December 1, 2008

Canada Coincidences

It’s ironic that we live in Canada because we have always had positive vibes about this country and the people. While we’ve had a few logistical challenges since moving here, most of the people we have met have been more than helpful.

As a kid, Kish traveled to the northwest part of Canada and always enjoyed it for the scenery and the “pretty money.” We honeymooned in Calgary/Lake Louise starting New Year’s Eve/Day in January 1991. A few years later we took a memorable trip to Alaska via Vancouver. A year or so after moving to Kansas City in 1996, we met a wonderful family from Montreal – the Lobo/Maheu family. In essence, we’ve switched places. They are the Canadians in the US and we are now the Americans in Canada. We spent a lot of time with Neile and Suzanne talking about politics, culture and school. Neile and Suzanne have a beautiful daughter Caroline – who was in kindergarten when we met her and is now in high school – with special needs. This was the first time as parents we were around a child with special needs and we watched with admiration everything that Neile and Suzanne did on a daily basis to advocate and plan for their daughter. Little did we know that we would find ourselves in similar shoes a year later.

Then we get to Naperville and have Canadian neighbors, The Moore’s, who have since moved back to Canada. A few years later we met Tim and Brooke Karbonik -- Tim is from Canada and spent several years of his childhood in Montreal. And as it turns out, a childhood friend of Tim’s has a niece who attends Danielle’s school in the same grade. What a small world as there are only 40 girls in the 9th grade. Coincidence?

So here we are in Montreal. Our kids have common French names and we continue to scratch our heads at the coincidences we think of from time to time. Oh -- and of course – we can’t forget the fact that Duke is a Canadian Field Labrador.

Another strange occurance – on Thanksgiving Day I wanted to make an apple and the best pie ever is one Suzanne shared with me while in Kansas City. I had to email her on Thanksgiving because I could not find one of the several copies I have gathered throughout the years. Later Thanksgiving night, long after we enjoyed the pie, I was unpacking a box, and the original handwritten copy from Suzanne fell out of a non-cookbook book. Coincidence? (I’m thrilled to have the recipe in Suzanne’s handwriting – with computers and Google searches I feel like we don’t have handwritten recipes any more).

We always find it a coincidence that this symbolic American pie comes from our Canadian friend. We made it for Thanksgiving and Suzanne gave us the permission to share this recipe. Really, it’s amazing and worth a try….

Suzanne’s “All-American” Apple Pie
7 apples (tart apples work best)
3 tbs sugar
3 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbs cornstarch, sifted
1 tbs lemon rind
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs butter
1 beaten egg

Peel and core the apples. Slice them but leave them chunky. Add the sugars, cinnamon, sifted cornstarch, lemon rind and lemon juice. Mix and put in a crust. Dot the butter on the top of the apples and add the second pastry. Brush egg on top and make slices so the steam can vent. Cook at 400 for 40-45 minutes. Check often after 30 minutes.

Bon appetite!

P.S. We think the pie is even better the next day, if it lasts that long.

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