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  • Jane Sloan


White Bean Fondue

I woke up on Wednesday with a sudden bolt of cooking inspiration... and on Sunday afternoon I hosted my Aquarian meal. The message I sent out was – for this meal I require a gathering of some wonderful, interesting and eclectic gals to partake in a luncheon of unusual or out of the ordinary foods. I delighted in the fact that the women who showed up were all very Aquarian in nature – each an activist in her own right- fighters for equality and inclusivity, for aboriginal rights, women’s rights, gay and trans rights, and the rights for those with disabilities. Each one arrived wearing her unique personality...they were my neighbours, my friends, my community and a true gift of my Venus in Aquarius! You only have to look at the two planets ruling the Water Bearer to deduce that Aquarius is a complex sign of contradictions. The traditional ruler Saturn makes this sign stubborn, rigid and demanding, while Uranus, the modern ruler adds individuality, and unpredictability to the Aquarian nature. Aquarius is Fixed/Air- a great example of a dualistic nature, for how to you ‘fix’ free flowing air? Maybe by behaving as a tenacious rebel! Through Aquarius we find our inner (or outer) activist, freedom fighter and futurist. In the body, Aquarius rules the calves, shins and ankles, our sympathetic nervous system and the peripheral vascular system (veins take blood back to the heart- Leo). Saturns influence gives the Aquarian endurance and persistence with its resistance to disease. But once the body gives in to illness, it can hold on with obstinacy and turn chronic. Elimination systems can be slow and the ability to gather toxins strengthens. Varicose veins are a common ailment due to lack of circulation and excess toxins. Uranus makes the nervous system sensitive in the Aquarian as well as susceptibility to sudden illnesses or illnesses that are hard to diagnose. The remedies for Aquarius would be exercise for the upper body to strengthen the heart’s pump, lymphatic drainage massage, and herbs for the nervous system – lavender, hops, chamomile and passion flower, and salt – as salt is a conductor of electricity.

Aquarius rules my 6th house so along with my Venus in this position, it is my nature to cook and concoct sustenance with unusual goodies, to use ingredients that are consciously sourced and to try dishes I have never experienced or prepared. My Aquarian meal was screaming FONDUE!!! I ventured to guess, that most people have done the fondue party at least once... so I had to make this a little different....something I could be pretty sure my guests had never tried and something both the vegetarian and carnivores would enjoy. A search on Google, and I had a recipe for white bean fondue. A quick scan through the ingredients and my alchemical mind knew it would taste divine! I had each guests bring something to contribute to a ‘charcuterie platter’ of sorts. The catch being that it should be something they have never tried or something that was a bit unusual. The stage was set for an interactive, communal meal of fun and unusual delights.

Our charcuterie platter consisted of: caper berries, 2 different cured meats, rabbit and blueberry terrine, sea asparagus, smoked salmon, cornichions, amazing artisan breads, Sage cheese ( that looked very Uranian indeed), Le Michabou cheese, roasted garlic and HEART SHAPED BEETS! For the Fondue dippers: I roasted Brussel sprouts, pearl onions and oriental sweet potatoes (not from the Orient ) and I toasted cubed rosemary sourdough bread with butter, olive oil and garlic. I also had wild mushrooms that I was going to roast ... but totally forgot about them. We had plenty of food!

White Bean Fondue Recipe courtesy of Erica Leibrandt adapted from Sarah Britton further adapted by Jane Sloan 3 cups canned Great Northern Beans rinsed and drained 3 cloves garlic finely chopped ¾ cup nutritional yeast ¼ cup olive oil ½ tsp salt 1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice ½ cup of white wine (although I think I used closer to a cup) 1 – ½ inch strip of fermented lemon rind finely chopped 2 Tbsp white miso 1 tsp umeboshi plum paste 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp maple syrup Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a pot on the stove top on a low to medium heat until the mixture starts to bubble... then turn down to lowest heat until ready to put on the fondue element. Be sure to stir often. If the fondue sauce seems too thick, add vegetable stock or water to desired consistency.

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