It's Christmas Eve in rural Quebec, and festive appetites soar. And so, despite the subzero Canadian cold and the five-foot-high snowdrifts obscuring the curves in the road ahead, Claire Morissette, a 39-year-old social worker; her husband, Serge Belanger, a furniture designer; and their children, Veronique, 5, and Genevieve, 9, are in their Ford station wagon driving as fast as they dare to the home of Claire's mother, Cyprienne Morissette, with visions of dishes to come dancing in their heads. Claire dreams of the warm, fragrant, classic pork pie called tourtiere, which she'll devour as if it were going out of style. Serge imagines slow-roasted pork, a seductive hunk of flesh so defiantly, deliciously fatty that its juices drip recklessly down chins. And as for Veronique and Genevieve, Grandma's triflelike bagatelle—a splurge of whipped cream, white cake, Jell-O, and strawberry preserves—beckons them on.