Pemmican – not just for dinner anymore!
This is a very exciting post, because it’s my participation in the “Great Canadian Blog Bash.”
Apparently a whole mess of Canadians are sharing a Canadian themed post, and then hopping around to check them all out. I’m in.
But then I had to decide what Canadian thing to blog about. Hm. My thing is cooking unconventional foods and trying to make them delicious, so I needed an unconventional Canadian food. The challenge with “Canadian” food is that it always comes from somewhere else, unless it comes from the First Nations. My weird food wheels started churning – caribou? Bear? Where would I get some? Seal? Whale? Same problem (and I don’t think I could do it). Then my ever-so-useful grade 8 diorama-grade memories kicked in, and I thought of pemmican.
The only problem was that after reading about it, it seemed disgusting. Apparently the Inuit would throw together some solidified animal fat, dried powdered meat, and dried fruit, and then they were good to go for weeks at a time, without any carbs or veg. Functional, maybe, but flavourful? (check out that “u” in flavour, Canadians. I’ll throw you a little zed action while I’m at it). I’ve said it before – yes, I eat weird stuff, but this isn’t Fear Factor. My goal is to eat delicious new things, not to puke on a regular basis.
So I decided to think outside the igloo, and modernized things a little. Instead of animal fat, I went with butter. Toffee, even. I threw in a little chocolate, because you know that if the Inuit could have gotten their mitts on a little Nestles they sure as hell would have. I needed dried meat, so I went with the tastiest crispy meat I know, which is bacon (and no, not “Canadian” bacon, because we all know that if most Canadians are faced with a bacon decision, they’ll horfe down the regular stuff, and that we call the alternative “peameal.”). And lastly, instead of dried fruit, I added…wait for it…dried fruit. And here’s the deliciousness that it became:
Toffee bars with bacon and craisins (aka Dessert Pemmican)
Makes 32 bars. Toffee bars based on the recipe here
- 1C butter, softened
- 1C brown sugar, packed
- 1tsp vanilla
- 1 egg yolk
- 2C all purpose flour
- 1/4tsp salt
- 1/2 pack bacon, pre-pan-cooked until very crispy
- 1.5 handfuls of craisins
- 1 package chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
Directions: Preheat to 350. Mix butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg yolk together well. Add flour. Press into ungreased 13x9x2″ rectangular pan (another Canadian shout-out – we like metric-type stuff, but most baking/cooking, pool temperatures, fevers, hair cut lengths, heights, and bodyweights are spoken in Fahrenheit, inches, feet, and pounds). Anyway, here’s what the recipe looks like to this point:
Bake 25 to 30 minutes until light brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Wait 5 minutes until the chips melt, and then spread them with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with craisins and bacon pieces immediately.
Slice into bars while still warm. And that’s it! You’ve never had such delicious pemmican.
Results: This recipe was yum, eh? I served it to some mums from school, and it was a rocky mountain sized hit. Don’t skimp on the bacon and craisins, because the recipe isn’t the same without them. Rating: 5 yums, our highest praise for a recipe! ᐊᑏ ᓂᕆᓕᖅᑕ (Atii niriliqta) – Bon Appetit in Inuktitut. Also included in the “key phrases” I found on this website were ᐅᒥᐊᕐᔫᑉ ᐳᓪᓕᓕᒫᐸᒐ ᑕᑦᑕᕐᓂᖅ ᐊᒻᒪᔭᖅ
(Umiaryuap Publimaaqpaga tattaurniq ammayaq /
Umiarjuap Pullimmaqpaga tattaurniq nimiraq) which is “My hovercraft is full of eels.” Shows you just how vast Canada’s land and culture are that I’m not even sure if they’re joking.
Happy Canada Day!!