Bean Supper Resource Kit
I. Organizing Tools
I.1. Timeline/Responsibilities Checklist for Organizing a Bean Supper
Planning and communicating responsibilities helps ensure a successful event. This spreadsheet covers a wide range of activities and time frames for completing various tasks. Use this to get started and add to it as you think of additional assignments.
Here is a spreadsheet to get started. Build your budget, then track actual revenues and expenses against your plan.
II. Supper Items
II.1 Recipe/Ingredients Cards or Table Tents
Use one of these cards or make your own to advertise your event or provide recipes or ingredient lists.
Another great idea: make place mats that feature the local farms and farmers, healthy food facts or other information that makes your event special. Here's an example produced by Casco Village Church, UCC:
II.3 Non-plastic, compostable dinnerware
If you have access to a dishwasher, traditional dishes and cutlery are best for the environment. If you must use disposable, one-use items, consider biodegradable dinnerware and cutlery. New products are continually being introduced (often made of cornstarch), so an internet search of eco-friendly disposable dishes and cutlery should yield several good choices.
III.1 Posters and postcards (full color or black and white)
Don't forget to hang posters and distribute postcards about your event. Here's a beautiful photo of beans that may be used as a poster or postcard. Highlight your use of local foods to draw a crowd.
Publicize your supper! Local press will be especially interested if they know that your Bean Supper incorporates Maine foods and includes other creative ideas. A photo including community members preparing the meal, etc. can be included with your press release. A list of Maine media is provided in the attached document. Because policies and deadlines vary, it is best to look at the website of media you would like to help publicize your supper. Be sure to follow the instructions provided and call if you aren't sure of how to proceed. For a special event (meal that includes entertainment, special fundraiser, etc.) you might even get a local reporter to cover your event.
To view a list of Maine media, click here:
Note: this list is from the Maine Direct distribution service, a paid service that electronically distributes press releases to Maine media.
If you are interested in this service, use the following website.
IV. Maine Seasonal Recipes and Serving Suggestions
See what you've learned? Make a game of learning healthy portion sizes. Try this worksheet (answers included).
The recipes included here have been provided by a variety of sources. We've included healthier versions (along with serving and nutritional information) of traditional favorites that feature foods available from Maine producers. Enjoy!
IV.1.2 Baked Beans
Maine Beans…the Heart of a Bean Supper
Yankee Magazine has 64 different Bean Recipes online. For variety in your traditional Bean Supper, go to www.yankeemagazine.com/recipes/for/beans and see if there are any recipes that sound fun to try. You can substitute local Maine products such as maple syrup, mustard, sea salt, vegetable oil or salt pork/bacon, where similar ingredients are called for.
For another new twist to a Maine tradition, what about showcasing bean recipes from several cultures, continents, Maine refugee communities, etc? This might be an opportunity to get to know New American neighbors in your community and learn about their traditional bean recipes. Perhaps your bean supper could be a fundraiser for a project they are undertaking.
The University of Maine Folklife Center offers a rich history of the important role of beans as a staple food for Native Americans, information on the types of beans and recipes for traditional Bean Hole Beans. MOFGA also has moved from molasses to only using Maine Maple Syrup for their bean hole suppers. Check out this resources for more information:
IV.1.4 Local Harvest Dishes
Vegetables and Soups
Salads and Slaws
While not traditional for a Bean Supper, we include these for your consideration because they are a healthy, delicious alternative to sour cream or mayonnaise based dips. They feature lots of veggies and herbs from the summer harvest.
Pies are a bean supper tradition. Why not invite your bakers to use only Maine fruits. Maine fruits provide lots of options for healthy and delicious desserts. Here are some healthier options that incorporate local produce.
IV.2 Portions/Serving Ideas
Here are some fun posters you can download (in both color and black & white) to remind your guests that healthy eating includes watching portion size. Just because it's an "All You Can Eat" Meal doesn't mean you should!! You can use these visual aids to remind diners of appropriate serving sizes. This poster uses the hand and the thumb size to estimate portion sizes.
What do a baseball and a deck of cards have in common? Both are handy references for "guesstimating" portions of some of our favorite foods.
V. Local Farms/Farmstands, Products and other Resources
MAINE FOOD MAP/EAT LOCAL FOODS COALITION
The Maine Eat Local Foods Coalition has created a local foods resource map/ directory that showcases farms, farmstands, seafood outlets, community kitchens, etc. The map includes over 1300 different points of information and is growing daily as local foods enterprises are established across the state. On the map, you can search the categories of greatest interest and closest to you. By clicking on a dot, you open up a detailed description of the local foods business (i.e. farm, seafood provider, etc.) and get contact information, directions, products available, and other useful information. http://eatmainefoods.ning.com/page/maine-food-map
CROWN OF MAINE ORGANIC COOPERATIVE
Dedicated to serving Maine since 1995, Crown O’ Maine distributes locally grown produce across Maine. COMOC welcomes buying clubs, restaurants, or neighborhood retail establishments to its growing collection of foods produced by local farmers, fishermen, and artisans. Chances are good the Co-op has a delivery site near you and you can arrange to order directly for your Bean Supper. Some specialty Maine products, such as oils, grains and beans, can be accessed through COMOC. Current list of available products is on the website. Call 877-7444 or email Marada@crownofmainecoop.com for more information. www.crownofmainecoop.com
2010 CUMBERLAND COUNTY LOCAL FOODS RESOURCE DIRECTORY
Originally assembled in 2008 to support school nutrition programs in Cumberland County in their efforts to purchase from local food producers and to participate in Maine’s Harvest Lunch program, this directory lists farms and other businesses that have expressed a willingness to sell directly to schools and other institutions. The directory lists the farms/businesses by name, their contact information, and available products. Similar directories may be available in other counties through the Communities Promoting Health Coalition. The Cumberland Directory is available here: 2010 Cumberland County Local Foods Resource Directory 2010.pdf
VI.1 Games and Activities
Here's a list of ideas for activities that might be enjoyed by children and others attending your Bean Supper. Use your imagination to come up with other activities to engage children, teens and adults in your community. Don't forget to publicize any fund or interesting activities that will help draw participants to your event.
VI.2 Fundraising Ideas
If you using your bean supper as a fundraiser a food pantry or other non-profit, be sure to let that organization know so they can inform their members and volunteers. There are many ways to go about fundraising during the event. Here are a few. We encourage you to come up with others.
Here's a recipe booklet, created by the Gorham Ecumenical Ecumenical Council in 2009. The Council called their event Harmony and Harvest. A concert was held prior to the meal with performances by participating churches. Proceeds of the event benefited Habitat for Humanity. This event proved to be a success and the event will be repeated in 2010.