Just as I finished the 50 States / 50 Bands / 50 Dishes project, indie musician Braden Barrie of Ontario, Canada, showed up among my Twitter followers. Either there’s a coincidence here, or this dude read me correctly, as I’d been considering a hasty run through Canada before calling it a day on geography.
Making a decision on Barrie’s project, SayWeCanFly (official site) was the easy part. Moody, introspective indie-type music, yet with a certain wistful upbeat quality on the choruses? Say, something that belongs on a weather-beaten farmhouse porch in rural Ontario, in some idyllic summer before the freshman year of college? No problem.
Canada is more challenging. Regional cuisines aren’t as clearly defined or as readily replicable as in the United States. Caribou? Think $20/lb at the boutique butcher. Fiddlehead ferns? Not in season. Butter tarts? My hips say no, and hips don’t lie.
However, Ontario has its “fresh, local ingredients” movement, and among the substances that are fresh and local is the cucumber. The deal was sealed when Barrie tweeted about stopping at a local farm stand for cucumbers and honey. Cukes it is! And this calls for cucumber cake (recipe from Honest Cooking). Preheat the oven to 350, brandish a cucumber menacingly, and let’s check out some tracks from Barrie’s new EP, Dandelion Necklace (buy on iTunes). Read the rest of this entry »