Wednesday, June 30, 2010

$300 Million Roof, Canadian Distances, Celebratory Weekend

Yesterday I came across a story about a proposed $300,000.000 roof for the Olympic stadium in Montreal. Yes, that is three million dollars. They say the original one rips several times a year and is costly to repair. The 1976 Olympics in Montreal were infamous for the graft and cost overruns and now they want to spend all that money on replacing the roof. I guess they haven’t heard about the financial crisis in the world at the moment. Montreal-olympic-stadiumIt is something of a catch 22 situation, if they don’t replace it they will continue to shell out money on the repairs, or if they do they will shell out all that money in these difficult financial times on something which is, in the scheme of things, a totally unnecessary adjunct to the city. Politicians never seem to be able to get their priorities right. I bet there are lots of hungry children in the Province of Québec.That is not something which is exclusive to third world countries. Not to mention that there are probably lots of seniors who could use a boost to their pensions, but no, a 3 million dollar roof is more important. If I were living in that city or that province, I would be up in arms about this. I don’t live there but I am up in arms anyway. Matt has just commented “I wonder how much money they have spent on repairs to the existing roof since 1976”. They say they have to repair it 60 times a year.

That is one of the things which points up the incredible distances in Canada. The year before the ‘76 Olympics we emigrated to Canada and I was excited to think I would be close to the games and maybe get to see some of them. Ha!! At the time we lived in Cambridge (quite close to where we are now) which is in Ontario, not in Québec and is close to 400 miles away. Not to mention that the cost of staying there would have been prohibitive. Since that time Canada has hosted the winter Olympics in Calgary, 1645 miles away and Vancouver, 2046 miles away and that’s only going west. Montreal is east of us but going even further, if they ever had the games in St. John’s, Newfoundland for instance that would be another 1300 odd miles east. In fact only yesterday I was looking at a weather map on TV and commented how small the Great Lakes looked – Lake Superior is in fact 350 miles x 160 miles, a very big chunk of water, and that is only one of five Great Lakes. Did you know their names spelled HOMES, Matt’s dad told me that one, Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior.

As many of my readers know, Sunday is the Fourth of July and many Americans will be celebrating Independence Day with all kinds of feasts, picnics and barbecues. Only Canadians seem to know that on July 1st it is Canada Day and we do the same kind of things. In either case, here is a more typical North American recipe for potato salad. I admit straight off that it is not one I would probably enjoy and would likely steer clear of, but it seems I am very much in the minority in this part of the world.

Grandma's Potato Salad

Source: Quick Cooking magazine

Yield: 8 Servings


Grandma's Potato Salad Recipe at

6 to 7 medium red potatoes (about 2 pounds)

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions

2 to 3 dill pickle spears, chopped

4 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Dash onion salt

Dash garlic powder

4 hard-cooked eggs, coarsely chopped


Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water; bring to a boil. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until tender; drain and cool slightly. Slice potatoes into a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, yogurt, onions, pickles, mustard, horseradish, garlic and seasonings. Pour over potatoes and toss to coat. Gently stir in eggs. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Have a great day.


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