June 27 – True Canadian

Canadian Content

Recently, we looked at some of the most notable Canadian patriots and icons, in RL (that means real life!). Today, we enter the fictional world and examine some of the greatest contributions to this country’s (and outside its borders) culture, from persons who have never actually existed:

#5: Northstar

While many have probably not heard of Northstar, he is an important figure in comic history and LGBT culture. A member of the Canadian Alpha Flight team (also featuring his sister Aurora and other members, such as Guardian, Sasquatch, Shaman, and Snowbird), Northstar gained notoriety for being the first openly gay major character created by Marvel Comics. Despite debuting in April 1979, Northstar didn’t officially come out until 1992. The superhero was finally allowed to marry his partner 20 years later, in 2012.

Northstar Marriage

#4: Bob and Doug McKenzie

These two hosers got their beginning on the SCTV sketch comedy show, leading to a feature film, Strange Brew, in which they are thrust into becoming unlikely heroes, trying to save their favourite brewery. If that’s not a definitive Canadian story, I don’t know what is! These roles launched the careers of both Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas. In a great casting choice, Disney reunited the McKenzie brothers to play a pair of comical moose, Rutt and Tuke, in the movie Brother Bear, also set in the Canadian wilderness.

#3: Ike Broflovski –South Park

Ike is the adopted brother of Kyle, born in Canada as Peter Gints. As the main characters have aged, so has Ike, who is now in kindergarten, despite being only three years old.  Any episode that revolves around Ike is usually pretty good, whether he’s entered into a relationship with his adult teacher, is going through early puberty, caused by steroid, or is saving the Canadian Princess (wait, we have one of those?).  Crude TV stars Terrence and Phillip are also Canadian, which is why the folks of South Park, Colorado aren’t too happy with their neighbours from the north!

ike broflovski

#2: Trailer Park Boys

Julian, Ricky, Bubbles, and the rest of the gang seem to always be getting themselves into trouble, as they move from one get-rich-quick scheme to another, trying to avoid the capture of police and Sunnyvale Trailer Park disciplinarian Mr. Lahey and his partner in crime (and other things) Randy. Set in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, this mockumentary shows the love that can develop between folks stuck in hard times, as they scratch and claw their way towards better lives, sometimes taking shortcuts, rather than conventional means.

#1: Wolverine

One of the most rugged, bad ass superheroes has Canadian blood running through his veins… well, that and adamantium bones! Wolverine debuted all the way back in 1974 and over the rest of the decade, grew in popularity, leading to his own four-part series in 1982. The character has proven to be so prevalent, that he has been the focal point of numerous movies for the franchise. Wolverine’s on-again, off-again enemy Sabretooth also hails from Canada, as does Deadpool, who has been previously played by Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds, and will be again in the 2016 eponymous feature film.

Super Saturday Shot Day: True Canadian

  • Rim glass with Bacon Bits
  • 0.75 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Maple Syrup

In closing, I have to include an honourable mention for Anne Shirley (better known as Anne of Green Gables), or else Mrs. Sip might strip me (wait for it) of my Canadian citizenship! Next week, we get to look at the fictional patriots from south of the border… and there are a lot of them!

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Flavour Revolution – Donut

Pastry Perfection

Donuts are a pretty big deal around the world, but I’m personally curious as to how some of the globe’s biggest chains got their start in the industry. If you are too, you’re in luck. Here are some of those tales!

Tim Hortons

This Canadian classic was started by professional hockey star Tim Horton in 1964. Does it get any more Canadian than combining hockey and donuts!? When Horton passed away in 1974, his business partner Ron Joyce bought out the Horton family’s remaining shares of the company for only $1 million. On the plus side, one of Horton’s daughters married one of Joyce’s sons, bringing the Horton family back into the fold (and company fortune!). With Joyce at the helm, the chain slowly spread across the country and eventually outnumbered McDonald’s locations. Now owned by Burger King, Tim Horton’s franchises can be found throughout the United States, parts of the U.K. and even in the Middle East. As of 2015, Joyce has a net worth of $1.2 billion.

Canadian Crime Scene

Krispy Kreme

One of the oldest donut chains (establish all the way back in 1937) in existence, Krispy Kreme started out as a uncle and nephew operation, first in Paducah, Kentucky and next in Nashville, Tennessee. The franchise even had delivery trucks at one point and hopefully they dropped by right after the daily milk drop off! When Krispy Kreme first came to Canada, line-ups stretched for hours, just to get a bite of the tasty treat. While folks are mostly familiar with the company’s glazed donuts, they also offer a number of other varieties… but everyone knows what brought Krispy Kreme to the dance. Aside from the Great White North, Krispy Kreme has also made its way to countries like Mexico, Australia, India, Colombia, Taiwan, the Dominican Republic, South Korea, China, Japan, and so many more.

Voodoo Doughnut

Voodoo Doughnut is one of the most unique pastry companies around, with their array of interesting offerings, including the Captain My Captain (with Captain Crunch cereal bits), the Marshall Mathers (with M&M minis), and the Old Dirty Bastard (with Oreo cookies and peanut butter). We’ve now stayed twice at a hotel across the street from Voodoo’s downtown Portland location and have been mesmerized by the constant line that forms in front of the store. Their donut creations are on the edgier side of the ledger, with a couple selections even being banned because they included medication as toppings. The chain currently has four locations, with the first opening in 2003. Although they are relatively young, they have grown in fame quite rapidly.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Established in 1948 as Open Kettle and later Kettle Donuts, founder William Rosenberg finally settled on Dunkin’ Donuts in 1950. His concept came from the success he saw in selling food and drinks at factories and construction sites. Like many other donut enterprises, coffee sales also make up a huge portion of Dunkin’ Donuts popularity and success, despite coffee’s grossness.  I can’t recall ever going to a Dunkin’ Donuts throughout my travels around the world, but it is on my ever-growing “To Do” list. Today, you can find Dunkin’ Donuts in 30 different countries (outside the U.S.), which will help in me crossing a visit off my bucket list. One thing that gives me pause, though, is the website DunkinDonuts.org, which allowed customers to complain about the company… before they bought and shut the site down.

steal-a-donut-truck

BeaverTails

Returning north of the border, BeaverTails are flattened donuts topped with a variety of garnishes, such as Nutella, cookies, chocolate, fruit, cinnamon sugar, whip cream, and much more. They are meant to salute one of Canada’s most treasured animals, the noble beaver (I’ll allow you little sippers to make your own dirty jokes here). The first BeaverTails location opened in 1978, in Killaloe, Ontario of all places. The chain can now be found in other parts of Canada, the U.S., South Korea, and Japan. The company enjoyed international attention when U.S. President Barack Obama made it a point to stop at the chain when visiting the Canadian capital. They even created an Obama Tail for the occasion, comprised of cinnamon sugar, maple-flavoured eyes, and a Nutella ‘O’.

Donut King

Adding some international flair, this franchise, founded in 1981, is based in Australia and has hundreds of outlets across the country. With the Australian market conquered, the Donut King chain has grown into China, which doesn’t seem like the most natural of expansion choices, but I’m not the one who has to explain decisions to shareholders. In 2007, Donut King took part in constructing the world’s largest donut, to celebrate the release of The Simpson Movie on DVD. The project combined 90,000 regular size pastries, a half tonne of pink frosting, and 30kg of sprinkles. The end result weighed 3.5 tonnes and stretched six meters. The effort took 40 people working for nine hours. I only wonder who got to eat the treat at the end of the project!

Flavour Revolution: Apple Fritter Martini

Apple Fritter Martini

  • 1.5 oz Glazed Donut Liqueur
  • 1 oz Apple-Cinnamon Vodka
  • Top with Apple Juice
  • Dash of Maple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Donut

There are some other popular chains around the world, such as Churromania in Venezuela, Go Nuts Donuts in the Phillippines, and Mister Donut in Japan, but they had never come into my consciousness before researching this piece. Still, you have to give credit to all those making doughy snacks across the globe!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
While this recipe doesn’t call for it, I added a dash of Mrs. Sip’s recently-purchased Apple-Cinnamon Vodka and it was a really nice touch. All the other ingredients came together nicely and although I was worried the martini would be too sweet, it wasn’t. All in all, it was quite delicious and a crowd pleaser!

July 1 – Red Maple Sunset

Welcome to Canada

To celebrate Canada Day (my home and native land) I decided to take a look at the pros and cons of this country’s make-up. Why bother looking at what needs improvement, you ask? Well, I feel we should all be always striving to better ourselves and I expect no less from my country. That, and I’m a massive jerk, who likes to rant about things that displease me. On with the ranting!

Pro: Hockey

If you are ever in need of defining what an athlete should be, look no further than a hockey player, preferably of the Canadian variety. There, you will see true glimpses of sportsmanship, humbleness, work ethic, ruggedness, and manliocity. Think of icons like Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic, Gordie Howe, and ‘The Great One’ Wayne Gretzky.

Hockey Players

Con: Expensive Alcohol

Do you know how much easier this 365-day liquor challenge would be if I lived in almost any other country, rather than Canada. Even Canadian manufactured products are ridiculously priced. Whenever Mrs. Sip and I travel south of the border, we make sure to grab a ton of booze because it is just so much more reasonably priced. Sadly, we have limits on what we can bring back and as a law-abiding citizen, I actually follow these allotments… for the most part!

Pro: Good People

Canada has a reputation for its citizens being overly nice and helpful population. This standing is well-earned and as a fictional leader of this great land, I must say that I’m proud of our people and the work we all do to not only make our home a better place, but to welcome strangers from foreign lands.

Con: No Dill Pickle Round Slices

There are a lot of products that I can’t find in Canada, that are available south of the border (in fact, I wrote an entire article about this phenomenon). But one that absolutely flummoxes me is the absence of dill pickles in round slices. If it can be done for sweet pickles, why not dill? Clearly dill pickles can be sliced, but all I ever see is the elongated variety. It has driven me to become an ex-pat of this great nation and must be rectified.

Pro: Beautiful Women

I can say with full conviction that Canada has to have the most beautiful women in the universe. A long walk on a glorious summer day – with dark shades fully ensconced on my noggin’ – is an absolute treat with all the eye candy available to every red-blooded male. Sadly, that beauty gets hidden away during the cold winter months, when everyone is bundling up in toques, scarfs, and jackets, but it’s all worth it again on that first patio-suitable day of spring.

Canada Women

Con: Inclement Weather

As mentioned above, it can get cold and nasty during the winter, up here in the Great White North. Even here in Vancouver, where we have much more mild temperatures, we live in an urban rainforest where we get drenched by buckets of cold  rain every year. I know we’re not alone in the not-so-nice weather department, but that doesn’t mean I can’t bitch about it. On the bright side, if you like to ski (or just enjoy watching snow bunnies), we’ve got you covered!

Pro: Strip Clubs with Alcohol

Imagine my shock when my crew saddled up to a strip club in Seattle, Washington for my stag last year and were told that we had a choice: either see naked ladies or keep drinking. Before my friends could answer, I’d already left the lobby, en route to the next liquor establishment. Truth be told, I’m not a strip club regular, but if I do go, I want to be able to have an overpriced brew or cocktail while a young lady makes love to a pole!

Con: No Singles ($1 bills)

How are you supposed to get your money’s worth at the strip club!? The smallest denomination you can tuck into a dancer’s G-string is a fiver. That means you can go through a lot of money in very little time. And don’t even think about making it rain. A small wad of fives, tens, and twenties will pale in comparison to a massive wad of American ones. I guess you could take a jar full of loonies and toonies and toss it into the air and do some serious damage!

Drink #182: Red Maple Sunset

Red Maple Sunset Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Maple Syrup
  • Top with Lemon Juice
  • Splash of Egg Whites
  • Garnish with Canadian Flag

So, happy birthday Canada! I hope you get all the gifts you’ve wanted and that your next year is as fabulous as the last!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This was my first opportunity to play around with not only Campari, but also Maple Syrup. The drink was a nice mix of sweet and bitter, as the Campari has a fruity taste, with a bitter finish. The Maple Syrup actually worked well with the cocktail, which was a pleasant surprise given it’s a bit of an odd ingredient.