The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 11.05.04



In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

This week we honor veterans who have served their countries so bravely. I'd like to make mention of those that continue to serve and offer a salute to all who sacrifice personal safety and comfort on behalf of citizens the world over.

I'm providing two recipes that will satisfy any gathering on Remembrance Day. The soup will warm those that have made their way from chilly outdoor tribute activities and sweet-toothed connoisseurs will love the cookies.

Navy Bean Soup

16-ounce package dried navy beans
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound chopped ham
1 cube chicken bouillon
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
Salt & pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
Soak beans overnight in enough water to cover the beans but an inch or so.
Combine beans, vegetables, ham, seasonings and enough water to cover in a stockpot and bring to a boil.
Lower heat, cover, and simmer for two hours.
Add more water- 2-3 cups or as much as needed.
Season with salt and pepper and simmer for another 2 hours.
Discard bay leaf before serving.

Thumbprint Poppy Seed Cookies

3 /4 pound butter or margarine
3/4 c. sugar
3 egg whites
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/4 c. flour
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
1/8 tsp. Salt

Kahlua Frosting

3 tbsp. butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. cocoa
1 1/2 tbsp. Kahlua
1-2 tbsp. coffee or milk


Cream butter with sugar in large bowl. Add egg whites and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour and poppy seeds and salt and blend well. Cover and chill overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Make an indentation in center of cookie with thumb (or finger) and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool.
Fill center with Kahlua frosting.
*Any fruit jelly may be substituted for the Kalhua filling.