A Return to Three Pines: The Brutal Telling

When we think of the Bistro, we envision a roaring fireplace, conversations with neighbors, and delicious food and drink. 

Of the many meals we’ve all shared in the Bistro, which would you like to try the most?

For a selection of recipes inspired by the series, download The Nature of the Feast

Read Next: A Return to Three Pines, Bury Your Dead

Read Previous: A Return to Three Pines, A Rule Against Murder

Discussion on “A Return to Three Pines: The Brutal Telling

  1. Pam Roberts says:

    I’ll start off with the French Canadian pea soup, which could probably be a meal in itself. For the entrée, please bring me the cheese and leek dish! Since I’m from the state of Maine, I’d like a side serving of baked beans and molasses, please. I will end my meal with a cup of decaf and the chocolate and raspberry mousse (Oh là là!).

    • Natalie Twaddel says:

      I’m from Maine,too. Mom was came fro PEI. The Pea soup had to be yellow, thick and have ham in it. My Dad and I would be so excited to have ham for Sunday dinner, not because we loved ham so much, but we knew the next day my mom would make a pea soup!

      • Linda Hayes says:

        I agree, ham dinner is good, but the split pea soup is the best! My husband didn’t like it until he tasted mine, now it’s a favorite!

      • Lucy Dodge says:

        My mom also made yellow pea soup with ham and I grew up in Maine with grandparents from farms outside Quebec. We also had French Canadian tourtiere at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Did Louise Penny feature ‘tourtiere’ in her books?

  2. Mary Catharine says:

    Love reading the recipes! Will be picking out a few to try. Would love a tiny taste of the Sugar Pie but what to do with the rest of the pie? It is so far out of the realm of foods allowed in my daily life. Too much fat and sugar, but learning what is in it certainly adds to the picture of Ruth, the ham sandwiches, etc.

  3. Jo says:

    I would enjoy any dish Gabri creates especially f it contains chocolate and is accompanied by one of Ruth’s poems.

  4. Sandi says:

    Having visited the southern part of the province, I can attest to the incredible food made in the small villages and adore the Fall foliage. Can’t wait to try the sugar pie.

  5. Rebecca says:

    Love the recipes! I would have to pick the Pea soup and crusty bread with goat cheese and fig jam. A cold beer too!

  6. Mimi says:

    I always imagine myself with a warm drink, ensconced in a big wing chair in a quiet corner, eavesdropping and people watching at the Bistro.

  7. Debbie Makin says:

    I will enjoy the hot summer weather and await the August book release with some cucumber soup with mint and melon.

    • Peggy says:

      Bien sur…. I live in Southern California now….but grew up in Harlem and spent my summers in Old Orchard Beach, Maine and other parts of Maine and Massachusetts..I adore the Gamache series…all the characters…Louise’s writing is amazing…a bien tout

  8. Elle says:

    Grilled Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa Mango Salad with Chocolate Strawberry Mousse if forced to choose between many intriguing recipes

  9. Chrysanthemom says:

    Fabulous idea to write up the recipes… mine is Steak frites with mayo. We had it when we went to France on a cycling trip! Now my husband makes it regularly so we will try this recipe too.

  10. Sally Buxton says:

    How wonderful! I’ve shared with friends (to whom I’ve introduced Three Pines). Is this recipe book available for purchase? If so, please send a link.


  11. Mary Hoth says:

    For me Three Pines and the world you have created there is one of the best things about the Gamache books. I am a Vermonter who has lived very near the Quebec border so I envision that village to be similar to some I know. Of course it would be a thrill to meet all your amazing characters when I stop by for a leisurely lunch.
    What will I have? Definitely the duck, Brie and fig confit sandwich followed by the chocolate and raspberry mousse.

  12. Nicole Lamarche says:

    On peut avoir le livre de recette en francais. S.V.P.
    Merci, Nicole

  13. Penelope says:

    My French Canadian grandma was married in January 1, 1910, and was a fabulous cook. For their annual New Year’s Day anniversary fete, her specialty was her Toutiere. Sadly, she never wrote down her recipe, and I have searched for years for a recipe that would replicate hers. Anyone know of a good French Canadian recipe for toutiere? Thanks! Penny

    • Eve Phillips says:

      My family’s tourtierre recipe has never been written down either but my mamma swears that ground cloves are the secret seasoning. We use a half and half blend of ground pork and beef but I believe that a hundred years ago it was just pork. I actually have a small jar of “French Canadian Meat Pie Seasoning” that Mom found somewhere but she always adds extra clove! My husband likes it with gravy but I like it with strong mustard.

    • Kaye OConnell says:

      My grandmother, Mary Louise Tappa Harris was French Canadian and made this pie every Christmas. She passed away in 1969 without writing down the recipe. I practiced for a long time and got every cookbook that had a tortiere recipe until I could make one that tasted like hers. Here is our recipe.

      Mary Louise Tappa Harris’s recipe for Tortiere de Noel

      1 lb minced pork
      ½ lb minced beef
      1 lb cooked potatoes, mashed or diced.
      2 small onions diced.
      ¾ tsp salt
      1 clove of garlic smashed.
      ½ tsp savory
      ½ tsp celery salt
      ½ tsp allspice
      3/4 cup beef broth
      Place all the ingredients (except the pie shells) in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is damp but not watery. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Cover with the other pie shell and prick the top to allow steam to escape. Bake at 450 for ten minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for ½ hour until crust is golden brown. (Grandma made her own pie shells but I use the ready made ones.

    • krm says:

      I wonder if there may have been some venison in the one your grandmother made. See: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/recipes/venison-and-pork-tourtiere/article5041191/

  14. Carmen Mcgruder says:

    My French Canadien mother made an excellent toutierre which we had at Christmas and special occasions. We have her recipe. However the recipe printed above sounds really special. Maybe we have to tweak the family recipe!

  15. Angela says:

    I love Canadian pea soup and make it several times a year. The best I ever had was in an inauspicious little roadside resto in Baie St. Paul. The yellow split peas are so much tastier! Longing to return and have a figurative lunch at Three Pines!

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