Monadnock Ledger-Transcript – Two hundred attend the second French-Canadian dinner in Greenville

The Greenville American Legion pavilion was packed with 200 people Saturday night, eating hearty dishes of ham, potatoes, stews, beans and sugar pie, recipes from older generations of French-Canadian immigrants who came to Greenville to work in mills.

On a table at the front of the hall were dishes prepared by chefs from Greenville and the surrounding area, often from family recipes, including boulettes de porc (pork meatballs), tourtière (pork pie), pate chinois (Chinese pie), la soupe . aux pois (pea soup), chicken fricote (Acadian soup), and Canadian-style baked beans.

The dinner was a rerun of a similar French-Canadian-style dinner held last year for Greenville’s 150th anniversary celebrations. But this year’s event was larger, held in the pavilion with more space, and with at least 50 more people in attendance than last year, organizers Moe DeRosier and Henri Vaillancourt said.

The dishes are often hearty, high in carbohydrates and fat, which Vaillancourt said is the food that characterizes the hard-working lifestyle of many French-Canadian immigrants.

“It’s a food that you probably don’t want to eat all the time, but in moderation, it’s very good,” Vaillancourt said.

The tables attracted hundreds of guests, and the dinner table queues extended outside the pavilion doors.

“There were so many people. It was unbelievable,” Vaillancourt said. “It was more than last year. “It was packed.”

Resident Kathy Valliere brought crock pots filled with her family’s recipe for baked beans with salt pork, made with onions, molasses, brown sugar and dried mustard. She said that it is a dish that does not have a specific recipe, and it is something that all the women in her family know.

“My mother, my aunt, everyone knows this recipe,” Valliere said.

Valliere said sharing that culture is part of why she thinks making the dinner an annual event is a great idea.

“Look around here, and how can you say not to come back then? It’s unbelievable,” Valliere said, pointing to the parking lot full of cars and the hall full of people. “You won’t realize how many Canadians are still there until you have this dinner.”

The event was ticketed, but children under 12 were free, Vaillancourt said, in part because one of the goals of the dinner was to revive some French-Canadian tradition that was once inseparable from Greenville life, when enough residents spoke. French as a first or second language as church services and school classes were taught in the language.

“Kids now haven’t grown up with this culture, and it’s a great way to introduce them to the culture,” Vaillancourt said.

The dinner became a gathering point not only for current residents, but also for those who lived in the city and have since moved into the surrounding communities.

“It brings them back and allows them to see and mingle with people they may not have seen in decades. It was worth doing,” Vaillancourt said.

Greenville resident Dick Eaton said that although he is not of French-Canadian descent, he attended last year’s dinner and this year, noting that although he was not a part of the culture directly, he grew up with many people who They were enjoying it. Visit old friends.

“Live the difference!” Eaton announced.

Vaillancourt emphasized that the dinner is now an official city tradition. The second iteration of the dinner was so successful, volunteers were already planning for next year’s event by the end of the night, including booking the American Legion Pavilion again for September 21, 2024.

“People were excited, and when you have volunteers who are interested and enthusiastic, you just say, ‘Let’s do it,’” Vaillancourt said.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172 ext. 244 or It’s on X @AshleySaariMLT.

(tags for translation)Greenville New Hampshire

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