We biked down there on Thursday: a wonderful, halcyon, summer day. Yes, technically, autumn had already begun, but, weather-wise, it was as fine a summer day as one could wish for. The water was deep blue; sailboats and motorboats idled by; an old-fashioned schooner glided gracefully upriver; and, seagulls hovered in great expectancy of castaway fries. A pretty darn perfect day!
These fries, or chips, are delightful, and, of course, they are made more so by the ambience of all that I described above. Generally you place your order and wait. You can often hear them slicing the fresh potatoes, dropping them into wire baskets, and lowering them into cauldrons of bubbling grease. The pieces all float separately and freely in this old-fashioned, English way of "doing chips."The fries were great! This was our final indulgence of the summer: our last fries rite. We needed one more fix before fall and winter set in. Despite the fact that we have been pretty good about not indulging very often this season, I felt a few tiny twinges of guilt about eating these greasy, artery-clogging morsels. But I quickly got over it and simply yielded to the delight of the moment.
Being Canadian, we normally have our fries with vinegar. It is strange that they don’t do that Stateside. I can almost throw a chip across the river, but culture does change at the border. They talk differently over there, more accented really. They tend to drink soda while we drink pop, and so on.
But two large flags fly on both sides of the border: one American and one Canadian. We are two distinct nations that squabble a bit every now and then, but we are two pretty good friends and neighbours too.
Sometimes you need to loosen up, but you also need to run a tight ship most of the time in order to really appreciate the little treats that help to make life worth the living.