I have two sides to me. Italian and Canadian French. My paternal grandparents were from Canada and settled in Maine and then New Hampshire. My maternal grandparents were from Italy and settled in New York then Boston then finally Portsmouth, New Hampshire. New Hampshire is where my mom and dad met.
I am lucky that I had the experience of both cultures growing up. My father’s first language was French and my mother’s was Italian. Us kids never picked up their language. Around us they spoke English and when they were with the relatives they spoke their language. That, to me, is a shame. I understand a little in Italian and even less in French.
This New Years Eve I am going to have creton and baked beans celebrating my French-Canadian side. I have the creton cooking on the stove right now and will bake the beans tomorrow. I am keeping the Italian/French traditions for Carrie and my grandchildren.
Creton is a pork spread that used to be very popular amongst French Canadian working in the woods. It was a poor man’s food.
We spread it on French or Italian Bread. It is a traditional breakfast in the French-Canadian culture. My father used to eat it for his breakfast on toast with a cup of tea. The clove in the spread makes for a delicious cup of tea. There are many variations of creton using cinnamon, allspice, etc. The only spice I use is ground cloves just like my father used to make it. The pork I use is a Boston butt with the bone in. I have the butcher grind the meat and give me the bone back. I add the bone to the cooking and then remove it after the creton is finished cooking.
What turns most people off is that you eat it cold.