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Saturday, July 30, 2011

A few of my favorite Canadian things

Happy Anniversary to Long and Short Reviews! I'm thrilled to be a part of the anniversary celebrations.

It's all my first time over at LASR and not Whipped Cream. Of course, Incarnate is my first book which is not spicy at all.

It was a nice refreshing break to write Incarnate. I let my heroine kill things and drive a big rig. It was great and recharged the Muse in the process.

Incarnate is also my debut release in the Urban Fantasy genre, my debut under the pen name A.C. Ruttan and my debut at Samhain Publishing.

The beauty of Incarnate was I set it in Canada and the heroine comes from my hometown of Whitby Ontario, but currently runs a big rig on the ice roads of Canada. I am a huge fan of Ice Road Truckers. Especially the first two seasons which feature the gruelling roads of the North West Territories.

The North West Territories, Yukon and Nunavut have been on my travel wish list for as long as I can remember. I also got to add some lovely Canadiana to my book. Like toque. My editor had to ask me what that was and I told her it is a winter cap. It was hard for me to think of another word for it because in Canada we call them toques.

I also got to mention my favorite Canadian food of all time. No I'm not talking about blubber (which is a traditional food of the Inuk people and known as Muktuk), but Poutine. YUM!

Poutine consists of french fries, cheese curd and gravy. Heaven, but also pretty artery clogging. Hey, what can I say, we have to stay warm up here.

So I thought I would share the scene of Incarnate which features a poutine:

The waitress wandered over. I picked up the single-paged menu. “Two poutines, please.”

The waitress didn’t respond, but wrote it down and wandered away again. Arthur looked worried and leaned forward. “What the hell is a poutine?”

“You’ll love it. It’s French fries smothered in gravy and topped with cheese curds.”
Arthur balked. “Sounds like a heart attack on a plate, but I’m so hungry I could eat blubber.”

“They have that too. Should I change your order?”

“No. Christ, no.”

I couldn’t help laughing at his horrified expression. “I forgot how health-conscious British food is: blood pudding, bangers and mash…fry-ups.”

“Okay, you’ve got me there. Next you’re going to tell me bear is on the menu.”

“I guess not, since all those fuzzy white bears are out on the ice flows.”

“You do realize the polar ice caps are melting?”

“Well, I’m sure they don’t bother with people.”

I started laughing. “Oh, and where did you hear that?”

“Well, they always look so friendly in zoos, you know, swimming around and playing with big rubber balls. They look so happy as they frolic.”

I banged the table as laughter wracked through my body. “Arthur, this is the Arctic. It’s a barren wasteland in the winter, and for the most part, pretty much scrubland in the brief summer. Up here it’s eat or be eaten.”

Incarnate was fun to write for so many reasons. It's also the only book I've written backwards. Yep. Backwards. I wrote the ending first.

So I've shared a bit of Canadiana featured in Incarnate and I'd like to know about your favorite regional items. What is your favorite food that is unique to where you live?

Amy/A.C. loves to hear from readers. You can check out her other books at

Or follow her on Twitter.


Pearl said...

Poutine huh? LOL!! Sounds great to me! But then I'm a Kiwi and we eat all sorts of interesting things...

Amy Ruttan said...

I love Kiwi's just for that reason, Pearl! :)

I have many Kiwi friends & they're the best. :)

booklover0226 said...

Hi, Amy.

I enjoyed the post; it was quite interesting.

I loved the excerpt; the book sounds great.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Amy Ruttan said...

Thanks, Tracey! :)

katsrus said...

I love cheese fries. I just recently found those. Yummy! Ice Roads Truckers is a great show! Enjoyed your excerpt.
Sue B

Na said...

I am from Canada so this post was both relevant and a fun read. I recently discovered the urban fantasy genre and really like it. Not much beats a heroine who is strong, capable and has a little bad in her...for the overall good of course. What I don't read a lot are stories set in Canada so I'm glad your book is a UF book and set in Canada. I like the idea of a heroine driving a big rig and I definitely haven't read one who does.

Pearl said...

Oh Amy!!! I LOVE this book! I bought it at Amazon, after reading your comments and read it today while sitting out at the local pool. EXCELLENT story! All kudos to you Ms Amy!

Loved your sweet comments about Kiwis, some of my fiercest friends in NZ are Canadian. And Canadians are such FAB musicians as well!

Toni said...

I have never even heard of poutine until about a month or so ago (new Canadian friend *waves hi Leanne*). I do love me some chili cheese fries though. What is it about drowning deep fried french potatoes? YUM!


Stacie said...

I live in Chicago but my favorite regional food is from Wisconsin. It is frozen custard. It is smoother than ice-cream and also has more calories. I'm moving to another state soon and will really miss it.

User1123 AT comcast DOT net

Robin said...

Pacific Northwest - seafood!

Robin D
robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

Monica Marlowe said...

I was born and raised in Toronto and loved this post! I miss Mars bars so much I can hardly convey the yearning I feel when I even think of all that chocolate and caramel. Now I live in North Carolina and the regional food here is delicious. My Southern fave? I'd have to say fried dill pickles - so good!