3 Great Maple Syrup Cookbooks

A round-up of some of the best cookbooks I found while researching traditional French-Canadian cabane à sucre recipes. Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack by Martin Picard (2012) A book that defies description but surpasses all expectation, Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack is a cookbook by legendary Quebec chef, Martin Picard.  To open this book is to step…

Maple Syrup Poached Eggs on Easter Morning

Several Americans of French-Canadian descent told me they have fond memories of eating Maple Poached Eggs on Easter morning. This is one of those recipes that you think “Really? No way. It will never work.” Then you try it, and wow – it’s like fairies dancing on your tongue. Pure comfort food. It’s also super easy…

Pure Quebec Maple Syrup – 8 Cans

Pure Quebec Maple Syrup – 8 Cans Each can 540 ml (18.25 oz) $83.40 CDN Pure Quebec maple syrup, shipped straight from the farm in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. The farm is nestled in rolling countryside, where the clean air and pure water produce one of the finest maple syrups available on the market. Packaged in the iconic…

Cabane à Sucre Egg Souflee with Maple Syrup

It seems like winter will never end, but in fact, the maple sap is running in the trees and spring is just around the corner. Photo courtesy Recettes du Quebec This means it’s almost for Quebecers to round up a gang of family and friends, jump in the car, and drive out to the country to a…

Mi-Carême: A Quebec Cheese with a Great Backstory

Today is Mi-Carême, a built-in cheat day in the middle of the 40-day Lent period. Lent is all about penance, and deprivation and austerity. By contrast, Mi-Carême is a day of eating, fun and hijinks. The date for Mi-Carême changes every year. This year, it falls on March 8, 2018. Photo courtesy Montmagny et Les…

Slow Cooker Maple Baked Beans

Spring is almost here! Almost time to go to the cabanes à sucre (sugar shack). The best cabanes à sucre are large, rustic cabins in the woods – preferably a maple forest – with crowds of people everywhere. Photo credit: Tragear Because cabanes à sucre are all about crowds – everyone hanging out together, collectively marveling that the winter is almost over. Waiting in line to…

Make Tire Sur la Neige in the Microwave This Weekend

Make tire sur la neige in the microwave this weekend before all the snow is gone! Tire sur la neige (taffy in the snow) is an old-fashioned Quebecois treat that’s made in late winter / early spring when there’s still snow on the ground, but the sap in the maple trees has started to run. Making tire…

Tourtiere & Sweet Crepes for Mardi Gras

We tend to think of Mardi Gras as a season, Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) is just one day. The name comes from the Italian carne vale, or farewell to meat, and marks the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period of fasting and penance before Easter when observant Catholics stop eating meat. With austerity ahead, Mardi…

Caribou: Offical Drink of the Quebec Winter Carnival

Mardi Gras is one last big party before everything shuts down for the 40 long days of Lent. In Quebec City, Mardi Gras is celebrated by a giant, mid-winter festival called the Quebec Winter Carnival. Over a million people descend on Quebec City each year for Carnival. Activities range from canoe races through ice chunks on the river to…

Crêpes de la Chandeleur or Crepe Day

On February 2 each year, many French people celebrate Chandeleur by eating crêpes, a wonderful tradition indeed. Chandeleur (also known as Candlemas) is when the Virgin Mary presented baby Jesus at the temple. Incidentally, it’s also Groundhog Day in the rest of Canada, when Wiarton Willy the groundhog pops out of his hole and predicts…

Grands-pères au sirop d’érable or grandfathers in maple syrup

Grandfathers in maple syrup (grands-père au sirop d’érable) are soft dumplings served in warm maple syrup. The origin of the name is uncertain, but many appealing theories abound. Maybe they were invented in the French-Canadian logging camps of yesteryear. Served warm, these moist, sweet dumplings would have been welcome comfort food after a hard day’s work. Or maybe…

French Onion Soup à la Slow Cooker

The settlers in New France ate a lot of cabbage, turnip and onions, especially in hard times. In honour of Canada’s first pioneers, here’s the recipe for Slow Cooker French Onion Soup. This recipe takes about 20 hours in the slow cooker, so if you want to serve this for super, start by putting the onions in…

Easy Artisan Sandwich Bread

Back in the 1700s in Quebec, people’s diet’s consisted of up to 85% bread, an inconceivable idea in today’s world when so many people are on gluten-free diets. I am not one of these people, however. I love bread. Plus, I need bread for my kid’s lunches next week and have no desire to venture to…

Crusty No Knead Bread

In honour of the hard-working settlers in New France, here is my favourite bread recipe. It’s based on a bread by Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery in New York.

This bread is amazing. Anyone can make it. It requires no skill, no kneading, and no special ingredients. It also takes very little effort — just time, about 15-20 hours to be exact. But most of that time is just waiting for the long, slow fermentation of the dough to take place, which results in the most perfect loaf.

Pets de Soeur or Nun’s Farts

Literally translated, Pets-de-Soeur mean’s “Nun’s Farts.” I mean, wow. Best name for a recipe ever. It’s also a great way to use up loose bits of dough after making tourtière, galette des rois, etc. Ingredients Leftover pie dough, puff pastry dough, etc. Soft butter Brown sugar Cinnamon Directions Roll dough into a  rectangle about 1/4 inch thick….

Galette des Rois or King’s Cake

Many people of French descent eat Galette des Rois (King Cake) every year on January 6. This date is known as the Epiphany on the Christian calendar and celebrates the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem to see Jesus Christ, the newborn king. Galette des Rois is a cake made of puff pastry…

Pattes de Cochon or Stewed Pig’s Feet

Pattes de Cochon or Stewed Pig’s Feet is a dish traditionally served on Christmas Eve in Quebec. “Pig’s feet” sounds alarming, I know, but you can use pork hocks instead, which are which are tender and juicy when slow-cooked over low heat, as they are in this recipe. Ragoût de Pattes de Cochon Ingredients 2 lbs…

Ragoût de boulettes or Meatball Stew

Ragoût de boulettes is another traditional Christmas Eve dish in Quebec. It requires many steps and has a long, slow cooking time, but is not difficult to make. Do it on cold winter’s day where you’re home poking around the house, and you’ll be rewarded by the warm, rich smells all day long. Ragoût de…

Classic French Canadian Tourtière

Christmas Eve is one of the most important dates on the Christian calendar, as it celebrates the birth of Christ. In Quebec, many people eat tourtière on this important day. Tourtière is a spiced meat pie, traditionally made with wild meat hunted from Quebec’s thick forests. Today, it’s made with beef, pork or veal. In the old days, tourtière was…

Cipaille… Sea Pie… Cipâtes… Six Pâtes…

Cipaille… Sea Pie… Cipâtes… Six Pâtes… whatever you want to call it – and everyone in Quebec seems to call it something different – this multi-layered meat pie is the ultimate comfort food. In the old days, cipaille was made with wild meat and fowl and slow cooked in a giant cast iron pot. But if…