Coming Home

This morning we wanted to hit the road early as Ella had dance class at 4:00pm so we wanted to make it back in time for her to not miss that. So the goal was to hit the road by 8:00am so we could have a bit of fun on the way home.

The day before I decided I wanted to take the opportunity to run along the path in Moncton’s Riverfront Park so I made sure I got up lots early and got in 5k there. The sun was rising in front of me, while the moon was still setting behind. There wasn’t another person around until I made it back to my car and someone came and started on the path.

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Right before we left home I could feel I was coming down with a cold, thanks Tiff. It’s been zapping my energy level, but it hasn’t mattered a lot because I’ve spent a fair amount of time laying on a beach the past few days. This mornings run however didn’t feel very good. I had a few coughing fits along the way and had to walk a few times.

We were still able to get going right at 8:00 so we headed to Pictou which is close to where I grew up for the most part. It’s on the same shore as the beaches we’ve been on and we stopped at Caribou beach this morning. The water wasn’t nearly as warm as the other two beaches we were at in New Brunswick, but we got in anyway.

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Any trip to Pictou County though just isn’t complete with at least one slice of Pizza. Pictou County Pizza is the best pizza there is. Some might argue that, but they would be wrong. Even Jen hadn’t liked it before, but today she tried the best there is from Acropole right in Pictou and I think she has been converted. I’ve been doing really good about eating healthy and proper portion sizes, but I couldn’t pass this up.

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It’s so good that UPS now will ship it across Canada. If you want some more info about it The Local Travelers Gillian and Drew wrote about it and even did a video series to find the best pizza in the county.

While we ate our pizza we walked along the Pictou waterfront before we hopped back in the car and made it home in just enough time to get Ella changed and back in the car to get to dance.

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Even with my cold this has been one of the best weekends I can remember in a long time. The weather was perfect, the beaches beautiful, and the company with me is the best in the world!

 

Donairs and Donair Pizza

While I was away in Spain meeting my new team one of them, Simon, asked me about food in Nova Scotia and if he came here what he would have to try. The first thing that came to mind was donairs.

Truthfully I don’t actually eat a lot of donairs, but when I do I enjoy them. It is much more common that we will make a donair pizza here at home and eat that instead.

So in case anyone is interested I thought I would share the recipes we use to either make either donairs or the pizza.

We tried a few different variations of the donair meat and sauce recipes, but our favourite came from this site by Glen Petitpas https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~gpetitpas/Links/Donair.html.

Donair
Image From: https://www.flickr.com/photos/40726522@N02/8600781370/

As I mentioned we usually make a pizza instead of the donair pictured above. To do this we cover the crust with the donair sauce, break up the meat into little chunks and spread it out then you can add onions and tomatoes over top of that if you like. To finish it off cover it with grated mozzarella cheese. Cooking time really depends on the crust but for us we usually do 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes.

If you happen to try out any of the recipes below let me know what you think. As I’m writing this we have donair meat cooking in the oven for pizza tonight and I’m looking forward to it already.

Donair Meat

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 3 pounds lean hamburger
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne red pepper (depending on your taste)
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

The original recipe recommends seeing if you can have your butcher or meat shop triple grind your hamburg, but we’ve only done this a couple times and didn’t notice a huge difference. We now just grab packages from the cooler in our supermarket.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Knead for 20 minutes. Shape into two tightly formed loaves. Bake on broiler pan for 2 to 2 1/2 hours at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool loaves and slice into thick slabs. Meat can be frozen for future use. You may find that the inner parts of the loaf are not browned enough. This can be remedied by re-heating the meat in a frying pan. This browns it nicely and gives it that slightly chewier texture.

Heat donair meat in a frying pan. Dip a pita bread in water and fry in frying pan to soften (this is VERY important). Place a generous amount of sauce on bread. Top with meat, chopped onions and tomatoes and finish off with lots more sauce. Put on some old clothes, then roll up or serve open face on a plate.

Donair Sauce

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2/3 cup canned sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

(Or for a 14oz tin of sweetened condensed milk, add 1/2 cup vinegar, and 1 tsp garlic powder)

I usually mix the garlic powder in with the vinegar first and then add the sweetened condensed milk. Stir it up until it is a consistent thick texture. We find it best to chill it in the fridge for a while before using.

Pizza Dough

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pkg yeast

Mix together & let yeast rise, then whisk in:

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Add 4 cups flour

Knead.
Put dough in covered bowl in oven with light on for 1/2 – 1 hour. Makes 3 round pizzas, or two large square pizzas. Knead in a little flour if sticky. Oil pans & stretch dough to fit. Add toppings. Let sit at least 15 min. before baking. Bake at 450.