I don't think it's a big secret that I'm part Canadian. What? You didn't know that? Ok, not really, but I often feel like it. I truly adore Canada, travel there often (bridge traffic doesn't scare me), and have often day dreamed of relocating there. So this weeks cookies are in part a tribute to Canada and the Vancouver games since watching the CTV coverage is making me long for 'home.'
The main cookie that went to both Gilda's and Ronald McDonald House were Maple Leaf Butter Cookies. Thin, mapley, a little crispy, a little chewy and very tasty.
And in keeping with the Olympic theme I also made a light Chai Shortbread. Ok, you're right, they have nothing to do with the Olympics, but I'm trying to stick with a theme ...
I think as Americans we tend to take Canada for granted and don't really give them the credit they deserve. They are by nature so unassuming and mild mannered - perhaps as a nation they've had their senses dulled by all that beer and their obsession with hockey. Unlike ourselves, they don't typically set out to remind the world of all they've done, but, you know we've got a lot of good reasons to love Canada. Our borders can be blurred and we tend to forget and not give them credit for all the great things they've given us. Sure there's always been Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young & John Candy, not to mention that whole 'Right Turn on Red' thing. I grew up having Canada to thank for Michael J Fox, Jim Carrey and Celin Dion (did I say 'thank?' Maybe I meant 'blame' on that last one! :). But there's SO much more - there's people and things that should be more famous and more popular than they are, but because they're Canadian, they typically sit just to the edge of the spotlight, off the radar, and are never given their proper due.
But when you think about it, there's a lot of things that should take center stage - and if you take the time to give it a taste, or a look or a listen, I think it would be hard to argue against the true merit of things like: Coffee Crisp (and anything Cadbury, for that matter), Tim Horton's, Bobcaygeon, Hockey Night in Canada, the Barenaked Ladies (even though Tyler Stewart is from Buffalo!), Mckintosh's Toffee, Wayne Gretzky (that one's for my brother Paul ;), and of course, the reason everyone feels familiar around the Maple Leaf - Molson's & Labatts - and the list goes on...
Now, I have to confess, as much as love I Canada, I think I may have to give up my honorary citizenship - if it hasn't already been revoked for dissing curling in an earlier post, then surely for reversing the colors on their flag - oops, that's supposed to be a RED Maple Leaf on a WHITE background, with RED stripes on the sides - call it, 'artistic impression.' Even if all that can be forgiven, I'm certain they would draw the line at my rooting for the USA in the hockey game the other night - the cockiness of the Canadians, while quite uncharacteristic and unappealing, forced the USA into the unlikely role of 'underdog,' so I had no choice.
They can have old Wayne with his big new head of hair, cause we've got
scraggly Ryan Miller, and he is amazing and I am glad. So no matter how much I profess my love for Muskoka, Anne Murray, Don Cherry or Rickard's Red; you just can't come between Canadians and their hockey ... right? I mean ... eh?
Here goes, a very blatant rip off of the Julie/Julia project - but without the daily study and committment and hopefully far less butter and cream!
For the 52 weeks of 2010 I'm going to bake a batch (or two) of cookies each week and provide them to various local charities and residential non-profits. It's a bit self serving - I get to do what I love - baking - and then get to avoid what I love a bit too much - eating! It's a near ideal scenario for me. Hopefully along the way I'll get to meet some great people, test out some new recipes and broaden my baking and presentation techniques. I'll continue to tweak recipes to improve the nutritional value and then I'll give them away, to who, exactly, I'm not so sure just yet but I'm working on it.
Life gets busy, but to spend an hour or two week to throw together a batch of homemade cookies to give to folks that might be going through a hard time seems like a pretty small contribution to society but maybe, just maybe, it'll change the world, one batch at a time ... to be continued ...