I always been an afficianado for fine foods and wines and I have always fancied myself as someone who could cook a decent meal. Today, I have to admit that my fancies have turned to the ubiquitous poutine and double cheeseburger dripping with fat and oils of the hoofed beasts that loiter the southern farms. I have turned into a junk food junkie and crave for pizza that bums my hungry mouth just so. However, I have noticed that the ordinary Cree lifestyle has turned from a fast burning fire smoked meat to the pre-packaged hamburgers that now attract our attentions from the coolers of the infamous Nordic stores and that has got me in a tizzy.

Where have all the moose burgers gone and how many geese does it take to sate the average Cree palate. How does one savour the fresh smoked fish when a can of keta salmon is often substituted in our fish and berry salads? I miss the old days when you had to wait until the meal was cooked and not just boiled brown. I know that this topic may be a little offside in the humour department, but I really question our values when the micowave is now the main and efficient replacement of the good old campfire or wood stove. Perhaps I’m not just as eager as everyone else when it comes to hunkering down on a fistful 1 of fries and vapid vinegar.

Pass the ketchup, please, so that food will taste a little Italian and forsake the mayo for a least two minutes and remember way back when this modem day food fiasco was relatively unknown and unheard of.

In a small little restaurant in a small little town called Fort George Island, we were introduced to the French fry. (We were also introduced to the five cent cigarette but that’s another story). This little wonder that originated from our ancient past had took us by storm and many a lineup to the take out window, a marvelous invention for those who were either too shy or too hungry, rivalled those of the famous double arch synonymous with McD’s. It is where the art of the two minute cheeseburger was finessed and the double bite and gulp was perfected by my cousin, who forever ordered Cheeseburger in every restaurant he went to. I remember he has caused a furor with a Chinese waiter at a restaurant where the name Chinese food meant pronouncing words we couldn’t understand and he kept on insisting on his cheeseburger. Needless to say, I think the waiter ordered from the restaurant next door just to shut him up.

I know that in this present day, fast food is normal and many a fine Cree restaurant have glumly changed their traditional fare to the humdrum five minute cook-off. My uncle had somehow managed to feed an entire town’s fixation for fast Chinese food (take-out, too) and in nearly every town, business men with dreams of making it to be the next Ronald McDonald and operating out of cramped quarters while sweating to the greasy oldies, have become a common market syndrome.

With gallons of gravy sauces pot boiling away and thousands of pounds of potatoes lined garage walls, the dream of spending a work free winter became a reality for dozens of burger flippers.

I still say that a slow cooked meal is best, but when you barely have time to chew before the next bingo game starts or hockey playoff fixates most males attentions to the boob tube, what chance does a pot roast have? Next to none.