“What is so Rare as a Steak Fried Blue?” or “What to Do When Diners Linger at the Table”
André Gauvreau was in his 50s and on disability pension because of heart trouble and diabetes when we met him, so he had lots of time and he loved to visit. Through the years he’d worked at various cooking jobs across Canada and had quite the tales to tell.
In one of his accounts he was the head cook at a certain mining camp in northern Alberta and part of his job was to wash the dining room floor after dinner. But sometimes he had trouble getting the fellows out of the dining hall after the meal was over; they were inclined to sit for a lengthy gab-fest after the dishes were cleared away.
Then André discovered an effective method of clearing the dining room. Being French Canadian, he liked his steaks “blue”: charred on both sides and very rare inside. So after the other men had eaten he’d take a raw steak and throw it on the grill to singe it, then flip it over and singe the other side. Next he’d fork it onto his plate, take his utensils and go sit in the midst of the loiterers to have his meal.
He’d slice into the steak and blood would ooze out all over the plate. With great relish he’d start chowing down. The other guys took one look at his plate and remembered they had things to do elsewhere. He said it worked every time.
I’m sure our Aunt Helen would have said the same thing to him that she said to Uncle Henry one day when he’d fried himself a very rare steak. He asked her if she wanted part of it and she told him, “No. I can still hear that calf bawling!”
Do you like your eggs happy with sunny side up?
Or should they turn over and land with a plop?
Do you like your eggs mashed with small blobs of butter?
And should you crunch eggshell, will you fuss and mutter?
Would you rather them sandwiched with mayo on bread?
Or put them in egg cups and knock off their heads?
Do you like your eggs fluffy, as in soufflé dream?
Or want them in custard, topped with whipped cream?
Would you like your eggs cheesy in omelette bakes?
Or rather they come to the table in cakes?
Do you fancy an egg roll with rice and stir fry?
If the eggs were served raw, would you give them a try?
Do you long for them pickled and pink in a jar?
Or like your eggs fishy with canned caviar?
Would huevos rancheros be more to your taste?
Or will you have egg-plant with anchovy paste?
Will you eat eggs so they don’t go to waste?
Or make a big fuss if they’re not to your taste?
Must they eggs-actly be cooked as you like?
Or are you an eggs-pert at being polite?
She wasn’t hungry, so she said.
A salad and a cup of tea
was all she felt that she could eat,
but it was different with me.
“I’m rather hungry,” I replied.
“If you don’t mind, I think I’ll take
some oysters to begin with
and a good old-fashioned sirloin steak.”
Now wives are curious in this—
to make the statement blunt and straight—
there’s nothing tempts their appetites
like food upon another’s plate.
And when those oysters six appeared
she looked at them and said to me,
“Just let me try one, will you, dear?”
And right away she swallowed three.
On came the steak and promptly she
exclaimed, “Oh my that looks so good!
I think I’d like a bit of it.”
(The game is one I understood.)
I cut her off a healthy piece
and never whimpered when she said,
“Now just a few potatoes, dear,”
and also, “Let me share your bread.”
She wasn’t hungry! She’d refused
the food I had been glad to buy,
but on the meal which came for me
I know she turned a hungry eye.
She never cares for much to eat,
she’s dainty in her choice, I’ll state,
but she gets ravenous enough
to eat whatever’s on my plate.