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Family Christmas

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RECIPE Wrestler Disco Fury went up against a worthy adversary in the form of a butter tart recipe. It seems he prevailed and won that fight. If anyone has a holiday recipe they’d like to submit for future, please email to editorial@ mrtimes.com. Sylver McLaren/TIMES

Disco Fury’s a tart? by Sylver McLaren smclaren@mrtimes.com

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aple Ridge wrestling champion Disco Fury is no tart, but he sure loves his mother-in-law’s Back Breaker Butter Tarts. “You’ll get smacked in the face, full of taste, with these tarts,” said Disco Fury, the Westview graduate and owner of All Star Wrestling. “I hail from the town where legends are born and bred – Maple Ridge, where the athletes are strong and the people are kind, so everyone, all aboard this disco train ride and SLAM these butter tarts down for the count!” said Disco. Disco and tag team partner Gorgeous Michelle Starr will go up against Bollywood Lions, the ECCW tagteam champions, on Friday, Dec. 9, at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. The match follows the Firestorm Rumble, where two wrestlers start, and another joins in the action. The winner of this match wins the Adam Firestorm Memorial Belt. All proceeds go to a trust fund for Adam Firestone’s son Thomas. For more information visit vtixonline.com or call 778-839-0872.

Back Breaker Butter Tarts Ingredients: 1 egg, beaten 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted 1 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp evaporated milk 1 cup raisins or currants 1 tsp vanilla

Directions: Mix all ingredients and fill tart shells about 2/3 full. Bake in 450°F oven 8 minutes. Reduce heat to 350ºF and bake another 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Makes 12-15 tarts. Can use pre-made pastry shells.


Family Christmas

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RECIPE

Family bake fest high priority for Pitt Meadows mayor

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an shortbread has been a holiday favourite for decades, for Pitt Meadows’s new mayor Deb Walters and her family,. “This recipe has special meaning to me,” Walters said, noting it was passed down from her Grandma Frances Gow. Grandma Gow, Walters’s maternal grandmother, had 16 children and made her pan shortbread without fail every year. “It was important for her to find cost effective recipes,” Walters said, and this one qualified. But while it’s sentimental and incredibly tasty, the new mayor admitted one of its biggest selling features – at least from her perspective – is the ease with which she can make it. It’s fast and easy. While this past weekend was divided between attending several community Christmas events and decorating their Pitt Meadows home for the festive season, Walters said baking is on the books for this coming Sunday. “I’m going to have to find time,” she said, noting it’s a huge priority for her take at least one day out together as a family (Deb, her husband Len, and their children Cayley Wilson, 24, and Scott Walters, 26.) to bake for the holidays. The annual Walters baking ritual begins pretty early in the day, and amid wonderful chit-chat, they listen to Christmas music and visit while baking up large quantities of butter tarts, shortbread, and fudge. The music play list for the day invariably includes Deb’s favourite, John Denver’s Christmas record – yes vinyl, no CDs or iPods when it comes to the holiday music in the Walters home. “It’s an excuse for everyone to get together,” she said, noting that the morning is filled with non-stop baking, while the afternoon is traditionally spent decorating and sampling. Provided her husband and children don’t consume too many of the holiday treats, she hopes to stash some away in the freezer for

Deb Walters and her husband Len took part in the Osprey Village Christmas tree-lighting celebration, among other holiday festivities in Pitt Meadows each year. when company drops by, and share some with the City staff and the new council (she’s being sworn in as mayor of Pitt Meadows tonight, during the council’s inaugural meeting). “Christmas is everything to us,” Walters said. “We just love catching up with family. We have a big family. And it’s time when we see friends we maybe have been too busy to connect with the rest of the year. It’s just a very important time for us.”


Family Christmas

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RECIPE

Stuffin’ tops for Tippe

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ountry music legend Elmer Tippe shares his favourite part of Christmas dinner. That’s turkey dressing. “We always called it ‘Stuffin’,” said the fiddle-weilding, guitar-strumming, countrywestern-singing, retired on-air radio personality. “This is my mom’s recipe that my wife [Alice] carried on during our 54-year marriage for our Christmas dinners,” said the 78-year-old Pitt Meadows resident. He always takes the giblets from the cavity of the turkey and chops the heart, gizzard, and some of the liver up and sautées them in butter in a small fry pan. “Sometimes today they aren’t included in the turkey cavity,” he noted. “Either way.” In a large bowl, break apart by hand a large loaf of day-old bread – about 10 cups for a 15pound turkey. Add the cooked giblets, butter, salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste. Then add dried crushed sage and thyme to taste. Chop a large onion and add. “Mom always said the more onion you add, the more moist

Country musician Elmer Tippe has fond memories of his mother’s “stuffin’,” which he and his wife Alice still make as part of their family Christmas. the stuffin’ will be,” Tippe said, recalling how his mother also liked to add chopped celery. Then add some milk a little at a time and mix by hands until all the bread is moist and sticks together. “Now stuff both ends of the turkey just before you are ready to bake it,” he advised. “Of course, sew or use skewers to close. I guarantee you, the smell of this stuffin’ is going to make you drool!”


Family Christmas

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RECIPE

A little rum warms Tippe’s hot chocolate

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ward-winning country music singer and songwriter Rick Tippe doesn’t have a favourite traditional food he makes at Christmas time, but there’s a beverage that tops the list for this Maple Ridge man during the holidays. Be told, his favourite food is Halva, but that’s something he buys at a store: “So it doesn’t qualify. So, for my favourite traditional food that I make at Christmas, I have to go with a drink.” He’s always been a fan of rum and eggnog at Christmas, but about a decade ago, came up with his own little concoction that has become a bit of a Christmas tradition in the Tippe house. Rick Tippe, like his father, entered the country “I’m not a coffee music industry. drinker, but I love hot chocolate,” Tippe explained. “One Christmas, I received a bottle of Malibu Rum as a gift. I decided to add a shot of it to my hot chocolate, and voila, a new drink sensation was born.”


Family Christmas

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RECIPE

Christmas chocolates

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y Aunt Vi was wonderfully inspiring always. She was the only person in my whole family who ever told me to go out and have fun. Christmas at my Aunt Vi’s always included her wonderful home-made chocolates. She couldn’t eat any herself because she was diabetic. She died years ago, but her memory is still very much alive, especially when I make chocolates. This is a very simple, basic recipe for chocolates made with uncooked fondant – no marble slab, no cream, no paraffin wax, no tempering. These chocolates are best refrigerated. At room temperature, they soften.

Basic fondant You’ll need one pound of softened butter Icing sugar – mix in sufficient quantity to make a stiff mixture that can be rolled into balls. I usually split the mixed fondant into three separate bowls. They can be refrigerated to be worked on another day, if necessary. Refrigerated fondant takes a couple of hours at room temperature to be easily workable. Meanwhile, dipping chocolate (available in supermarket bulk bins) should be starting to melt under low heat in the top of a double boiler. For dipping, it should be liquid and gently warm (not hot). Place wax or parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Additions to the plain fondant can be: peanut butter, finely shredded coconut, ground almonds, crushed walnuts, lemon or orange peel, a little dipping chocolate, minced candied cherries, raisins, dates, crushed toffee bits or liquid coffee essence. Quit adding when it tastes right to you. Flavourings could be peppermint, almond essence, maple, lemon, orange, coconut – or whatever your imagination suggests. Peel, raisins, cherries or dates could be soaked in the alcoholic beverage of your choice.

Anne Marrison is a Whonnock resident and a long-time garden columnist for The TIMES. All must be well-drained before adding to fondant, or you’ll get leaky chocolates that have to be double-dipped. Dates become very alcoholic. Roll fondant into balls, squares, whatever. Insert a toothpick into each one and refrigerate or freeze until the fondant is very solid. Toothpicks should be the round, wooden, pointed kind, because they are less likely to break. They can be washed and re-used if you’re careful. I have had bad experiences with the cheap ones. Check that toothpicks are intact when you remove them. Any chocolate harbouring a broken toothpick should be garbaged. When dipping chocolate is ready, dip fondant pieces one by one, laying finished ones back on paper-covered cookie sheet. Add fancy toppings individually, right after dipping, while they can stick to the chocolate. Toppings can be: various nuts, coloured sugar, crystallized violets, etc. Leave the fondant at room temperature till toothpicks can be removed. Then mend any toothpick holes with dipping chocolate. Refrigerate and pack while still cool. Store in refrigerator. Anne Marrison, TIMES garden columnist


Family Christmas

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RECIPE

Wafers top food bank boss’ holiday faves

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oan Olson’s world revolves – in big part – around food. But rest assured she’s not what you’d call a chef or anything near it. She’s the executive director of the Friends In Need Food Bank, and as such, is immersed in the world of food almost every day of her life. But asked if she’s one to cook or bake, Olson will quickly set that record straight: “I don’t really bake myself, just eat.” She did, however, want to share her mother’s recipe for cream wafers, one of her family favourites.

In her role as executive director of the Friends In Need Food bank, Joanne Olson is often found out in the community collecting nonperishable food donations.

Ingredients: 1 cup butter 2 cups flour

Gramma Julie’s Cream Wafers 1/3

cups heavy cream sugar

Directions: Mix flour and butter like pastry and add 1/3 cup heavy cream. Roll and cut into little round circles. Bake at 350°F until golden brown. Sprinkle with sugar. Filling: 1/3 cup icing sugar 1 egg yoke (make fluffy) 1/3 cup butter 1 tsp vanilla Beat well and spread between two of the little circles, like a sandwich… Melt in your mouth.


Family Christmas

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RECIPE

3 lb. chicken wings Marinade ½ cup soya sauce ½ cup orange juice (no pulp) ¼ to 1 tsp hot sauce (your choice of heat level) ¼ cup cooking sherry 1 Tbsp sesame seed oil 1 tsp minced ginger 1 tsp minced garlic 1 tsp rice wine vinegar Dash of salt and pepper Garnish ¼ cup diced green onions or scallions ¼ cup diced red Thai chili peppers

Combine ‘marinade’

Holiday ‘hot’ wings Ingredients

ingredients in medium glass bowl. Cut chicken wings into drumettes and wings. Place chicken in bowl – mix with marinade. Cover bowl and place in fridge for at least 4 hours. Pre-heat oven to 450ºF Cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Remove chicken wings from

marinade and place on cookie sheet in single layer. Cook chicken wings at 450ºF for 10 minutes; turn over and cook for 5 more minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF and cook 15 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle/mix scallions and Thai peppers over hot wings. Serve and enjoy. – Ryan McAdams, TIMES publisher


Family Christmas

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RECIPE

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his is a simple breakfast dish even I can whip up without worrying about burning the house down – or keeping my cordless phone by my side with 911 on speed dial as I sit on the toilet with a bucket on my lap. I call it: Troy’s Breakfast Pucks. And, as I write this, two hours after inhaling a couple of them, so far so good…

Troy’s breakfast pucks

Troy Landreville/TIMES

The baked breakfast pucks can be scooped out of the muffin pans using either a butter knife or a spoon.

Ingredients Cooking spray Eggs Skim (or other) milk (optional) Some sort of meat Cheese, shredded Green onion, chopped Pepper Pre-heat oven to 375ºF. Liberally dose cooking spray over a half a dozen cups in a muffin pan. In a separate bowl, beat the crap out of a half dozen eggs (remember to remove the shells). You can use more eggs than that, depending on how many pucks you want to eat. I use a little bit of skim milk in my egg mixture.

Cut a meat of your choice into tiny pieces. I like to use Italian sausage, but skinless chicken or lean turkey are healthy alternatives. Sprinkle the meat into each cup. Then, pour the egg mixture, followed by a palm-full of shredded cheese into each cup. I also like to use the feta variety. Cut up some green onions and sprinkle the pieces on top of each cup. To add more flavour, shake a liberal dose of pepper onto each creation. Once the oven is ready, place the pan inside and bake the pucks for 25 minutes. Once the time is up, remove the pucks from the oven and scoop them out of the cups, using either a butter knife or a spoon. Voila! Breakfast!

Carla Landreville photo

TIMES reporter Troy Landreville held up a half a muffin pan full of breakfast pucks.

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he nice thing about these pucks is, you can stick ’em in a plastic bag and throw ’em into the fridge or freezer for future consumption. If you want to eat them later (try to keep it under a week in the fridge, please), simply throw the pucks into the microwave – on high – for about a minute to warm them up again. They actually taste better the next day. The pucks are terrific on top of toasted, buttered English muffin halves. I like to layer a mound of mayo on one side of a toasted English muffin, cream cheese on the other, and make it into an artery-clogging puck sandwich. In this case, I suggest keeping your friendly neighbourhood cardiologist on speed dial.

– Troy Landreville, TIMES reporter


Family Christmas

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RECIPE

Generations of recipes

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dmittedly, I’m not much of a cook, or a baker, for that matter. I can muddle through with great assistance from a recipe – if I have to. As you can tell, I haven’t starved. Roxanne Hooper What I have been able to do, intentional or otherwise, is surround myself with people who have those abilities. And from my grandmother, to my mother, to my wife – all the key women in my life have been able to cook and bake. So while I can’t give much credit to my mother or grandmother for teaching me the Beth Hooper with her granddaughter way around the kitchen – and not for lack of Roxanne. trying – I can thank them for passing down many recipes that have become holiday traditions. My grandmother, Beth Hooper, made a tasty and easy shortbread and mouth-watering fudge. When we’d get together for family Christmases, these items always highlighted my mother’s (Ellen) holiday treat tray, along with her wicked Kid’s Kake and always scrumptious butter tarts. While neither of these ladies is still around, the images of each of them trying to teach me to bake, and the My mother, Ellen Hooper, (right) always knew how enjoyment of savouring their creto put on a spread. ations will live on in my memories.

1 cup sultana raisins 1 cup brown sugar 2 Tbsp butter 1 egg ½ tsp vanilla ½ tsp nutmeg

Butter Tarts

- Ellen Hooper

Scald raisins with boiling water – drain. Add brown sugar, butter and beaten egg while fruit is still hot. Stir well. Spoon into tart pastry shells and bake in 400ºF oven for 15 minutes.

Kid’s Kake Ingredients 1½ cup peanut butter 1 cup Roger’s syrup 1 cup white sugar 6 cups Special K cereal Icing 6 oz pkg. chocolate chips A recipe for Roxanne’s 6 oz pkg. butterscotch chips granddaughter Inara.

- Ellen Hooper

Dissolve in large sauce pan the peanut butter, syrup, and sugar on medium heat. Add 6 cups Special K, and mix well. Spread into a 13X8 inch cake pan and press to cover. Melt in double boiler both types of the chips and spread for icing. Cut into one-inch squares after icing has set (about 1/2 hour).

Roxanne Hooper, Assistant Editor, TIMES


Family Christmas

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RECIPE

Never too much

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hamber of Commerce president Ken Holland keeps alive a frugal and flavourful holiday tradition his mother started long ago. “It’s a recipe that has been in my family forever,” he said of the stuffing balls. “My mother has always made too much stuffing for the turkey, and with what was left, she made these snacks to eat prior to the actual turkey dinner,” Holland recalled. Describing it as an easy recipe that can easily be adapted to any stuffing recipe, it’s a great addition to any Christmas day menu. “Whether you are stuffing a turkey or a prime rib roast, these tasty little balls are an absolute must,” Holland said. “Besides, everything tastes better with bacon.”

Stuffing balls Ingredients loaf of French bread 3 hot Italian sausages, casings removed half loaf of brown bread can of smoked oysters poultry seasoning pine nuts sage Craisons ½ onion bacon ground pork sausage (I have left out measurements, because I always add to taste.) Directions In a bowl, tear up the bread into sugar cube-size pieces. Add poultry seasoning and sage to taste. Fry onion in butter till translucent and mix in with bread. Fry up pork sausage and add to bread. Fry up hot Italian sausage and add to bread. Add oysters and mix in with a fork to break up. Roast pine nuts until golden and add to bread. Add Craisons. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Roll stuffing into balls just a bit bigger than a golf ball. Wrap balls with one piece of bacon and pierce with a toothpick. Place into a glass casserole dish, cover, and stick in the oven at 350ºF until bacon is done, approximately 30 minutes. Enjoy. Ken Holland, Chamber president


Family Christmas

Breakie that can be made Christmas Eve

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here’s always so much going on in Shannon and D’Arcy Balla’s Maple Ridge home on Christmas morning, that a little advance planning helps calm the chaos of the holiday. Shannon Balla, advertising manager for The TIMES, encourages any mothers, wives, or busy women to take this recipe into consideration. “Every Christmas Eve, I prepare this delicious dish and pop it in the oven first thing Christmas morning.” Voila! “After Davis and Lauren open up all their gifts from Santa, we sit down as a family – with the fireplace going, Christmas music going in the background – and enjoy the Christmas Wife Saver,” she said. For her, the festive feast is augmented with a side of fruit and some much needed coffee (sometimes treated with a hint of Baileys). An easy and tasty solution that helps destress the holidays.

Twins Lauren and Davis Balla of Maple Ridge are six now, but still look forward to Christmas as much now as they did “when they were little,” and the day’s not complete without Mom’s Christmas Wife Saver.

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RECIPE

Christmas Wife Saver Ingredients 10-16 slices of bread, crusts cut off 20-30 slices of back bacon or ham 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded 6 eggs ½ tsp salt ½ tsp pepper ½ tsp dry mustard ¼ cup minced onion ¼ cup finely chopped green pepper, optional sliced tomatoes, optional 2 tsp Worchestershire sauce 3 cups milk dash of Tabasco ¼ cup butter 2 cups crushed Corn Flakes or Special K Directions In buttered 9 x 13 glass pan, place 8 slices of bread. Cover bread with ham and cheese (tomatoes)and then lay rest of bread on top, like a sandwich. Mix eggs, spices, milk, Worchestershire, Tabasco and onion (green pepper). Pour over sandwiches. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, melt butter and add Corn Flakes. Sprinkle on top of sandwiches. Bake at 350ºF for 1 hour. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Shannon Balla, TIMES advertising manager


Family Christmas

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RECIPE

Finnish bread recipe recycled through generations Leanne Koehn had her picture taken in front of the Hammond house her grandmother Anna lived in, and which she recently bought to raise her own family.

Leanne Koehn’s grandmother Anna, with Koehn’s mother.

Leanne Koehn and her mother.

L The next generation, Leanne Koehn and her daughter Zoe.

eanne Koehn’s maternal grandmother emigrated from Finland to Canada in the 1930s and passed away about 10 years before she was born. Despite never knowing her, Koehn still keeps her memory alive every Christmas with the creation of Anna’s traditional Finnish Boula (a type of sweet, braided yeast bread). The recipe was passed down to her mom, then to her, and in a few years to Koehn’s daughter Zoe. “My husband and I recently bought the Hammond house my mother grew up in, to raise our own children. And while I never met my grandmother, our tradition of making her Boula for Christmas morning, in the same kitchen that she used to make it in, makes me feel close to her,” said Koehn, who works for the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society.


Family Christmas

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RECIPE

Oh, Brothers! They’re delicious

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elly Swift is looking forward to starting a new Christmas tradition with her grandkids this holiday season. “My sister and I used to enjoy baking when we were teenagers, and our brothers always appreciated our efforts – no matter what the end result looked like,” recounted Swift. She was recently promoted to the position of general manager of community development and parks and recreation for the District of Maple Ridge. Despite all the extra responsibilities recently added to Swift, who has been a parks employee for 20 years, she vows to find time to make butter tarts.

“Their [her brothers’] favourite was and still is butter tarts,” Swift said. “You can buy butter tarts in the grocery store, but they never taste as good as home-made.” She maintains that they are not hard to make, and “are still a big treat on the rare occasion that I make them, and Christmas is the perfect opportunity.”

Melt-in-the-mouth butter tarts Begin with the pastry:

Prepare the filling:

When I was first married, my husband’s grandmother told me that the best pastry recipe was on the back of the Tenderflake lard package, and that’s the recipe that I still use.

Place these first three ingredients in a sauce pan and cook for 5 minutes:

Start with 5½ cups all purpose flour 2 teaspoons of salt 1 pound of lard Mix the salt in the flour, and then cut in the lard until it resembles oatmeal. Stir in the liquid, ensuring that you don’t overmix. Next: 1 egg and 1 Tablespoon vinegar Place egg and vinegar in a measuring cup and fill the remaining volume with cold water to equal one full cup. Roll out your pastry dough on a floured surface and use a glass or cookie cutter to create rounds that can be pressed into a muffin tins. Press unused scraps back into a ball and roll out again to cut more rounds. If you multiply the following butter tart recipe by four, it will make enough to use the whole pastry recipe, otherwise, wrap unused pastry dough and store it in the refrigerator for another use.

1 cup of dark corn syrup 2/3 cup of brown sugar ¼ cup of butter In a separate bowl, place 2 eggs, and beat slightly. Allow the cooked mix to cool slightly and then pour over the eggs, beating continuously.

Add remaining ingredients: ¼ teaspoon of salt 2/3 cup of raisins (can replace with pecans, walnuts, or a mix) ½ teaspoon of vanilla Spoon mix into tart shells until they are 2/3 full. They will puff up as they cook. A single recipe makes 18 tarts. Bake at 375ºF for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Kelly Swift


Family Christmas

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RECIPE

Christmas Rye Balls

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y mother was always making tasty things for the family when we were growing up. I remember round tiered trays full of tarts, cookies, and balls at Christmas. She makes a mean Tex-Mex dip, too! “My favourite is your mom’s strawberry trifle,” said my dad P.D. “Mmm, and her turkey stuffing is the best,” he added. “I’ve had this rye ball recipe for about 40 years,” added my mom Karen about her famous Christmas Rye Balls. Years ago, she chopped all the ingredients by hand. Now she’s able to get things done much quicker, using a food processor.

Sylver McLaren and older sister Julie sitting on their dad P.D.’s knee in front of the Christmas tree in 1974.

My mom Karen with her daughters Lexie, myself (Sylver), and Julie (far right). Ingredients 4 cups chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans) 1 cup of shredded coconut 1 cup or a bottle of drained maraschino cherries, not glazed cherries (Save the liquid) 7 cups of icing sugar (2 pounds) ¾ cup of rye whiskey ½ cup melted butter 2 packages (or 12 ounces) of semi-sweet chocolate ½ block of paraffin wax Directions Chop nuts, coconut, cherries together, mix with icing sugar, whiskey, and butter. Form into one-inch balls (if it’s too dry, add a little maraschino cherry juice). Melt the chocolate and paraffin over a double broiler (do not cook). Drop your balls in the chocolate and spoon out on to wax paper. “Cool and enjoy! They are yummy,” said Karen. Sylver McLaren, TIMES reporter


Family Christmas

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RECIPE

66 years of family tradition

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t’s not Christmas in Jan Unwin’s home unless her mother’s shortbread is part of the festivities. “My mom (Gramma) has been making shortbread cookies for my dad for 66 years, and for the rest of our family every year at Christmas for our entire life,” recalled Unwin, the superintendent of schools in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. “It is a very common Christmas pictures to see my mom with her hands in the butter mix,” she said. “These traditional family cookies hold special meaning for the Jan Unwin family this year as both my mom and dad had been in the hosSchool superintendent pital since the beginning of September, and only came home last week – in time for Mom’s 86th birthday,” Unwin explained, noting her mother was so excited about being home and making the shortbread cookies again.

Gramma’s Shortbread Cookies Ingredients 1 cup icing sugar 1 lb. butter 1 tsp vanilla 3 cups flour ½ cup corn starch Directions Cream butter and icing sugar together. Add vanilla. Mix flour and corn starch together and add little by little to the butter mixture. Knead well. (Apparently, using your bare hands here is the secret.) Roll teaspoon of dough into a little ball and flatten with a fork. Bake at 350ºF for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Jan Unwin’s parents are home from hospital, in time for Gramma to bake her traditional shortbread.

Jan Unwin, Superintendent


Family Christmas

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RECIPE

Sweet cheesy apples

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his started out as two separate recipes, one from some uppity cookbook that everyone likes to have on their shelf… but everything in it is so complicated that you never actually use it. I combined a “maple pear” recipe with one for fried bananas, shifted to apples, and this is what I got. Warning: I cook like my Mom did, so it’s “a little of this, a little of that” instead of empirical measures. It’s okay to play with your food… while you’re making it. Two for dessert: 2 apples (Macs or Spartans are best) (Or one big apple – but for Donna and me it would have to be a REALLY BIG one) A dab of butter (more is better) Cheese (sharp is best, like old cheddar, but not mouldy like Danish blue) Syrup (maple is best, but any pancake syrup is OK) Peel apples and cut exactly in half. Core halves with point of paring knife, so each half becomes a bowl. Melt butter in frying pan (you’ll need one with a tight-fitting lid), and

just as it starts to brown, add the apple halves, round-side-up, over medium heat until the flat sides are slightly toasted. If using crispier apples, put the lid on the pan for a bit to help soften them. Turn the apples over and fill the bowls to overflowing with syrup, and top with a slab of cheese. Cover and continue medium heat until the cheese is completely melted and flows over the edge of the apple, into the buttery syrup sauce forming in the bottom of the pan. More butter and more syrup equals more sauce (and an earlier grave). Yum! Lift apple halves into dessert bowls, and spoon buttery syrup with bits of the fried cheese over top. Only eat as often as you dare!

– Bob Groeneveld, Editor, The TIMES


Recipe for Christmas