Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Let's face it. There is a lot of good, a lot of bad and a whole lot of ugly in this world. We are constantly bombarded with negative news headlines. It is so easy to get sucked up in the negativity of the world; it is so easy to get sad and worried every time we flip through the newspaper or turn on the TV. To put myself in a happier and lighter state of mind, I make it a point to shift my focus away from the bad and the ugly when I blog.

Now, contradicting what I just said, I'm going to tell you about a very ugly incident I witnessed recently at Walmart. 

I was at the cash register of my local Walmart and a few registers away was an old man likely in his late 70s or early 80s. The man was speaking English and the young cashier was replying to him in French. The man apologized to her and asked for her to speak English because he did not speak French. Adamantly, the girl (her name was Annie) continued to answer him in French. One more time, the man told her that he did not understand. This is when Annie started to raise her voice loud enough to make many heads turn in a noisy Walmart. 

She raised her voice at the older man who could have easily been three times her age and started lecturing him on how he should learn to speak French because he is in Quebec. She was telling him to move anywhere else in Canada if he wanted to speak in English. I was shocked. After her unimpressive speech, she walked away from the cash without having finished the transaction with the old man. She stood a few meters away and faced the customer service section of the store. The man asked her twice where she was going; she replied in an impatient and annoyed tone "I have a problem with my cash." 

Luckily, the man was taking everything lightly. He was laughing at this strange situation (this strange situation that, unfortunately, is not considered so strange anymore).

Listen, Annie, (and to all you other "Annies" out there) before you start lecturing people on what language they "should" speak, maybe someone should have educated you and lectured you on how to be polite and how to treat people with respect. With what right do you raise your voice to a complete stranger, to a customer? 

This small incident at Walmart does not even compare with the many other ridiculous incidents we've all heard about (hospital staff telling patients to speak French, the infamous Pastagate, etc.)

The hate that has been instilled in you "Annies" is quite sad and shameful. I understand that you would like to preserve Quebec's language from the "evil anglophones" but every single time I hear someone say "You have to speak French in Quebec!", I feel pity. I pity you "Annies" for living in your narrow-minded worlds, and for going out to (language) war armed with an old-fashioned mindset and broken French (for some of you).

Every few weeks, a new story about these language wars emerges and, frankly, "Annies", it's getting pretty ridiculous. 

Click here to read about the gem of the week.

Five word sentence - two mistakes
Gem of the week @ Valentine Deux-Montagnes

Enough about language wars though. There is some good in Quebec: Poutine!
An indulgence of fries and cheese curds topped with heavenly gravy.
Here's my take on the best gravy for your poutine.

Poutine Gravy

- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 5 cups beef (or veal) stock, heated
- 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Pepper

1. In a saucepan, on Medium-High heat, belt the butter. Add the flour and stir for about 3-4 minutes until the mixture turns golden brown. 
2. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 20-30 seconds.
3. Add the heated stock a little bit at a time while whisking (you don't want lumpy gravy!)
4. Once all the stock is added, add the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and apple cider vinegar.
5. Cook for about 5 minutes until the gravy has thickened and season with pepper.

Top your crispy fries and cheese curds with this luscious gravy and indulge!

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