Olympic Games 2010: The Ultimate Multi-Cultural Event

The excitement of the Olympic Games 2010 is coming soon to Vancouver.  Here are some of the torch highlights.  Featured above is the arrival of the Olympic torch on the traditional first nations canoe.  Torchbearers from Sandspit to Skidegate to Queen Charlotte and on to Whitehorse handed the historic symbol from one Canadian to another.

Shania Twain lights the Torch in Toronto.  The singer  and  proud Canadian carried the Olympic torch the final 400 yards into Hollinger Park, cheered on by thousands of parka-clad fans who turned out in arctic.   Twain said of the moment, “It’s a highlight of my life to be able to carry the flame, to light the cauldron.”

Taylor Kitsch & Fitness: A Canadian Iron Man

Scene From Friday Night Lights

Canadian Taylor Kitsch melts a lot hearts as a fullback on NBC’s Friday Night Lights but his true athletic background is on the ice.  Born in Kelowna, British Columbia and raised in Vancouver, Kitsch is a former ice hockey player for Canadian BCHL.  He played for the Langley Hornets before a career ending knee injury.  Do you think Kitsch will be excited about the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver? We are guessing…yes. 

Fitness for Kitsch, did not stop with the injury or ending his role as an athlete on Friday Night Lights, the 28 year old never loss his devotion to fitness and health.  Before making it big, he became certified as a nutritionist and trainer.  His trade secrets to fitness is not really a secret.  Kitsch has gone on record to say, “displined eating and regular workouts.”  Moroever, he stays away from sugar and flour. 

He has graced the cover of Men’s Health and took time to discuss his support of fitness activities for kids.   Not just a man of words, Kitsch took part in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon which benefits the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Read About fellow Canadian Ryan Reynolds in the MCCN Celebrity Fitness Section

Article by Crystal A. Johnson

The History and Process Behind Maple Syrup

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Native Americans were the first to discover ‘sinzibuckwud‘, the Algonquin (a Native American tribe) word for maple syrup, meaning literally ‘drawn from wood’.

The Native Americans were the first to recognize the sap as a source of energy and nutrition. They would use their tomahawks to make V-shaped incisions in the trees. Then, they would insert reeds or concave pieces of bark to run the sap into buckets made from birch bark. Due to the lack of proper equipment, the sap was slightly concentrated either by throwing hot stones in the bucket, or by leaving it overnight and disposing with the layer of ice out which had formed on top. It was drunk as a sweet drink or used in cooking. It is possible that maple-cured bacon began with this process.

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Before the advent of Europeans, the Natives used clay pots to boil maple sap over simple fires protected only by a roof of tree branches. This was the first version of the sugar shack. Over the years, this evolved to the point where the sugar shack is not only a place where maple syrup is produced, but also a gathering place where a traditional meal can be enjoyed.

Maple syrup is a syrup usually made from the xylem sap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees, although it can also be made from other maple species. In cold climates, these trees store starch in their trunks and roots before winter; the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in late winter and early spring. Maple trees are tapped by drilling holes into their trunks and collecting the sap, which is processed by heating to evaporate much of the water, leaving the concentrated syrup. Most trees can produce 20 to 60 litres (5 to 15 US gallons) of sap per season

Winterlicious: Toronto Restaurant Week

Toronto’s Winterlicious is a great excuse to get out of the kitchen and into the dining rooms of 150 Toronto restaurants, including some of the best ethnic and international venues in the city.

This year’s Winterlicious will run from January 29th to February 11, 2010 and offer three-course prix fixe menus ranging from $15-25 for lunch and $25-45 for dinner. The following is a partial list of the many fine restaurants participating in a winter wonderland of bargain-priced dining. Read More at Winterlicious

Review by Heather Zorzini, Toronto Ethnic Restaurants Examiner

Read Restaurant Reviews for Toronto and other cities at: http://multiculturalcookingnetwork.com/restaurant-reviews.html

Regional Foods of Canada

Canada is the country with the bragging rights of the 2010 Winter Olympic but Vancouver is the city of the golden opportunity to host the event.  MCCN will provide detailed Olympic Coverage about the City of Vancouver, where and what to eat.  As for the country as a whole, we thought it would help to recognize what food are more common in certain parts of Canada and the cultural influence.

Canadian cuisine varies widely from region to region. Generally, the traditional cuisine of English Canada is closely related to British and American cuisine, while the traditional cuisine of French Canada has evolved from French cuisine and the winter provisions of fur traders.

The basis of both groups is on seasonal, fresh ingredients and preserves. The cuisine includes a lot of baked foods, wild game, and gathered foods. Prepared foods were still a novelty for recent rural generations, so there are some that are well-loved to the point of obsession[citation needed] — and which have come to dominate suburban diets. However, home-made, warming, and wholesome remain key adjectives in what Canadians consider their cuisine.

The cuisine of the western provinces is heavily influenced by British, German, Ukrainian, Polish, and Scandinavian cuisine. Noteworthy is the cuisine of the Doukhobors, Russian-descended vegetarians.

Waterloo Region, Ontario has a tradition of Mennonite and Germanic cookery.

Canadian Chinese cuisine is widespread across the country, with variation from place to place. The Chinese smorgasbord, although found in the U.S. and other parts of Canada, had its origins in early Gastown, Vancouver, c.1870 and came out of the practice of the many Scandinavians‘ working in the woods and mills around the shantytown getting the Chinese cook to put out a steam table on a sideboard, so they could “load up” and leave room on the dining table (presumably for “drink”). Ginger beef is a popular Chinese food originating from Western Canada. (Ginger Beef in photo)

 

The traditional cuisine of The Arctic and the Canadian Territories is based on wild game and Inuit and First Nations cooking methods; conversely bannock, which is popular across First Nations and Native American communities throughout the continent, is a method for making pan-fried bread introduced to their culture by Scottish fur traders. The cuisines of Newfoundland and the Maritime provinces derive mainly from British and Irish cooking, with a preference for salt-cured fish, beef, and pork. Ontario, Manitoba & British Columbia also maintain strong British cuisine traditions.

Vancouver Born Ryan Reynolds: Celebrity Fitness

His Background

No, his name is not Mr. Scarlett Johanssen but he was married to her.  Ryan Reynolds  is a Vancouver, Candian born actor increasingly rising in the ranks in Hollywood.  He has been on the scene for years with a humble beginning on Two Guys, A Girl and Pizza shop in the late 90’s.  However,  a high profile marriage and playing in a blockbuster film  opposite Sandra Bullock in The Proposal changes things. 

Ryan Reynold and Sandra Bullock -The Proposal

His Diet

His celebrity is not the only thing which has changed over the years.  Reynold’s diet and exercise regime changed as he prepared for roles in Blade Trinity and X-Men origins.   What worked for him in the diet department is eating every few hours.  It keeps the metabolism burning throughout the day.  According to bullyextreme.com, “Reynold diet consisted on clean and healthy foods.”  Egg whites and oatmeal were staples for Reynolds.  He also enjoys protein bars and protien shakes.  As for dinner, meals were prepared in advance and no carbs after 8PM.   This diet routine is not typical for Reynolds but he still works out as often as five days a week. 

To learn more about his diet and exercise routine plus check out more great pics of Ryan Reynolds, visit: http://munfitnessblog.com/how-to-build-body-like-ryan-reynolds/

Check out fellow hot Canadian Taylor Kitsch, in out Celebrity Fitness section:  Celeb Fitness Taylor Kitsh

Want to Get Fit? Live in LA, NY or DC- Take the BS &F 11 Day Fitness Challenge Bootcamp

History of Boxing Day

Boxing day was traditionally a day the servants had a day off from their duties. Because of this the gentry would eat cold cuts and have a buffet style feast prepared by the servants in advance. In modern times many families will still follow this tradition by eating a family style buffet lunch, with cold cuts rather than a full cooked meal. It is a time for family, parlour games and sports in the UK.

The traditional recorded celebration of Boxing Day has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions. The European tradition has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown and there are some claims that it goes back to the late Roman/early Christian era; metal boxes were placed outside churches used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen.[1]

In the United Kingdom it certainly became a custom of the nineteenth century Victorians for tradesmen to collect their “Christmas boxes” or gifts in return for good and reliable service throughout the year on the day after Christmas.[2] The exact etymology of the term “Boxing” is unclear, with several competing theories, none of which are clearly true.[3]

The establishment of Boxing Day as a defined public holiday under the legislation that created the UK’s Bank Holidays started the separation of ‘Boxing Day’ from the ‘Feast of St Stephen’ and today it is almost entirely a secular holiday with a tradition of shopping and post Christmas sales starting.- (Wikepedia)

Boxing day is celebrated in many countries, such as: England, Canada and South Africa.  However, it is not observed in the United States.

Toronto Will Your Fave Ethnic Restaurants Be Open X-mas Eve/Day?

Take a break from holiday hassles and enjoy lunch or dinner at some of the finest restaurants serving international and ethnic cuisine in Toronto. The following quality establishments are open at various times during the Christmas season.

Find out about the Chinese, French, Indian, Korean Thai and More Restaurants open during the holidays visit: http://www.examiner.com/x-29478-Toronto-Ethnic-Restaurants-Examiner~y2009m11d26-Some-of-Torontos-best-ethnic-and-international-restaurants-are-open-over-the-Christmas-season

Find more information at restaurants Toronto

Article by Heather Zorzini- Toronto Ethnic Restaurant Examiner

History and Celebration of Thanksgiving in Canada

Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day (Canadian French: Jour de l’Action de grâce), occurring on the second Monday in October, is an annual Canadian holiday to give thanks at the close of the harvest season. Although the original act of Parliament references God and the holiday is celebrated in churches, the holiday is also celebrated in a secular manner.

On January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed:

A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed … to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October. ”

About the Celebration:

As a liturgical festival, Thanksgiving corresponds to the English and continental European Harvest festival, with churches decorated with cornucopias, pumpkins, corn, wheat sheaves, and other harvest bounty, English and European harvest hymns sung on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend and scriptural selections drawn from biblical stories relating to the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot.[citation needed](Photo from faeries.finest.com)

While the actual Thanksgiving holiday is on a Monday, Canadians might eat their Thanksgiving meal on any day of the three-day weekend, though Sunday and Monday are the most common. While Thanksgiving is usually celebrated with a large family meal, it is also often a time for weekend getaways.

Canada’s top professional football league, the Canadian Football League, holds a nationally televised doubleheader known as the “Thanksgiving Day Classic.” It is one of two weeks in which the league plays on Monday afternoons, the other being the Labour Day Classic. Unlike the Labour Day games, the teams that play on the Thanksgiving Day Classic rotate each year.

History

Various First Nations in Canada had long-standing traditions celebrating the harvest and giving thanks for a successful bounty of crops. Canada’s First Nations and Native Americans throughout the Americas, including the Pueblo, Cherokee, Cree and many others organized harvest festivals, ceremonial dances, and other celebrations of thanks for centuries before the arrival of Europeans in North America.[6]

 

Canadian troops attend a Thanksgiving service in a bombed-out cathedral in Cambrai, France in October 1918

The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Pacific Ocean. Frobisher’s Thanksgiving was not for harvest but homecoming. He had safely returned from a search for the Northwest Passage, avoiding the later fate of Henry Hudson and Sir John Franklin. In the year 1578, he held a formal ceremony, in what is now the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to give thanks for surviving the long journey. The feast was one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations by Europeans in North America. Frobisher was later knighted and had an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in northern Canada named after him — Frobisher Bay.

At the same time, French settlers, having crossed the ocean and arrived in Canada with explorer Samuel de Champlain, in 1604 onwards also held huge feasts of thanks.

For info visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving_(Canada)