Canada Day BBQ in Suzhou

Canada DayOk, I’m a couple days late in posting it – but Happy Canada Day!

This year’s Canada Day marked the fourth I’ve been in China for, but the first I’ve celebrated – and what’s better, we did it properly with a BBQ and beer!

I had tossed around the idea of doing a Canada Day BBQ a few weeks back, but some other Canadians here in town mentioned they may put something together and I didn’t want to conflict. Besides, with a recent move and an impending 31st birthday just a couple weeks away, I’ve plenty of excuses to celebrate.

However, the alt.Canada plans fell through, and so on somewhat of a whim Maggie and I decided to put our new apartment and adjoining backyard to use and host a little party.

Initially I was just going to use the crappy little BBQ I’ve had for a couple years now, but realizing I have a whole summer of outdoor cookery ahead of me, we headed over to B&Q (like Home Depot for the N. American readers) and found a decently sized grill for about 150RMB (about $20).

Canada DayAlright, I admit, I wanted the big 550 RMB one, and was set to settle on the 350 RMB one – but my wife used her Jedi mind tricks economic common sense in illustrating that the 150 RMB one was the same size as the 350 RMB one, and only lacked a little bun warmer rack.

All that to say – we got to eat charred flesh for Canada Day. I did marinated chicken breasts, seafood pasta salad, and burgers. The burgers were the most amusing to make. Not really certain how many people would be coming, I bought a massive wad of ground beef, and after mixing in some seasoning, I had what looked like the world’s largest meat ball.

After fantasizing what it might be like to actually cook a meatball that large, I tore it apart and smacked the bits into patties. Good times.

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In my rush to get everything bought and prepared, I forgot a few things – fortunately my neighbour, the handy and well-informed guy that he is – swung by the import shop and grabbed cheese slices, relish, mayo, lettuce and tomatoes to assure the guests would have all the fixings.

The grill took a bit of effort to get going, and once lit required my company pretty much the entire night, which meant I didn’t get as much a chance to hang out and chat with everyone as I would have liked, but all in all the day was a success.

Canada DayAs I had no real desire to trek into town searching for fireworks, I figured we’d have to go without, but my Canadian friends Mark and Sarah showed up with a big box of them (bought at a rather well-fought discount I hear).

It was nearly 10 pm by the time we got out and started lighting them off in our community’s courtyard, and after a couple window-shaking bangs we realized we weren’t making any friends (despite that we were operating under the guise of it being a celebration for the founding of the Communist Party of China) and so moved it to an unpopulated area a block or so away.

Being a work-night, things slowly wound down after the fireworks, and thus my first Canada Day celebration in China came to a close. It was great to be able to hang out with a bunch of Canucks and celebrate the way we do best – with beer and beef! Hell, we even sang the national anthem!

Earlier that day my neighbour Glenn came by with his golden retriever Huáng Huang and I took the opportunity to grab a few new photos with Addie.

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5 Responses

  1. @Tina: cheers! And yep, it was sorely missed. I tried to hunt around for some, but there’s nothing. I’d be curious to know if Molson or Labatt export to China at all.

    @JohnG: It was good times indeed. And you’re welcome any time.

  2. I hate Jedi mind tricks! Sometimes it just makes more sense to do the economically irresponsible thing. Use the force next time.

  3. it was great to be there, even though i’m a (national day-less) Brit, not a Canuck! cheers for the beers & burgers!

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