Raise A Toast

Where to begin?

Let’s start with me. My name is Jason, and I love food. And beer. And coffee. I also love my friends, music, hockey and travel. I’m here to share the amazing food, beer and coffee I encounter during my journey through life. I will probably also write about a song or two along the way – I tend to rock out to music while I cook. I am constantly on the go, but always make time to cook. I believe that cooking is underappreciated. It is one of the most amazing things we as humans can do. Think about it. You take a few dozen of nature’s finest products, put them together, expose them to certain temperatures for various amounts of time and you’ve created not only something that keeps you alive and running – but something amazingly satisfying to your taste buds. That’s incredible to me.

Raise A Toast

Why Raise a Toast? Most people who read this will think that it means raising your glass for a toast, or a cheers. And those people would be right. But this phrase means a lot more to me than that. Let’s start from the beginning. Back in September 2006 I had recently graduated high school and was moving on to the next chapter of my life – University. It was a big step. Living on my own for the first time of my life in a different province at a school where I knew nobody. It was scary and daunting – but exciting at the same time. I had no idea what to expect. After a 4 hour drive into the depths of the beautiful Eastern Townships of Quebec I arrived in my new home: Bishop’s University.

I soon learned that this place that they call Bishop’s in the strange little town of Lennoxville, Quebec was different. It was special – in the best way possible. Within days of living in an old, dingy, small residence room, I felt at home. People I had known for barely a week felt like lifelong friends. For those of you that know of Bishop’s, you’ve probably heard that we are a party school. Yes, it’s true that we like to have fun. But what University doesn’t? The thing that makes Bishop’s different is the sense of community – it is truly a family. Now, this is probably because when I was a student enrollment hovered around 1800 full-time students. But that was the beauty of the place. You couldn’t walk 2 minutes of campus without seeing dozens of people you would consider your friends.

Okay, this nostalgia is taking me a bit off track. Let’s get back to the point. Raise a Toast is Bishop’s school song. I remember the first time I read the lyrics. They were included in a package that the school sent out to incoming students before we arrived at this University. I read them one day in the summer of 2006 back home in Ottawa and remember chuckling to myself. A school song? Lame.

After only a few days in Lennoxville I had the song memorized. We sang it every occasion we got. Tailgates. Parties. At The Lion. Football games. Intramural sports. Between classes. Even today, if I run into some one from Bishop’s at a bar in Ottawa (regardless if I know them or not) we would most likely Raise a Toast together over a beer. That’s just the way it is. A copy of the lyrics proudly hang framed on the wall in my apartment. Some of my friends even have the phrase “Raise a Toast” tattooed on their body. Seriously.

Through this blog I will Raise a Toast to the many amazing recipes, beers, coffee, places, people and experiences that I encounter through life. Enjoy.

 

Raise a toast to Bishop’s University
On the mighty Massawippi shore!
We’re conditioned to our fate,
We will never graduate,
We will stay here for evermore!

College days will linger ever in our hearts,
Wearing gowns, raising hell and quaffing ale!
And we’ll show our esprit de corps
As we watch the Gaiters roar,

On to victory!
So raise your beer mugs,
And your little brown jugs
To Bishop’s University!