Two Shorelunch Secrets Of Canada Guides

While I'm lucky enough to spend a few weeks (and untold weekends) each year pursuing big game, small game, fish and just about anything else for which there's a season, it's a fact that I basically earn my living today as a desk jockey. But that wasn't always the case.

Back in the good old days (late 1980s and early 1990s), I traveled much of central and northern Minnesota and southern Ontario as a fishing guide. I also worked one summer in Alaska as a trout and salmon guide.

During these years I cooked shorelunch for clients in just about every type of weather you can imagine, and I like to think I became pretty good at making wilderness meals under challenging conditions. But there were times when the rain was so persistent and so heavy that making an open fire for cooking was simply not in the cards. On those days I relied on a single-burner camp stove.

So what was on the menu?

Red River hot cereal and Malkin's jam sandwiches.

If you've never heard of Red River or Malkin's, you need to rethink how you'll spend the rest of your days on this planet with the so-called title of "outdoorsman." If you're under the age of 30, I guess I can give you a pass, but if you're older than that, you really need to step up your game.

First a brief history lesson:

Malkin's jam got its name from W.H. Malkin, who founded the company in 1896 in Vancouver, British Columbia. As time passed and the company changed hands (and recipes were changed), the jam that everyone came to know and love disappeared. But some folks who knew and loved the original recreated it, and now you can buy the same tasty and thick jam (numerous flavors) under the brand name "Canada's."

Red River hot cereal was created in 1924 in Manitoba; it takes its name from the Red River of the North (think Winnipeg area). It has a delicious nutty flavor and is a mixture of three whole grains: wheat, rye and flax. While you can certainly enjoy Red River straight up (plain), it's killer when you add honey, brown sugar, granola, vanilla ice cream, or even a spoonful of Malkin's . . . I mean Canada's . . . jam.

FYI: You can't purchase Red River in stores in the United States. (I won't bore you with the details of that crazy corporate decision.) Suffice it to say if you want Red River (and believe me, you do), you'll need to buy it online. While your wife might give you a sideways stare for ordering hot cereal on Amazon, simply explain to her that you're listening to your guide.


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