Oh Canada!

Mr. N in Ontario at 3-years. He couldn’t have been happier – there were Canada flags everywhere!

When Mr. N was about three years old he learned the Canadian national anthem. This may not seem unusual, except for the fact that we don’t live in Canada and we hadn’t taught Mr. N the song. One night, much to our surprise, he began singing the anthem as it played on TV at a sports event. Mike and I were rolling with laughter at Mr. N’s utter cuteness.

Turns out he picked up the song from a Hallmark e-card designed for Canada Day. Back when the cards were free they provided a great source of entertainment for Mr. N who liked to peruse the e-cards and send them to his grandparents – many of them just cracked him up to no end (And I could listen to his laughter all day – best belly giggle in the world!).

So when Mr. N learned that he was going to visit “Oh Canada,” as he called it, later that summer he was beyond excited. His first souvenir: a Maple Leaf flag. It still hangs on the wall of  his playroom today!

While Mr. N’s favorite thing about Canada is still the flag and anthem, he was also quite delighted with the attractions we discovered this summer including the Royal Ontario Museum, the Toronto Zoo and Casa Loma.

The spooky old tunnel to the stables underground at Casa Loma.

Miss A’s favorite thing about Canada, besides the lemon tarts, had to be the Centreville Amusement Park out on the Toronto Islands.

Miss A’s birthday this past summer at the Centreville Amusement Park.

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Welcoming Spring Russian Style

Miss A is our tour guide for the next two weeks and she’s taking us to the largest country in the world (and the largest pink country on her globe) – Russia. While there are Russian recipes a-plenty from which to choose,  today we picked a traditional dish to commemorate the start of spring (and one that was sure to please Mr. N and Miss A) – Blini.

Blini is a yeast-leavened, buckwheat pancake traditionally eaten during Shrovetide, an ancient Russian festival celebrating the beginning of spring and the god Volos. Today Blini is served anytime of the year, but is especially common at holiday celebrations. Continue reading