Sunday, May 20, 2012

Irene's Kidney Bean Soup

As promised here is the recipe for Irene's Kidney Bean Soup!

Those of you who have visited Small Hope Bay Lodge know that this soup is famous! Guests are always asking for the secret to the wonderfully delicious masterpiece Irene has created. So now here it is, I give to you the coveted recipe so you can bring a little bit of Small Hope home with you.  Enjoy!!

You Will Need:  recipe makes 1 gallon pot, adjust ingredients for desired amount

4 slices of bacon
2 medium onions
1 carrot
2 celery pieces from the stalk
1 sweet pepper
10 cans kidney beans
water, as needed
4 tbsp chicken base (flavor)
1 cup heavy cream
slurry (4tbsp cornstarch, 1 cup water)
thyme, to taste
pepper, to taste (preferably fresh picked peppers, such as goat or habanero)
salt, to taste

  1. Puree bacon in a food processor until very fine. Cook in soup pot on low heat.
  2. While bacon is on, puree onions, celery, carrot and sweet pepper to same texture. Add to pot and continue to cook on low heat.
  3. Puree kidney beans as well to same texture and add to pot, heat slightly.
  4. Add enough water to pot so that contents equal 1 gallon
  5. Turn heat to high, bring to boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 45 minutes.
  6. Add heavy cream, bring back to a boil and cook for 5 min more.
  7. Add slurry and thicken, cook 5 minutes.
  8. Add thyme and peppers, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  9. Adjust taste with salt.

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Celebrating Forty Years

Celebrating Forty Years at Small Hope Bay Lodge!

   2012 marks the 40th year that Irene, one of our beloved chefs, has been with Small Hope Bay. While now a days Irene can always be found in the kitchen whipping up Small Hope favorites such as her conch chowder or her famous kidney bean soup (recipe to come) that was not always the case. Irene first came to Small Hope as a babysitter. She made her transition into the kitchen after a desperate Dick Birch had a dining room full of guests and no chef to cook for them! So it was Irene to the rescue!  Cooking had always been her hobby but after that first dinner of white rice and steamed pork chops she made it her career, or rather Dick did as he refused to let her leave the kitchen claiming that her cooking was just too darn good!
Irene in her Chefs

When asked about some of her favorite memories she says "please, with all the memories I have I could write a book about Small Hope, and it'd be a good one too"! She laughs as she recalls a particular time years ago when she would watch Jeff Birch and his cousin ride home from school on Marquita, the family donkey. 

While picking the favorite of her memories would be impossible do, Irene says she loves working for the Birch family, first Dick and now Jeff. Small Hope Bay is her home and she couldn't imagine being anywhere else. This works out great for the rest of us here at Small Hope as Irene is an irreplaceable member of the family and Small Hope would not be the same without her! 

Thanks Irene for all that you do! 
Forty years and still going strong! 
We love you!

Irene and Shonnel

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dolphin Dive

Amazing dive at Small Hope! Just days after having four dolphins play with the boat on its way out for our morning dives our guests were treated to a rare sight. Four dolphins came to greet them as they started their descent at the ocean Blue Hole. What a morning!

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