André Gauvreau was in his 50s and on disability pension because of heart trouble and diabetes when we met him, so he had lots of time and he loved to visit. Through the years he’d worked at various cooking jobs across Canada and had quite the tales to tell.
In one of his accounts he was the head cook at a certain mining camp in northern Alberta and part of his job was to wash the dining room floor after dinner. But sometimes he had trouble getting the fellows out of the dining hall after the meal was over; they were inclined to sit and discuss this and that at length.
Then André discovered an effective method of clearing the dining room. Being French Canadian, he liked his steaks “blue”: charred on both sides and very rare inside. So after the other men had eaten he’d take a raw steak and throw it on the frypan to singe it, then flip it over and singe the other side. Next he’d turn it onto his plate, take his utensils and go sit in the midst of the lingerers to have his meal.
He’d slice into the steak and blood would ooze out all over the plate. With great relish he’d start chowing down. The other guys took one look at his plate and remembered they had work to do. He said it worked every time.
I’m sure our Aunt Helen would have said the same thing to him she said to Uncle Henry one day when he’d fried himself a very rare steak. He asked her if she wanted part of it and she told him, “No. I can still hear that calf bawling!”