Day 312: Soup, Meat Fondue and Saskatoon Berry Crumble


I had a fitful sleep last night – I dreamed I had to cook dinner using slugs, and couldn’t decide whether to serve them raw on greens, which would risk of having them crawl off the plate, or cook them. A quick sauté in a hot pan I imagined would be the best method, being small meaty bits, or perhaps using one of those escargot bowls with all the little divots in it – because snails are essentially slugs too, right?

What do you think it means?

The day was one of medical emergencies – we’re all OK, but I spent the morning shuttling to various doctors and the afternoon bringing bags of ice to Mike’s knee and attempting to put a warm compress on W’s eye and administer expensive drops – 3 mL for $24, of which I managed to get approximately zero into his eye while he ejected about a quarter of a bottle – or about $6 worth – into Mike’s eye. That between two meetings that took the bulk of the afternoon and running out the door at ten to five to pick up A – for a community dinner at The Blooming Fields, a greenhouse in Didsbury.

It’s an interesting concept – the owners put on a set menu every Friday and Saturday night featuring ingredients they have either grown themselves or acquired from local farmers, and people from the community come and sit around two big communal tables. It’s like eating dinner at your friendly aunt and uncle’s house. On the menu – fennel soup, a salad, meat fondue with beef, chicken and meatballs you simmer yourself in broth (with various sauces, tomatoes and mushrooms) and Saskatoon berry crumble with chocolate chunk ice cream for dessert. When I got home I discovered (besides a house that looked like someone had picked it up and shook it) Mike had ordered pizza, having not been able to stand at the stove and heat up another package of those Canton beans I so conveniently left on the counter. For lunch I did try the Indian chick peas, heated up with a handful of frozen spinach straight from the bag and a spoonful of peanut butter stirred in. It took all of about three minutes to warm through and was fantastic.

Which makes a perfect segue way into Free Stuff Fridays. Some of you will like this one. Some of you won’t. Today’s Free Stuff is BEANS. Come on, they’re so good for you. You’ll have lunches and dinners taken care of for weeks. Think of the camping possibilities!

I emailed the PR company who does Canton beans and told them how impressed I was with this (Canadian!) product, and told them about you guys and FSF, and asked if they might donate a case of beans, one that includes all five varieties. They were all over it. So next Tuesday, I’ll email the winners coordinates to them and they will ship out the beans.

And you will love them – even the Limas.


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70 comments on “Day 312: Soup, Meat Fondue and Saskatoon Berry Crumble

  1. Lisa
    November 8, 2008 at 7:48 am

    I’m unspeakably sad that I didn’t win a Lou-chewed copy of One Smart Cookie, but I will persevere! I love all beans. I do not judge. 😉

    We had your Beef Stu last night for supper, done up in the crock pot. Tres tasty.

    Hope your boys are on the mend!

  2. sue d.
    November 8, 2008 at 7:54 am

    glorious beans! I really do love the thought of these preseasoned packets of goodness.

    I know what it’s like trying to put drops in the recalcitrant eyes of a three year old. I do not envy you, hope it ends soon and Mike is better too.

  3. Pips
    November 8, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Thank you for bringing this company and it’s product to our attention. I have not heard of Canton, but after looking at the website I see that they are a Canadian company. Yeah Canada! I will look for their product next time I’m at Sobey’s.

  4. robyn
    November 8, 2008 at 8:12 am

    Oh how fun!! Free beans. And they look so yummy!

    Do we still mention what we had for dinner? If so, I had eggs and toast. AGAIN.

  5. Avery from the block
    November 8, 2008 at 8:17 am

    Beans! I’ve become proficient at pumping milk for Ruby BEFORE I eat something potentially gassy… although beans are nutritious, so maybe she’ll have to learn to tough it out. Hey, I made your cinnamon sticky buns for Mike and I the other day (Election Night Buns), and they turned out great (so great we almost ate all nine… luckily we saved some for breakfast). So easy too! Ummm… last night was pizza night.

  6. kathleen
    November 8, 2008 at 8:27 am

    julie, i love beans almost as much as i love your blog 🙂 and what did i have for dinner last night? a slice of pizza from south philly–it doesn’t get much better!

  7. elektra
    November 8, 2008 at 8:42 am

    slugs. hmmm. that time is moving slowly through long dark November days?

  8. A
    November 8, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Please head my veggie plea! I live in a house of carnivores who won’t acknowledge the mighty bean. I, like you, have an infatuation with them and find myself daydreaming about their silky presence gracing my plate. I am determined to convert this family from haricot abstinence. I do love lima beans as they remind me of Italy. Those romantic Italians could turn any green lump into a gastronomical masterpiece. Mike and I must have been competing for the pizza delivery guy. He got here in 37 minutes from time of order. Beat ya.

  9. Shobha
    November 8, 2008 at 9:31 am

    We love beans! I love your blog!

  10. Natalie
    November 8, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Yeah beans!! them — and would love to try Canton’s. Sorry boys are down. Last night was chili.

  11. Carol
    November 8, 2008 at 10:05 am

    I’d love to try the beans, I wonder if we can get them in the maritimes….

    Last nights dinner was spinach and portobello mushroom lasagna and dulce de leche cheesecake for dessert, all from the Niche Supper Club in downtown Halifax.

  12. Anonymous
    November 8, 2008 at 10:09 am

    yay beans!
    Last night for supper I had (we’re still doing this, yes?)
    Prawn wrapped in proscuito
    crab cake
    bacon wrapped scallop
    fresh pasta with shrimp, oh, and the recommended wine (can’t remember).
    I love getting invited to birthday dinners especially when the birthday is not MINE!
    Question for you:
    Besides take out pizza on a Friday night….. any suggestions for a home run hit for teenaged girls??

  13. Theresa
    November 8, 2008 at 10:10 am

    How do I keep ending up anonymous?? 🙁

  14. Marilyn
    November 8, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Since I was a lucky winner of a doggy-endorsed copy of One Smart Cookie, I’ll let someone else have a chance at the beans (although I am planning to check out those Indian-style chickpeas at Sobey’s.)

    I agree with Pips; it’s nice to discover new products like the Dorset cereals you mentioned earlier this year. A scoop of Dorset’s Really Nutty Muesli really enhanced the crumble topping on a recent apple cake.

  15. charlo
    November 8, 2008 at 10:23 am

    I hate to apply for anymore “freebies”after how generous you have been to my seniors…..but I would love to try those beans,especially good to know they are Cdn made. For dinner last nite, we went to the local pub for their great fish & chips!! Our pot luck now has grown to 90 plus,wish us luck!!!

  16. Cargomarg
    November 8, 2008 at 10:34 am

    I’d love to win a box of “tootin” materials, I looked
    them up on the website and would like to try them.
    Last night’s dinner was oriental style backribs, cabbage, broccoli, and leftover roasted potato wedges.
    Have a good time in Jasper(the Icefields Parkway can
    be dicey this time of year, be prepared, please) The
    Bearspaw Bakery in Jasper sells very nice bread, the
    spicy cheese bread actually has a kick to it. M

  17. ladyloo
    November 8, 2008 at 10:38 am

    I was already going to try and track down some of these beans, but I suspect my chances of finding them in Louisiana/Mississippi are pretty slim if they’re a Canadian product.

    So please throw my name in the hat!

  18. Ellen
    November 8, 2008 at 10:50 am

    oh man, is it weird that i totally love beans?! as soon as i saw your other post about these, i tried looking up where i could buy them but sadly they are not to be found in my area. i would love to win these!

  19. Simone
    November 8, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Oh. I love beans. I’m interested to try these ones.

  20. Nancy
    November 8, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Just went for a hike in Monarch woods with my sister and all the kids and we had your pumpkin hermit cookies with hot chocolate –cookies turned out excellent! Beans look yummy! If it is a Canadian product, I wonder where we can buy them around here?!

  21. Jen T
    November 8, 2008 at 11:57 am

    The magical fruit!

  22. Cheryl
    November 8, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    I can attest that these beans are actually pretty good – Julie having shared some last week. My Monster loved the Tex Mex black beans! With some avocado and scrambled eggs it was the perfect Daddy is out of town and Mama is too tired to cook dinner.

  23. Colleen
    November 8, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    oh pick me pick me. I am actually shopping at Sobeys specifically this weekend to see if I can find those beans – I really want to try the chickpeas and I kinda like lima beans. And I really love the recipes and food ideas I get from this blog.

  24. EricaB
    November 8, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    I’m afraid my Friday dinner wasn’t real exciting – we had leftover shepherd’s pie… the highlight of the day was actually the Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins I made in the morning:

    If anyone is interested… I didn’t bother with the foil cupcake liners, I just used pam on the muffin tins. I did 1/2 whole wheat 1/2 all purpose flour and 2 eggs rather than fiddling with egg whites (and figuring out a use for the yolks), reduced the sugar to 1 cup and only put in 1 & 1/4 cups berries (more bad berries than expected in one container…) These muffins were like raspberry cheesecake without the guilt 🙂

  25. Alex
    November 8, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Dinner last night, courtesy of the slow cooker, was a bean and lentil medley that, unfortunately, turned out a little too al dente for my taste. Might work better on the stove, with the onions sauteed until actually tender, and the crunch cooked out of the lentils!

  26. Sarah
    November 8, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    I love, love, love beans! They’re so easy and help avoid ordering pizza on a Friday night – which is exactly what we did this week!

  27. Rhonda
    November 8, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    I love beans!! So do the teenies. The boys have hockey games all day so am making them chicken and ham stromboli’s and lemon meringue pie. YA!! Mom just scored many points!!

  28. Jan
    November 8, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Supper was black bean soup, again. It’s always better after a few days in the fridge. A friend calls beans whistleberries. I love that.

  29. Pauline
    November 8, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Thats a new company I have never herd of before will be checking them out. Dinner was a disaster. Thought we would try a new chinese restaurant that has just opened in St.Albert. It was terrible it was a buffet with most of the trays empty and what was there was not very good. Nobody seemed to know what to do. coffee was cold and I mean cold. It was so bad we will never go back. Just got back from Christmas in November and it was fabulous. It was the 20th anniversary of the event and they certainly made it very special. I missed you there Julie hopefully I will see you next year.

  30. JulieVR
    November 8, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Isn’t it musical fruit?

  31. Elaine
    November 8, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Yikes, sorry to hear about the weekend (semi)catastrophe! Hope everyone heals up quickly.

    This may be a bizarre comment, but as soon as you mentioned those escargot plates with divots in them, your slug dream didn’t sound so bad after all. Our favorite French restaurant here in Chicago serves up some unspeakably delicious, garlicky snails–now that the weather’s cold, I’m preparing to treat myself to some!

    Last night’s dinner was inspired by a severe chest cold: I made about a gallon and a half of split pea soup with carrots, celery and a smoked ham hock.

    Peas and beans are sort of similar, right?

  32. Judy
    November 8, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    I had decided to leave a question as to where you purchased Canton beans and then I discovered that Beans are the Friday lottery prize. In case I don’t win some Beans, where did you get them, Julie? I’ve tried 4 Sobey stores and London Drugs (who no longer have them in their warehouse) and Walmart. These were the 3 places on Canton’s website for availability in western Canda.Last night’s supper was leftovers but tonight we are roasting a chicken we got at the Millarville Christmas sale today!

  33. Pat from Ontario
    November 8, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Pick me, pick me! I would love to try the beans. I did look at Sobey’s today, but had no luck finding them. Tonight I checked the website and it says the beans are only available at the Walmart Superstores. For dinner I had a hamburger patty and grilled mushrooms, cauliflower, peppers and onions.

  34. Colleen
    November 8, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    I’d love some beans!! They are a big favourite in our house. Supper last night was pretty boring – pancakes and turkey breakfast sausages with fruit.

  35. Fiona
    November 8, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    No one can argue with free beans. I’m curious about this bag they come in, since I’m all freaked out about BPA in cans now.

    We are, in fact, having beans for dinner. I’m making veggie chili, which is simmering away as I write. Last night, I went out for Vietnamese. Tasty!

  36. Jenn
    November 8, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    My kids love beans! For supper we had chicken marinated in “Soy Vey” (we brought it back from the States and our stash is running dangerously low, so if anyone knows where in Edmonton we can find it that would be great) with rice.

  37. liza
    November 8, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    the more we eat, the better we feel.
    supper tonight was beef stew.

  38. glenda
    November 8, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    On a bit of a bean kick myself – made sweet potato black bean soup last week, and ham and nine bean soup this week.(which, I discovered, is much easier to do in my slow cooker!)
    Last night’s dinner was lemon pepper sole, asparagus with oranges, baby potatoes and broccoli salad. Yum!

  39. Cathy
    November 8, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    We would love some beans! Want to know what we did for dinner tonight? My ten year old made spaghetti sauce, which we had with penne. Yum!

  40. angiebean
    November 8, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    I don’t have the nickname angiebean for nothing. I have never met a bean I didn’t like.

  41. Tiana
    November 8, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Everyone in my house likes beans…even Limas and we like free stuff (especially food) even more, this is a good one. We went out tonight, but last night we made pork ribs in the crockpot, corn casserole, and raw broccoli w/ranch dressing to make me feel better about serving so much fat in one sitting:).

  42. doula aj
    November 8, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    I agree Julie,these beans are great! The company had a booth at The Women’s Show in October, and I was able to sample some.
    Dinner tonight was cinnamon buttermilk pancakes and scrambled eggs – tastt, quick comfort food.

  43. Barbara
    November 8, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    I like beans and those Canton beans sound really good. Julie, I so enjoy reading your blog and seeing your food photos! For dinner last night I had leftover chili.

  44. Carolann
    November 8, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Perhaps if you dipped the Limas in chocolate. Had your Beef tenderloin Panini sans panini maker but used brick (washed of course) and wrapped in foil – worked almost the same – no ridge marks on it. Will check out Sobey’s for the Canton’s. Am on the hunt for a product called Hartley’s Ma Made. It’s a fast method for making marmalade. Label even states, just add sugar and water. Last purchased at Sunterra but they no longer keep it so if anyone hears or sees it on some grocers shelf, please let me know. LOL and thanks.

  45. JulieVR
    November 8, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    Ha – I blogged about MaMade last Christmas, and wrote about it in City Palate. Great stuff! I got it at Sunterra but saw it somewhere else recently… can’t remember where. Try British import stores?

  46. Margaret
    November 9, 2008 at 7:10 am

    Free beans! Yes!
    Dinner? Deep friend halibut, caught by hubby. Coleslaw. We weren’t hungry after eating a big lunch at Allegro’s in Edmonton. They used to bake some amazing rabbit. When I didn’t see it on the menu, I asked the server why. His reply “They’re too hard to catch.”

  47. Cheryl
    November 9, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Beans are the stuff of life! Free beans are even better! Friday night dinner was restaurant fare, as it was my birthday….had grilled salmon, beets and asparagus — outstanding!

  48. Amber
    November 9, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Beans are good, even better when they are free. Oh and I posted this same comment on the wrong page…oops!

  49. Anne
    November 9, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Hey I live at Didsury and didn’t know Blooming Fields did meals like that. We’ll have to check them out…

  50. Debra
    November 9, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Hi Julie,

    Can you please tell us where to buy the Canton Beans? And what should we expect to pay?



  51. Coralee
    November 9, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Sign me up for the free beans.
    If I don’t win I’ll have to try and track some down as they look incredibly versatile and nutritious to boot.

    Thanks for rounding up the free stuff for us!

  52. Sandy
    November 9, 2008 at 10:35 am

    gotta love beans…. for supper we had chicken.Seems winter days and beans are a great combination…yummy

  53. Larissa
    November 9, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    MMM…. beans…. haha sounds wonderful to me! last night for dinner we had pad thai. we are still trying to figure out how best to make it, and i have yet to find my own tamarind paste so i have had to resort to the “pad thai sauce” found in sobeys, but it wasn’t half bad. if i do say so myself.

  54. Stephen Roden
    November 9, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Do the beans come with a Tag Heuer wristwatch? Just wondering….

    I took my daughter to see ” Chorus Line” last night, so we ate in Toronto’s ” Chinatown”. “Sweet and Sour Pork” with ” Chinese Broccoli”. It was so decandent!

  55. Anna
    November 9, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Free beans?! Awesome! A comfort food for me is beans on toast. Well, I’ve never had lima beans on toast. That’s just weird.

  56. Tagyn
    November 9, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Count me in for beans!
    We had some butter chicken and naan for dinner last night but hubby forgot to make rice!

  57. Pat
    November 9, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    I’m intrigued by these beans. Thanks for letting us know which stores are carrying them.

  58. Rebecca
    November 9, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    I think the chickpeas look yummiest of all!

  59. margaret
    November 9, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Looking forward to finding and trying these beans soon.

  60. JulieVR
    November 9, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Uh oh – sorry everyone has been having trouble finding them! I got the list of stores they are available at from the source – I haven’t actually seen or purchased them in stores yet, since I’m generally at either Superstore or small ethnic groceries, and hadn’t heard of them before a case arrived on my doorstep!

  61. C & C
    November 9, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    It’d be great to try out these beans – even better, in my house, I might get to hog a lot of them myself, since beans are a hit & miss item with the rest of the family. On Friday, my husband made baked pasta casserole, along with carrot sticks (since pre-teen daughter doesn’t like cooked carrots) – I sure like having a husband who cooks!

  62. Natalie
    November 10, 2008 at 6:29 am

    After catching up on my emails, I am intrigued by this new product. I am will have to look for them in my end of the world. I too, am a fan of beans. Remember my cowboy shepherd’s pie? I am looking forward to my pre-chewed copy of One Smart Cookie, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want MORE free stuff! Beans beans, the musical fruit….

  63. Linda
    November 10, 2008 at 7:04 am

    Love beans – bring them on….

    Dinner – pizza because end of the week

  64. Amy
    November 10, 2008 at 8:25 am

    Those beans look delicious- even the lima beans!

  65. Barb
    November 10, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Excellent idea! Friday night for dinner? Teriyaki chicken with grilled pineapple, peas & carrots and a baked potato. So so. (Restaurant fare) Ok but not GREAT

  66. RMB
    November 10, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    I’d love to try these beans!

    Dinner last night was leftover meatballs in sauce.

  67. Carol SB
    November 10, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Yay for beans! Love ’em. Couldn’t find the Indian variety on their website, though… but I’ll be looking for them at the Co-op (Pretty sure that was one of the listed locations). Or in my inbox if I’m lucky!
    Supper was a lentil salad (a gal I work with kindly introduced us to and this week the folks there featured a really good lentil salad.) They delivered it to work, so I just brought it home, paired it with a couscous salad of the homemade variety and some cheese, and we were eating supper before I took my shoes off!

  68. jennifer
    November 10, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    okay i love beans!!!
    for supper last night since i cannot remember what we had 3 days ago, was a wonderful vegetarian chili that my adoring husband woke up early to cook and throw into our crockpot!! it was delicious and his parents came over to feast with us. I made a potato foccacia and homemade high fat brownies! yikes

  69. Suzanne
    November 11, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Would love the beans if I am not too late; would remind me of many a dinner (on toast) in Australia as a student!

  70. Carol
    November 17, 2008 at 10:50 am


    I just want to say that I love your blog, I check in daily and use your recipes and suggestions and it really helps on nights when I have ‘brainfreeze’. Loved the idea of putting pureed vegies in my mac and cheese (I used broccoli, it went over well). Any suggestions for cooking with fava beans? My Dad has Parkinson’s and I’ve read that fava beans can be beneficial. I’ve bought the beans but now need to know how best to incorporate them into some tasty recipes.

    Thanks in advance, I look forward to ‘hearing’ from you daily.

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