Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Conveniently located along Rt. 15 in Crosby, Kim's Chips is a baby chip wagon that has only been in business for a mere two months. Unfortunately, Kim's infancy also brings a naivete that produces low quality poutine at a high price.
FRIES: Mediocre. They are good size but quite bland; and a bit too soggy.
CHEESE: Decent curds but not much flavor. The amount of curds was also low.
GRAVY: Also mediocre. It is good consistency, but very bland. The gravy is the weak point of this poutine. There was too much of it.
ARRANGEMENT: Most ingredients are added atop rather than layered. Too much gravy caused bottom fries to become soggy.
SIZE: Decent size for a small. But the dish is rectangular and has a top (like a to-go box), which makes it more difficult to hold (e.g. while driving). It is a two-hand food. The portion might be a bit bigger that Jeannie's.
COST: $6 (HIGH)
COMMENTS: For $6 I expected much more form Kim and her team. It was not bad per se, but there was nothing great about it. The gravy really brought the whole package down a few notches.
OVERALL SCORE: 5/10 - exactly 50% because it is just that: mediocre.
Jeannie's Fresh Cut Fries is a historic chip wagon in the town of Elgin. It has been around for over ten years and knows the poutine game well. Thus, I had high expectations for this first stop on my tour. As one can see below, I was not let down.
FRIES: Awesome. They are crispy and salty.
CHEESE: Good curds. They are dispersed well throughout and have a nice salty flavor.
GRAVY: Solid. Good consistency (not too thin or thick) and a good beefy/peppery flavor.
ARRANGEMENT: Layered well with ingredients throughout. Amount of gravy just perfect so that fries stay crispy.
SIZE: Perfect size. Comes in a round dish that fits comfortably into a single hand for easy maneuvering.
COST: $4.50 (Average)
COMMENTS: This is the best poutine I've had since Montreal. The fries are the strongest element but the curds and gravy provide a solid backing to these all-star chips. It is going to be difficult to top Jeannie's.
OVERALL SCORE: 8.5/10 - This is high quality poutine and deserves high marks. Jeannie knows what she's doing and it's going to be difficult to find a contender to top this delicious treat.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
One of the most obvious reasons to love Canada is Poutine. Originating in Quebec, this comfort food consists of three easy ingredients: french fries ("chips"), cheese curds, and gravy. That's it. Don't ask me why it tastes so good, it just does.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
But is this truly what is going on in Matthew 15:21-28? Did Jesus really call the Canaanite woman a dog because that is what he thought of her? Most readers of this passage seem to think so. I have heard a number of interpretations that take Jesus' words as a direct, declarative statement toward the Canannite woman. Some readers explain that Jesus was being harsh yet truthful (i.e. she was, in fact, a Gentile, a dog). Others believe that Jesus was the product of his culture and experienced a kind of cultural slip up (i.e. even Jesus was culturally bias). And still others think that Jesus was merely testing the woman's faith.
In what follows I would like to offer TWO ALTERNATIVE INTERPRETATIONS of this text. Before moving on to interpretation, however, I will paste the text from Matthew here. Mark also includes this in his gospel (Mk 7:24-30).
21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” 27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” 28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. (Matt. 15:21-28, NIV)
ALTERNATIVE #1: Jesus Exposes the Woman's Cultural Prejudice
This interpretation hinges upon the social dynamics. Matthew tells us that Jesus and the disciples are on the move (as usual). But more specifically, they have left their home of Judea and are moving into Greek territory north of Judea, a locale that was historically hostile since the Israelite conquest over the Canaanites. Enmity between and Jews and Canaanites, as well as Jews and Greeks, was not uncommon (though the degree is difficult to assess in this passage). Additionally, the areas of Tyre and Sidon (within what was called Syrophoenicia, see Mk 7:26) were wealthy areas. Socially speaking, Jesus and his disciples are in an area of cultural tension.
Like most cultural conflicts, this conflict included specific manifestations of prejudice. In a lecture with biblical scholar Craig Keener, I learned that enmity between wealthy Greeks from Phoenicia and Jews from Judea was not uncommon. More importantly, some Greek writings from antiquity applied the term "dog" to the lower class, as well as Jews, as a pejorative. (I wish I could cite the texts but I cannot remember them. I plan to search for them and may add them to this post later) This is, in my opinion, a significant detail that demands a closer look at the passage.
What is going on here? Why would Jesus, who previously accepted and ministered to Gentiles (Matt. 8:5-13; 8:28-34; 9:18-26), now decide to endorse cultural prejudices between Jew and Gentile? To interpret Jesus' words as an endorsement of Jew/Gentile division is inconsistent with Matthew's portrait of Jesus.
Instead, I believe that Jesus' hyperbolic division between Jew and Gentile invites the Canaanite woman into a new perspective. This is a woman who most likely embraced cultural divisions between Jew and Gentile; and Jesus skillfully invites her to see the limitations of such a worldview. This is a woman who may have formerly used the term "dog" to refer to Jews; and Jesus cleverly summons her to see the pain of such prejudice.