My mother is from Massachusetts, but her family was French Canadian. Though she spoke very little French for most of my life, her mother and grandmother used it as a secret code to keep secrets from her and her brothers and sisters. Since my father passed away and she remarried and moved, she’s picking up the language again, living near the Canadian border in a town that is actually called Frenchville with her French Canadian husband.
I have often purchased cretons from the grocery store, but I never thought of making my own until recently. Last month, Ian and I decided to tie the knot and take off for a weekend at my mom and stepdad’s house. (Of course we brought the baby; I’m not convinced my mom would have let us in if we hadn’t brought her with us.) Mom presented us with some homemade cretons while we were there, and I realized that I could make it at home, too. It’s pretty easy, and very tasty. It makes a great sandwich spread, but it equally good on crackers, which is my favorite way to have it.
Cretons (Pork Spread)
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 4-5 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- salt and pepper to taste
Add pork, milk, onion, garlic, and seasonings to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until most of the milk has evaporated. Allow to cool and process until smooth in a food processor, or in the saucepan with an immersion blender. Serve chilled.