For those who
were lucky enough not to go to high school in English Canada, and therefore were not forced to haven’t read “The Two Solitudes” by Hugh MacLennan, an explanation might be in order.
One reviewer, who obviously had a different view of this book than I, describes it as follows:
A landmark of nationalist fiction, Hugh MacLennan’s Two Solitudes is the story of two races within one nation, each with its own legend and ideas of what a nation should be. In his vivid portrayals of human drama in prewar Quebec, MacLennan focuses on two individuals whose love increases the prejudices that surround them until they discover that “love consists in this, that two solitudes protect, and touch and greet each other.”[emphasis added]
The bolded part of the book is the only part I actually liked. And only for a selfish reason – it describes very well the relationship between myself and JJ.
No, we are not having a party. These are provisions for the two of us. Life can be very difficult, not to mention expensive, when living in a bicultural household… and never is this more apparent than at the biweekly expedition to Loblaws.
This is because JJ and I cannot agree on many food choices, necessitating multiple purchases for ongoing household harmony.
Some examples (and I’ll let you guess who chose what):
Even when we agree on a particular food choice (which typically comes from somewhere radically different from either Greece or Scotland, I should note), we can’t get it together on the appropriate heat level… (what the hell is the matter with hot food anyway, I ask you?!?!? Sheesh!)
But, happily, we do share some food choices in common. These typically involve the slaughter of little baby yarn giving creatures that run around going “bah bah”:
Another variant on a theme: the humble lamb shank.
(is that JJ I hear in the background saying “Dinna ye photograph them bloody lemons next to mah lamb shank and tatties. And whar’s me whiskey, lassie??” It’s MORNING, JJ – do try to control yerself, would ye?!?)
Oh, and let’s not forget the craving for processed pork products in common:
Damn that evil, evil Loblaws, by the way. How dare they put bacon on for $1.99 a pound? I have a mind to send them the bill for the new clothes I will need after eating all this bacon. Note, however, that I picked the healthy salt-reduced bacon…
This, by the way, signals another difference between me and JJ on food choices. The above photo represents my notion of vegetarian cuisine (after all, it’s not real bacon flavour in those chips… is it?!?)
If I had my way, the vegetable crisper in the apartment would look like this:
JJ: It’s called a VEGETABLE crrrrrispah for a reason, ye know.
KB: Oh… and who tiefed those butter patties from work and stuck them in with my champagne, barbecue sauce and bacon, then?!
JJ: Ah, shurrup and gi’us a whisky.
So now, it looks like this:
Just as well, really – because if I were still a bachelor I’d be pining over this guy and wanting to invite him home to cook for me – and he’s married:
The recipe is simple: take two leftover baked potatoes (or if you, like me, live with a Scot and never have leftover tatties as a result, put two potatoes in the over for 1 hour at 375 degrees F. Oh, and prick them all over with a fork first. I learned about this the hard way once).
(But just tell me that the one on the left doesn’t look tastier… I dare you. Um… oops… forget I said that.)
This recipe has the Brouhaha Seal of Approval for sure. You can cook for me any time, Michael!
So, anyway, another grocery store trip without incident – and we’re both happy campers now, until the next sortie to Loblaws, anyway.