And now a little food recipe from our Canadian friends: Poutine

So we go to the farmer's market, innocently picking our way through the swiss chard and asparagus bunches, when suddenly my husband spies cheese curds at a distant cheese stand.

"Ohhh! Cheese curds," my exceptionally manly husband squeals as he dashes across the market grounds sending old ladies and small children flying hither and yon. "Gimme, gimme, gimme!"

This could only mean one thing in my household. Poutine.

Poutine is a French Canadian dish adored by all Canadians, but none more than French Canadians.

They eat it daily at home, at restaurants, and even at McDonald's (it's on the menu, really), or so I've been told, and scoff at the way any non-French Canadian makes it which, clearly, is vastly inferior to the French Canadian version. I am not a French Canadian. So I have steeled myself for the scoffing. Which, no doubt, I deserve.

So if you are prepared for some scoffing, I will give you the woefully inadequate recipe. Woefully inadequate because it is and because, of course, I am not French Canadian.

(By the way, if you want a fancier recipe, you can get one here. But, note, that the recipe comes from a Torontonian-based chef, not a French Quebecois-based chef. So you, and zillions of French Canadians, would be well within your rights to scoff at this poor imitation of the one, the only, true, real, French Canadian recipe. Of which, alas, there are many versions.)
Food Recipe: Poutine
4 large or 6 small potatoes
Cheese curds, loosely 3 fistfuls
Beef gravy, if you want to do this thing right, or mushroom gravy if you are an almost vegetarian

Potato wedges
You can certainly fry them, if you like. But I bake them to try to avoid fried foods as much as possible and because they are yummy.

Here's how I do it: I wash the potatoes, then cut away any nasty bits (I don't peel because I like the peel, but you can if you want), and cut them into wedges. Then I toss them with 2 tablespoons or so of extra virgin olive oil, a generous sprinkle of sea salt, and whatever spices I'm in the mood for, such as paprika or garlic or fresh rosemary.

I spread them on a cookie sheet and bake at about 450 for about 45 minutes.

Adding the cheese
When the potatoes are nearly done, I pull out the baking sheet, sprinkle the curds on top of the potatoes, and pop them back in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Adding the gravy
I don't have a good mushroom gravy recipe or I'd supply it. For now, I'm just using a mix. But I am on the lookout for a good gravy recipe and will provide it when I find it. But in the meantime ...

While the curds are melting, heat your gravy in a pot on your stove. When the potatoes are cooked and the curds pretty much melted, pull the potato / curd mix out of the oven and turn the heat off. Plate this mixture, then pour gravy on top. Serve.

My husband especially likes this with shredded Montreal smoked meat on top of the curds, but under the gravy. But even if we weren't trying the Almost Vegetarian route, we live so far from Montreal that there is no way we can get any. In fact, we live so far outside of Canada that no one has any idea what Montreal smoked meat even is (its first cousin is corned beef, but, alas, it is just not the same).

I have very generously offered to go to Montreal to get my husband his smoked meat - and not just for the amazing Montreal bagels that I yearn, positively yearn for - but my husband is just not going for it. Even when I mention that you can't get a good bagel in this place. He had the audacity to suggest I make my own. Right after I make his poutine.