When it's time for “le réveillon” (a special French Canadian feast and family gathering on ChristmasEve), the famed double-crusted meat pie loaded to the brim with subtly seasoned meat filling and baked in a super-flaky, buttery crust,is the pie that welcomes everyone to the table.
Indulging in a savoury slice of this delicious pie has deep roots in an old Christmas
tradition dating back centuries. Back in the 1600s when French settlers attended
midnight mass on Christmas Eve, they celebrated afterwards with le réveillon.
Le réveillon is a tradition borrowed from France and practiced in other French
speaking countries as well as in New Orleans and in every province of Canada
where the French settled. The name of this Christmas Eve dinner is based on the
word réveil (waking) because it involves staying awake beyond midnight to enjoy
a decadent meal with family.
La tourtière is a vital part of the luxurious and exceptional menu consumed at
réveillons. That is one reason why this amazing pie is difficult to find at any other
time of the year. It is also an expensive and time consuming pie to make.
Four centuries later, la tourtière remains a staple dish in French Canadian
households on Christmas Eve. Back in 17 th century Quebec, the pie was stuffed
with wild game like rabbit, pheasant and moose meat. Today, the pie is made
mostly with pork and beef. The herbs and spices used in the meat mixture has
changed but the tradition lives on.
It’s part of our heritage and Forest Cove Farm is committed to keeping the
tradition alive. Every year in December our delicious homemade tourtières will be
available in our Country Market.
With Thanksgiving behind us, we can go back to lighter dishes and still enjoy nutritious food. Here’s a guilty-free tasty recipe that may come in handy if you want to skip the potatoes. Full of flavor, creamy and delicious.
Garlic Basil Mashed Cauliflower
8 cups (one large head) cauliflower florets
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves Forest Cove virgin garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped Forest Cove basil
Salt & pepper (to taste)
Bring 2 inches od water to boil in a large saucepan with a steamer basket.
Add cauliflower, cover and cook until very tender (10 to 12 minutes).
While cauliflower is cooking, heat oil in small skillet, reduce heat to low and add garlic. Stir and cook until garlic is slightly browned. Remove from heat.
Add cooked garlic, cauliflower, salt and pepper to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Put in a serving bowl and add chopped basil. Stir and enjoy!
Makes 4 servings.
From our farm family to yours!
Thank you for a wonderful season at Forest Cove Farm. We are grateful for your continued support and wish you and your families the warmest wishes for a safe, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving.
History of Thanksgiving in Canada
Thanksgiving or Action de Grâce(in French)is an annual holiday in Canada. It has been officially celebrated since November 6, 1879 and occurs on the second Monday in October. It is a time to celebrate the bountiful harvest and other blessings throughout the year.
According to historians, the first celebration of Thanksgiving in North American followed the 1578 voyage of Martin Frobisher who was in search of the Northwest Passage.
Years later, in 1604, French settlers who arrived in Canada with Samuel de Champlain also held feasts of thanks. They formed the “Order of Good Cheer” and held feasts to share food and thanks with their First Nations neighbours.
During and after the American Revolution, some Americans who remained loyal to Great Britain moved to Canada. Some of the customs they brought with them included turkey, pumpkin and squash.
Over the years, some of the customs may have changed but the theme of the Thanksgiving holiday perseveres and with good reason. It is a special time to be thankful for an abundant harvest and all the other good things that we are blessed with and enjoy as Canadians.
Food for Thought
One day a very wealthy father took his young son on a trip to the country for the sole purpose of showing his son how it was to be poor. They spent a few days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.
After their return from the trip, the father asked his son how he liked the trip. “It was great, Dad,” the son replied. “Did you see how poor people can be?” the father asked. “Oh Yeah,” said the son.
“So what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father. The son answered, “I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.
We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.
We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us. They have friends to protect them.” The boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added, “It showed me just how poor we really are.”
Too many times we forget what we have and concentrate on what we don’t have. What is one person’s worthless object is another’s prize possession. It is all based on one’s perspective.
Sometimes it takes the perspective of a child to remind us what’s important.
There is a growing interest in using lavender in cooking and many want to know more about culinary lavender.
Our Heirloom (non-GMO) Virgin Garlic is: