If you are offered some poutine (which turns out to be a French Canadian treat consisting of gravy poured over French fries) and the server asks “Do you want it with or without the traditional cheese curd?” then it is simply rude to life and karma and opportunity to answer anything OTHER than “With, of course!”

I was invited last night to a very fancy company Christmas party by my dear friend Chuck. I’m used to the non-profit world, where it’s important to not only BE frugal but also to APPEAR frugal; Christmas parties in this universe are renowned for paper decorations held over from a few years ago and Betty from accounting’s rum balls.

Chuck helps to run a for-profit enterprise; it is in their best interests to not only be but also appear to be prosperous. This makes for a much more luxurious holiday celebration. I felt like the country mouse in the big city; they had a live band at a country club paradise decked out for the holidays in a million lights and swags and huge Christmas trees. The food options were simply charming:

  • The aforementioned poutine, with a choice of three gravies. (Do you want brisket? Turkey? Perhaps the lobster and shrimp gravy?)
  • Cheese – an entire cheese shop’s worth – and a charcuterie board of preserved meats and pickles.
  • A team behind a series of woks; you could put together your choice of stir fry and they’d wok it up for you and serve it in adorable Chinese food take-out containers.
  • An entire Christmas dinner served in martini glasses – turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce stacked in a glorious pyramid of deliciousness.
  • A carving station featuring tender, bloody Delmonico steak with bearnaise, tiny perfect asparagus, and sinful little potatoes swimming in butter.
  • A decorate-your-own-Christmas-cookie bar with varied frostings, sprinkles, chips.
  • And a hot chocolate mecca; build the cup (or three) of the perfect cocoa for you.

Did I sit primly, hands folded, murmuring a prissy little “No, thank you” when the silent, efficient waiters offered me smoked salmon pizza? Did I sip abstemiously at my water with lime while calculating my body’s preferred ratio of protein to fat to carbs? Did I remember all the work I’ve put into staying (or getting) fit?


If life offers you such an opportunity, it is impolite to decline. If you want life to keep offering you wonders, you have to reach out and enjoy what’s out there. Like writing a thank-you note to Aunt Martha; you want to ENCOURAGE her to keep giving.

So I ate. No – I feasted. By the time I left, clutching a large to-go cup of hot chocolate into which I had melted half a candy cane, I felt mildly ill. But only mildly. Mostly I felt satisfied and full and sleepy.

There’s a time to be careful. And there’s a time to embrace wholeheartedly (and whole-assedly) what so generously appears before you. We will all die eventually; a long life is less enjoyable if it doesn’t also include a few forays into the wild, uncontrollable world of poutine.

You know what I say? I say MORE!!

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2 thoughts on “Poutine

  1. I had two DAYS like that this weekend. Family visiting to bake Christmas cookies and 2 parties with my spinning guilds. I too felt mildly sick by last night and skipped dinner. Today I seem to crave a grapefruit and lots of water and splitting some wood for the woodstove. I think I should listen to my body.


  2. Juli, I only WISH my body would crave water and grapefruit! My sugar addiction comes rushing back in loudly with the slightest provocation; come January, i’m going to have to do the sugar reduction diet again to give my body a chance at a better way!


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