The Road Home

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The road home was long and full of words and music and silences. There were farmhouses and cornfields and roadside diners. And there was lots of good food if you were willing to stop and try something new.

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Just out of Wakefield, a smokehouse: “Boucanerie Chelsea”. They smoke everything here, from lobster to sturgeon to, of course, salmon. I wish I’d been more daring but I went for their maple smoked salmon since, if I had my way, everything would be smoked, dipped or marinated in maple syrup. It was sexy and delicious and I ate it all week.

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We counted ten, or was it twelve, chip wagons between Wakefield and Toronto. Someday I’d like to try them all. But somehow we ended up at the same one I’d been to a year before, The Chip and Dale Chip Bus, fifteen minutes west of Kaladar.

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There’s a very kindly woman who doles out your chip order like you’re the only person in the world (when in fact there was quite a crowd)…and check out the sign for homemade carrot cake, $2.50 per!

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The poutine was the best I’d ever had, no shit. Cheese curds fresh from the nearby factory, and I’ll bet the spuds were local too.

You can get jam too: it’s one-stop-shopping at Chip & Dale’s.

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Someone had recommended we check out Perth. I said to The Girlfriend: There’s. Something. About. These. Anglo. Ontario. Towns. Makes. My. Throat. Tighten. Up. There were lots of serious grey stone buildings, including one that housed Mexicali Rosa’s, doling out some pretty mediocre Mexican food but the restaurant itself was sweetly perched on a canal and somehow we enjoyed our kitschy salad with grilled chicken inside of a taco bowl.

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All he way home, I longed to find a roadside stand selling fresh corn and finally, like a vision, it appeared. Brocolli, potatoes and zuchinni too, and an honour system for paying. The corn, when I cooked it later was exquisite, and happily lacking that sickly sweet candy flavour that store corn has.

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We took the old highways again and so found a shady picnic table for our dinner, facing a river twinkling in the slow, gold twilight.

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We watched the ducks wend their way home.

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