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Aislyn's Profile

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What is swai fish?

After reading through all of the posts regarding Swai/Basa and other farmed fish, I felt it was my moral duty to provide you with some actual facts regarding the danger of eating Basa Fish. One month ago, my 65 year old brother ate a Basa fish fillet purchased from a high end food boutique in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was a frozen product, imported from Vietnam. He fried the fillet in butter and was very pleased with the taste - it was his first time trying any imported fish. Within 4 hours, he was experiencing food poisoning like symptoms and within 6 hours his entire body (including eyes, palms, soles of his feet) had turned a brilliant red - darker than a 3rd degree sunburn. He was rushed to a local hospital after which performing many tests to determine what was happening they discovered that his red blood cells were bursting apart and potassium was flooding through his entire body. He was close to death. He was immediately transported to another hospital where they tried to stop this mysterious outbreak that was invading his entire body. Over the course of a week, he suffered a minor heart attack and several days later a mini-stroke which thankfully he survived though doctors were in disbelief that he actually came through it. To make a very long story short, specialists were unable to figure out the root cause and began a thorough investigation of his every move, environment and food eaten prior to the attack. The only unusual thing that he had eaten was the fillet of Basa Fish and thankfully he still had two portions in his freezer that he had not eaten. These were sent out to 3 independent government labs (as well as his blood work) for testing. Each chemical, anti-biotic and toxin found in the fish samples were tested against those found in his blood work and after intense tests were performed, it was conclusively proven that more than one toxin found in the fish sample was the root cause of the attack. The written reports were then sent to both the provincial and federal level of the agencies for food safety in Canada who will determine what the next step will be. I am unable to publically comment on the exact toxins/antibiotics found in the testing at this time as investigations of original source, importer, etc. are currently being conducted however this will eventually get massive media coverage at least within Canada but until that time, I just wanted to let people know what horrors my brother experienced, as well as the rest of our family, how close he came to dying because of a little piece of innocent looking white fish, that our respective countries are allowing the import of potentially hazardous food without proper inspection standards (it's all about the money) and to warn people to be careful what you eat. You may have eaten Basa/Swai a hundred times and never got sick but do you really want to take that chance for yourself or your family. Our new strict rule of thumb in regards to fish or any type of seafood moving forward is, unless I actually see it pulled out of a wild environment in my own country, I will not touch it. Unless I can prove the source - whether it be purchased in a store or at a restaurant, I will not touch it. And this goes for any type of fish farmed within North America as well. Our standards for raising farmed fish and seafood on this continent are not much better than the countries we import from! Just be careful and be aware!!

Sep 30, 2014
Aislyn in General Topics

Help with ground beef/sliced potatoes/tomato base recipe, please.

My brother-in-law who is of Lebanese heritage used to make a dish very close to this. It was sliced potatoes, cooked ground beef and tomato juice. I can't remember if he included onions or not and I believe he simply used pepper and salt as seasonings. He used to just layer it in a large pot, pour the tomato juice over it and let it simmer slowly for a couple of hours. It was super yummy. It even had a Lebanese name but I couldn't begin to even spell it! :)

Sep 08, 2014
Aislyn in Home Cooking

New England Lobster Roll sans lobster?

This may sound very strange but growing up near the Atlantic Ocean, lobsters were always plentiful however I learned how to make "vegetarian lobster" for sandwiches or the top cut buns. You finely grate carrot and onion, mix in Miracle Whip (must use Miracle Whip rather than mayo in order to replicate the sweetness of the lobster) and voila!! Obviously the texture was not the same as lobster but the taste was very close! :)

Jun 04, 2014
Aislyn in Home Cooking

Looking for Local Gems in Nova Scotia

Lavena's Catch serves up the freshest seafood I have ever eaten. In fact, all of the offerings on the menu are super fresh and very tasty. Not to mention the amazing view - the beautiful harbor between Freeport and Westport! The owners and staff treat you like family too.

Jan 27, 2014
Aislyn in Atlantic Canada

I love to cook from scratch but every now and then I can't resist...(insert name of convenience food here)

It's not just you escondido123. It truly does have a chemical taste now. Like you, I have loved it my whole life but no amount of "doctoring up" makes it taste good. :(

Jan 14, 2014
Aislyn in General Topics
1

Your all time favorite 'TV' cooking show chefs?

Chef Chuck Hughs

Feb 01, 2012
Aislyn in Food Media & News

YOU GOTTA EAT HERE on the Food Network

Ditto piano boy and daeira!! Totally annoying!! But then again, what do you expect from a person who plays "Bus Driver Bob" on a CBC kid's show called the Doodlebops. I rest my case.

Feb 01, 2012
Aislyn in Food Media & News

Your mom's weird cooking ... and other stories? (recipes encouraged)

The "Rappie Pie" that you are referring to is an Acadien dish made in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick primarily. It can be made with chicken, beef, clams, pork - any type of protein that you like. It is typically made in large proportions so most recipes call for 8 to 10 lbs of potato and a 5 to 6 lb chicken. The potato are peeled and grated and then the water and starch is squeezed out with cheese cloth and the amount of this liquid is measured. If using chicken, the chicken is boiled and the stock retained to replace the water/starch from the grated potatoes. The chicken is deboned/deskinned and cut in small pieces. The measured stock is added to the grated pototoes, salt and pepper added as required. The Rappie pie is assembled in a large baking pan with potato mixture as first layer, dollops of butter, then protein, then potato, butter, etc. until you end up with the top as potato. Many lay strips of bacon on top or more butter before putting it into the oven to bake. It is baked to a cripsy, yummy brown and voila!!! Tasty, tasty, tasty. It is so popular in the Maritimes that most grocery stores sell the pre-grated potato in frozen squares for those who don't have the time or energy to grate them. A lot of people will re-heat the leftovers by frying it in butter the next day. Anyway you eat it, it sure is delicious.

Jan 31, 2012
Aislyn in Home Cooking

Your mom's weird cooking ... and other stories? (recipes encouraged)

My husband's late mother (German) used to put both sugar and vinegar on leaves of lettuce and then put it in the freezer until it formed ice! I thought this was the strangest thing I had ever heard until he made it for me one hot summer day - surprisingly tasty and refreshing! Who knew?

Jan 31, 2012
Aislyn in Home Cooking

Your mom's weird cooking ... and other stories? (recipes encouraged)

I remember this but we called it Chinese Laundry - all the same ingredients except we added canned mushrooms. It was very popular "back in the day" in Eastern Canada.

Jan 31, 2012
Aislyn in Home Cooking

Your mom's weird cooking ... and other stories? (recipes encouraged)

My mom also made ham salad with bologna - ground up and mixed with sweet pickle relish and Miracle Whip on white bread. Haven't tried it since I was a kid but might give it a try one day just for the heck of it.:)

Jan 31, 2012
Aislyn in Home Cooking

Hey, It's Not So Bad

Baked beans, pumpkin pie and beets. Still unable to "like" them although I do try every so often.

Jan 30, 2012
Aislyn in General Topics

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese

I have seen it at some bulk food stores (Bulk Barn) here in Canada but I've never used it so I don't kow if it cooks up the same way as the Kraft Dinner one. It is the same size though.

Jan 27, 2012
Aislyn in General Topics

Popular flavors that you don't care for

Ditto on the cilantro.

Jan 27, 2012
Aislyn in General Topics

Any memories of "poor people food" from your childhood that you still crave?

I just love this thread. It's warm, it's funny and sad, but most of all, it shows us that we all may be from different parts of the globe and with different backgrounds but when it comes to this subject, we all share a common bond. I'm enjoying reading each and every post, I am learning a lot (new dishes that I can't wait to try) and most of all, it makes me appreciate everything I have today and how I wouldn't change my childhood for anything. Thank you so much QueenDairy for starting this discussion. I hope it continues to grow. :)

Jan 27, 2012
Aislyn in General Topics
1

Any memories of "poor people food" from your childhood that you still crave?

Aww, that really makes you stop and think. Everything is relative I guess. Brought a little tear to my eye.

Jan 27, 2012
Aislyn in General Topics

Any memories of "poor people food" from your childhood that you still crave?

They are larger than a chicken's egg and have a very bright orange yolk. Remembering back, I know that they made a very rich custard and that pound cakes and the like came out much nicer than with chicken eggs. If my memory serves me, you really couldn't tell the difference in terms of taste - they were just much richer. Fried, I am told, the yolk is a bit on the "rubbery" side as opposed to a chicken egg.

Jan 27, 2012
Aislyn in General Topics

Any memories of "poor people food" from your childhood that you still crave?

I remember an olive loaf too. Didn't it have green olives and red pimento in it? There was also a macaroni & cheese loaf and a mock chicken. If I remember correctly, they were all slightly less expensive than bologna. I remember a funny story that my late mother told me. When she was a young bride, she decided to cook up something different for my father so she tried to fry a few slices of macaroni & cheese loaf. Much to her embarrassment, the meat suddenly had perfect little round holes in it - the cheese had melted obviously. My father used to tease her for years about that. Her cooking skills became much better after that. lol

Jan 27, 2012
Aislyn in General Topics

Any memories of "poor people food" from your childhood that you still crave?

I hope so :)

Jan 26, 2012
Aislyn in General Topics

Any memories of "poor people food" from your childhood that you still crave?

Thank you for the link. Clara is indeed charming and after watching this one, I want to watch them all.

Jan 26, 2012
Aislyn in General Topics

Any memories of "poor people food" from your childhood that you still crave?

I agree too. Back in the day, families were larger, people were on much tighter budgets and our parents had to find more cost effective ways to stretch meals, etc. It just so happened that the foods we have been discussing (bologna, beans, etc.) were cheaper to buy and could be stretched much further. Today, at least here in most of the provinces, bologna cost more to buy than Black Forest Ham or Smoked Turkey!

Jan 26, 2012
Aislyn in General Topics

Any memories of "poor people food" from your childhood that you still crave?

I remember when I was growing up people would buy large chunks of bologna (with a cloth-like waxed rind) and bake it off like a roast for their family. That with a few potatoes on the side was Sunday dinner. Like you Cathy, we used to fry it up with eggs for breakfast or for sandwiches. Bacon was that twice a year if you were lucky treat at Easter and Christmas breakfasts. I still love bologna today - in a sandwich or fried with eggs.

Jan 26, 2012
Aislyn in General Topics

Any memories of "poor people food" from your childhood that you still crave?

Yes, John E., wild duck, pheasant and venison were always plentiful growing up for the very same reason you mentioned. Imagine all of the work your grandfather put into processing the wild rice!
Another common practice was to gather seagull's eggs in the early spring and use them in baking or in a custard. Actually, some of the "old folk" would actually fry them up for breakfast!

Jan 26, 2012
Aislyn in General Topics

Any memories of "poor people food" from your childhood that you still crave?

How true QueenDairy! And to think as kids we used to sneak a couple of live lobsters out of the bag in the back porch and try to "race" them down a hallway until my dad would catch us. I guess it wasn't cool to play with your supper - not to mention risk losing a finger since they didn't even have bands on the claws!! lol

Jan 25, 2012
Aislyn in General Topics

Any memories of "poor people food" from your childhood that you still crave?

In the late 50's and early 60's, I grew up in a small fishing village in Nova Scotia where the majority of men fished for a living and most women were housewives. The "poor man's food" for our village, believe it or not, was lobster. Back in those days, the demand for lobster was minimal so the price was much lower than haddock, pollock, cod, etc. As a result, most fishermen brought home the lobster to feed the family. This may sound bizarre but as kids, we would get so tired of lobster that when we had to take lobster sandwiches to school for lunch, we would always try to trade them off to the kids (whose fathers weren't fishermen) who had cheese whiz or deviled ham sandwiches! While to many people, lobster is a delicacy or a treat today, I could care less if I ever saw another one as long as I live! :)

Jan 25, 2012
Aislyn in General Topics

Do you use a rack?

You are right! One less thing to wash is an absolute bonus! :)

Nov 22, 2011
Aislyn in Home Cooking

Do you use a rack?

I build a "rack" for our turkey using stalks of celery and whole carrots (peeled and cut half lenghwise) as well as an onion or two cut in quarters. It manages to keep the turkey away from the direct fat but also adds amazing flavour to the drippings once it is strained at the end. Always works great.

Nov 22, 2011
Aislyn in Home Cooking

Caplansky's- the emperor has NO clothes

The episode of Dragon's Den that the previous poster mentioned aired last week. Zane did not receive any offers - the Dragons felt that his evaluation was way off the charts. They suggested that he focus on possibly franchising his actual restaurant and forget about the food trucks. I will admit that the business model and evaluation that he presented was somewhat unrealistic. They had no issue with the quality of his product just didn't feel that the food trucks would be successful.

Nov 10, 2011
Aislyn in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best beef stroganoff in Toronto?

The Blackhorn Dining Room at Ellesmere and Warden in Scarborough offer a very tasty and traditional beef strogonoff - served over noodles or rice. Although I make and prefer my own, the Blackhorn's offering is very good.

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Blackhorn Dining Room
251 Ellesmere Rd, Scarborough, ON M1R4E4, CA

Sep 07, 2011
Aislyn in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ground Beef recipes anyone?

Pate chinois translated to English is Shepherds Pie however it's ingredients have a different twist to that of a typical Shepherds Pie. Typically made with ground beef, onion, salt, pepper, creamed corn and niblet corn - mashed potato crust on bottom and top and baked to brown off. Tortierre is the French Canadien dish with nutmeg, cloves, etc. That is normally made with a mix of ground pork and beef, sometimes small amount of mashed potato to bind and a regular pie crust top and bottom.

Jun 23, 2011
Aislyn in Home Cooking