Going Both Ways

He says:

To start the New Year on the right foot, I made a soup with grand-pères in it (see below for recipe). Grand-pères are a Quebecois dumpling that you can add to any stew or soup. My mom used to put these simply made dumplings in all leftover soups she made during the winter. Often after the holiday season, it seemed to be the best use of turkey leftovers galore. If I was lucky, she would save some to make Grand-mères, which were the same dumpling dough poached in maple syrup and eaten as dessert!

She says:

I didn’t have “Grand-mères” and “Grand-pères” when I was growing up, and really when I think about it, there wasn’t a food that could go both ways (as in, savoury and sweet). I suppose though, that is why I like breakfast so much, for it is the meal that offers you both choices as acceptable dining options. You can have dessert at dinner, and yes at lunch too, although that tends to mean more time at the gym! At breakfast you can have one piece of toast with peanut butter and one piece with jam… you can even have both of those on the same piece. Breakfast cereals have become junk food with milk on top, but even the old-fashioned muesli had raisins or other dried fruit, and porridge had brown sugar or maple syrup. Breakfast is the chance to have sweet and savoury in the same mouthful, as if echoing the bittersweet nature of our daily existence, the yin and yang of everyday life.

Am I making too much out of this? I think not – having the chance to balance these two opposites sets you up for the day and makes you more aware of the nuances in the world around you. It helps you not take things too seriously (even Mary Poppins said a spoonful of sugar was a good thing!). Perhaps best of all, it reminds you to be young at heart, I think. The mischievous fun of trying sausages with that bit of maple syrup that lingers on your plate after the pancakes, that is youthful abandon! Even with the adventurous thinking of chefs today, it is rare to see a sweet condiment with a savoury dish, but at breakfast everyone looks the other way if you give it a try.

So, if you don’t have time to make Chef Martin’s recipe this week, live dangerously and spill some maple syrup on your scrambled eggs or dip your bacon in that bit of raspberry jam that slipped off your toast… you just might surprise yourself, and who knows? You could even start a new trend. Long live breakfast!

Chef Martin’s Tip 43: Grand-Pères et Grand-Mères

Grand-pères are dumplings served in savory dishes, and grand-mères are poached in maple syrup and water, served on a plate topped with a touch more of maple syrup.

Your 5 year-old child can do this dish, and should do this dish. It’s the perfect way to get them to make something in the kitchen and eat it afterward.


500ml Flour
20ml Baking powder
A touch of Salt
50ml melted Butter
250ml Milk

Mix together the first 3 ingredients, then add the milk and butter. Mix the whole thing into a dough, then drop some small spoons-ful of the dough into boiling soup or stew and let them cook for 10 minutes or so.

200ml Maple syrup
600ml Water
1 cup Brown sugar

Bring to a boil all the ingredients and drop small spoons-ful of the dough into the hot liquid for 10 minutes or so. Remove them with a strainer and serve with maple syrup.

“No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize.”
(Julia Child, 1912-2004)

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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