Preparations

In the XIXth century in both France and Canada, as soon as the weather got cold, pigs, beef, calves and poultry were slaughtered to supply the household with all kinds of meat.

During these butcher’s days, the animals were carved up into different cuts of meat. Filets, roasts, hams and pigs’ knuckles, cutlets, chuck steak, ribs or loins, chickens and the famous turkey were put in hermetically sealed containers to freeze, buried in the snow, or were stored in the "root cellar", a sort of cold room which was at one time used as a refrigerator. Care was taken to pickle several large pieces of fat in brine in stoneware jars, in anticipation of the soup and baked beans which would be prepared for the daily meals.

During this period of intense activity, all the smoked meat for the réveillon, Christmas dinner and other events, was also prepared. Blood pudding and white pudding, sausages, patties, meatballs of finely minced meat to be served in a stew with pigs’ trotters, tourtières or meat pies, crackling or potted meat and headcheese or pâtés would be prepared from traditional recipes passed on for generations from mother to daughter.