When you grew up in a rural Ontario community in the 1960s as I did, you were going to be served up good solid meat and potatoes fare at mealtimes. Hearty soups accompanied by sandwiches made from thick slices of homemade bread and leftover meats were typical lunchtime dishes. At supper we could expect roasted chicken, beef or pork, fried sausage or baked ham fortified with salad, potatoes, vegetables, and gravy. Eventually casseroles were introduced into the menu, but these too were traditional stick-to-your ribs cooking, influenced by what people knew. Out in the boonies, culinary adventures rarely took family cooks far from the traditions of their ancestors. These people were primarily of Irish, English, Scottish and German descent; the meals they prepared reflected that heritage. Besides the straightforward, my Mom would often bring such treats as fish and chips, shepherd's pie, meat pies, schnitzels and cabbage rolls to the table. But jaunts into more exotic ethnic cu
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