post the results on July 4. Looking forward to it.

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  8. I love the dump cake you posted! Happy Birthday Canada!!

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    1. Happy it sounded good. I have to admit, for someone who used to do only scratch baking, dump cakes and brownie mixes are more my speed nowadays.

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  9. I'm overdue for a visit to Canada, too, which is a bit wacky, seeing that the border is about five miles from my house, lol.

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    1. I understand completely, Alice. People travel from all over the United States to visit April the Giraffe of former Internet fame. I am an April fan, live 30 minutes away - the number of my visits so far - zero.

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  10. Wow. That was very cool that you got to see fireworks anyway! I too love Canada. I'm from Michigan and they are only a bridge or a tunnel away and I absolutely love it there. Great people, great country. Happy Birthday to them!

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    1. I just saw a film on the tunnel between Windsor and Detroit. Who knew? I haven't visited Michigan in forty years! Where did the time go?

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  11. The fireworks worked out in your favor. Cool.

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