My First Authentic Food Memory - The Canadian Food Experience Project #Canadian Food - Sucre à la Crème


In April I attended the first Food Bloggers of Canada conference. I had the chance to be sitting next to Valerie from A Canadian Foodie all week-end. We talked, we laughed, we exchanged ideas and we took notes during each session. We had a great connection all week-end.

You should have seen Valerie when she heard Dana McCauley's Call to Action to identify our Canadian Voice. Her face completely changed, her eyes became bright and I knew at that moment that she was already thinking about how Canadians bloggers could unite so that we can be heard all around the World. 

It did not took long for Valerie to invite all Canadian bloggers to join her in an amazing new project: The Canadian Food Experience Project. This project starts today, June 7th, and already 57 bloggers are part of this project and the list is growing.

My first authentic food memory starts at home. I am French Canadian and was born and raise on a farm. You can see me on the picture, on the left, with my parents and my sister. I have two other siblings.

My parents did not have much money and at our table we would find meat, potatoes and vegetables most of the nights. The vegetables were the one we had grown during the Summer. The meat was coming from some neighbours that were raising cows. Mom would prepare quick meals because my dad had to feed the animals every day and during the Summer he spent countless hours in our fields.

I was the oldest and helped as much as I could. I started at seven to help prepare meals. What I loved the most was baking. I have memories of my mom preparing brown sugar fudge and I could not wait to lick the bowl. Throughout my childhood I baked many dessert but to this day I still have images that kept coming back of that fudge.

Every winter I could not wait for the first snow to fall and go at my uncle cottage with our skidoos. We would bring our portable BBQs and mom would prepare burgers. I am telling you, these are the best burgers that I have ever ate. Why you are going to ask? The reason being that it was nice when my parents would take some time off from all the work at the farm, spend time with us, and do something that was fun with us.

My food memories are associated to family because that is what is the most important to me.












My Mom Old-Fashioned Brown Sugar Fudge - Sucre à la Crème

Sucre à la crème is a traditional Quebec treat. This fudge melts in your mouth. In my family we serve Sucre à la crème around the Christmas holidays, but my mom will also make it during family gatherings any time of the year. 

1 cup cream 35%
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp butter

Boil cream, brown sugar & sugar until mixture forms a soft ball when dropped into cold water.

Remove from heat and cool slightly for about 30 min.

Add 1 Tbsp butter, a pinch of salt and 1 tsp vanilla then beat until smooth and creamy, and mixture starts to thicken up.

Butter a pie plate. Pour mix & let it firm up. Cut into squares.

Source:
My mom Gisèle

The Canadian Food Experience Project began June 7 2013. As we (participants) share our collective stories across the vastness of our Canadian landscape through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity through the cadence of our concerted Canadian voice. Please join us. 

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19 comments:

  1. You had a great life:) What cute pics..love them..and thanks for sharing them and the recipe..You two must have really hit it off!

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    1. Thanks for your comment! It was fun to go back thru my albums and scanned these old photos.

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  2. What a fun read, I look forward to reading more! Was great seeing those photos of you all. So cute! The fudge sounds wonderful (and for me, no chocolate involved, hip hip hooray!).

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    1. Thank you Kayte! It brings back nice memories. In Québec every families has their own Brown Sugar Fudge.

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  3. celui ou celle qui a inventé un jour le sucre à la crème devrait avoir une statue ou je ne sais pas quoi, mais c'est la meilleure chose qui existe toutes gourmandises confondues :)

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    1. C'est en fait la meilleure invention et toutes mes tantes se vantent de faire le meilleur! Rien ne bat le sucre à la crème.

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  4. What great pictures! Thanks for sharing them with the rest of us.

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    1. Thanks Dana, it was nice to write this post and dig thru old albums :)

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  5. What fantastic memories! And some very wonderful pictures! Thank you so much for sharing!

    I can't wait to try your mom's fudge. I know it will be amazing!

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    1. You are so sweet! Thanks for your nice comments.

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  6. Lovely memories and priceless pictures!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Rosa it is so nice to look at old pictures. Merci!

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  7. Wonderful Helene. I imagine growing up in Quebec the kitchen was filled with Tarte au Sucre, homemade bread and pea soup. These are all foods that I adore and associate with our Canadian identity.

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    1. You are so right Val, we had tarte au sucre, pea soup, bread, baked beans, tourtières etc. All the good Québec food. Thanks for reading.

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  8. What a beautiful post Helene. You have a beautiful family and I loved reading through your memories. I look forward to making the fudge... it looks so divinely sinful!

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    1. Thanks Michelle! This project is bringing back so many beautiful memories of the past.

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  9. Helene.
    What a lovely read, and an eye-opening window into your childhood. You clearly had a harder life as the eldest of so many children - and on a farm. Completely understand there were a lot of pleasures there, too... but can relate to the importance of that family time together, and those burgers in the snow. The photos make that all so much more real... and you had ski-doos! WOOT! Is this fudge the famous "sucre à la crème"? If not, what is the difference, and if so... do you know any of the history around this? My mom used to make brown sugar fudge and chocolate fudge, too. I had almost completely forgotten, until reading this. What incredible memories they were. I hated the chocolate fudge with the nuts. My dad loved it. The brown sugar fudge was my favourite, and the maple fudge we would on the rarest of occasions buy in Banff each summer was the very best, but we couldn't make it ourselves, as pure Maple Syrup didn't exist in Western Canada in those days.
    Thrilled you are participating and have taken on the initiative of getting the project translated. I have added Isabelle to our list. I wrote to her in English, as I cannot write in French, even after 13 years of Western French public education. No place to use it here, and that was too many years ago. Though I did understand she accepted, as she answered me in French... I added her to the list. I hope we get more French speaking and writing participants as there are so many stories to be told. I will have to work my way through the recipes. That I can do. The stories? I will not succeed much there, but will try!
    :)
    V

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    1. Hi Valerie, thank you for starting the project and for pushing ourselves to go in this new direction. And you are correct it's the famous 'Sucre à la Crème'. Every families in Québec claim to make the best one. :) And growing up on a farm has is ups and downs, but my memories are about the good times.

      I am glad that Isabelle is on board. I have written to other girls and Isabelle will do also. We are trying to recruit as many as we can.

      Cheers to a wonderful year!

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  10. Awww I love looking at old pictures! My album is in Japan (I live in SF) and I need to grab some back so I can scan (before picture quality gets worse!). Enjoyed your stories and brown sugar fudge? Wow that sounds delicious!

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