I have nothing to eat; I’ll have to go buy some food. Yet again, I’ll have little pay left over. My name is Thomas Garceau and I work on the construction site of the Lachine Canal. I buy my food in town, either at the market or in the shops. In town, it’s not like in the countryside. I do not raise animals and do not cultivate the land.
I eat bread, a lot of bread. When it’s too stale, I eat it with a little butter and cheese. Sometimes I splurge on a little beef, eggs or fish. This gives me a change from my regular lard, even though I prefer it. Ah, there’s nothing better than a good stew or soup, not to mention a small bottle of rum.

Video narration available in French at http://primaire.recitus.qc.ca/sujets/9/vie-quotidienne/3742

If I have any money left over, I will perhaps splurge on some tea and maple sugar. No white sugar for me; it’s too expensive. One Irish fellow who works with me eats potatoes. I don’t hate them, but they take so long to cook. You also need to have a pot and a strong fire. Eating a crust of bread takes less time. Oh, how I wish I had some salt, pepper or mustard to flavour my food.
The big boss is rich. He eats lots of meat and fresh bread. He can afford to add spices. And how about all those desserts and candied fruit? They say they are a real delicacy. The more money one has, the more one can vary one’s diet.

Author: Léon Robichaud

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