A Phoenix Burning

Poutine Rapee

So, when I was a little girl, I remember my Memiere making these “things”  called Poutine (pronounced  ‘Put-zin’.) Apparently she and my ancestors considered them quite the delicacy.  They were an old French Canadian recipe, not to be confused with the Quebecois Poutine which are fries topped with cheese curds and gravy.  Oh, no…these little beauties look like brains.  Gelatinous balls of starch.  Doesn’t that sound appetizing???  Cookbooks and sentimentals call them “dumplings”…I call them “disgusting.”

A bit of history can be found here .

The recipe can be found here .

A picture of this “dumpling” can be found in this post at Bill Casselman’s site.

Makes you want to run right out and buy a bunch of potatoes and salt pork and try boiling up a few of these bad boys doesn’t it?  *gag*

I believe my Memiere used pork sausage in the center of her’s as opposed to the salt pork…for the purists out there, this is a mortal sin, however the thought of biting into a hunk of salt pork is quite unappealing.  (Who am I kidding?! The entire ball of starch is unappealing.) *gag*

My Aunt attempted to make them for my Memiere several years ago as a Christmas surprise.  Unfortunately, after all her hard work, they turned out gray-ish…okay, gray….okay.  Honestly?  The things were nearly BLACK.  A gelatinous, shiny, ash gray/black ball of something otherworldly.  I believe words like “turd” and “poop” were tossed carelessly about the table upon their presentation.  Thank goodness my Aunt is a good sport…in fact I think the word “turd” came from her own mouth.

So why am I telling you about Poutine?  Well, because I am thinking about making some for my Memiere as a Christmas gift.  It goes against the grain to cook something that I won’t eat, but I already bought the cheesecloth (that’s how my Memiere kept hers from falling apart in the boiling water.)  And I bought the potatoes.  I just have to talk to my Mom and find out what goes in the middle of these alien mutations.  Salt pork?  Sausage?  Or something “else.”  And when I do get to preparing these delights, I promise I will photo document the process so you can all be a witness to history coming back to life.  Maybe I’ll even wear one of my Grand-Memiere’s old aprons to add to the venerable feel of the occasion.

Stay tuned…Poutine Rapee are about to make a comeback.



7 responses

  1. I did not know about Poutines. Not the dumpling kind and not the cheese curds kind. I did not know anyone outside of Wisconsin loved cheese curds.

    I believe that the problem is the same as the problem with latkes, the classic fried potato cakes that, in the wrong hands, can turn a truly loathsome shade of gray. I, um, possess a pair of Wrong Hands. Nevertheless, I have an Interesting Suggestion.

    Instead of making Poutines for your Memiere for her Christmas present, make them with her. Ask her what she puts in the middle and assemble the proper ingredients. Ask her if she has a favorite pot for this purpose. Make a little party at your house. Set up a teenaged descendant with a videocamera. Set up another descendant with a recording device. Make your wonderful photos during the process. Tell family stories. Drink a little wine. The result will be utterly wonderful no matter how the dumplings turn out. Your Memiere’s gift to you will be her knowledge and her memories. Your gift to her will be listening with your whole heart.

    December 15, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    • Oh, Gerry what a lovely idea. 🙂
      Sadly, that is a missed opportunity. She is now in a nursing home and isn’t well enough to travel out of it very often. However, I am blessed to still have her with us to share her stories! Maybe I will ask her to share the process before making my attempt…I thought to surprise her, but maybe this way would be even better. 🙂

      December 16, 2010 at 3:37 pm

  2. All of a sudden… for some entirely unexplained reason… I appear to have completely lost my appetite… lol… They sound… errrrhh…. Yeah…. Take me to the kittens please… 😉

    December 16, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    • Ah, there you are!
      Was about to send the troops out to make sure you were still alive! Glad to see you’re still kickin’. 😉

      December 16, 2010 at 3:40 pm

  3. Yeah, uh, for some reason, this is not a recipe I’m anxious to jump into and give a try! Good luck!

    December 16, 2010 at 3:18 pm

  4. Jennifer A (Bread and Putter)

    I’d totally try one! But I’m a freak like that. Seriously though – potatoes, pork – those are both things that I like. It could be okay. Maybe.

    December 17, 2010 at 9:35 am

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