What food is so ubiquitously Canadian?  Yes, maple syrup and butter tarts are up there.  But I mean a food that, if you aren’t a true world-cuisine gourmet or have been to Canada, you have absolutely no idea about?

A food that (and I’ve eaten it there) is served at movie theaters.

A food that is a bone of contention (mostly about the cheese).

A food that takes lackluster fries and makes them something worthwhile to eat.

A food that makes me wonder:  potatoes and gravy are the ultimate combination, and we love our gravy in the South.  So, why don’t we have fries and gravy down here?

A food that inspires its own restaurants and is served at most restaurants in Canada that sell fries.

(Although I’m looking forward to chip stand fries shortly.  I would prefer my Canadian chip stand fries unadorned–no ketchup, no gravy, no vinegar–because they are crisp perfection!)

A food that has inspired a multitude of variations (but, let’s be honest those who have enjoyed it before, the original is best).


To those unaware of what it is, I give you leave to google.  Clicking the “restaurants” link before will send you to a bevy of variations.

Poutine is simply fries, gravy, and cheese curds.

Josh insists they must be white cheese curds, the kind that squeak in your teeth.  If you absolutely cannot find cheese curd, mozzarella string cheese is a substitute.  I’m not going to say a good substitute or an acceptable one.  It’s a substitute.

I realize I skirted heresy by even suggesting that.

Recently, our Kroger store (big big heart of love there) started carrying cheese curds…white cheese curds.  We served that poutine with the diablo burgers.

So, here’s what I did.  P.S.  If you don’t have cheese curd and don’t want to risk being a heretic, you can have fries and gravy.  Fries and gravy are pretty awesome!


French fries, fried crisp (we usually bake them; I know, heresy)

prepared gravy (It’s ok to use packet gravy.  In Canada, there are gravy packets simply for poutine.)

white (or orange, if you must) cheese curds (or cubed mozza–eek!)

Layer hot fries on a plate.  Sprinkle with a desired amount of cheese curd.  Cover all of the cheese curd and fries with gravy.  You want the cheese curd to begin melting.  Serve with a fork.

What is your favorite Canadian food?

We Plan Wednesday: Canadian Thanksgiving!

We Plan Wednesday

I promise to be a wee bit less contentious in this post.

Greetings, everyone!  And welcome to the Canadian Thanksgiving countdown!

(For those of you who don’t celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving, it doubles with Columbus Day…Monday.)

This will be the seventh year that I will be hosting Canadian Thanksgiving at my house.  I try to blend as many of Josh’s mom’s and Oma’s recipes appropriate for the holiday with a few mainstays that sometimes don’t appear on our table at Thanksgiving.  (“United States” Thanksgiving is held at my sister’s.)

I have shopped for most of the ingredients.  I still have to procure a pumpkin pie (frozen or ready-made, I don’t care), carrots, and green onions.  Tomorrow you will read of my hilarious and nearly catastrophic attempts to purchase said items while suffering from extreme exhaustion.  (To the point of near-hospitalization or arrest for suspicion of being under the influence of something)

Here is the menu:

Turkey (A real bird…and not just the breast)

Stuffing (served as “dressing”; I have never stuffed a bird…Alton Brown taught me well)

Mashed potatoes

Gravy (possibly homemade?)

Green bean casserole (from the French’s onion can…not the far superior Vintage Vicksburg version with water chestnuts, a pound of sharp cheddar cheese, and frozen Frenched green beans)

Jellied cranberry sauce (with the lovely tin can ridges and the gloop! sound as it evacuates the can)

Cranberry relish (I need to find my copy of the recipe or call my sister for it)

Yams Richard (Again, I need to find my recipe copy or call my sister for it)

Broccoli and cauliflower with my mother-in-law’s cheese sauce

Pillsbury crescent rolls (I was outvoted)

Spinach Madeleine (Dear Kraft:  Thank you (not) for discontinuing production of the jalapeno cheese roll.  I so (do not) appreciate it) from River Road Recipes, altered to allow for the use of Mexican Velveeta (instead of the far superior and no longer existent jalapeno cheese roll)

Pumpkin pie (Blech!)

Cruditees/Relishes:  mini sweet pickles, mini sour pickles, carrot sticks, celery sticks, green onions, garden cucumber, black and green olives, and dip

Josh tea/soft drinks/punch (I’m going to do the cran-raspberry version again)

Nanaimo bars  (Trust me; these are some of the best–and most fattening–things you will ever put in your mouth.  With as much butter as is in the recipe, I’m amazed it didn’t originate in the South)  I’ve found Bird’s custard powder at Albertson’s and Kroger in the “foreign” food aisle.  It is usually near where Grey’s Chutney is located.

My plan was to get a lot of the make-aheads done this past weekend (which didn’t happen), so beginning on Friday, I will be bustling in earnest.

What are your plans for (Canadian) Thanksgiving?

Canada Versus the American South: Rolling Versus TPing

Last night, Josh and I watched Duck Dynasty after Muffin and Daisy went to bed.  (Yes, Daisy sleeps with her boy.)  In the episode, several of the stars went and rolled another family members house.  After laughing at the antics (almost howling with laughter), Josh said, “They’re saying it wrong.  It’s TP-ing.”

I thought he was joking.  “It’s rolling,” I responded, chuckling.  Me who has never rolled a house…ever.

Josh shook his head, pretty vehemently.  “It’s TP-ing.” (pronounced tee-pee-ing for us Southern types)

At this point, I’m doing the one-eyed squint with my head cocked to the side in disbelief.  “Rolling.”


“No…it’s rolling.”

Yes.  This (slightly juvenile) conversation went on longer than necessary.

But seriously?  It is rolling, right?

I mean I know Z (zee) is pronounced zed and that restrooms are washrooms.

But it’s rolling.

So, that leaves me with the need to make a poll.  Please take the opportunity to respond to the poll and comment on your choice between the two below.  This is for the sake of matrimonial harmony, y’all (plus it lets me know that I’m right).  🙂