oh haddy cakes

Haddie cakes come but once—or twice—a year.

It’s kind of a French thing.

I have yet to find haddie in any US markets.  And if there is, I don’t think I want to know.  It wouldn’t be as special, you know?  This can comes all the way from New Brunswick, Canada.  A treasure brought home by Pepere, along with Oh Henry bars, rounds of fat balogna, and sweet cherry blossoms. 

I love you Canada.

I like to picture old French women (and probably their daughters) making a batch of haddie cakes for the “menfolk,” after a long hard day in the fields.  Tired, worn out hands rolling the soft, plump white globes into a flaky crumb crust.  Frying them in a pan of butter.  Enticing the entire family indoors, causing more than just a few tablewide stomach growls. 

Maybe I like to picture all of these things, because it’s a little like picturing my own life as a little girl.  Sitting eagerly at Memere’s dinner table, watching all of the pots and pans fly wild with buttery sizzles and splats.  There always seemed to be a can of haddie sitting in the back of her pantry.  It felt like such a lucky day, when she pulled out a can, made a batch of haddie cakes, and threw them into a pan of butter.  Dinner at Memere’s. 

A lucky day.

 

Haddie cakes are simple to make and involve an assembly line of sorts.  First the patties are made and rounded.  Then they’re doused in a coat of bread crumbs. 

And then they just sit and wait to be pan fried.

When I make haddy cakes, I go back and forth between using real butter and cooking spray.  Really, both methods are delicious, offering you different advantages.  The path of using cooking spray produces a cake that tastes much lighter.  Like something you could place on top of a bowl of wilted greens.  Or something you could eat in a pita sandwich for a light midday meal.

The butter method is obviously heavier.  Heartier.  Something you would put on the center of your plate, and call it your meal.  Just as is.

Tonight I went with the lighter version…

…because I wanted to serve them with coleslaw.

Just so you know, this is not your typical coleslaw.  It contains more yogurt than mayonnaise, which scared me just a bit.  But with some tweaking (and chilling!) I was pleasantly surprised.  Unfortunately, this recipe is from Moosewood Cookbook, and I can’t share the details.  But I can tell you that I’m working on my own version of coleslaw, which—of course—I will share with you once it’s ready. 😉

Haddie Cakes

Haddie is just a mixture of different types of fish.  Haddock, cold, or pollock.  You could easily substitute your favorite fish, either canned or fresh, if haddie is not available in your grocery store. 

This is a tried and true, very—very—simple recipe that I will always treasure.  I hope you enjoy! 😀

  • 1 can of chicken haddie  (14 oz.) or other favorite fish
  • 4 cups prepared mashed potatoes
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fine bread crumbs (I make my own with whole wheat bread)
  • cooking spray or butter
  1. Mix together: haddie, potatoes, egg, onion powder, salt and pepper until combined.  Coat with bread crumbs and “fry” on sprayed  or lightly buttered nonstick pan over medium heat until golden brown.  Flip once and continue cooking until heated thorough.
  2. Serve as is, or in a whole wheat pita with lettuce and tomato, over a salad, with coleslaw, et cetera.
  3. Enjoy! 😀

Question: Do you enjoy any “cultural” meals? 

a day in boston

I spent the day in Boston with Pepere.

Pepere is a Canadian citizen.  But he probably knows more about American politics—American history—than most people (certainly more than me!)  With that in mind, it only made sense to bring him into Boston while marveling at the landmarks.  Indulging in some historical chit-chat.

The State Capitol!! 

(look how tiny they seem in comparison! 😀 )

I’ve learned to eat with intention.  Mindfully.  Thoughtfully.  Slowly.

But I still have troubles with walking in this way.  Sometimes I walk faster than I run.  True story.

Today, Pepere slowed me down.  He noticed the peeling roof of an old building.  He noticed that we could see the Prudential Center from the park.  He noticed that there were still leaves on the trees, where there was nothing but bare branches back at home.

I slowed down.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the entire day was watching this giant tree get trimmed and prepped.

(p.s. I promised myself that I would never talk about Christmas before Thanskgiving, but, really, who was I kidding?  I’m a kid at heart.  Any sign of Christmas makes me dance inside. :mrgreen: )

Once the clouds came out, hiding every last trace of warmth, we mutually decided that it was time to eat.

I had no idea where my Dad was taking the group, but I decided to just roll with it.  He has good restaurant sense, and I knew well enough to just sit back and trust his judgement.

We walked into a place called Kinsale, a spot not far off from from Quincy Market.  A spunky little Irish Pub, filled with warmth and charm.  I loved it upon first glance.  I loved it even more when I saw the menu.

There was literally something for everyone.  From warm and comforting pot pies, to fish & chips, to salads & sandwiches.  The menu offered a wide and varied selection, which I love. 

Dad went with a rustic beef stew.

For my own entree, I chose the Crab Cake Salad.  Ever since eating at the Top of the Hub with my sister, I have been craving a gentle, delecate crab cake.  They’re not easy to find.  Most times they’re too meaty.  Or over salted.  Or just plain flavorless.

These crab cakes weren’t exactly what I remember tasting at the Top of the Hub, but they were still delicious.  And the rest of the salad was so exciting, that I was overall really pleased with my order.  Plantain chips.  Fresh mango.  Avocado.  A zingy citrus dressing.  Delicious! 

The plantain chips were by far my favorite part of this meal!

You know how some days just go by way too fast?  That was today.

Goodbye Boston.  I’ll see you again soon.

Question: What is your favorite city/town to visit?

Stuffed Zucchini

Everyone, I would like for you to meet my Pepere…

 

A few things you should know.  My Pepere grew up in New Brunswick, Canada.  He understands the concept of working hard for what you get.  He doesn’t let people walk all over him.  He likes to hear about my college and (future) career life.  He always encourages me, and when I start to get anxious about the dietetic internship, he simply says, “You can only do the best that you can do.  That’s it.  Worrying isn’t going to do anything.”

I learn a lot from my Pepere.

He also adds ketchup and peanut butter to everything—everything!  So now you know why I am the way I am.  In case you were ever wondering.

I spent my entire morning painting Pepere’s garage, and I couldn’t have been happier.  He paid me, despite the fact that I was shaking my head “no”.  He likes to pay his grandkids for working hard, whether that’s college or—in this case—painting.  What he doesn’t realize is that I’d be more then happy to just sit down to a good meal, while listening to him tell stories from his childhood in Canada.  The movie theatre that he worked in as a young teenager.  What he saw as a young man, living in Montreal.  How they managed to hunt down a full grown moose and haul it out from the thick Canadian woods (!!!)

Stories.  Lots and lots of stories.  I never grow tired of hearing them, and there always seems to be a new one to share.  I love it.

Oh, and the meal.  If my Memere were still around, she would have been so impressed with this stuffed zucchini that my mom made.  It’s Memere’s official “top secret” recipe, that my mom reluctantly shared with me for the blog.  I told her that you guys were all great cooks and would do this recipe proud if you ever decide to make it. 😉  We served it with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed carrots for a country-styled meal.

Bon Appetit! 😀

Stuffed Zucchini

  • 1-lb. lean hamburg
  • 1 very large zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 1 slice wet bread
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • parsley (a little)
  • small clove garlic
  • 1 T. parmesan cheese
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  1. Take out seeds of zucchini until it is hollowed out (but keep some of the fleshy part in there!) 
  2. Combine hamburg through parmesan cheese.
  3. Stuff hallowed out zucchini with the hamburg mixture.
  4. Add zucchini to roasting pan, and pour tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes on top.
  5.  Bake for 1-1/2 hr. at 375, or until zucchini is tender.

Question: Do you take after anyone in your family, with certain quirks, likes/dislikes, personality, etc?