Hanging With Dad in Old Montreal

I caught up with Dad and his cronies in Old Montreal where they were on an outing to a restaurant.My dad was very surprised.He said ,”what are you doing here?”
“Slumming !” I grinned.
One of the women fumed at me saying “There is not enough room at the table .I told them we were 12 .There is no room ”
I told her with a straight face that i once lived in a tent with Bedouin in the desert in Sinai for 6 months .There is always room.
She looked at me very strangely. She looked suspiciously like my 5th grade teacher Mrs Kingsley who always had it in for me. I was her least favorite student.
I suddenly remembered the time i had sent away from the back of a comic book for a disappearing ink pen and when i got it i brought it to class and stood in front of her and pressed it and ink came spurting out all over her white blouse.
She yelled and freaked but i assured her it was disappearing ink and in seconds it would disappear as promised.
Well we waited and waited and as luck would have it it never disappeared and her white blouse was ruined which merited me another trip down to the principal’s office and a punishment.
I peered at her scrunched up face and asked what her name was “” .Barbara ,she said with a grimace,”Barbara Kingsley ”
I turned beet red ……
I guess the past is holy, as Arthur Miller once wrote in The Crucible but it takes revenge.
Aaron my Dad at 91 today in Old Montreal where i caught up with him as he was having lunch with his buddies …He looks better than people i know 35 years younger. His secret ? A positive attitude and a sense of humor …..and a curiosity about people and things.

I told the table i read somewhere that 90 was the new 70……

I left Dad and his friends at the restaurant in search of more authentic food.
I found it at the poutine truck .
Poutine is a uniquely Quebecois dish of french fries,cheese curds and gravy. Done right it is sublime. Done not right it is dreadful. Many places offer it and only some make it well.
The dish is thought to have originated in rural Quebec in the late 1950s, and several communities in the province claim to be the birthplace of poutine, including Drummondville (by Jean-Paul Roy in 1964) Princeville and Victoriaville.

One often-cited tale is that of Warwick restaurateur Fernand Lachance of Le Café Ideal, who is said in 1957 to have exclaimed, “ça va faire une maudite poutine!” (“It will make a damn mess!”) when asked by restaurant regular Eddy Lainesse to put a handful of cheese curds on some french fries, hence the name.The sauce was allegedly added later, in 1962, to keep the fries warm longer. Over time, the dish’s popularity spread across the province (and later throughout Canada), being served in small-town restaurants and bars, as well as becoming popular in ski resorts and sports arenas.In some places it is considered haute cuisine.

The poutine truck operated by Francis Camerone does it right. As Francis concocts the poutine throwing a hefty mound of chopped Montreal smoked meat on top ..His prices are 8 .35 which are well below that of the restaurants that charge upwards of 15 dollars.
He throws around the F word like it was wafers at a communion. I tell him i am writing a food blog on his poutine and he grins “Fuck yeah !”
I sit at a bench in the park and i exult over this dish of chopped smoked meat and gravy and french fries and cheese curds ..Definitely not for the faint of heart.
Francis comes over and declares,”I want you to understand my smoked meat then you can understand me.” I tell him i ate at Schwartz’s the other day and it wasn’t nearly as good as his smoked meat
.Montrealers take smoked meat very seriously
He offers me a sandwich of his freshly cut smoked meat on the house. It was great!


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