Sunday, December 27, 2009

Beebewitz Blog, Holiday Edition Part 3

I would start this entry with, "I hurt" again if it wasn't boring and redundant (not to mention whiny and cry-babyish). However, I started my December 22 entry with those exact words, and the Blogger Rule Book forbids using an opening line more than once. Too bad, because I really do hurt all over. Again.

You guessed it. I bashed around the hockey rink with teenagers again yesterday. Some people never learn. The bright side is that I prevented a few pucks from entering our net. I also practiced my 'giraffe-on-rollerblades' pirouettes, much to the amusement of my Canadian-born wife, who started skating a week after taking her first baby steps. The down side is that my shins ache (from stopping pucks) and the rest of me aches (from crashing into anything that didn't get out of the way fast enough). It's been a great holiday so far.

The day before yesterday we spent the afternoon with family from Thunder Bay, roasting hotdogs and bannock over an open fire. The weather was snowy and mild, contrary to the Farmer's Almanac's gloomy forecast of bitterly cold and dry. In between hot chocolate and pigs-in-a-blanket, various family members took excursions around the lake on skis or snowshoes. I spent most of the time foraging for dry firewood, but managed to get some food and fun in between. Definitely a more relaxing holiday than playing hockey.

You'll get nearly 300,000 hits Googling 'bannock recipe,' so I won't offer you our own (especially since we don't really use a recipe) but I will offer you my not-so-secret recipe for bannock pigs-in-a-blanket. If you are really stuck and don't know how to use Google or type 'bannock recipe,' you can click here for one that is similar to ours, except that we use either butter or lard instead of oil (cut it into the flour, don't melt it). If you are going to cook it using the boring indoors method, you might as well just make biscuits. Bannock isn't really bannock unless it's done on a stick over an open fire.

Bannock Pig-in-a-Blanket
(Warning! If you are very hungry, eat a hamburger first!)
  1. Make some bannock dough in the comfort of your warm, dry kitchen (if you really want to savour the experience, you can mix the ingredients by the open fire . . . nah, don't bother).
  2. Form dough balls about the size of small Christmas oranges (or over-sized golf balls), and put in a tupperware container.
  3. Gather other important stuff for the excursion: hot dogs or smokies, hot chocolate and cups, and some honey. Pack it all in a backpack.
  4. Head out to some quiet wilderness area and build an open fire (don't use your son's flint and steel that he got for Christmas, unless you are experienced and had two hamburgers).
  5. Put a hotdog or smoky (the 'pig') on a stick, and form the bannock into a blanket around it. (this takes some time and care . . . I told you to eat a hamburger first). The hotdog should be completely covered by a seamless and very thin layer of dough.
  6. Find a spot on the fire that has a good bed of coals. Rotate the pig-in-a-blanket over the coals until the dough is golden brown. Don't be in a hurry (aren't you glad you had that hamburger first?). The biggest mistake people make is succumbing to impatience, and you end up with blackened shell, covering raw dough and a cold hotdog.
  7. If it's done properly, the hotdog will flavour the bannock very nicely.
  8. Eat the pig-in-a-blanket off of the stick. You can't put mustard or ketchup on it, because I didn't tell you to bring any.
  9. For dessert: Make another plain bannock by forming it over the stick into a long, slender shape, somewhat thinner than a hotdog. Make sure it covers the stick seamlessly right over the end.
  10. Roast it golden brown (now that you've had a hamburger and a hotdog you won't be impatient).
  11. Slide it carefully off the stick.
  12. Dribble some honey in the hole and let it melt into the bannock (now you know why you had to bring honey).
By the way, there really is no Blogger's Rule Book. We just write whatever we want, whenever we want to.

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