Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is this blog named "Quack and the Beanstalk?
A: The blog's name refers to two of the main ingredients in cassoulet: duck and beans. It also references the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk.
Q: What is cassoulet, anyway?
A: Cassoulet is a traditional French dish whose main ingredients are dried beans, duck confit, sausage, and other preserved meats baked together slowly in a ceramic dish called a "cassole".
Q: Who are you guys and what do you think you're doing?
A: We're a conglomeration of friends from varied backgrounds brought together by Elaine's promise to cook cassoulet for us — with the beans we grow. Some of us know how to grow things, some of us don't. The point is we're going to try.
Q: What kind of beans are those and why are you growing them?
A: Tarbais beans are traditionally favored in the making of cassoulet because of their thin skins and ability to hold their shape. They are plentiful in Southwest France, the birth place of cassoulet but they are not that easy to find in the US. So it seemed like a fun project to try to grow them.
Q: Why do you have to grow your own beans?
A: Of course we don't have to grow them. For that matter we don't have to do anything. But we thought it would be fun to try.
Q: What if I don't want to grow my own beans? Can I still make cassoulet?
A: There are a few specialty bean companies that will sell Tarbais beans (for eating) in the US. Sometimes you can find them in special food markets (even Whole Foods sometimes). Or you can substitute other beans. You want a thin-skinned bean, preferably light-colored that holds its shape after prolonged cooking. Dried lima beans look a lot like Tarbais. Many cooks use the cannellini bean. It's a rustic dish, so there can be many variations.
Q: Is this art or something?
A: To be honest, we don't quite know how to answer that. For some of us it is. Some of us just like to eat. Some of us are good at growing things. Most of us think a lot about the nature of eating, living and art. That's why we are friends.
Q: Are you guys chefs?
A: No. But some of us are very serious cooks.
Q: Can I come to dinner too?
A: Sorry, dinner is a private affair. Maybe this will inspire you to have some people over yourself.
Q: Can I use your recipe or photography on my website or blog?
A: It's cool that you like our content enough to want to share it. Sharing our posts via social media is totally fine, as long as we're linked back to in some way. But please don't post our content in its entirety to your blog or website (that's not cool with us). Link back to us. It's the right thing to do. If your site has advertising, or if you're from a publication, please contact us before posting or printing any images/writing to get permission.