Calling all Canucks! If you’re feeling a little homesick or want to showcase your patriotic pride, then consider hosting a Canada Day party on July 1 to commemorate Canada’s birthday. Throwing one is as easy as a hat trick.
For starters, you need to have some beer on hand. Finding Canadian beer on island is not easy, so you may have to settle for American beer (even if it feels a bit watered down for your liking). As long as you put a variety of chilled beer into a cooler, your Canadian guests will be happy. If you have non-beer drinkers in the crowd, why not make a signature cocktail like Canada’s own Caesar? Also referred to as a Bloody Caesar, it is a delicious concoction well known for curing a hangover, and it shouldn’t be confused with the American Bloody Mary.
Of course, the theme colors need to be red and white, the colors of the Canadian flag, so make sure your guests arrive in patriotic colors. Also, blow up red and white balloons and streamers to decorate your house, as well as small Canadian flags to adorn food with the help of toothpicks. Perfect party snacks include beef sliders (or any barbecued meat, for that matter), sandwiches or cookies cut into the shape of maple leaves, and a big bowl of ooey, gooey poutine (practically Quebec’s national dish). Throw some Canadian bacon on top if you really want to impress your guests.
Canada Day would not be complete without Canadian music, so pull an iTunes playlist together of some quintessential Canadian rock bands (Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Sam Roberts, to name a few), and in no time your friends will feel transported back to those old cottage parties on the lake. What Canada Day party would be complete without fireworks? Since most people are not pyromaniacs, the next best thing would be to buy sparklers so guests can light them and sign their names in the air! This is a kid favorite and a safe alternative to big fireworks.
So, let the partying begin. And remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, since most Canadians are far too polite to tell you if it’s a flop.
Fun Facts about Canada
- Canada is the second largest country in the world in total area.
- Canada has the longest coastline in the world, stretching 12,5570 miles.
- Canada has more than 30,000 lakes.
- The name Canada comes from the word “Kanata” which means settlement or village in the language of the indigenous St. Lawrence Iroquoians.
Some of the world’s best inventions originated in Canada, such as the telephone, Blackberry, insulin as a treatment for diabetes, the cardiac pacemaker, Wonderbra, alkaline batteries, Superman, ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse, standard time, canola oil, A.M. radio, walkie-talkies, snowmobile (and snowblower), instant replay (invented for CBC’s “Hockey Night in Canada”), and Trivial Pursuit.
Canadian foods include poutine, Nanaimo bars, tourtiere, butter tarts, Coffee Crisp chocolate bars, McIntosh red apples, peanut butter, Caesar cocktails, Canadian bacon, maple syrup, BeaverTails, Kraft Dinner, Tim Horton’s coffee, Red Rose Tea, and Oka cheese.
Famous Canadians include Paul Anka, Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young, Joni Michell, Dianna Krall, K.D. Lang, Shania Twain, Leonard Cohen, Avril Lavigne, Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, Drake, Matthew Perry, Michael J. Fox, James Cameron, Kiefer Sutherland, Michael Myers, and William Shatner.
O Canada, eh?
Canada’s birthday is celebrated every July 1 to commemorate the enactment of the Constitution Act on July 1, 1867 (also known as the British North America Act), which united the three colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada into a single country called Canada within the British Empire. Canada became a kingdom at this point, however, the British parliament and cabinet gave limited rights of political control over the new country which were only shed in stages over subsequent years. The Constitution Act was not officially passed until 1982 when the last vestiges were surrendered.
Canadian nationals as well as expatriates throughout the world celebrate Canada Day in various ways. More recently, Canada Day celebrations have been held in various international cities like London and New York with Canadian performers, visual artists, and street hockey tournaments, among other activities. In Canada, organized celebrations include outdoor public events, parades, festivals, air shows, free musical concerts, barbecues and fireworks. It is a tradition for new citizens of Canada to have their citizenship ceremonies on this day. The biggest of these celebrations takes place in Canada’s capital, Ottawa, Ontario, which puts on a spectacular array of concerts, cultural displays, and most notably, a fireworks extravaganza, all on Parliament Hill.
Classic Caesar Cocktail
- 1-2 ounces vodka
- 4-6 ounces Clamato juice
- 2 dashes of hot sauce
- 3-4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- Celery salt
- Dash of salt and pepper
- Lime wedge
- 1 celery stalk
Rim glass with celery salt. Add ice cubes to glass, pour in vodka, then Clamato juice, followed by dash or two of hot sauce, a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce (to your liking) and salt and pepper. Garnish with lime wedge and celery stalk.
Caesars can also be mixed in bulk and served from a pitcher for larger groups.
The classic poutine recipe calls for cheese curds covered over French fries and topped with brown gravy. However, since you can’t get cheese curds in Cayman, a great substitute is grated mozzarella cheese.
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoon water
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 15 ounces beef broth
- 15 ounces chicken broth
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 pounds Russet potatoes such as PEI potatoes (3-4 medium potatoes)
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese torn into chunks
Dissolve the cornstarch in the water in a small bowl and set aside. In a large saucepan, melt the butter, then add the flour and simmer for 5 minutes until the mixture turns golden brown – about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add the beef and chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk. Stir in the cornstarch and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Season with pepper, and salt, if necessary.
Cut potatoes into 1/2- 3/4-inch thick sticks. Place into a large bowl and cover completely with cold water. Let stand for one hour. When ready to cook, heat oil in deep fryer or in large, wide pot on stovetop.
Remove the potatoes from the water and place onto a plate covered with a sheet of paper towel. Blot to remove excess water. Add fries to the oil and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to cook but are not yet browned (about 300°F). Remove potatoes from oil and scatter on a wire rack. Increase oil temperature to 375°F. Once oil is heated to that temperature, return the potatoes to the fryer and cook until potatoes are golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined bowl. The reason to double-fry is to create a crispy outer layer and a soft inner layer.
Place French fries in a large bowl and season with salt. Ladle the poutine gravy to the bowl and toss together to coat fries. Add the mozzarella and toss with the hot fries and hot gravy. Add freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.