Pemmican – not just for dinner anymore!

This is a very exciting post, because it’s my participation in the “Great Canadian Blog Bash.”

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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.

Thanks marksdailyapple.com

Thanks marksdailyapple.com

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:

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Bake 25 to 30 minutes until light brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

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Wait 5 minutes until the chips melt, and then spread them with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with craisins and bacon pieces immediately.

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Slice into bars while still warm. And that’s it! You’ve never had such delicious pemmican.

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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!!

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Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Sarah Lynn
    June 28, 2013

    Where was this post when I was in grade school? My family has been in Canada well over 100 years, so when in came time for the Multicultural Pot Luck, I got stuck taking things like Kraft Dinner, apples, and cheddar cheese (eventually I upgraded to Tim Bits and Smarties). If I had known about this….well, bacon and chocolate? I would have been a popular girl!

    Thanks for sharing, Happy Canada Day!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      June 28, 2013

      I was in the same boat! Luckily my husband’s side of the family is Irish, so my kids will escape our fates – they can just bring pemmican and Guinness. Thanks for stopping in!

  2. Leave a Reply

    Patricia Bacon
    June 28, 2013

    I am so glad that you printed an alternative to the original recipe. This does indeed look yummy….. Think I ‘ll give it a whirl. I am partial to chocolate and Bacon LOL!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      June 28, 2013

      Well with your last name how could you NOT be partial to Bacon! I should have asked you for advice!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      June 29, 2013

      Thanks! It’s my niece and father-in-law. And my F-I-L is an immigrant from Northern Ireland, so he celebrates Canada Day as a newbie of 52 years!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Trish
    June 30, 2013

    Okay, I had the pleasure of eating these made by Ann and let me tell you…I was getting out of bed in the middle of the night like a crazy pregnant lady just to get my hands on the last square. Crazy town! These were sooo awesome!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      June 30, 2013

      Are you sure you’re not pregnant? (Insert dramatic music here).

  4. Leave a Reply

    Sarah De Diego (Journeys of The Zoo)
    July 2, 2013

    Cooking Dangerously seems like an appropriately named blog for you.

    Pemmican? I love the idea! I can’t say that I’ll be cooking this up any time soon but don’t take it personally because I don’t cook anything.

    If I stopped by and you had a slice, I’d definitely be up for a piece or two. Bacon anything is on my list of favourites.

    Thanks for sharing and being so into the Canadian Spirit Eh!?

    Besos, Sarah
    Blogger at Journeys of The Zoo

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      July 2, 2013

      Well I’d cook it up for you any time, ya hoser! It’s definitely hard to mess this recipe up, so you should subcontract it to someone who’ll make it for you. Nice to meet you!

  5. Leave a Reply

    Joanna @ Midwestern Bite
    July 2, 2013

    Every time I read the word Pemmican I think Pelican. Pelican would a dangerous food, no? That’s probably not Canadian though. Also, thanks for not using dried meat powder because the chances of me cooking with that are slim. This though . . . this I think I will make.

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      July 2, 2013

      We have herons which are kind of like pelicans. If you cooked one, you could stuff its big beak. And before you say that’s cruel, talk to me about turducken (I’m talking big on both of these “foods,” btw). Gonna kick your little midwestern behind in Cinnamon’s photo challenge today! (At eatpraytri.com, if anyone else wants to play…)

  6. Leave a Reply

    Olivia
    July 3, 2013

    We made pemmican in Grade 4 for social studies, and I don’t remember it being that appetizing. Yours looks so much tastier! I’m always surprised how well bacon and chocolate go together. (Stop by my #TGCBB post and say hi if you get a chance.)

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      July 3, 2013

      Thanks! I think I’d be too chicken to try the real thing, but I’m still jealous that you have!!

  7. Leave a Reply

    Jennifer
    July 3, 2013

    wow that’s crazy in a good way! I can’t even imagine what that tastes like! thanks for taking part in TGCBB with us this year! Love that last picture too, so cute!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      July 3, 2013

      Thanks! My gorgeous in-laws, representing! Love THCBB

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      July 8, 2013

      Happy Canada Day to you too! Glad to have introduced you to a food that will keep you going if you should happen to stumble across some chilly weather!

  8. Leave a Reply

    YashY
    July 10, 2013

    you just introduced me to a whole bunch of items I need to go explore!! That dish looks like quite the treat but the pemmican has me curious…

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      July 10, 2013

      Ooh, are you Inuit enough to go for the real thing? Take pictures!!!

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