In springtime in Québec, Canada, we have one BIG tradition: “la cabane à sucre”, also known as the SUGAR SHACK! Cabane à sucre is a quintessential Québec experience (though I know that other parts of Canada also do the sugar shack thing), and I LOVE everything about it: the rich food, the great traditional music, the still-snowy landscape, the sleigh ride, and of course… the maple syrup.

When Danyelle of Life is a Party invited me to be a part of her series, A Year of Feasting, I jumped at the chance. This series is different because we are not only pulling together four tablescapes throughout the year, we are actually hosting real events! I love house tours and tablescape posts but they always feel a little hollow to me, mostly because the images are lacking, well, real life occupants.

I adore the entire premise of A Year of Feasting: host four different events throughout the year (one for each season), and blog about it. We are being encouraged to not only capture the food and the table settings and the details, but the people who attend and the overall vibe of each different gathering. This is totally up my alley!

Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

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To kick things off and introduce myself as the Québecoise contingent in our group, I decided to host a small, laid-back “cabane à sucre” (or sugar shack) themed lunch. Let me show you how I pulled together this meal à l’anciennne (in old-time style). I even have a traditional recipe for you to try out at home!

Québec Sugar Shack (“Cabane à sucre”) Lunch Menu

Canadian Cheeses with Artisanal Bread and Fresh Apples

Maple, Dijon, and Orange-Glazed Ham

Lamb & Pork Tourtière (Meat Pie) with Mushrooms

Maple Roasted Carrots

Traditional Fèvres au lard (Baked Beans)

Green Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Poudding chômeur (Poor man’s pudding)

Homemade Apple Pie

Maple Sugar Candies & Sucre à la crème (Maple Fudge)

Cheese plate of Canadian cheeses and apples | Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

We started things off with a delicious (and very rich!) plate of Canadian cheeses, served with artisanal cheddar baguette and fresh apple slices. The smoked blue cheese from St. Benoit Abbey (here in Québec) was a particular hit! I served the cheese course with a selection of Québec craft beers. Two of our favourites are Raftsman and Maudite. Delicious!

Quebec craft beers | Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

Cheese plate of Canadian cheeses | Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

The meal itself was based on the traditional Québecois cabane à sucre menu, which includes baked beans, sausages in maple syrup, pea soup, and other hearty dishes. I decided to go a little lighter (but not by much!), and incorporated carrots and a green salad into my menu. My dad (who is an awesome cook) made both the tourtière (traditional meat pie) and a scrumptious apple pie for dessert. I’m lucky to have a family that cooks!

Maple dijon glazed ham | Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

The maple-glazed ham was a hit with everyone, and was sooo easy to make. I served it with the thickened glaze. Yum!

Maple glazed carrots | Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

One of my favourite items I picked up at Giant Tiger was this lovely, simple ceramic baking dish by KitchenAid. It came in a set of five dishes and they were on special for just $20!! SUCH an amazing deal. I recently broke my favourite casserole dish, so this one will make for a sturdy, long-lasting replacement. I roasted some carrots with maple syrup (of course) and apple cider vinegar in the dish. They turned out perfectly and the dish cleaned up really well afterwards.

Red, White, and Black table setting with tulips and lantern | Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

Another great Giant Tiger find for this meal was the graphic and fun throw that I used as a table cloth. It is made of flannel and I think it will be really cozy next winter… But for now it makes a great table accent piece! The bold stipes remind me a bit of a Hudson’s Bay blanket (another Canadian tradition). Red and white are, of course, Canada’s national colours, so this was the perfect piece for this event. (By the way, did you know that this year is Canada’s 150th birthday? You can expect to see more Canadiana on the blog!)

Red, White, Black Table Setting with tulips | glazed ham | Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

I added some red tulips and pussy willow branches in galvanized metal buckets, reminiscent of the buckets used to gather the sap from the maple trees at this time of year. A bold black lantern with lines that echo the stripes in the throw and one of my dad’s handmade wood chargers topped it off.

Red tulip centrepiece with pussywillows in galvanized buckets | Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

Canadian red wines | Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

With the meal, I served two Canadian red wines (yes, we produce lots of wine – and some really good ones, at that!), Sandbanks and Calliope. Both were delicious and great with the tourtière and ham.

Traditional Quebec maple baked beans recipe (fèvres au lard) | Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

The pièce de résistance was the fèvres au lard (or baked beans), which I adapted from the recipe on the back of the bag of beans! *Shh! Don’t tell!*

Fèvres au lard à l’érable (Maple Baked Beans)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups white navy beans
  • 1 1/2 lbs thick-cut bacon (cut into thirds)
  • 2 medium to large onions (cut in half)
  • 1 tbsp dried mustard
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp savory

Directions

  1. Sort and rinse the beans. Soak them in water at least 12 hours (overnight).
  2. In the soaking water, bring the beans to a boil and simmer them for 1 hour.
  3. Divide the bacon in two equal portions. In a large crock or dutch oven, put a layer of bacon. Then add the beans and the remainder of cooking water.
  4. Add the second layer of bacon and the onions
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and cover everything with warm water.
  6. Cover the crock and bake at 325° for 5-6 hours. Check it after about 4 hours and add more water if it is getting dry.

Traditional Quebec maple baked beans recipe (fèvres au lard) | Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

Napkins tied with red and white striped ribbons | Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

I tied the napkins and cutlery with jaunty red and white striped ribbon, another nod to our country’s colours. I added some sugar shack style to the living room area with a cozy throw and “Bonjour” (“Hello”) pillow, and some books of traditional Québecois folk music.

"Bonjour" pillow and grey throw from Giant Tiger | Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

Traditional Quebec music on the piano | Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

Dessert was a big affair, and I created a buffet of traditional Québec sweets, including Poudding chômeur (“poor man’s” or “unemployed man’s” pudding), apple pie (which my dad baked), and a bevvy of maple sugary candies and sweets. It was totally divine, but put everyone into a major sugar coma. 😉

Maple dessert buffet | Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

Poudding chomeur, maple sugar candies, apple pie | Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

The runner I used on the dessert buffet is actually a “ceinture fléchée”, part of the traditional French-Canadian dress.

Maple fudge and maple sugar candies | Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

Maple sugar lollipops | Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

We were a small gathering, just myself and Erick, our daughter, my parents, and our friend Reg (whose wife Rosemary joined us later in the day). Everyone tucked into the meal with great enthusiasm! It was about the only time we all stopped gabbing!

Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

Tourtiere (meat pie) | Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

Of course we all know who the real star of the show was… Look at that little face! 🙂 She was everyone’s favourite guest.

I want to thank Giant Tiger for generously sponsoring many of the items I used as decorations and in the meal itself. (Did you know that GT has a wicked grocery section now?!) They carry lots of Canadian products, and I was able to get several of the cheeses I served, and all of the maple syrup, along with some other staple ingredients.

I’d love for you to pin this for later – don’t forget that recipe for baked beans!

↓ Pin me! Pin me! ↓

Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane a sucre menu | A Year of Feasting - Spring | Traditional Canadian Quebec meal

I hope you’ll give my baked beans a try, and maybe even host your own cabane à sucre-themed meal. The recipes are easy to find on the web, and there is a huge variety from which to choose. Now be sure to check out all these amazing Spring Feasts and get inspired to have your own #yearoffeasting !

A Year of Feasting - Spring 2017 | Sugar Shack Lunch |

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23 Comments on A Sugar Shack Lunch | Cabane à sucre! | Year of Feasting

  1. This is a wonderful read! I love the way you have combined contemporary decor ideas with traditional elements. Such a great menu, too! Félicitations!

  2. Pouding chômeur was my Mom’s fave! Strangely enough I’ve never had it!!! I love this feast, completely reminds me of my Mom and her French Canadian family AND maple syrup… what’s not to love! xo

  3. We, in the US, are really missing out on this tradition. So cool! Also, I laughed at your comment that tablescape posts are so often missing real occupants. That is so true!

  4. Hi Sarah, I’m here visiting from Vin’yet Etc. and I just had to let you know how much I enjoyed reading about your ‘Cabane a sucre’ lunch. I was rather impressed with your attention to detail and I can’t wait to try your bean recipe. Many of our close friends are French Canadian so I have enjoyed eating many of the dishes you featured. Looking forward to seeing what everyone has to offer for the summer season.

    • Hi Sheila and welcome to F&K! Thanks so much for stopping by to read, and for leaving me such a lovely comment. I had a great time creating my Quebecois meal to share with my friends and family – and with you!

  5. What a great theme for spring Sarah! Your menu sounds so amazing… I love eating at my French-Canadian friends’ homes. Tourtierre and poudding au chomeur are some of their specialties too. And those little maple sugar maple leaf candies are my favourite thing on the planet. So fun blog-hopping with you!

    • Hurrah for the maple candies, right? I love this time of year because they have a display of them right at the front of our local grocery store. 😉

  6. This looks so fun! What an amazing theme for a party! I seriously want to recreate the whole thing! lol. LOVE how you used that throw too! Wish I had seen that!

    • I think GT has different stuff in each store – maybe they have the throw online, though? Thanks so much for reading!

  7. So many great Canadian menu items! Une cabane à sucre vient d’ouvrir près de notre maison, et on-y-vas peut-être visiter cette année! Can you believe my Husband had never had maple glazed carrots until he met me? I thought that was a normal item haha!

    • Hahahaha yes! It was pretty much the only way to cook carrots in my French-Canadian family! (BTW are you also F-C?)

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