Canadian winters are some of the harshest in North America: temperatures average -4.6 degrees Celsius during the winter months, and can dip as far as -20 degrees in cities such as Toronto. And that’s without even considering the northern parts of the country, which back up against the north pole and serve as national parks and playgrounds for arctic animals such as polar bears. Adding the fact that the sun stays out as little as 8 hours a day, and most Canadians choose to spend as much time as possible staying indoors. Playing games, reading, and watching TV are common indoor activities, but of course indoor entertaining is one of the most popular activities during the holiday season. In order to keep up with the parties and warm cooking of the summer, we’ve compiled a list of the kitchen tools needed to brace the intense, chilled Canadian winters.
Homemade Soup Maker
Nothing beats coming home to hot soup after a long day in the frosty outdoors. Many resort to a quick, pre-made version of the meal by simply heating up the soup from a can or box. However, having a soup maker in the kitchen will not only impress guests as a stellar first course, but will also create delicious daily meals and snacks for the whole family. A soup maker falls somewhere between a blender and a hot water kettle, and is extremely easy to use; place vegetables, meats and broth inside the machine, turn it on, and come back in twenty minutes to hot, fresh soup. Most soup makers come with options for chunky soup (such as chicken noodle) and a creamier soup (such as tomato bisque or cream of peas). While technically these can be done with other instruments, such as a crock pot and a blender, having a soup maker will provide the ease and speed to make fresh, cheap soups which both taste delicious and are healthier than store-bought brands.
A Good Pot
Almost everyone has at least one pot in their kitchen, and yet many let them go unused, dirty, and even rusted. However, having a good pot is actually key to bearing hash weather and long winters. Depending on the kind of stove being used and the kind of food being prepared, a high-quality pot can make the difference between a delicious meal and a mediocre one. Pots are also extremely versatile, allowing for a plethora of winter dishes which are both easy to make and flavorful. Hearty international dishes such as chicken provençal, chili con carne, jambalaya, and penang prawn and pineapple curry are great for dinner parties. Alternatively, a sturdy, deep pot serves as great frying device for a serving of classic Canadian poutine. Pots are useful all year round, but are indispensable for winter cooking.
Barbecuing is a favorite North American pastime, and both Americans and Canadians alike love spending time out by the grill. Having ice and snow blanketing the patio, however, can understandably dampen one’s desire to want to stand outside to cook. Thankfully, keeping smoked cuisine in the house all year long is possible with an indoor barbecue kit. Indoor Barbecues come in a variety of prices and sizes, ranging from small countertop appliances to large devices which resemble the real thing, but which rely solely on electricity. The best part about these gadgets is that many of them produce little to absolutely no smoke; technology has come a long way towards providing authentic smoked flavor without the charcoal or wood. While using it comes without the rewarding feeling of cooking over the flames, the resulting BBQ fare will taste remarkably delicious.
Having these appliances in the kitchen will revive and, quite literally, heat up the kitchen for the winter season.