Tag Archives: Montreal

Conversing in Converstions: Metric System 101

11 Oct

One thing that is vital when cooking is understanding food measurements. Whether you’re reading a foreign recipe or buying deli meats and cheeses at the market, a lesson in conversion is pretty helpful. This blog post would have seriously come in handy for me last year when I was studying abroad.

While studying in Montreal, my friends and I decided to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving, and I was left with the task of cooking the turkey (probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever cooked before).

Oh Canada!

When I went to the grocery store, I had come thinking I need a 14 pound turkey to serve everyone. I was surprised to find that I could not buy things in pounds—thanks to America’s alternative to the metric system—but I had to figure out 14 pounds in kilograms. Needless to say, I was lost.

I asked a man behind the butcher counter if he could tell me the conversion, but he responded something in Quebecois French that I could not decipher, and then proceeded to show me a pork leg.

“No,” I said. “Nevermind.”

I called my Dad, who was on the road , if he knew the conversion and that was another deadend.

“Maybe you should call your mother on this one,” he suggested.

So I called my mom, who was just home from work, so she was a little on edge as she settled back into my chaotic house. “Mom, I am at the grocery store, and I have no clue how big I should get my turkey. Can you look up the conversion online for me?”

She searched on my home computer conversion charts for pound to kilo and found all kinds of numbers and equations to help solve my turkey problem. “I think you multiple .45 to whatever the poundage is, or maybe it’s division. Wait a sec this website says something about ounces. Are there ounces on the a label?”

The overload of multiple kinds of information was not helpful. I ended up just picking up four or five turkeys and just guessing.

Though when it came time to cook the turkey, it was a lot more hassle not knowing the weight of the bird. If you’ve ever cooked a turkey you know that for every four pounds of poultry, you cook it for about an hour and a half. I had no idea what the size of my turkey was except for the not-so-exact measurement: big.

So confusing!

To make matters worse, the turkey cooking instructions were in Celsius. Kill me now was all I could think.

In the end, the turkey came out amazing thanks to a lot of patience, intuition, and the motivating smells of deliciousness.

To make it easier on all you studying abroad, however, I’ve included a link to a website that explains and calculates conversion way better than I ever could.

http://www.france-property-and-information.com/metric_conversion_table.htm

http://www.calcul.com/cooking-conversion

Why America? Why?

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Potatoes, Bacon, and Cheese? Yes Please.

25 Jan

Potatoes, bacon, and cheese: three things that should always go together. Can’t beat it. The outside of the potatoes get a little crispy in the oven, but stay soft in the center. Yukon potatoes are slightly more flavorful than other baking potatoes, but you can feel free to substitute with any slightly waxy spud. That “slightly waxy” qualifier is kind of important, though, because otherwise your potatoes will fall apart before they make it to your plate. And that’s just upsetting.

And lastly, feel free to experiment with cheese. I suggest either Parmesan or cheddar (my personal favorite, but I’m told it’s a little more expensive in Montreal).

Note: this is in no way a “healthy” dish.
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Lamb Stew

9 Dec

Not only is this a traditional Irish dish (and delicious), but it’s great for when the weather starts getting colder–and it’s not just for Ireland. This version is by Champlain student Marcia Ely.
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Mac and Cheese

6 Dec

We know it’s hard to live without mac and cheese; it’s the number one shipped item to abroad students. But really, guys, a $50 box of mac and cheese? Not worth it. Try this recipe from Champlain student Jaime Berry instead. It’s almost as easy, and so much cheaper.

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Baked Pears with Crumble Filling

2 Dec

Good for breakfast and brunch, but with a scoop of ice cream, could easily be dessert. Delicious. Also, super cheap and super easy.
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Roasted Vegetable-and-Rice Chicken Soup

2 Dec

Roasting the vegetables first deepens the flavor of the soup. They kinda caramelize. Which is awesome. And it’s pretty healthy, too. Makes about 6 servings.

Tip: Make for your roommates. Double the recipe for leftovers.
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Coconut Lime Mussels

8 Nov

Mussels: delicious and easy to prepare. The best part is that no one ever thinks to make their own, so preparing this dish yourself is ultra-impressive! This recipe is fresh and a little tropical with the coconut and lime flavors. Grab a bunch from the Temple Bar Food Market or Marché Atwater. Dubliners, take a quick DART ride to Howth for the day and bring some mussels back with you!

Make sure to read our tips on dealing with mussels if you haven’t before.
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