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Canadians--tell me your favourite recipe from Mom or Grandma

I am wondering what you all ate growing up, and if you have a recipe for it. I am interested to see what Canadians ate when they were children, and what ethnicities are represented.
I grew up Mennonite, so we had alot of sweet borscht, kielke and ham with cream gravy, and homemade chicken noodle soup.. YUM!

Kielke is a simple rolled dough cut into strips and boiled in salted water, then pan-fried Then thick ham slices were fried, and removed from the pan and we added heavy cream and lots of salt and pepper. We poured the cream gravu over the kielke and served it with fried ham.

The Chicken Noodle Soup is stilll something my father makes for me when I visit.
Homemade Chicken broth made with an old hen and water to cover. Salt, peppercorns, star anise and root parsley. Simmer. Remove the chicken, cut into bite size pieces (or shred it) and return to broth.
Homemade noodles thinly sliced and boiled in salted water.
They put the cooked noodles into a big bowl, pour the steaming hot broth over, and add butter.
So good.

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  1. I love this thread already. Born and raised in London, Ont.

    Here's my mom's recipe for butter tarts - she was a demon butter tart maker...

    The tarts are baked in standard 12 unit muffin pans lined with thickish pie pastry - make your standard (my mom's was the one on the Tenderflake lard box) and roll it out a bit thicker than you would for a pie crust; cut out circles using a saucer or other 5" round item as a guide; spray the muffin tin with vegetable spray and fit the circles into the muffin cups (OK if the pastry pleats a bit, this isn't patisserie school).

    You can stick the prepared pan in the fridge while you make the filling - my mom didn't (pastry was made, rolled out, and baked - only chilled if the batch was too big for immediate use).

    Filling: beat 2 eggs, 1 cup loosely packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup corn syrup (either light or dark for US bakers, the standard one in Canada is golden in colour), a pinch to 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup soft butter (always salted in our house, some always kept at room temp for spreading and such recipes as this), 1/2 cup or so dark raisins or preferably currants, and 1 tsp vanilla. Mom also sometimes added a tsp of cider vinegar "to cut the sweetness".

    Fill the tart shells with this - the amount makes 12 tarts - and bake at 400 deg F for 14 to 18 mins. We like them just barely set, some people prefer them firmer.

    Cool in the pan on a rack and serve in twos with a good strong cup of tea (one is never enough).

    Some people add chocolate chips to these - but really some things are not meant to be chocolate as far as I'm concerned.

    22 Replies
    1. re: buttertart

      Not wishing to intrude from across the Pond too long, I see you mention cup measurements. Is that common in Canada, as well as America?

      1. re: Harters

        Well its common in America, we don't go by scale weight too often. I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that across the Pond you measure by weight? or is it by liters?

        1. re: ROCKLES

          Litres only for liquids. Kilos for weight.

          1. re: Harters

            We are in cups, teaspoons and once in awhile pounds/ounces

            1. re: ROCKLES

              I always look at metric recipes and think to myself, hey I'm cooking not doing a science experiment. ;-)

        2. re: Harters

          This recipe is from pre-metric conversion days. The Canadian books I own that were published since then show measures in cups and millilitres, not grams. Scales are still not common (at least in my family).
          Viz: http://www.canadianliving.com/food/be...
          You might like the website, their recipes work very well.

          1. re: Harters

            Canada shares the US habit of having recipes in volume rather than weight. We
            went to metric in 1979, and recipes are one of the hold-overs. They'll usually be in cups and tablespoons, but you will rarely see ounces as a liquid measurement.

            The other holdover is height and weight of people.

            1. re: Harters

              Canada is supposed to use metric. However we are still using cups, and pounds for baking. We often see recipes with both measures.

            2. re: buttertart

              This sounds great, I am going to make them this weekend.
              Thanks buttertart

              1. re: buttertart

                I'm in SW Ontario and this recipe looks exactly like the one my great grandmother always used, except she used plain white vinegar or lemon juice. Funnily enough, all of the women known for baking in my family also swear by the pie crust recipe on the Tenderflake Lard box, and wouldn't dream of using any other!

                1. re: elysabeth

                  Absolutely, it was always in our house. Shortening too, but NOT! for pastry. Happy Canada Day tomorrow!

                  1. re: buttertart

                    LOL! In our family it was LARD and BUTTER, not shortening, but especially NEVER in pastries. Even in the low fat craze, my baking demon aunts said they would rather fall down dead than eat bad pastry. :)

                    1. re: elysabeth

                      Butter for shortbread and Christmas stuff, margarine or shortening for some other things. Your aunts sound like my family! Happy Canada Day!

                      1. re: buttertart

                        Thank you! Happy Canada Day

                        I'm going to make Butter Tart Squares to celebrate, because all of these posts gave me a wicked craving. It's the same yummy filling but I just don't feel like fiddling with tart shells today.

                        1. re: elysabeth

                          That's what I usually do, to tell the truth!

                  2. re: elysabeth

                    My Mom the masterpie baker would only use Tenderflake.

                  3. re: buttertart

                    Butter Tarts - Ottawa Citizen newspaper 1943

                    Butter Tarts - Ottawa Citizen newspaper 1952

                    Syrupy Butter Tarts - Ottawa Citizen newspaper 1956

                    1. re: buttertart

                      Hi, It's been a while, but I thank you for the recipe and will give it a try. It sound very easy, which is wonderful.

                      1. re: buttertart

                        I have always wanted to ask you about a buttertart recipe. And here we are. Thank you neighbor to my N.

                        1. re: Sal Vanilla

                          More than welcome, but probably not as far N as you may think, since I've lived in the States for a million years.

                      2. My parents are from Laos. I loved chicken noodle soup growing up or rice porridge. Its base is in boiling a generous amount of minced garlic and sliced ginger together and salting the water. Once it comes to a boil add chicken. Once the chicken is cooked, season again and then add noodles or rice. Then garnish with chili oil, garlic oil, chopped swordgrass aka culantro aka sawtooth herb, chopped cilantro and chopped green onion. It's so easy and I find it so comforting. I like adding a lot of chicken so that when the broth is cooled, it's almost gelatinous.

                        Pat's family is Chilean so their favourite is empanadas. I'm still learning about that since my mother in law makes killer dough but doesn't measure. I took notes, but once I am successful in my own experiments then I will share!

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: S_K

                          I remember the date squares/matrimonial cake (same thing)

                          way back when-there was no extra money

                          date squares were used as the wedding cake. (Joy of Cooking recipe)

                          otherwise it was the roast beef, the chicken, the pork hocks, the meat loaf,the left-overs

                          you can tell I'm Anglo

                          I'll eat "ethnic" other than my own background any day of the week!

                          mind you my maternal "greats" were German so there was always that influence.

                          1. re: 001mum

                            Yeah, I grew up eating alot of my Russian/German Grandmothers yummy Mennonite food.
                            My paternal Grandmother cooked, I am sure, but I never grew up with hers. Too sad actually. I also grew up "Anglo", and we never had alot of money, so it was alot of spaghetti and sauce, roast beef, hamburgers and beans, and soup.

                            1. re: Godslamb

                              Traditional Canadian recipes for picnics - Montreal Gazette 1983

                              Mennonite Recipes - Ottawa Citizen newspaper 1983 - Part 1

                              Mennonite Recipes - Ottawa Citizen newspaper 1983 - Part 2

                            2. re: 001mum

                              I wondered where the matrimonial cake name came from. Maritimes? I'm from London, ON originally, English and Irish heritage (first generation on the English, at least 5th on the Irish).

                              1. re: buttertart

                                Matrimonial cake was from Western Canada, 1930's
                                but my family is from New Brunswick and there was always date squares at a gathering
                                Tea loaves are the only other baking I can do
                                orange loaf,an amazing cherry loaf, cranberry orange-these for the most part I learned from my mum (all those cup and sauces showers when i was a girl!)
                                but i use the recipes from Company's Coming "Muffins & More" 1983 version
                                they freeze well, travel well,and look pretty!

                                1. re: 001mum

                                  Although they're still called Matrimonial Bars throughout my 1970s community cookbooks from southern Saskatchewan, I've never seen any served at any Prairie weddings, at least not in the last 30 years. That being said, they seem to show up at every Sask family reunion or gettogether I've attended, along with other slices.

                                  What I do remember from the Prairie weddings well into the late 1980s are fingers of fruitcake, wrapped in foil, then a paper doily, handed to guests as bonbonnieres. Haven't seen any fruitcake at any of the Prairie weddings I've attended in the 21st Century.

                                  One Canadian sweet I remember growing up with, that is relatively difficult to find east of the Red River these days, are butterhorns.

                                  1. re: prima

                                    Growing up in Ontario in the 60's and early 70s fruitcake was the norm, with almond paste and royal frosting. A layer would get cut up and distributed as you note - or sometimes wrapped like that and in little paper boxes with a bridal motif and the couple's names and date (we had them at our wedding).

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      The fruitcake must be taken from the British tradition - it's still what we do.

                                      Here's one made recently for a couple of well connected folk

                                      1. re: Harters

                                        Isn't that something? Well-connected indeed.

                                      2. re: buttertart

                                        And the top layer was saved for the future. We used ours for a Christening, and 15 years later out of the freezer it was still good. All the almond paste and royal frosting protected it.

                                        1. re: Ruthie789

                                          I'm sure. In my family it was first anniversary or first christening, whichever came first.

                                  2. re: buttertart

                                    Matrimonial Cake recipe - Vancouver Sun newspaper 1951

                                    Matrimonial Cake recipe - Vancouver Sun newspaper 1962

                                2. re: S_K

                                  Would love some ideas for empanadas

                                3. I'm still trying to master my mom's stove top pork roast with carrots and star anise and rock sugar (I'm chinese). I also loved her barley casserole with chicken, chestnuts, shitake mushrooms and chinese sausage (lap cheung).

                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: rtms

                                    Oh my, this sounds amazing. Let us know when you come close to mastering! :)

                                    1. re: Godslamb

                                      I made po'k roast (say it with a Chinese accent) : ) this weekend. I trimmed some fat off a boneless pork loin and browned it in an dutch oven. With the pork loin, goes peeled some carrots and cut up some onions, about 1/4 cup brown sugar and 3 star anise and a couple pieces of dried licorice root with about 1 cup of liquid - stock or water and a spoon of hoisin sauce or Lee Kum ground black bean sauce. Braise until tender. It tasted like home.

                                    2. re: rtms

                                      tell me about star anise
                                      I've read about it a lot lately.

                                      1. re: 001mum

                                        Used in Chinese and Southeast Asian cooking, it's very strong so sometimes you break up the pretty star because the whole star may be too much and use it in soups, roasts, it's part of the five spice blend and here's what it looks like: http://www.foodsubs.com/SpiceAsian.html

                                        Other noted foods you will find it in is red cooked pork, BBQ pork (through five spice powder), and pho. It is strong and so helps to hide or remove "gamey" meat smells or strong meat smells so that it is why it is often paired with pork.

                                        The least expensive places to buy it are Asian grocery stores, they are sold in little packets in the spice or spice/noodle aisle (if it's set up that way) often for $1 or less. If you buy it in the bulk food store or a gourmet store, the price can often be a lot more.

                                        So...I hope this is what you would want to know and not what you already know! :D

                                        1. re: S_K

                                          I have no idea where the Mennonites would have first used it or why they would have chosen to use it, but it has a bit of a licorice taste to it, and it adds a wonderful dimension to the chicken soup. I think I may have to do some research on this! :)
                                          Like S_K said, it appears a lot in Asian coking.

                                          1. re: Godslamb

                                            Maybe back in Germany? I don't know of any German recipes with star anise specifically in them offhand, but there are a lot of baking recipes that use anise.

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              It's could be the Russian connection being near China. There are lots of Russian, German Mennonites I notice. More so German, but some of the cultural things are shared.

                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                I actually read somewhere that it comes from the Mennonites being in the Netherlands. Not sure of the authenticity of this. I may have to talk to my Dad about this.

                                                1. re: Godslamb

                                                  The Netherlands were one of the hubs of the spice trade, as was Luebeck in Germany.

                                            2. re: S_K

                                              Thank-you, your information is perfect.
                                              I have seen it @ Asian stores & will try it sometime.

                                              I have been using a lot of fennel/anise (I like it raw in salads) this summer.

                                        2. Not necessarily ethnic, nor favorites, but I grew up in the 70s eating my mom's cooking, which seemed to be the same stuff all my friends were eating.
                                          Shepherds Pie (AKA Chinese Pie or Pate Chinois): browned ground beef topped with canned kernel corn, topped with mashed potatoes and baked.
                                          Razose (bastardization of French "la sauce"): a half cup of flour is browned in a dry pan, add water and ground beef, simmer awhile. I came to learn that this may be called chipped beef (on toast) AKA "shit on a shingle" with no shingle (toast).
                                          Stringy Meat (my name anyway). My mom would buy a blade roast (probably one of the cheapest cuts), plop it in a roasting pan along with potatoes, carrots, and celery, a bit of water, and bake.
                                          "Fast Macaroni" (this one I actually liked). Place a can (or 2) of chopped tomatoes in a pot, simmer with chopped onions, salt&pepper. Toss with cooked macaroni noodles, serve.
                                          "Baked Macaroni" (liked this one more...). Take fast macaroni, add grated yellow cheddar, place in baking dish, bake (also good fried the next day).

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: porker

                                            That reminded me of "Swiss Steak"
                                            inexpensive beef slices with gravy-served with mashed potatoes and carrots.One year when i went to camp in northern New Brunswick, the regular "chef" suddenly quit- and we had that SWISS STEAK FOR 5 NIGHTS IN A ROW!

                                            1. re: 001mum

                                              Growing up, some of my friends would have "quick steak" for dinner; trying to stretch a buck and still putting "meat" on the table, their folks would buy balogna, sliced about 1/4" thick and fry it up crisp.

                                              1. re: porker

                                                I grew up eating fried bologna - fried crisp.

                                              2. re: 001mum

                                                Not so inexpensive anymore, trying finding the large sirloin cut they used to make this cheap recipe. It is not available anymore.

                                            2. I am not Canadian, but apparently the raspberry cheese bar cookies I made are an old Maritimes favorite: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/654008

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                At times, it's hard to differentiate Canadian from Americian. My ancestors, father's side came to Ontario from Germany (1827) some moved to North Dakota date unknown, and from North Dakota to Saskatchewan around 1912.
                                                My mothers side came from Germany and Minnesota to Saskatchewan around 1912. Some moved back to the USA during the dirty 30s, finally settling in Florida.

                                                1. My mother was French Canadian and my father, Scots so tourtiere served with home-made chili sauce (sweet-spicy) and excellent shortbread were seasonal treats. Tourtiere was served after mid-night Mass with pickled beets, raw green onions and cubed, creamed potatoes. (The last dish isn't strictly a tourtiere accompaniment.)

                                                  Good everyday meals included macaroni, tinned tomatoes (cold) with grated Cheddar cheese over all. This dish might make others cringe but it was a big hit in our household. Beef stew chocked full of mushrooms, pearl onions, good homemade beef broth and red wine was a birthday favourite - Mum's version of a boeuf daube. Codcakes, fishsticks, kippers, sardines, freshwater trout, sole and halibut were served at my father's request - he'd eat anything with fins but wasn't keen on shellfish. He was a demon fisherman who occasionally brought home the catch.

                                                  My mother made a wonderful New England clam chowder: tinned clams, cubed potatoes and onions, celery, diced bacon, butter and milk or cream. I later lived in the Maritimes and used salt pork instead of bacon and freshly shucked clams harvested by moi. I loved and still love clam chowder and have been known to eat it cold for breakfast or anytime.

                                                  We didn't have sweets for dessert as my mother was a terrible baker. Her tourtieres at Christmas were her only foray into the world of baking. We ate fruit, jello, rice pudding, egg custard and junket. Does anyone eat junket these days? Dairy desserts were often the ending to a meal.

                                                  I did enjoy date squares, fruit cake, butter tarts, homemade cookies and pies at my aunt's. She was a superb baker.She made and decorated my wedding cake. Easter at her house always included custard pie: baked egg custard in a pastry shell, and homemade chocolates. My grandfather was a chocolatier and my aunt used his Easter molds to make Easter confections.

                                                  I enjoyed a rich and varied cuisine that included foods specific to my ethnic background, plus quick and easy budget meals, planned and prepared by a harried mother of four small children. Although she did have a subscription to Gourmet magazine few of Gourmet's complicated recipes of the 50's and 60's aappeared on the table.

                                                  7 Replies
                                                  1. re: rakip

                                                    "home-made chili sauce (sweet-spicy)"
                                                    My mother canned this in the fall with bumper crops of tomatoes. Both red and green versions, we'd call "homemade ketchup" (I can still smell the pickling spices).
                                                    Tortiere was mostly a holiday item - xmas, new year, easter. We make it with ground pork and potato but call it "meat pie".
                                                    cold clam chowder is great!

                                                    'bout every 2 weeks we'd have ham - a cured pork shoulder like this http://www.lafleur.com/en/products/pi.... simply boiled and served with mashed potatoes. As kids, we'd fight for the still-hot netting as it was taken off the ham. If not ham, then a roast pork (with cracklin).

                                                    1. re: rakip

                                                      oh how I would love the toutiere ! and with home made chili sauce! oh la la
                                                      now I am so hungry
                                                      I remember coming home from school in the fall to the smell of the onions, tomatoes, spices throughout the house.

                                                      and I would never ever touch the stuff **GASP**

                                                      every Christmas i got one bottle of ketchup in my stocking and it had to last the year.
                                                      now the last few years I buy the chili sauce at markets.
                                                      It's funny how both of us had/have aunt's who were better bakers than our mums!

                                                      maybe this year I will make my own???

                                                      once in awhile we would have steak and fry it in that "everyone owns but do we wash it?"
                                                      cast iron frying pan (too long to wait for the BBQ )
                                                      and then my dad and I would share crispy fried bread-fried in the steak fat and loaded with salt
                                                      it was awsome

                                                      I spent all my summers in NB- poached salmon (and i don't mean in water- nudge/nudge wink/wink) was a real treat and cooked on a wood stove with newly dug up baby potatoes.

                                                        1. re: 001mum

                                                          Homemade Chili Sauce - Vancouver Sun newspaper 1933

                                                          Homemade winter Chili Sauce recipe (from canned tomatoes) Windsor Star newspaper 1960

                                                          Homemade Chili Sauce - Montreal Gazette 1982

                                                          1. re: 001mum

                                                            Ooh- fried bread!!! I really miss that. Once in a while we would get "Minute Steaks", fry them up and then fry thick slices of french white bread in the drippings...my mouth is watering...

                                                          2. re: rakip

                                                            This reminded me of something kind of odd, we ate tinned tomatoes too, but more often on potatoes - especially with sausages for bangers and mash. My grandfather always liked COLD stewed tomatoes on hot boiled potatoes. :) My mom made the same dish with macaroni, tinned tomatoes and cheese but added ground beef and baked the whole thing in the oven like a casserole. Most of the foods in your post were also eaten in my home, I love home made chili sauce. Thanks for taking me back!

                                                            1. re: rakip

                                                              *jumps up and down* I eat Junket! I'm 37, American, and my mom made it when I was a kid (she's 76, from the East Coast; I don't know if that's an influence). Nobody seems to know what it is. I make it with skim milk. It's so light and cool and refreshing! (And simple and inexpensive.) Num

                                                            2. My grandmother taught my Mom how to make a potato dish I have always loved but never learned.
                                                              You use leftover mashed potatoes, and combine these with eggs, and then brown them in sort of patties. Sorry it is vague, but it really is more than the sum of its parts.

                                                              1. My family is mostly Welsh and Scottish descent and kept a lot of their old recipes and traditions when they moved here. So I had mostly traditional hearty British cooking growing up, mixed with more recent Canadian influences. Lots of roasted meats, stews, soups and chowders. I posted my family's Welsh leek and potato soup in another thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7931... that came from the "old country."

                                                                Meat pies and pasties - like a lot of the other posters I loved shepherd's pie, also steak and kidney or mushroom pies. Eastern European and Italian-Canadian foods are also very popular in his area, so we had cabbage rolls, pierogies, borscht and pasta too.

                                                                In the summer we would eat lighter dishes, lots of salads and grilled meats with (usually boiled!) fresh vegetables. My grandparents were farmers and we ate very seasonally, something I still tend to do. Even now, I live in a rural area of Ontario and decent quality produce is still limited out of season here.

                                                                Happy Canada Day, everyone! :) I hope you're all having fun celebrating today.

                                                                1. Happy Canada Day All! I am a bit late chiming in, but LOVE this thread and it seemed like the right day. I grew up in both SW Ontario and in Newfoundland. My best growing-up recipes are from both these places.

                                                                  Though we lived in Toronto, we often went to the Kitchener Market, so I share the love of Mennonite dishes that Godslamb referred to in the original post: rabbit stew, borscht, kugel puddings, black pudding and other sausages, and great baked goods, especially sugar pie.

                                                                  My dad was from England so roast beef, with cabbage, parsnips, and mashed potatoes and Yorkshire pudding (the large kind made with drippings from roast) was for Sundays. Then Monday was 'Bubble and Squeak" (the potatoes and veggies fried with some leftover beef and the gravy on top).

                                                                  Desserts were simple: the much-vaunted buttertarts were for celebrations only: lots of jelly, tapioca with strawberry jam, milk puddings, fruit, both fresh and canned.

                                                                  And squares: date, Queen Elizabeth,divinity with and without prink frosting, walnut slice, lemon, coconut/raspberry...these were baked with pride for showers and teas (does anyone host tea-parties anymore?)

                                                                  Fish was kippers, or finnan haddie (smoked haddock in white sauce)...very disguised fish, not fresh unless we were actually up north in Muskoka on on Rice Lake fishing. I had no idea that salmon came in other form than canned until I was in my thirties: it was a big part of meals, salmon sandwiches, salmon salad, salmon pattties and salmon loaf with egg sauce.

                                                                  In this part of ON, there was a large Ukranian population and my aunt LIl, who was a wonderful cook taught me many recipes from Eastern Europe: cabbage rolls, hearty soups with noodles and sausage, goulash with sour cream and chicken paprikash.

                                                                  Then we moved to NL and I really learned to cook. Cod au gratin, cod fillets, salt cod dishes galore, fish and brewis, seal flipper pie, real salmon, crab in all variations, and lots of trout. More rabbit pie (totally different approach to Mennonite recipes, a big square casserole and with bones still much in evidence). Moose steaks, venison stew, bottled moose, caribou and ptarmigan, too, if folks had been over to Labrador. Sugar pudding, boiled raisin cakes. Turnip, beet and potato salads, all on the same plate, all cold and served with cold turkey and partridge berry sauce at every church luncheon I ever visited.

                                                                  So a recipe? a single recipe? Gosh, I don't know where to start. But if anyone is interested in something specific, I have a recipe for everything I have listed here (and a whole lot more!)

                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                  1. re: LJS

                                                                    Happy Canada Day everyone!!! Fire crackers are going on around my place since late morning:)
                                                                    Thank you for posting, LJS. I love reading this thread and would love to have your recipes for sugar pie, chicken paprikash and borscht, if not too much trouble.

                                                                    1. re: LJS

                                                                      I'd love to have the recipes for the Queen Elizabeth, divinity, and walnut slice squares if you have the time.
                                                                      Funny about salmon - I still like it best canned (or smoked) - not as a cooked fish. Salmon sandwiches, yum! (My mom's version - on buttered brown bread, with sliced cucumber salted and then marinated in cider vinegar with salt and pepper.)

                                                                      1. re: LJS

                                                                        Oh...great post. I haven't been to tea in anyone's home since I was very small. I did go to the Fairmont Royal York for afternoon tea last week, though. I think it's a tradition that needs to be revived! But really, I can't imagine many people would take the time to bake the big assortment of treats. A lot of the same sandwiches and baked goods still turn up at showers and funerals, so it's not totally lost.

                                                                        The canned/smoked salmon and kippers are funny to me, too. My grandmother always made this smoked salmon spread with cream cheese, smoked and canned salmon with lemon and chives. I still make a tarted up version of it now, but I use all smoked salmon and goat cheese thinned with cream instead. We ate a lot of other fish - local perch and pickerel, trout, smelts, smoked whitefish - but canned salmon always had to be in the house.

                                                                        Fish reminds me of this too: My uncle drove a truck when I was small and on his trips out east he would pack coolers full of live lobster. We boiled them up when he got home and had a feast! It was a big treat. I wish I could have it now.

                                                                        1. re: elysabeth

                                                                          It is a working day at my house today (after a grand weekend off!), but I will sort out the recipe requests above and be back to you with details later...this is such an interesting thread to me!

                                                                          1. re: LJS

                                                                            I love this thread too, the links are fabulous. Look forward to your recipes a LOT!

                                                                        2. re: LJS

                                                                          Funny you should mention Queen Elizabeth cake; my mother was taught baking by the woman who created the recipe for it. We always called it Princess Elizabeth cake because she was only a princess then and that's what the original recipe says. She gave it to my mom and told her not to tell anyone, but mom gave it to her maid of honour under pledge of secrecy. The next thing she knew it was published in a church cookbook by the maid's mother and the secret was welll and truly out. I have never sen a reprint though that is exactly like the original,.

                                                                        3. Canadian Magazine - Saturday newspaper supplement,
                                                                          Food and Drink section articles/recipes:

                                                                          Sunday Brunch - Jul 27,1974

                                                                          Spinach - Jun 22, 1974

                                                                          Mussels - Jun 15, 1974

                                                                          Home Brew Beer & Recipes - Jun 8, 1974

                                                                          Whole Pig BBQ - Jun 1, 1974

                                                                          Offal - Part 1 - May 25, 1974

                                                                          Offal - Part 2 - May 25, 1974

                                                                          Vancouver's Muckamuck Restaurant
                                                                          Real Canadian Food (with recipes) May 4, 1974

                                                                          Frosting on the Bird - Apr 27, 1974

                                                                          Chocolate - Apr 6, 1974

                                                                          Sauces - Part 2 - Mar 2, 1974

                                                                          Sauces - Part 1 - Feb 23, 1974

                                                                          Olives - Jan 26, 1974

                                                                          Appetizers - Jan 19, 1974

                                                                          Recipes from Toronto's Sutton Place Hotel - Jan 12, 1974

                                                                          Cider - Jan 5, 1974

                                                                          Savouries? An extra bite at the end of the meal - Dec 22, 1973

                                                                          Go Dutch - Nov 10, 1973

                                                                          Out of the Drink Into the Dinner - Nov 10, 1973

                                                                          Jack-O'-Lantern Marmalad, Or Soup. Or even ice cream - Oct 27, 1973

                                                                          Meals like Mother used to make - Oct 20, 1973

                                                                          Run Your Kitchen Like a Business - Oct 13, 1973

                                                                          Put that dish where I can't reach it - Oct 6, 1973

                                                                          Loving Leeks - Sep 17, 1973

                                                                          All About Apples - Sep 8, 1973

                                                                          Do-it-yourself Liqueurs - Aug 25, 1973

                                                                          In the cool, cool, cool of the kitchen - Aug 18, 1973

                                                                          Summer Hospitality (Drinks) Aug 11, 1973

                                                                          Hope River, PEI church recipes Aug 4, 1973

                                                                          Fruit Soups - Jul 21, 1973

                                                                          Green Peppers - Jul 14, 1973

                                                                          Meat Loaf is Beautiful - Jun 16, 1973

                                                                          Summer Cool - Jun 2, 1973

                                                                          Summer Feast - May 26, 1973

                                                                          Elegant Victorian recipes - May 12, 1973

                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Antilope

                                                                            Wow!!! What a treat. I never saw the last one because it was published the day we got married. Thank you Antilope! So nice to see Mme Benoit (I was hoping) and Helen Gougeon's writing, and Sandra Gotlieb mentioned (I still have The Gourmet's Canada). This brought tears to my eyes.

                                                                            1. re: Antilope

                                                                              - More - Canadian Magazine - Saturday newspaper supplement,
                                                                              Food and Drink section articles/recipes:

                                                                              Melons - Jun 21, 1975

                                                                              Wedding Cake and French Wedding Cake - May 31, 1975

                                                                              Big Red - Lobster - May 24, 1975

                                                                              Big Red - Lobster (continued-2) - May 24, 1975

                                                                              Rhubarb - May 3, 1975

                                                                              Armenian Delights - Apr 26, 1975

                                                                              Perfect Pigeon - Apr 19, 1975

                                                                              Chez Cheese - Apr 12, 1975

                                                                              La Belle Poule - Chicken - Apr 5, 1975

                                                                              La Belle Poule - Chicken (continued-2) - Apr 5, 1975

                                                                              Viva Paella Mar 29, 1975

                                                                              Recipes from Canada's 8 Best Chefs - Mar 22, 1975

                                                                              Recipes from Canada's 8 Best Chefs (continued-2) - Mar 22, 1975

                                                                              Recipes from Canada's 8 Best Chefs (continued-3) - Mar 22, 1975

                                                                              Recipes from Canada's 8 Best Chefs (continued-4) - Mar 22, 1975

                                                                              Salad - Mar 8, 1975

                                                                              Rice - Mar 1, 1975

                                                                              Mince (Ground meat) Feb 15, 1975

                                                                              Soup It Up - Feb 8, 1975

                                                                              Crunchy Mornings (cereal) Feb 1, 1975

                                                                              And not a Speck of Sugar - Jan 25, 1975

                                                                              Good Brown Bread and sourdough too. Jan 18, 1975

                                                                              Think Beans Jan 11, 1975

                                                                              Eat Hearty - Eat Macaroni - Jan 4, 1975

                                                                              The Best Cook In the Country (Mme Benoit) Dec 28, 1974

                                                                              The Best Cook In the Country (Mme Benoit) (continued-2) Dec 28, 1974

                                                                              The Best Cook In the Country (Mme Benoit) (continued-3) Dec 28, 1974

                                                                              Winter Fruit Dec 28, 1974

                                                                              Winter Fruit (continued) - Dec 28, 1974

                                                                              Buche de Noel - Christmas Log - Dec 14, 1974

                                                                              Gift Wrap Your Kitchen Skills - Dec 7, 1974

                                                                              Hors d'oeuvres - Oct 19,1974

                                                                              Herbs - Oct 12, 1974

                                                                              Herbs (continued) - Oct 12, 1974

                                                                              Hevenly Pies - Oct 5, 1974

                                                                              Fruits of the Earth (Garden Vegetables) Sep 7, 1974

                                                                              Eggplant - Aug 17, 1974

                                                                              Tomatoes - Aug 3, 1974

                                                                              1. re: Antilope

                                                                                Antilope, a thousand thanks/merci mille fois for this - a true delight. It was always a treat to open the Canadian magazine on Saturdays then. Too bad really great newspaper food writing is rather a thing of the past.

                                                                                Mme Benoit was right - love and good cooking are pretty much the same thing.

                                                                                1. re: Antilope

                                                                                  Antilope: this is an amazing compendium of Canadian cooking-I worked in the Canadian publishing industry for many years and thought I knew the sources, but you have me beat by far! Madame Benoit's recipe for French Onion soup is still the standard-bearer at my table and I just love the Saturday magazine ('roto") references. Remember Greg Clarke, TMITNO?

                                                                                  1. re: LJS

                                                                                    Do you actually have the recipe for Mme Benoit's French Onion soup?

                                                                                    1. re: Godslamb

                                                                                      I do: G and will happily supply (BTW,I am guessing you probably have a better recipe for Sugar Pie than I do with your background, I think mine is Edna Staebler's, possibly adapted from 'Fodd that Really Schmecks'-the first serious food study of South-Western Ontario Mennonites)...going to take me a little while as these are not recipe links, but will need typing out...I am going to post them all at once, and add them on to this thread.

                                                                                        1. re: LJS

                                                                                          To be honest, I have never heard of Sugar Pie. Never ate it either. My Grandma just liked her pluma moos, kuchen and saskatoon pies.

                                                                                        2. re: Godslamb

                                                                                          Onion Soup article with several recipes by Mme Jehane Benoit - Ottawa Citizen - Oct 7, 1966

                                                                                          Onion Soup article by Mme Jehane Benoit - page 2

                                                                                        3. re: LJS

                                                                                          This is so funny, just noticed the reference to good old Greg Clarke!

                                                                                    2. My gramdmother's Acadian chicken stew (which probably doesn't meet any stew definitions) which I have made according to her directions, but doesn't work for me. She just boils OLD chickens with salt onions and then thickens it a bit with flour. Doesn't sound all that great, but yum.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                        I bet it is yum. Love old chickens, boiled.

                                                                                      2. 80's child, grew up on Vancouver Island, first generation child of English parents. It's interesting to me how my parent's tastes have changed/Canadianized since my early childhood. Food memories from when I was very small are very standard UK - steak and kidney pie (thank the lord for the dogs under the table, who would make short work of the kidney pieces, ha), roast beef/yorkshire puddings on Sundays, shepherd's pie, treacle pudding (YUM), beef stew, sardines on toast, liver etc. I never loved the sardines on toast, although I did eat it, but I don't think even my parents would eat it these days, and i'm damn sure my mother wouldn't buy or prepare liver or kidneys these days (she has become more, not less squeamish about offal over the years). Lots of trifle on 'occasions' (company etc.) but to this day i'm not a huge trifle fan, bring on the treacle pudding. Another tradition was 'Christmas cookies' - the same recipes every year, shortbread cut into Xmas shapes, rum balls, some ball shaped cookies with walnuts (I think). I should get those cookie recipes from my mother, because they're going to go with her if I don't keep making them.

                                                                                        I was the one who introduced my family to buttertarts when I was about 14 and they remain a staple. My favourite recipe was the one that came on the side of the Crisco brick - does anyone have this? We like them runny and raisin-free and they usually don't last past the 'mostly too hot to eat' stage.

                                                                                        My mother has a big garden in BC so I also have a lot of childhood memories of anything and everything made with rhubarb, blackberries and zucchini (god, the zucchini!).

                                                                                        My Proustian childhood dish is something my mother calls 'Cauliflower Cheese' - it is cauliflower pieces baked in a pyrex-style over dish with cheese sauce (standard white sauce + standard orange cheddar cheese, AFAIK) poured over the top (before baking). The ultimate comfort/childhood regression food, and something else I need to make myself.

                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: montrealeater

                                                                                          OMG! The kidneys are the best part. ;) That's funny, my family doesn't cook too much offal anymore either since they've become more Canadianized. When I was small it was still on the menu - haggis, black pudding, tongue, tripe, liver, head cheese, etc.

                                                                                          My grandmother still makes a trifle for special occasions, and the exact same 3 cookies at Christmas. She used to bake a lot more, plus mince tarts, but I don't think she has the energy for it now. Shortbreads, rum balls and she calls those walnut ones "Russian Tea Cakes." I have recipes for all of them if anyone wants.

                                                                                          She also made a light Christmas fruitcake with dried cherries and probably almonds, soaked in liquor and aged. I have the recipe around here somewhere, I really need to dig it out and make a few this year for hostess gifts.

                                                                                          Cauliflower cheese was one of my favourites too! :)

                                                                                          1. re: elysabeth

                                                                                            5 year old me thought kidneys were gross on a plate. I was an extremely finicky eater (I remember cleaning the gravy off each pice of meat - beef, chicken, whatever it was - and inspecting each individual piece for 'blubber' - rejecting it if I found any. I'm surprised my parents didn't chuck me into the sea.

                                                                                            So...cauliflower cheese is English, then? I never knew if it was, or if it was just something my mom came up with. Tongue was offered many times by older relatives on trips to England, and always met with horror and revulsion by me. I would try it now, but have never had the chance. Mince pies - YES, those still get made every Christmas, along with sausage rolls, forgot about those.

                                                                                            It interests me how immigrants Canadianize. My parents are now much more conservative eaters than me, and as I mentioned, if offered traditional dishes from the old country, esp. offal-based ones now, I would be the one trying it, not them. A lot of my mom's cooking these days is Asian influenced, a lot of Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, which I'm pretty sure is the west coast influence (+ the influence of various Asian exchange students they hosted over our highschool years). My Dad maintains his English side with his stubborn belief that nothing beats 'meat and 2 veg' but even he's into the stir fries and spring rolls etc.

                                                                                            Did your family used to make those - oooh I've forgotten what they're called - oranges studded with cloves and hung on walls/over doors at Xmas, too? I loved how those things smelled.

                                                                                            1. re: montrealeater

                                                                                              I've only heard British people call it "Cauliflower Cheese," everyone else seems to say "cauliflower with cheese sauce" and they don't bake it in the oven. Wikipedia has some history on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cauliflo...

                                                                                              Assimilation is really interesting to me too. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents and great grandparents. My great grandparents were *extremely* British and never really became Canadianized at all. My great grandfather spoke mixed Welsh at home as long as he was alive and we used some Welsh words in everyday speech when I was growing up. After my great grandparents passed on a lot of the "old country" stuff started to disappear (like the old offal dishes, elaborate teas, etc.). My grandparents were/are somewhere in between fully assimilated and not - they would agree with your dad on "meat and 2 veg" and are also fairly conservative eaters, but my grandma still has a soft spot for liver and onions.

                                                                                              Yeah - pommanders - we made them and after Christmas they were taken down and hung in wardrobes and closets to scent our clothes for the rest of the year.

                                                                                              1. re: montrealeater

                                                                                                Pomander balls. My mom and I made those too.

                                                                                            2. re: montrealeater

                                                                                              "she has become more, not less squeamish about offal over the years"

                                                                                              yeah, whats up with that? My mother-in-law is 83 and she talks about growing up with a cow, pig, chickens, etc etc. How they'd kill a pig each fall, waste nothing, make blood sausage, etc etc. So I make blood sausage - "I don't like that". So I make head cheese - "I don't like that". She goes on how her mother made fish cakes with salt cod "oh my it was so good". So I make it for her - "I don't like that".

                                                                                              So I laugh and point out how she says she lived in the 30s and 40s. "Oh that was all different then"
                                                                                              oh well.

                                                                                              1. re: porker

                                                                                                LOL! That sounds so much like my grandparents. I don't know, but I think that maybe those dishes were made in hard times when they really couldn't afford to waste ANY source of food. In the 30s-40s they had The Great Depression and then food rations in WWII, everything had to be stretched as far as it could go. Those foods might not be associated with happy memories for a lot of older people, or they just don't see the need for them now. My grandma also had 11 brothers and sisters in a tiny farmhouse. I honestly can't begin to imagine what life was like for them, but I never get tired of listening to their stories. :)

                                                                                                1. re: elysabeth

                                                                                                  HA!, my mother-in-law is the oldest of 12, my wife stopped counting her cousins after they topped 100. I think some memories become enhanced over time - perhaps she has fond memories of her childhood meals, but its always better remembered than re-lived.

                                                                                                  1. re: porker

                                                                                                    I love this thread. My go to cookbook is the "New Kate Aitken Canadian Cook Book" (1953) Everything I ever need is in this little paperback book! Crabapple Jelly, Saskatoon Pie, Blueberry Pancakes, Oven Baked Lake Trout, and I love the crazy "notes for the bride"!

                                                                                                    I grew up in Thunder Bay, which holds the most amazing food memories. Finnish pancakes at the Hoito, the most fabulous Italian food outside of Italy, and better than some in Italy. Greek Salad at the Blue Parrot. Perogies and cabbage rolls from the ladies at the Ukrainian Hall. But best of all was my grandmothers roast beef dinner on Sunday nights with date squares or oatmeal cookies for dessert.

                                                                                                    1. re: Luna2372

                                                                                                      My mom and dad were from Germany and Austria, respectively, and my oma came over to Canada the year I was born and moved in with us. We ate really well, home-cooked meals all the time, and I remember being envious of my friends whose parents would bring home greasy take out fries and burgers from the local diner. I remember watching one neighbourhood girl sitting on the front steps of her house, eating cream of mushroom soup over a slice of white bread in a bowl for dinner. At the time, I was in awe because it seemed so hip and cool. I didn't really get it that I was the lucky one because I always went home and joined my family around a table piled with lovingly prepared food made from scratch.

                                                                                                      My Austrian oma made fantastic marble bundt cakes, and her plum cake was also incredible. The base was similar to the bundt cake recipe, but it was poured into a 9x13 pan and then covered with fresh plums, brown sugar and cinnamon before baking. She's also make these plum dumplings in the fall, when the particular, small Italian plums are in season. They are pitted and then surrounded by a potato dough, boiled until they float and then rolled in buttered bread crumbs and brown sugar with cinnamon. She also taught me how to make authentic strudel dough, and I have wonderful memories of the two of us making several apple strudels every fall for the rest of the family and neighbours.

                                                                                                      I have to say that my oma's pork roast was to die for. I can roast a pretty mean pig, myself, but somehow, it just never quite tastes as good. It was studded with garlic cloves and season with marjoram. She would surround the roast with loads of onions and garlic that were browned in the pan with the drippings. These would be collected and chilled and then spread over bread the next day. We would fight over the stuff; it was so good! Years later, I was surprised to see drippings and fat on offer at the local grocery store in the Saguenay, Quebec, where I ended up living and working for a time. They also sold horse meat, which freaked me out a little.

                                                                                                      Speaking of the Saguenay, my (now ex) boyfriend's sister taught me how to make Tourtiere du Saugenay, which is unlike the smaller, flatter, pie-like versions elsewhere in the province. Served with relishes and ketchup, gherkins and beets, it is a rib-sticking good meal. (My sister, who married a Scotsman from just outside Glascow, swears that it tastes just like something called "stovies" (don't know the actual spelling) back in the old country. Oh, and don't get me started on the beef pie and fried potatoes my sister is now able to cook thanks to the tips passed on from her MIL.) My Quebecois ex's sister also gave me her excellent recipe for making sucre a la creme, which is a decadent treat. I also have fond memories of eating this throwback to the 50s cold loaf filled with different sandwich spreads and iced with either cream cheese or a Cheez Whiz kind of icing. It was so weird and wonderful, and I've never had it since moving away from there.

                                                                                                      When I was little, most of my friends thought a lot of what I/we ate was gross. They would sneer at liverwurst on rye, and lox with hard boiled eggs. However, the dish that would send them all running and screaming was our steak tartar. We wouldn't eat it often; usually only around Christmas and New Year's Eve, but man, was it ever good. I still order it every chance I get in a restaurant, and they make a pretty good one here in Ottawa at the Wellington Gastropub.

                                                                                                      I can't really pick a true favourite, but I used to love and still make a thick, meaty goulash that is nothing like Hungarian goulash soup which my husband loves. I married a Hungarian, and he makes his own version of goulash for himself, as no one else on my side will touch it. (Don't tell him I said so, but I think it's because his mother's recipe is not that good. She is not a very good cook, and I am thankful that she lives far, far away so I don't have to suffer her food or the heartburn that ensues very often.)

                                                                                                      Now, about the Austrian goulash that I adore. It is a thick, meaty stew with little other than beef (or pork) with lots and lots of onions, garlic, paprika, marjoram, bay leaf and S&P. In recent years, I have added cayenne or harissa for a kick of heat, but this is not traditional. If there are mushrooms available, they can be added, with little ill effect, but that's it. No other veg should be added! No tomatoes, peppers, nothing. It might sound simple, and I guess it is, but the end result (and one has to be patient because it cooks a long time) is outstanding.

                                                                                                      There was also sauerbraten, which I adored. Rolladen, made with beef, bacon, onions, pickes and mustard...mmm. Homemade "nockeln" made from flour, water, egg and salt dropped from a spoon into boiling water to make an irregular and dense dumpling. Leftovers heated in a pan with bacon were divine.

                                                                                                      Of course, we had breaded porkchops often, and frikadellen, which are like big tasty meatballs, fried (also sometimes breaded) and eaten without a bun. The same well-seasoned meat mixture was stuffed inside a turkey every Christmas, instead of the expected bread or some other starch-based stuffing, and it was amazing. My mother also made really good butternut squash baked with butter and brown sugar, but I'm sure that was a Canadian addition.

                                                                                                      When I went away to university, I'd call home a few days before each visit, and both my mom and oma would urge me to place my order for foods that I missed from home. My mom's "creamed" spinach (made without cream, actually) over boiled potatoes and fried eggs was a popular choice, as was my oma's pork roast that I mentioned above. My mother also made a really good chili con carne and curried chicken, but those came later, after years of working in the hotel industry and socializing with the kitchen staff.

                                                                                                      I also crave my mom's cold cracked crab. With the shell on, marinate the pieces with olive oil, loads of fresh parsley and green onions, red pepper flakes and salt. That's it, but really, that's all that is needed. It is divine. My mom and I would sit at the table and work our way through a whole bowl and catch up. Lovely memory!

                                                                                                      Both my mom and oma made the best and clearest soups, and they'd cook crepe-style pancakes, roll them up, slice them and add them to the broth instead of noodles or rice. And they'd always make a few apple cinnamon pancakes for me and my sisters to eat, sprinkled with white sugar, while the adults always opted for plain pancakes rolled up with jam.

                                                                                                      Oh, I could go on! So many good food memories from my past, which are of course, linked to many happy family memories. Food and love went together in my childhood home. *sigh* My oma, dad and mom all passed away in the last few years. I miss them terribly.

                                                                                                      1. re: Grapefloat

                                                                                                        "We ate really well, home-cooked meals all the time, and I remember being envious of my friends whose parents would bring home greasy take out fries and burgers from the local diner. I remember watching one neighbourhood girl sitting on the front steps of her house, eating cream of mushroom soup over a slice of white bread in a bowl for dinner. At the time, I was in awe because it seemed so hip and cool. I didn't really get it that I was the lucky one because I always went home and joined my family around a table piled with lovingly prepared food made from scratch."

                                                                                                        Ha! This was my experience exactly. I cannot begin to describe how utterly exotic and awesome my friend's packed lunches seemed - some of them even got a can of soda (the ultimate). I was so jealous of their 'orange drink' and lunchables-type premade lunch-y foods. While I chewed on my sandwich overflowing with giant hunks of cheddar in giant chunks of bread and drank real orange juice from my thermos. To this day there is something ever so slightly naughty about soda and/or processed cheese foods for lunch.

                                                                                                        Beautiful memories, Grapefloat, thank you for posting them. You seem to have picked up a lot of recipes from friends and family. I have picked up some, but I need to work on actually getting more of them down, espcially my mother's and granny's.

                                                                                                        Re: the increasing squeamishness of my parents/older generations. I, too, wondered if it has something to do with what was viewed as deprivation or dollar (pound) stretching in childhood. My mmo is a baby boomer and I think she was born after imposed food shortages during WWII and postwar, but she definitely grew up in a household where *everything* was used and is extremely thrifty herself, especially when it comes to food. 'Fridge Special' was the dish we had at the end of the week and basically involved all the leftovers, carefully saved in the fridge, from the previous week, tossed into a casserole and baked. Offal seems exotic to me. To my mom, I think it just seems cheap and gross.

                                                                                                    2. re: porker

                                                                                                      Yes, what I still find odd is that all of my great grandparents loved offal. Given the choice between a roast beef sandwich or a good head cheese or tongue, my great grandfather would go for the "gross" stuff every time, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Their children weren't so enthusiastic.

                                                                                                      My grandparents and elders also seem to have this strange paranoid fear of undercooked meats. To this day, my grandma will cook a grey stringy roast or a bone dry turkey and then ask all of us at the table if it's "cooked enough." I always tell her it's perfect, though. :)

                                                                                                      My mom inherited that trait and the first time I had medium rare it was a huge revelation to me. I grew up thinking I didn't like beef much, but I really just find dry meats inedible unless they're drowned in gravy. She has started leaving a bit of pink on the inside, but her husband is repulsed at the sight of "blood." I went to dinner at a restaurant that carves grilled meats table-side with his family a while ago, and everything was sent back to spend a few more minutes on the grill. It totally ruined the meal for me, so I just filled up on sides and pushed the meat around on my plate. So disappointing, but hey raved about that meal for weeks! I live in a rural area and well done still seems to be the norm here.

                                                                                                      1. re: elysabeth

                                                                                                        When I ran a restaurant, I could not believe how many people liked their steak "well well well done" (read dried out). My mom wasn't in this camp, but my mother-in-law cooks everything well done, roast beef/pork/turkey/chicken. She would also prepare holiday meals (xmas, easter, etc) the day before - roast a turkey and/or ham and/or beef, slice it up, onto a platter and into the fridge. Next day, for the meal, she'd make hot mashed potatoes/stuffing/dumplings/gravy to be served with the cold meat platters.
                                                                                                        It was a logistical thing mostly, to free up time on the day-of, but it was quite a revelation to my wife when she started to hang at my house for holidays - hot turkey or pork or ham right out of the oven.

                                                                                              2. When my grandmother died, one of my aunts compiled a cookbook made from all of her old recipe cards and distributed it amongst the children and grandchildren. I don't have a copy with me, but I remember that every recipe included either canned soup, a cup of mayo or melted marshmallows.

                                                                                                I grew up half way up a mountain in BC with hippie parents and a huge garden, so we ate a lot of salads and stuff bought from the local co-op. One year, my dad decided to raise his own bees and we ate a ton of honey. I can't think of anything that had a recipe to post or was particularly Canadian, except that my dad often baked out of the Nuts About Chocolate cookbook from Vancouver's Lazy Gourmet catering company. We always had homemade cake and ice cream for our birthdays (I think most of the cake recipes came from The Joy of Cooking and the ice cream recipes from the little booklet that came with the ice cream maker. The icing was always "incredible chocolate icing" from Nuts About Chocolate).

                                                                                                There was a large Doukhobor community in my area, so I ate my fair share of borscht as well (although I can only remember having it at home a couple times). All of my Russian friends' mothers made this amazing drink from fresh raspberries. It involved a lot of cooking and I believe it was fairly time consuming. I had one friend whose mother would freeze huge batches of it and would have some freshly thawed in the fridge all winter. I would kill to get a recipe (or even more information) -- it was delicious.

                                                                                                34 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                  Can't help with a personal experience of making raspberry-wine (it's all rhubarb wine out here on the East Coast,long process but dead simple and good product). However, here is a link to a Raspberry Wine recipe or two to get your juices flowing..pardon the pun!

                                                                                                  1. re: LJS

                                                                                                    That looks delicious, but I don't think it's what my friends' mothers used to make. Theirs wasn't alcoholic, or fermented-tasting, just really cooked down. It may have been nothing more than raspberries, sugar and water, cooked and strained, but it had a really distinctive taste.

                                                                                                      1. re: freia

                                                                                                        It very easily could be (although the stuff I remember was definitely made with fresh raspberries, as I imagine the Anne of Green Gables stuff would have been as well). Thanks for the link -- that's a definite place to start.

                                                                                                        1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                          Yes, definitely with fresh raspberries, but this was the most applicable recipe I could find. Many cordials have alcohol in them, and if I recall correctly, there was an Anne of Green Gables storyline that involved a mild case of drunkeness after drinking the cordiale. This was the one recipe I found without alcohol/fermentation and is a stepping stone, perhaps.

                                                                                                          1. re: freia

                                                                                                            Yes, and I plan on trying it as soon as I get my hands on some raspberries (although I may actually have to settle for the frozen ones for now -- it seems that the part of California where I live now isn't the right climate for raspberries). I also remember that mild case of drunkenness...

                                                                                                            Actually, this recipe led me to some others for the alcoholic berry cordial and also one for raspberry wine that didn't involve any yeasts or cultures -- just fermented berries and sugar. None of these are what I'm looking for, but I might just have to try them anyway.

                                                                                                            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                              Wanted to add this recipe I found for Doukhobor borscht to the mix. Lighter coloured and less beety than Russian borscht, this is another thing I grew up on, in spite of the fact that my family was not Doukhobor.

                                                                                                              This recipe doesn't contain any beets at all: http://frenchfriestoflaxseeds.com/200... but I've seen recipes that that use one or two (and I think the borscht I've had usually contained at least a bit of beet).

                                                                                                              1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                Thanks! I loved this soup when I was touring the BC interior. The versions I had in restaurants were definitely enriched with cream and probably butter too. I tried making a lighter version and it was good but not quite the same :)

                                                                                                                1. re: julesrules

                                                                                                                  Yeah, I read through a bunch of blogs where people talked about learning a family borscht recipe from a grandparent and every single one of them cut part of the butter and cream, not because they were trying to make diet food out of it, but because the amount of butter used traditionally is somewhat horrific. A pound of butter and several cups of heavy cream seems to be the standard, but I've seen some recipes with more. I've also had it at restaurants with little cream in the broth, but served with a hearty dallop or sour cream on top. The one I posted looks like a pretty good happy medium. Lots of butter, but not a horrifying amount.

                                                                                                                  1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                    The original is really great in small quantities :)

                                                                                                  2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                    My mother had that cookbook too, and baked out of it all of the time! I think that one of the first things that I baked as a teenager on my own was out of either that or "Mama never cooked like that"..
                                                                                                    Sadly, growing up in Winnipeg, the garden was not as generous as it would have been in BC.I do remember lots of zucchini.. and lots of zucchini cake! My mother is American, so her recipes reflect her roots. One of her best friends was Ukrainian-Canadian, so on Ukrainian Christmas she always had perogies with fried bacon and onion, and cabbage rolls (Holubtsi?)
                                                                                                    Most of my friends were Jewish, so I enjoyed lots of their mothers' wonderful recipes... knish, mandelbrot, nothings, and the fancy tortes they would make for bar/bat mitzvahs. My best friend had a rather heated argument with her future father-in-law (from Toronto) when it came time to plan her wedding dinner in Winnipeg. She wanted to serve salmon so they could have milk desserts, and put on a "real Winnipeg Jewish dessert table). He wanted meat.. she won. I still remember the chocolate mousse torte at her wedding!
                                                                                                    My favorites that I don't see here in Ontario are Imperial Cookies, puffed wheat squares (made with corn syrup and cocoa.... so good!) and squares that are alternately called confetti squares or butterscotch marshmallow bars. I have recipes if anyone's interested...

                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                      O.M.G. PUFFED WHEAT SQUARES how I miss you! Second Cup in Edmonton has them at all their locations and every time I'm home, I have a latte and a huge puffed wheat square. Sometimes I alternate it with the ole butterscotch marshmallow bars!
                                                                                                      Yes, recipes PLEASE!!!!

                                                                                                      1. re: freia

                                                                                                        Hi Freia... here is the butterscotch marshmallow bar recipe I have (it's a Jean Pare from Company's Coming!)
                                                                                                        This is another variation with rice krispies and coconut that looks good:
                                                                                                        My puffed wheat square recipe is at home.. I'l type it out tonight!

                                                                                                          1. re: freia

                                                                                                            You're welcome Freia.. of course I didn't end up turning on the computer last night.. but I will get that recipe tonight!
                                                                                                            This version (from Best of Bridge!) looks very close to mine:

                                                                                                            1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                              And..I can't find mine. It appears that I am in serious need of a giant recipe sort.
                                                                                                              Oh dear..

                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                  Hi Buttertart!
                                                                                                                  It appears that they are called Empire cookies everywhere else..I have no idea why we call them Imperial cookies in the 'Peg? When I googled it, many of the references were very Winnipeg specific, such as
                                                                                                                  Essentially two cookies with raspberry jam in the middle, covered with white icing.
                                                                                                                  Here's a recipe, although the suggestion of using non-raspberry jam is utter blasphemy..

                                                                                                                  1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                    Hi rs, I don't remember hearing of them when growing up, maybe they are a Prairies thing? (Got some lovely Ontario raspberry jam at SLM on Saturday, by the way!)

                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                      They may well be.. I've seen them in the bakery section of the Bay in Toronto, but in Winnipeg they're widely available. I have been meaning to try to make them for ages...
                                                                                                                      Sounds like a productive visit to SLM...!

                                                                                                                        1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                          I believe Empire Biscuits are British. I have a (British) Be-Ro recipe book from the 50's w a recipe for them. They're a staple in most British bake shops here.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                            Hmmm.. I used to live in the UK, and never saw them there... wonder if they've fallen out of style there. Curious about the Be-Ro recipe.. is it similar to the Canadian Living one i posted? does it use shortening or butter?
                                                                                                                            Thanks Breadcrumbs!

                                                                                                                        2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                          I think the Imperial/Diplomat cookies are mostly a Manitoba thing. I made a point of trying them at Gunn's Bakery, as well as Gunn's applejack, when I visited Winnipeg. I've never noticed Imperial/Diplomat cookies at any bakeries in AB or SK. http://foodmusings.ca/restaurants/fav...

                                                                                                                          Haven't tried these recipes, but I thought I'd post them in case anyone is looking for an Imperial recipe:



                                                                                                                          1. re: prima

                                                                                                                            They would be a noble end for the incredible Stasis Preserves raspberry jam I got at St Lawrence Market recently, IF I could bear to part with it (one spoonful on the toast, one spoonful in my mouth).

                                                                                                                            1. re: prima

                                                                                                                              Fab.. thanks Prima. I really need to try making these! I'll probably use my mother's raspberry jam...
                                                                                                                              I also love Gunn's applejacks, as well as their knish.. sigh!

                                                                                                                      1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                        No worries...I'll track my mom's recipe down through my sister and post it if you like. Perhaps they'll be pretty close? :)

                                                                                                                        1. re: freia

                                                                                                                          That'd be great Freia.. it was also a good reminder that I need to sort out my recipes (before I end up on an episode of Hoarders...)

                                                                                                            2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                              After three days of searching, I have solved the mystery! The raspberry drink is called "otvar" and it can actually be made with pretty much any type of fruit. It's similar to the Anne of Green Gables cordial, but without the lemon (and perhaps a bit less syrupy). The recipe can be found here: http://www.askmel.ca/html/meet/recipe...


                                                                                                              5 cups frozen fruit
                                                                                                              15 cups boiling water
                                                                                                              3 cups white sugar

                                                                                                              Bring fruit and water to a boil. Strain it. Add sugar to taste. Cool. Drink.

                                                                                                              I can't imagine this with anything other than home grown fruit, but it is possible that my friends' mothers used fruit frozen from their own raspberry bushes. I am positive they did not buy it from the grocery store (I have clear memories of vast raspberry bushes).

                                                                                                              1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                I believe what you're looking for is my father's beloved raspberryvinegar recipe. His grandmother would bottleit and Add 2 Tbsps to a glass and fill with water.

                                                                                                                1. re: dianne0712

                                                                                                                  I'm pretty sure it's the otvar drink, as the description on the site is exactly what I remember, and it seemed to always be made and frozen in bulk, to be thawed by the pitcherfull when the raspberries were long gone. Also, the blog where I found the recipe is specific to the BC interior, the only place I have ever had this particular drink. One Doukhobor history site suggested that the recipe might have originally come from Eastern Europe, picked up somewhere along the journey from Russia to Canada.

                                                                                                                  The raspberry vinegar drink sounds great though. Do you have a recipe or is it a guarded family secret?

                                                                                                                  1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                    Lost in the mists of time unfortunately. I'm sure one of my great-grandmother's descendents has it, but no-one I'm in contact with.

                                                                                                              2. OK I grew up in Western Canada. Dad was from England via India so our "festival meals" often revolved around curry, dal, rice, pappadums or roast beef/yorkshire puddings/plum pudding (at Christmas). I have to tell you, it was unusual in the era that I grew up in to have a taste for traditional South Asian cuisine at the ripe old age of 5, in Western Canada.
                                                                                                                Mom was from the farm near Vegreville, 1st generation Canadian (my grandparents didn't speak English, no need to in their small farming community), so I grew up on perogies, perohy, "johnny cake" (cornmeal very similar to polenta), a few 12 course tradiitonal Christmas meals.
                                                                                                                BUT the usual meals we had (i.e. during the weekday) I think were along the eating habits of Canadians in the 70s -- white grocery bread, margarine (because it was seen as waaay more healthy than butter, we NEVER had butter except with perogies or in baking), iceberg lettuce salad with Kraft French dressing, macaroni and cheese made with Velveeta, sugary breakfast cereals, Hamburger Helper, McCain Deep Dish Frozen Pizza, Fish sticks and McCain frozen french fries..OH and Rogers Golden Corn Syrup as there weren't a whole lotta maple trees out there on the Prairies....not everyday as there was a certain amount of home made foods for sure, but to be honest, a fair amount of what was convenient or marketed as being "healthy and quick". Back then, we never ate out. We cooked at home, but what we often ate was processed or convenient and was considered healthier than going out for dinner. Back then, the dining out options were limited -- I was in Grade 7 when I had my first McDonald's burger. Prior to that, my parents viewed eating out as a "waste of money" and horribly unhealthy and felt that Hamburger Helper was much, much better.
                                                                                                                Today of course I eat completely differently than I did as a child.

                                                                                                                1. Godslamb

                                                                                                                  I love your avatar.
                                                                                                                  I love your screen name.
                                                                                                                  Bravo on 2 accounts.
                                                                                                                  Ok, now I'll read these replies.
                                                                                                                  Had to say that before I forgot, you know how busy we lady's get.

                                                                                                                  1. Oooohhh... Kielke. I tried making it once and it was just NOT like my Oma's... She'd sometimes add some tomato and carmelized onions to the cream sauce. So good.

                                                                                                                    I'm curious about your sweet borscht? I grew up mennonite too and I still regularly make Kommst borscht and Somma borsct, but never anything sweet. Do you mean pluma moos? My oma's pluma moos really grossed me out as a kid - she'd always put in whole prunes in with the other dried fruit. It was always quite intimidating!

                                                                                                                    Come to think of it, I made chicken noodle soup last week with homemade noodles and I was wondering what was missing - I left out the star aniseed!

                                                                                                                    I still depend on my Mennonite Treasury cookbook to get me through my Menno cravings now that I moved to the East coast. (Don't even get me started about the lack of farmer sausage out here!)

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: froddard

                                                                                                                      I am so sorry I missed this post! Life got a hold of me, and I forgot about Chowhound until now. I apologize. When I say sweet borscht, I mean as opposed to sour borscht, which is made with sauerkraut. IMO, you can't make chicken noodle soup without star anise! :)
                                                                                                                      Ha ha, we can get farmer's sausage here, but not quite like Grandpa's! If we go 3 hours from Calgary, we can get authentic farmer's sausage from a little town called Coaldale.
                                                                                                                      by the way, I hate pluma moos! lol

                                                                                                                    2. I have a lot of my mom's recipes and grandmother's on my dad's side. My favourites are the potato salad, pumpkin pie, plum pudding sauce, butterscotch pie and shortbreads, but what I reallymiss is my lithuanian grandmother's zagarellei. No one ever got the recipe from her and now it's gone forever. I've tried other people's recipes but they are NOT the same, nor are the ones from the bakeries. Sigh.

                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: dianne0712

                                                                                                                        Would you be willing to share the butterscotch pie recipe?

                                                                                                                        1. re: cheesymama

                                                                                                                          Sure! My dad's favourite.
                                                                                                                          9" baked pie shell
                                                                                                                          1/3 cup flour
                                                                                                                          1/2 cup brown sugar
                                                                                                                          1/4 tsp salt
                                                                                                                          3 egg yolks
                                                                                                                          1/4 cup light brown sugar
                                                                                                                          3 Tbsp butter
                                                                                                                          1 tsp vanilla
                                                                                                                          2 1/2 cups milk
                                                                                                                          In dbl boiler combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, flour, and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes longer.Beat egg yolks with 1/4 cup brown sugar, stir in a little of the hot mix and then add the whole thing to the hot mix. Cook, stirring, until mixture mounds when dropped from a spoon. (about 2 minutes) Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.Turn filling into baked shell and bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes.

                                                                                                                          1. re: dianne0712

                                                                                                                            That was a big favorite of my great-uncle's. I'd love to have it again, but Certain People do not like buterscotch.

                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                              Certain people should stop being so fussy!

                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                Certain people get away with a lot.

                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                  If Certain People don't eat it there's more for you. You could also just have a girl's night and don't serve him any.

                                                                                                                      2. Poppyseed cake, like my grandmother used to make, with some odd pink whipped sugary icing on it. It may even have been a boiled icing. That on the food buffet table when we'd visit, and grandfather would pop a bottle of Baby Duck, which was high classy out on the farm...

                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: freia

                                                                                                                          My grandparents served Baby Duck too. It was such a treat when I was little (I know, it was illegal!). I wonder if it's still available. Maybe I'll try some for nostalgia sake.

                                                                                                                          1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                            Baby Duck = elegance circa 1969. When I was way too young to drink it, but did anyway.

                                                                                                                          2. re: freia

                                                                                                                            Andres Baby Duck changed their name and have become known as Peller Estate Wines in Niagara (using the family name now -- they started as Peller Brewery, then moved to BC, expanded to Alberta and Nova Scotia, then back to Ontario where they came up with Baby Duck, then rebranded as Peller Estate) and their current wines are very, very nice! I was surprised to learn of the link.
                                                                                                                            But, oh, how I miss Baby Duck...and, hey, anyone out there remember Hochtaler? I remember the old ads....that was from the Baby Duck emporium, too...

                                                                                                                            1. re: freia

                                                                                                                              How about Spumante Bambino for us 80s kids? My parents (hardly wine snobs) used to just laugh when I begged them to buy it...

                                                                                                                              1. re: julesrules

                                                                                                                                I'm an 80s kid too! But I don't remember Spumante Bambino at all. Wonder if I missed anything?!

                                                                                                                                1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                                  Yes, yes you did CanadaGirl...spuMANte bamBEEEENo....Gosh how I miss you...

                                                                                                                                  1. re: freia

                                                                                                                                    I remember Spumanti Bambino and Hochtaler commercials but never tasted them . Grandpa was a wine taster for the LCBO. 'nuff said

                                                                                                                                  2. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                                    I was born in the 70s actually and these commercials were big in the early 80s I think, so maybe you were too young. I had a remote personal connection to one of the actors so the ads were big for us... we knew someone on TV!!!!

                                                                                                                                2. re: freia

                                                                                                                                  My MIL loooooves Hochtaler. Blech!

                                                                                                                                  FYI, iPhone autocorrect wants to change "Hochtaler" to "Hooch taker" LOL

                                                                                                                                  1. re: freia

                                                                                                                                    Didn't they have an offshoot of "cold duck"?
                                                                                                                                    No Hochtaler? Howsabout Black Tower....no? OK, howsabout Blue Nun?
                                                                                                                                    I remember my folks drinking 1/2 gallons of cheap, sparkling, 5% apple cider while sitting around the fire on warm summer nights during the 70s.

                                                                                                                                3. More rhapsodizing than a recipe, but forewarned is forearmed.

                                                                                                                                  My dad is French-Canadian and both he and his mother are excellent cooks -- divine tourtiere, mashed potatoes so delightfully peppery, tarte au sucre and butter tarts.. every kind of fruit pie, to the point where the mind reels at how they weren't all round as cochons.

                                                                                                                                  My mom's family is Estonian, and my fondest childhood food memories are of her father's cabbage rolls, roasted buttery bay leaf-smothered potatoes, sauerkraut, blood or summer sausage, caraway and dark dense ryes, and all the soups. Oh, the soups! And all our anglo-type Canadian friends look at us like we're crazy when my sister and I are into our cups and reminiscing about lunches of boiled kielbassa with old cheddar and rye toast, but my word that was livin'. The final Estonian word in comfort: liha pirukad. We would make them every Christmas, so many of us all together making the dough, stuffing it with meat filling, and deep-frying it until everything stank.

                                                                                                                                  Then there were the ethnically non-denominational standards: ground beef in "brown" gravy from a packet, over plain rice. Chicken noodle or turkey-rice soup from holiday birds. My dad's stellar chilled tomato-dill soup, only to be made in August when all the ingredients are at their peak in our backyard. Meat sauce for pasta. Butter tarts, plain homemade sandwich loaf, rich honey-glazed ham on special occasions. Rabbit stew, game meat bartered from my parents' friends for random other things. Homemade pickles, jams, jellies, chow-chow, relish. Berries from our bushes in whole milk.

                                                                                                                                  When I was very young and we lived in the real back country, my friend and I would go chase his parents' turkeys around the yard until we caught one for them to kill for Thanksgiving. The same family kept dairy cattle for a while, and the fresh warm milk we would pilfer was so sweet and delicious.

                                                                                                                                  Wow, I can almost smell the nostalgia in the air!

                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                    "my friend and I would go chase his parents' turkeys around the yard until we caught one for them to kill for Thanksgiving"
                                                                                                                                    - I guess the fast turkeys lived to a ripe old age? Hehe.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                      megjp, your post is Canada to me.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                        Megjp, I would love to see your father's recipe for mashed potatoes and your mom's recipe for cabbage rolls. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                      2. Here are my mom's chocolate chip squares. We ALWAYS had some of these in the house when I was a kid. I think the recipe came off a Chipits bag?

                                                                                                                                        Sift tog 2 c sifted flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp soda, 1/2 tsp salt

                                                                                                                                        Blend 1/2 c shortening or butter, 1/2 c sugar, 1/2 c brown sugar firmly packed

                                                                                                                                        Add 2 egg yolks (keep the whites), 1 tsp vanilla, 3 tb milk and the flour mixture

                                                                                                                                        Press into greased 13x9 in pan

                                                                                                                                        Sprinkle w 12 oz choc chips (can use less)

                                                                                                                                        Beat the egg whites until stiff

                                                                                                                                        Beat in 2/3 - 1 c brown sugar firmly packed

                                                                                                                                        Spread over dough

                                                                                                                                        Top w 3/4 c chopped salted peanuts if wanted (my mom didn't)

                                                                                                                                        Bake at 325 deg F 30 mins or so (300 if glass pan), do not overbake

                                                                                                                                        Cut in squares when almost cool.

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                          Making these today for the kids to sell at their lemonade stand tomorrow. I think they would benefit from the addition of coconut to the brown sugar meringue.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: cheesymama

                                                                                                                                            Great! My mom loved coconut. Never thought of it, but why the heck not?

                                                                                                                                        2. The most authentic "Grandma" recipe is her bread recipe. She's 92 years old this year and learned it from watching her Austrian aunt (with whom she was sent to live with after her mother died) more than 80 years ago. Makes 5 or 6 loaves.

                                                                                                                                          12 cups all-purpose flour (and possibly as much as two cups more)
                                                                                                                                          1 heaping tablespoon yeast
                                                                                                                                          7 cups water
                                                                                                                                          1/4 melted butter
                                                                                                                                          1 tsp white sugar
                                                                                                                                          1 tsp salt

                                                                                                                                          -Dissolve the yeast in warm water with the sugar. Verbally abuse it from time to time, preferably in Low German.
                                                                                                                                          - In the largest vessel in your home, combine the yeast mixture, water, salt, melted butter and most of the flour. Work it until you get a dough that holds together. You may need more or less flour.
                                                                                                                                          - Knead the dough about 8-10 mins (in my house, that's as long as the extended version of Curtis Mayfield's "Move on Up" extended version). Periodically, pick up the dough and whip it at the counter like you're throwing a fast ball. Trust me.
                                                                                                                                          - Cover dough in a bowl and set it on top of an old tube TV or someplace warm. Wait until it doubles in size or until the next re-run of The Sopranos is over (about 90 mins).
                                                                                                                                          - Punch down dough and knead it again for about 5 mins (helps if you complain about family members during this time)
                                                                                                                                          - Cover and let rise another 90 mins or so.
                                                                                                                                          - Cut dough into 5 or 6 even pieces. Shape into loaves and drop into buttered loaf pans
                                                                                                                                          - Watch another couple of Sopranos re-runs (let the loaves rise another 90 mins)
                                                                                                                                          - Bake at 375 F for about 40 mins (check on them at 35 mins) or until golden on top and hollow sounding if you tap the bottoms.
                                                                                                                                          - Brush tops of bread with more melted butter and turn out of loaf pans to cool ASAP.
                                                                                                                                          - Pour yourself a glass of rye.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: bonefreakchef

                                                                                                                                            Yeah, now we're talking. Sounds like home.

                                                                                                                                          2. My grandmother was a French Canadian from northern Maine ( all the way up ) I remember something she used to make called croton which is a pork spread that she served on toast. Basically, it's a pork butt cut up and mixed with onions & spices and boiled until it's a paste, then it's chilled and used as a spread.

                                                                                                                                            I've never really seen it outside of my grandmother's kitchen. I miss her dearly

                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: ctfoodguy

                                                                                                                                              You mean "cretons", a pork spread that is in every grocery store in Quebec! It doesn't look great (kind of grey and chunky), but is divine! I'll get you a recipe if you want!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: bonefreakchef

                                                                                                                                                It's readily available in Nova Scotia too. Definitely a case of looks being deceiving!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: bonefreakchef

                                                                                                                                                  I'm in Connecticut and you can't find it anywhere. I've made it a couple of times years ago. I have to believe that making it fresh is better than store bought

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ctfoodguy

                                                                                                                                                    Ctfoodguy, if you're ever up in MA, they have it in the Market Baskets in Methuen and Lowell as Cretons and at Thwaites Market in Methuen as Gorton (similar to your spelling, and the way they phonetically pronounce it). It was one of my childhood foods, too.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: bonefreakchef

                                                                                                                                                    Grey, yes. Chunky? - sometimes; depends on how fine the pork is ground. Some producers make a "smooth" version with the pork ground into an emulsion.
                                                                                                                                                    Mrs Porker makes quebec-style tortiere most holidays: chopped, boiled potato mixed with ground pork in water and simmered (the filling). She rolls out pie dough, lines a pie plate, fills with pork mixture, tops with more dough, and bakes until crust is done.
                                                                                                                                                    I'd set aside enough filling for 2-3 pies and add cretons spices then have her finish them off as pies: cretons pie - very tasty.

                                                                                                                                                2. hi from the west - bc - beyond canada
                                                                                                                                                  i know this is an older thread but it's still very interesting -- i have to tell you that an oldtimer i know was keen on Matrimonial bars (date bars) but he called them Maternity Bars

                                                                                                                                                  we still call them that in our household

                                                                                                                                                  has anyone mentioned Nanaimo Bars?

                                                                                                                                                  and anything from Joy of Cooking --- that was popular out here in BC along w/ Better Homes and Gardens. Or Sunset magazine recipes.

                                                                                                                                                  the federal gov't had those very important agricultural research stations - there was one in Summerland BC - and there were recipe books that came out of those places so that the consumers of the day would eat-up all the bc fruits (now it's all fancy wine grapes) --- anyway, it was all that canning and home-processing ------ cherry olives anyone? they are pretty good - kind of like pickled beets flavor but cherries instead.

                                                                                                                                                  the other thing grandmother made was "green tomato mincemeat" --- i still make it sometimes. no meat - just green tomatoes plus sugar and raisins and spices and maybe some vinegar? I can't remember exactly but it's perfect for coastal bc tomatoes.

                                                                                                                                                  1. here's another thought - now that i'm thinking ; )

                                                                                                                                                    the butter tarts are a definite (way up at the beginning)

                                                                                                                                                    what about Flapper Pie, anyone? the creamy goodness and some choc chips tossed in for good measure.

                                                                                                                                                    a prairie treat that moved west to BC

                                                                                                                                                    little did we know in those days - at the same time, fresh salmon was poor people food (another thread here on chowhound) -- -now it's all fancy sushi downtown.

                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Georgia Strait

                                                                                                                                                      Boy, that is beyond Canada, since those are US publications! ;-)
                                                                                                                                                      What's flapper pie?
                                                                                                                                                      Nanaimo bars only hit in SW Ontario in the late 70s, I'm sure they were popular in your nrck of the woods way before that?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                        not sure about the advent of nanaimo bars --- let me look in one of my vintage recipe books (Red Roses Flour)

                                                                                                                                                        ok - in one copy i have from possibly the 1920's early - belonged to a woman who lived near Kelowna BC -- Front cover says "five roses cookbook - bread pastry etc" (on the back it says ... Lake of the Woods Milling Company Keewatin) --- yes, it has BUTTER TARTS ; ) but no Flapper Pie and no Nanaimo Bars. Many "no fridge required" recipes for obvious reasons. It includes a chapter on "Parkin" (seems to be like an oatcake?)

                                                                                                                                                        "Five Roses is packed to suit the convenience of housewives in clean, new bags of 7 pounds, 14 pounds, 24 pounds, 49 pounds, 98 pounds; also in barrels of 196 pounds and half-barrels of 98 pounds."

                                                                                                                                                        Now - here is another copy Seventeenth Edition - Revised 1958 -- this time the 5 Roses approach is way more "home economics" -- all about enriched and vitamins and "carefully tested recipes" --- "Together with many economical and time-saving cookery suggestions of value to the modern housekeeper" (it also at the begin of the book has "two methods for taking out the printing from cotton flour bags" --- i've seen quilts in alberta museum edmtn made with flour sacks)

                                                                                                                                                        nope - no mention of Flapper Pie and no mention of Nanaimo Bars in 1958, Interesting

                                                                                                                                                        tho there are "Prize Butter Tarts" (my mom used that recipe religiously) --- and Banbury Cakes (related to Butter Tarts - w/ some finely chopped mixed peel) --- and "Maid of Honour Tarts" --- again a butter tart cousin - like BT's with walnuts..

                                                                                                                                                        now here is some Flapper Pie info borrowed from people i don't know ... i hope they don't mind


                                                                                                                                                        and i like this blog
                                                                                                                                                        (note that one of the comments refers to "Salisbury House" --- Winnipeg, kind of like the way White Spot is to Vancouver.


                                                                                                                                                        yes, you're correct - Sunset mag is a California publication focussing on the west -- and esp in the 60's and 70's and into the 80's was relevant to us out here in BC as we tend to have a more north-south orientation than east-west (colleges, climate, lifestyle, clothing, food, architecture etc). I specify earlier decades cuz after the Lane Publishing company sold the mag - it became more commercial -- somehow it lost touch) ....

                                                                                                                                                        To this day, i feel like i'm going to a diff country if i have to go "back east" (anything beyond Winterpeg) --- remember how many people who settled the prairies and bc are from south of the border. BC was part of Oregon Territory til about 1848 --- the HBC had forts and farms near Portland OR. (columbia river) --- so some of us long-time BC families (we've been here over 100 years), we feel more kinship with our north-south neighbors. So this has informed our food.

                                                                                                                                                        the only info i can suggest re: nanaimo bars is from wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanaimo_bar

                                                                                                                                                        i agree with the suggestion that USA boaters helped to popularlize the nanaimo bar recipe. I know family friends who would come up from No Cal and SEA to go summer boating up here in the 50's and 60's --- and we see many US flags to this day on pleasure craft

                                                                                                                                                        ps - of course, blackberries and salmon (at the coast) are a big part of our family food -- and in the interior - Saskatoon Berries were something that all kids were sent out to pick --- asparagus growing wild along the river banks too in Okanagan

                                                                                                                                                        thank you for your great topic.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Georgia Strait

                                                                                                                                                          I seem to remember seeing "The Original" nanaimo bar recipe posted on the official website for the city of Nanaimo at some point. It's probably still there.

                                                                                                                                                          As for BC berry picking, I remember picking huckleberries in the Kootenay wilderness as a child, but I don't think the climate was right for Saskatoons. And of course the raspberry and blackberry bushes we had in the back yard! (and a gooseberry tree, which we generally avoided.)

                                                                                                                                                          As for Western Canada, it really is a place of its own. Way different from the East, but not so similar to the South, either. (I've been living in central California for the last 2 years and there are a number of very distinct differences that occasionally leave me shaking my head... but that's the joy of traveling, isn't it?)

                                                                                                                                                          If anyone has a recipe for sweet, hot-smoked salmon like the kind that is sold all over Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, I would love to see it and file it away for when I can afford a smoker. It's the one thing I have not been able to find or make since I left.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                            I found the nanaimo bar recipe here: http://www.nanaimo.ca/EN/main/visitor...

                                                                                                                                                            Not the original, per se, but an official contest winner from 1986.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                              Blackberries did not grow in Manitoba (along with many other things..), so when we'd go out to Victoria to visit my father's relatives, he would disappear for hours into a nearby school yard along with some of those big ice cream pails to pick them. He loved them so much he actually once stopped the car along the highway (in the Kootenays, I think) on the drive there because he thought he saw a bush.. my cousins called him Uncle Forage.
                                                                                                                                                              Nanaimo bars are a fairly recent dessert, but they were on every tray of dainties at every social in Manitoba in the 80s and 90s...

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                Hello BANANA ----- yes, there is a recipe on the official "city of nanaimo" website --- re: nanaimo bars

                                                                                                                                                                for the salmon - i think every family has its "secret" recipe --- one of the best ways to seal it up after processing is what many of the guys up here do incl my old father in law -- they use those vacuum sealer things -- i know Cdn tire sells them - but who in Cal? I don't know. maybe online? and then we freeze it. We don't like it super-sweet - ours is more alder smoke (that's the important wood chips to have) --- than sugar ...

                                                                                                                                                                anyway, just google "indian candy salmon recipe" and you'll even find a youtube video about it.

                                                                                                                                                                enjoy! (post a report, too - i'd be interested)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Georgia Strait

                                                                                                                                                                  Love your screen name, btw, Ms. Strait!

                                                                                                                                                        2. There was an article in the Globe and Mail yesterday about "authentic Canadian heritage desserts" which I thought others might enjoy...
                                                                                                                                                          I particularly liked the look of the snow pudding.
                                                                                                                                                          The article and recipes seemed a bit Maritime/Ontario-centric to me, but hey.. I'm biased!

                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                            This is fun, thanks! "As someone who grew up in rural Ontario at a time when you couldn’t run into a church lady without a pan of date squares falling out of her handbag..." -- too funny, London isn't rural, but when I was growing up there was a whole lot of rural around it (and farm relatives to visit).

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                              I do so love date squares.. buy them occasionally at coffee shop chains. I've even convinced myself somehow that they're healthy, also my logic around this is sketchy.. I'm aware of how much butter/oil goes in to them!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                Right, but the FIRST word in the name is "date" and that is fruit and fruit is healthy. Just like carrot cake counts as a vegetable. ;)

                                                                                                                                                          2. Born and raised in Alberta. To date I have probably consumed 50,000 holuptsi, 10,000 varenyky, 500 pounds of headcheese, 5,000 litres of borscht, 1,000 pounds of garlic sausage (Marchyshyns and Stawnichys), and 500 pounds of sauerkraut. Thank god for my grandma !!

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jim bachinski

                                                                                                                                                                Yet another example of the difficulties in coming up with "typical Canadian food" I haven't heard o many of your items, and have only tried sauerkraut (no thanks) from your list. I am Nova Scotian, born and bred.

                                                                                                                                                              2. I grew up in Montreal and in Northern Quebec. Both of my parents have Newfoundland and maritime backgrounds. My Mom used to make a lot of recipes from the Kate Aitken book called Canadian cookbook. In it I found a really easy recipe for pineapple upside down cake which my family loves. Also my Mom used to keep a little tin vintage recipe box, some of the recipes were not visible due to food stains. I purchased the Laura Secord cookbook and to my delight most of the recipes in the box originated from this book. I grew up on meatloaf, stews and fish every Friday.

                                                                                                                                                                1. If you do a search on the Google newspaper archive, you will have access to 50 years of Mary Moore's recipes from her daily newspaper column.

                                                                                                                                                                  Go to:


                                                                                                                                                                  and enter the search term:

                                                                                                                                                                  Mary Moore teaspoon OR tablespoon


                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                    Oh my God! I have a Mary Moore cookbook my mom got me.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. "Canadians--tell me your favourite recipe from Mom or Grandma"

                                                                                                                                                                    oh yes please do! love Canadian meals.
                                                                                                                                                                    hoping someone's favorite Grand Parent meal was poutine :)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. there is a recent comment from Nova Scotia - above - in response to an Albertan post (in which what lots of people call perogies - the poster calls varenyki - and in our family we say - parahe anyone?) about how diverse Canada / Cdn's / our food is.

                                                                                                                                                                      the maritimes are pretty small compared to out west so we do have a lot of diversity out here

                                                                                                                                                                      i remember going on a school trip to quebec way back and struggling thru a "dessert" of white bread (thick slab) covered in maple butter (like really thick maple syrup - which i don't really like in any form) and then heavy whipping type cream poured over top. It was considered a delicacy with the family (old quebecers - the grandma and grandpa didn't even speak english) - but being from out west here, i'd never heard of such a thing !

                                                                                                                                                                      always, out here on the west side of canada, butter tarts and nanaimo bars were big treats for us, along with rhubarb bars (like matrimonal bar but w/ rhubarb) and blackberries, raspberries, and all the okanagan fruits made in to desserts. and of course, parahe and the kutya special dessert too.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. ps - i just started a thread in Home Cooking asking what Cdn cooks recall about Margo Oliver - remember her in the Weekend Magazine that came with most major city newspapers on Sat/Sun - plus several cookbooks - she was Canada's first Betty Crocker too -

                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Georgia Strait

                                                                                                                                                                          If you do a search on the Google newspaper archive, you will have access to Margo Oliver's recipes from her newspaper columns.

                                                                                                                                                                          Go to:


                                                                                                                                                                          and enter the search term:

                                                                                                                                                                          Margo Oliver


                                                                                                                                                                        2. Kielke. Never heard of it and I am sorry for that! Yum! What a comforting house you grew up in.