Thursday, December 4, 2008

Canadian Pacific, Pantomimes,

I forgot to tell you, coming home from the dentist's on Tuesday night, it was dark, we had to go under a railway bridge and there, on top, was a Christmas train covered in lights - decorated carriages as far as I could see. It was such a lovely sight; some of the messages were about Canadian Pacific and some were wishing us all Happy Holidays. I understand the object of the train which has been around for 5 seasons now, is to raise public awareness of hunger and to raise money with a Christmas show. Didn't know about any of this before I Googled. I was just thrilled to see the train, I have no idea where the performance was taking place, read more here there is even a schedule although I don't see Cambridge, Ontario on the list and that is where we saw them. I would love to have taken photos as these don't really do it justice, but they are all I can find. Today I am off to see a matinée, a Christmas Pantomime, Cinderella. It is being staged at St. Jacob's School Theatre which is a small town fairly close by. It's part of the Drayton Entertainment group who's performances I have been going to see all year. They try to copy the format of a British panto, but they don't quite hit the nail on the head, sorry, they didn't with the one I saw, Aladdin. We will see how they do this time. Next year they are doing Robin Hood and I am not quite sure who the Pantomime Dame would be in that story. A British Pantomime has to have a Dame, some of the most famous comedians have played Dames in the past (and probably still do). The part is always played by a male and in England the Principle Boy is always played by a woman with "legs up to here". I always remember, with fondness, Terry Scott, who was a top comedian in his day, playing the dame and doing a routine to the stripper. He was preparing for bed and wearing dozens of corsets and it was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. This was him as Widow Twankey in Aladdin. Technically pantomimes are designed for children, but the London ones are full of adult humour most of which would be way beyond the children who have their own comedy all the time in the show. There are many stock scenes for kids, like the actor who has a bear behind him and doesn't know. He keeps turning and the children keep shouting warnings, but every time he moves, the bear does too. The kids love it. I was telling one of the nurses at the dentist's yesterday about the Turkish Orange Cake as she has a family member who cannot eat flour. Not Celiac disease, but still cannot eat wheat. So, specially for her, I will post the recipe again. The picture is one I made quite recently, it is always popular and is delicious. Turkish Orange cake 2 large oranges 6 eggs 8 oz ground almonds 8 oz sugar 1 tsp baking powder Juice of half a lemon Wash oranges and boil them in water for 2 hours (YES, two hours ! Careful pan doesn't dry out.) Throw out the water. Cool and pulp in a blender or food processor. You can remove pips but I never bother. Beat eggs and add them to orange pulp and then add all other ingredients. Pour into a buttered and floured (unless you can't use flour) cake tin. Bake at 180C or 350F or gas 4 for 60 minutes. Cool before turning out. Cake should be moist. Serve on own or with cream. Have a great day.


  1. Hi Jo!

    Just wanted to follow up re: CP's Holiday Train. The info you found was from 2003 (eek!) hence why no mention of Cambridge.

    Here's the Holiday Train page for this year

    The Cambridge stop was on December 2, 5:15 to 5:45 p.m. – former Galt Station, 10 Malcolm St. Nevertheless, we're glad you caught our train and thank you for spreading the word on your blog!


    Danelle W.
    CP Holiday Train Team

  2. Thank you for writing Danelle, I hadn't realised I had found such an old page. I appreciate you updating me. I was considerably impressed at the sight of the train and was sorry to pass it so briefly. A great idea for a great cause.