Breakfasts and Brunches start the “B” section of the A-Z of Cooking. I chose a smoked salmon and egg combo called Nova Scotia Eggs which was, not surprisingly, delicious. You’d have to go a long way to go wrong with those ingredients.
Having said that, the recipe did it’s best to bamboozle me. Coat the eggs in mayonnaise it says. It actually had me questioning the word “coat”. Because to cover the eggs completely, which would be the normal translation, seems like a LOT of mayo. Then again it also calls for 8 tablespoon of mayonnaise to cover 4 eggs. I’ll say it again. That’s a shit ton of mayo.
Who knows, maybe Canadians really, really like mayo. Although having said that, I have no idea if the Nova Scotia eggs have any actual connection to Canada.
I also feel that unless I get something off my chest, I will probably never get to find out. You see, I am carrying a deep dark secret in relation to Canada. Well, in relation to two Canadians specifically but I get the feeling they are very community spirited. Do ill by two of them and the whole country takes against you. Anyhow, I feel that until I publicly right this wrong, I may never be welcome in the land where pines and maples grow, great prairies spread and Lordly rivers flow!
It happened like this.
A few years ago we holidayed on the Amalfi Coast. Whilst we were there we did a half day tour of Pompeii. The problem was that we booked ourselves onto a triple language tour. This meant that for each point of interest the tour guide stopped and spoke about it in Italian, English and Russian. Then there was time for questions. Of which the Italians and Russians had plenty. And she would duly translate the answers into the other two languages. Kudos to the tour guide for being fluent in three languages when sometimes I feel like I struggle with just one, but it meant the going was SLOW. So slow that, had there been glaciers in the vicinity, we could have watched them moving and marvelled at their speed compared to our progess through Pompeii.
An hour in, and we weren’t even inside the walls. He was starting to get antsy. “Come on, this is crap, we’re never going to see anything at this rate. And don’t you know about it?”
I may have slightly bigged up my knowledge of Pompeii. I had studied it in art class in high school for what seemed like an eternity however, high school was OMG, 20 years ago.
Excuse me while I have a
minor major flip out about that.
OK. I’m back. I’m centred and TWENTY YEARS?
Back to Pompeii…anything to blank out the horror….During the next few Russian and Italian sessions we started a muttered debate. He wanted to leave the group and strike out on our own, armed with our purchased tour book and my…ahem…vast knowledge. I was equally adamant that we had paid for a guided tour and dammit, a guided tour we would have.
“Are you guys thinking about ditching this ?” Our conversation was interrupted by a whisper coming from a guy standing beside us. (We were all being very quiet so as not to disrupt the relentless Italian / Russian chatter).
“Cos we are too”. They were a Canadian couple on honeymoon and after a few more murmered exchanges we decided to very quietly leave the group and explore on our own.
“And we don’t need a guide. Taryn knows all about it.”
Why is there never a bottomless volcanic crater around when you need to push someone into one?
In retrospect, it was the best thing to do. The four of us covered an amazing amount of ground and had a great time doing it. They had a different book to us so we were all sharing what we had and we all got on really well. Then we reached a point where apparently, back in the day, you could look across and see the cave of the oracle of Cumae. And something in my brain clicked.
“You know that in the days before Vesuvius erupted the Oracle of Cumae told them to get out of Pompeii. Twice. But the people were so hedonistic and so consumed by their material possessions that they refused to go”. All of a sudden, I was Simon Schama. I knew all about the Oracle and the prophecies and I was not afraid to tell the world. The lovely Canadian couple were quite impressed. They even took notes. And He was impressed. Dammit, I was impressing myself. Who knew I paid that much attention in art history classes?
Much later in the day, when we were on the bus back to where we were staying in Positano, he asked if he could see the guidebooks. I handed them over and he started pouring over them with an intensity I have rarely seen.
“Whatcha looking for?”
“All that stuff about the Oracle…did you read that in here?”
“I dunno.Maybe…or maybe in the book at the hotel. Or maybe from memory. Why are you so interested?”
“I want to see if they say if that’s where they got the idea for the episode of Doctor Who”
“You know, the episode of Doctor Who where they go to Pompeii. And the oracle tells the people to leave. Twice”.
“I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.”
Except I kinda, sorta, maybe did. So, lovely Canadian honeymoon couple from Pompeii, whose names I have completely forgotten specifically and people of Canada in general. I’m really sorry. I have a very, very bad feeling that instead of telling you some amazing actual factual history, that I may have just given you the summary of the plot line of an episode of Doctor Who.
In terms of accuracy, it might have been better if I’d just sung that Bastille song to you.
Feel free to update the Canadian Wikipedia entry on Pompeii any day now folks.
And enjoy the Nova Scotia eggs, they are delicious. I made them for you!
And please let me in if I ever come visit, I really want to try some poutine.
Have a great week!