My husband and I spent a good portion of the weekend lounging around the house, talking about winter in Canada (In case you didn't know, my husband is Canadian).
My poor husband. I feel as though I'm constantly peppering him with questions about growing up there ("Where did you go tobogganing? Is that different than sledding?", "Does a hat have to have a pompom on the top to be considered a toque? How do you spell toque?", "What kind of cheese do they use to make poutine?", etc...)
He's patient (or pretends to be), and he tries to answer all of my thousands of stupid questions, but I can tell it gets annoying to him after a while. I can't help myself...I find his Canadianness adorable - it's very endearing ♥
Of course I can't mention winter in Canada without talking about Winterlude in his hometown of Ottawa (we're going again this year - we can't wait!)
I love Ottawa and especially during winter. Winterlude runs for three weeks in February in Ottawa and features:
Ice sculpture contests...
Snow sculpture contests...
a playground made of snow, and of course ice skating on the world's longest outdoor skating rink, the Rideau Canal! So much fun!
And I can't talk about Winterlude and ice skating on the Canal without mentioning BeaverTails!
BeaverTails are Canadian pastries, basically flattened donuts (shaped like a beaver's tail) and dusted with cinnamon sugar, chocolate, or fruit toppings (great with hot chocolate!)
There's no question that my husband misses so many things Canada...and one of the things he misses most is the food!
I found the following recipe for BeaverTails online a few years ago that's really good. It's very close to the real deal!
"Beaver Tails" Recipe
" If you ever visited Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, in the winter months on the Rideau Canal, which is the longest skating rink in the world, they serve a sweet pastry, that is essentially a flat doughnut with sugar on top."
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 5 teaspoons dry yeast
- pinch of sugar
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup oil
- 4 1/4 - 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- oil for frying
- granulated sugar for dusting
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast, warm water and pinch of sugar. Allow to stand a couple of minutes to allow yeast to swell or dissolve.
Stir in remaining sugar, milk, vanilla, eggs, oil, salt and most of flour to make soft dough. Knead 5-8 minutes (by hand or with a dough hook), adding flour as needed to form a firm, smooth, elastic dough. Place in a greased bowl.
Place bowl in a plastic bag and seal. (If not using right away, you can refrigerate the dough at this point). Let rise in a covered, lightly greased bowl, about 30-40 minutes. Gently deflate dough, (if dough is coming out of the fridge, allow to warm up about 40 minutes before proceeding).
Pinch off a golf ball sized piece of dough. Roll out into an oval and let rest, covered with a tea towel, while you are preparing the remaining dough.
Heat about 4 inches of oil in fryer (a wok works best but you can use a Dutch oven or whatever you usually use for frying). Temperature of the oil should be about 385 F. Test by tossing in a tiny bit of dough and see if it sizzles and swells immediately. If it does, the oil temperature is where it should be.
Stretch the ovals into a tail - thinning them out and enlarging them as you do. Add the beaver tails to the hot oil, about 1-2 at a time.
Turn once to fry until the undersides are deep brown. Lift beaver tails out with tongs and drain on paper towels.
Fill a large bowl with a few cups of white sugar . Toss beaver tails in sugar (with a little cinnamon if you wish) and shake off excess.