In Canada, this weekend, my friends and family are celebrating Thanksgiving. Back home, my friends and I often gather during holidays for potluck parties. Each one of us brings a home-cooked dish and drinks to share, and we would have a lovely evening of good food, conversations, laughs, and more often than not, board games. So, as a way to reach out to my fellow friends from school and my campus dormitory, I offered to host a Canadian themed party last night.
I cooked poutine in the ovens in the lounge, and as we are students on a budget, we enjoyed making s’mores on the barbecue grill in the garden. It was probably not very good for us, as the main source of heat was lighter fluid; but it was more about the experience of cooking marshmallows on an open fire …with kitchen forks. I was terrible at making gravy, as it turns out, but it turned out all right in the end thanks to the joint effort of a few friends.
Poutine is a Canadian dish that originated in the province of Quebec. It typically is served as fries, with melted cheese curds and gravy, a light brown meat sauce. McDonald’s across Canada serve poutine. There are also a variety of poutines available at different restaurants, such as pulled pork poutine or ‘Mexicana’ with gaucamole and sour cream.
S’Mores are a popular treat in the United States and Canada, that are consumed usually at night, by a campfire. It consists of a roasted marshmallow and chocolate between two layers of graham crackers. National S’mores Day is celebrated on August 10th every year. The name of this treat is a contraction for “some more”. It is unclear where this treat came from, although its dates back to a recipe book published in the early 1920’s.
Of course, the food was not exactly like home as I purchased everything at a grocery store near my flat. For example, I couldn’t find graham crackers anywhere, but I did find small cookies with a chocolate coating, and it still tasted amazing. Besides, this party was more about sharing something from home with people who had never tried this kind of experience before.
To conclude the festivities, I made a Canadian themed trivia game that I connected to the television screen in the lounge. Everyone made their own teams and had to answer the best they could with Canadian themed pencils and paper. The winning team earned a case of beer. You can test your knowledge as well, by clicking on this link.
Overall, it was a great evening spent with friends and sharing a little bit about what Canadian culture is like.