Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Prairie sky and dirty fingernails

Toronto is nice. People are friendly in the streets. There are hundreds of thoughtful parks in every neighbourhood. Precisely 99 public libraries are scattered through every part of town. Toronto is where I need to be, for dozens of reasons. Good reasons, like love and journalism.

But my heart isn’t in Toronto, with all this concrete and all these condos. It’s somewhere in the prairies, covered in garden dirt and watching the sun to set in an immense summer sky.

I don’t mean to sound so tragic. Toronto’s a great town. I just keep having to do little things that get my fingernails dirty, like scratching dogs behind the ears. It makes me feel better, closer to where I’m from.

Balcony gardens will also keep my fingernails dirty and my heart light. Friday, I seeded some spinach and arugula. June 12th was certainly late to seed greens, but with a balcony on the 16th floor, there’s be plenty of shade and cool breeze.

Smoked goldeye tartare
Just for one last dose of tragedy: I can’t make this anymore, because there is no goldeye in Ontario, as far I can tell. Goldeye is only found in freshwater lakes in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, making this a perfect prairie recipe, just so I can indulge in another dose of nostalgia, if I may.

The meat of 2 smoked goldeye fish, stripped of bones and cut into 1 cm cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 small jar (110 ml) capers, drained
1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
The juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve on wheat crackers or thinly sliced bread.

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