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Recipes

2011-2012 Over the past couple of years, the times has been establishing a Christmas tradition of inviting members of the community to share their recipes and special family stories or traditions. Here is a compilation of recipes and, in many cases, accompanying tales we have published over the past two years. Enjoy! Bob Groeneveld, Editor, Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows Times

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

Family Christmas 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 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!

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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 arteryclogging puck sandwich. In this case, I suggest keeping your friendly neighbourhood cardiologist on speed dial.

– Troy Landreville, TIMES reporter

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Thermometer worth its weight in gold

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ver the years, I have discovered many simple methods to help easily perfect the meals we serve. Some are so obvious, like a meat thermometer, that it is bizarre when I come across a household that does not have one. Always during the approach of traditional holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter I seem to get bombarded with questions about how long a turkey should cook. Although I appreciate the opportunity for helping people in the kitchen, the answer to me always seems so obvious that it is surprising that more by Chef Dez meat for the entire people don’t already have the solution. Chef Dez is a food columnist and culinary cooking process. instructor in the Fraser Valley. If an instant-read Not only will a Visit him at www.chefdez.com. thermometer is used simple oven-proof meat Send questions to dez@chefdez.com thermometer help to or to P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, B.C. instead, and the temperature is checked at save your turkey dinV2T 6R4 intervals, valued juices ner, it will also be the will be lost from the resolution to mastermeat with each puncture. One of the ing the doneness of a myriad of meat most important goals in cooking meat roasting recipes. is to keep it moist while still reaching I have owned my current meat the desired doneness. thermometer for probably close to 15 The area of a turkey where the years, and it is still going strong. Not thermometer should be inserted is the bad for an investment of only a few thickest part of the inner thigh, withdollars. out touching the bone. Get one that is heat resistant (oven A stuffed turkey should be done proof) so it can be left in the piece of

On Cooking

Approximate cooking times For stuffed and unstuffed turkey These parameters are not intended to be used as the main indicators of doneness, but only as an aid in using your meat thermometer. If your turkey is cooked in a 160ºC (325ºF) oven, then this table will offer an approximation, to help in planning other parts of the meal.

Weight 3 to 3.5 kg (6½-8 lb.) 3.5 to 4.5 kg (8-10 lb.) 4.5 to 5.5 kg (10-12 lb.) 5.5 to 7 kg (12-15½ lb.) 7 to 10 kg (15½-22 lb.)

Unstuffed 2½ – 2¾ hours 2¾ – 3 hours 3 – 3¼ hours 3¼ – 3½ hours 3½ – 4 hours

Stuffed 3 – 3¼ hours 3¼ – 3½ hours 3½ – 3¾ hours 3¾ – 4 hours 4 – 4½ hours

when the thermometer reads 82ºC (180ºF). Unstuffed, it should be 77ºC (170ºF). You should also notice that the legs move easily when twisted, and the juices run clear. There is a difference in the two temperature readings, because a stuffed turkey is denser, and the stuffing needs to reach a high enough temperature to kill any bacteria present. That said, I realize people appreciate approximate cooking times to effectively coordinate side dishes to the main course, and it is for this reason only that I will provide guidelines for you (see box, above right). Do not use these parameters as your main indication of doneness, but rather as an additional plan to your trusty meat thermometer. There are many factors for example that will play havoc on the final accuracy of the cooking time: the temperature of the turkey prior to roasting, the temperature of the stuffing (if used), or maybe the possibility that your oven is running a bit hotter or colder than the set temperature. Where you decide to purchase your meat thermometer is not important, as they are available almost everywhere. What is important is that you get one, and that you enjoy the benefits of it for years to come.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Trifle tops ’taters as favourite

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ivia Mior has a lot on her plate since returning this fall to head up the advertising sales team at The TIMES. Despite her new management duties, there’s always time for people – and especially for her family. As a Maple Ridge resident and mother of two, she is totally Maddie Mior psyched about helped out her Christmas, and lookmother, offering ing forward to creatto disolve Jell-O ing some new tradcrystals for the itions this year – both trifle. at home and at work. When asked about sharing a favourite Christmas recipe from her past, Mior puzzled. “I am seriously trying to think of a family tradition – I think we were big on mashed potatoes,” Sarah Mior is she laughed. “Too easy?” a big fan of Instead, she picked a the whipping Christmas favourite that’s cream that just a little more complex, goes into but equally more tasty. her mother’s “My favourite is a tradtrifle. itional trifle dessert,” she said. “I still make it for my kids, but my recipe is a bit loose – especially with the brandy.” Always the proverbial kidder, she added, “Sometimes, there’s none left for the trifle.”

Mior trifle Ingredients: 2 boxes Jell-O – I use red or raspberry 1 sponge cake 1 can fruit cocktail 1 tub Cool Whip Boil 2 cups water and dissolve Jell-O crystals, pour in fruit cocktail (including the syrup). Pour this over torn apart sponge cake and refrigerate for at least six to eight hours and add whip cream on top. “Delicious! My best Christmas memory.” – Livia Mior TIMES advertising sales manager

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Dessert could offer a small buzz

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Becker trifle

he bottom of the big dessert bowl (A traditional English at Christmas dessert) was where all Ingredients: the action was. At least 1 plain yellow, sponge or that’s how John Becker pound cake remembers it, when he minimum of 1 to 1½ oz. rum, was growing up. brandy or sherry Needless to say, he 1 to 2 cups fresh or frozen fruit, developed a strong thawed appreciation for the ½ to ¾ cups jam, jelly or pretraditional English trifle serves (same flavour as fruit) growing up, noting that Custard his grandmother always Whipped cream made trifle and plum pudding for the holidays. Slice or cube cake and “Rum or cognac sprinkle it with rum, were mainstays of both brandy or sherry. John Becker has fond memories dishes,” recounted Place layer of cake in of his grandmother’s trifle, Becker, a Pitt Meadows bottom of deep dish. especially recounting the rum lawyer and TIMES colSpread with jam, jelly or that gathered at the bottom of umnist. preserves (same flavour “In the case of the as fruit you are using). plum pudding it was burned off as part Top with layer of fruit. Over this, place a of the presentation at the family dinner layer of custard, then a layer of whipped table,” he said. cream. Repeat layers: cake, jam, fruit, But in the case of the trifle, there was custard, and whipped cream. no loss of alcohol content. Top with cherries, shaved chocolate, “We kids were only allowed one small- nuts, or tiny candy sprinkles. Add ladyish bowl, whereas the adults went back fingers around the edge. two or three times.” Custard: Literally, he said, the bottom of the From scratch, for the purists, or use a big glass serving bowl was where all the packaged mix, such as Bird’s Eye or Jellaction was “and if we got to serve ourO brand. You can even use baby custard. selves, we wanted to get the spoon to the Suggested fruits (and jams) to use in this recipe: bottom where all the rum was sitting.” raspberries, strawberries, peaches, He said the resulting small buzz was apricots, blueberries, or pineapple. probably more placebo than anything – John Becker else. TIMES columnist “But as kids, we looked forward to the and Pitt Meadows lawyer trifle as much as the turkey dinner.”

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Tortierres Ingredients: 1 pastry recipe for double crust 1 cup ground pork 1 small onion 1 tsp. savoury ½ tsp. ground cloves up to 1 cup dry bread crumbs 1 cup water

Combine all ingredients into a pot except the bread crumbs. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add bread crumbs to soak moisture. Spread unto pie crust and top with pastry. Pinch edges and slit the top crust. Bake at 450ºF for 10 minutes. Reduce to 350ºF and bake 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden. – Marc Dalton Member of the Legislative Assembly for Maple Ridge-Mission

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Tooth-Tugger Toffee

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his is a favourite out of Donna’s childhood. It remains a favourite throughout the family. A half-batch takes much less time to cook up, but this stuff is incredibly good, and you’ll need a lot. We’ve been known to make huge amounts… and then give some away for Christmas to assuage our guilt.

Ingredients: 4 cups white sugar 4 cups white corn syrup 600 ml Eagle Brand condensed milk 2 cups butter Combine ingredients in saucepan; heat to slow boil. Simmer for hours, stirring occasionally.

Test by dropping small amount into ice-water. Toffee is ready when test-piece hardens and breaks when quickly bent. Remove from heat, pour into shallow pans, and let cool. When brittle, pig out! (Pre-arrange dentist visit to replace fillings and crowns.) – Bob Groeneveld, TIMES editor

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Feast laid out after Midnight mass

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rowing up in military bases in Germany and across Canada didn’t mean putting aside French-Canadian traditions for Marc Dalton’s family. On Christmas Eve, singing began around 7 p.m., recalled the MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission. “The youngest of the six children chose the first French or English carol, and it moved on to the oldest – Dad,” he said. It was also on this occasion that they were given a once-a-year glass of Dad’s homemade wine. “Then it was off to bed before being woken up to go Midnight Mass,” Dalton reflected. “Dad always left the service early, under the auspices of going to warm up the car. When we arrived [home], presents were piled up around the tree and pandemonium broke loose as wrapping paper flew about.” About 2 a.m., with energy subsiding, it was time for the Christmas feast called Reveillons (“let’s wake up”). “A vast and scrumptious array of French-Canadian dishes was prepared by Mom for the occasion,” he said, sharing this recipe as a reminder of those early morning feasts. “A couple of hours later, we nestled into bed… Bon appétit et joyeux noel!”

Marc Dalton is MLA for the Maple RidgeMission riding.

Sucre a la Creme Ingredients: 2 cups white sugar 2 cups light brown sugar 1¹/8 cup whipping cream or evaporated milk ½ tsp. maple flavouring or 1 tsp. vanilla 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine ½ kg bag (or about 4) icing sugar Bring to a full boil for 5 minutes the white and brown sugar, cream, maple flavouring. Add the butter or margarine. Stir slowly and constantly. Remove from stove and beat with mixer while adding the icing sugar gradually. As soon as it is thickened, pour into an 8” x 8” buttered pan. Eat sparingly unless you want to be a Santa look-alike :).

– Marc Dalton Member of the Legislative Assembly for Maple Ridge-Mission

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Opinion

Kids can reignite magic of season ping, as each float passed by, sucSeeing the pre-amble of cessfully re-ignited that sometimes Christmas unfold through the faltering Christmas spirit. eyes of a two-year-old can’t help Thank you, Inara. You’ve restored but reignite any adult’s waning our child-like appreciation and love Christmas spirit. for the holidays. I say this from personal experiI can’t wait for next weekend, ence. After bundling up our grandwhen we take you to get pictures daughter, Inara, in mountains of with Santa. And I can’t imagine clothing appropriate to ward off the magic that will come spending all the colder temperatures, high Christmas Day with you, too. winds, and torrential downpours by Roxanne Hooper Speaking of kids and Christmas, that plagued Saturday night, we I want to share a special holiday set off to catch the community’s recipe with you that one day I, too, will share with Christmas parade. my granddaughter. Leading up to the festivities, we talked with her Every year, a few weeks before Christmas, my about the magic of the night-time parade, telling the mother would fill the cupboards and freezer with toddler-sized sponge (who absorbs everything we mountains of cookies, tarts, cakes, and other holisay, and too often repeats it back) that we would be day treats that could easily be pulled out whenever hearing lots of music, seeing fire trucks and other unexpected company showed up. floats layered in pretty lights, and watching dancers Admittedly, I loved her shortbread and butter and bands marching down through the streets. tarts, but my all-time fave was her peanut crunch. And we told her repeatedly about the piece de resistance (she’s incredibly bright and speaks three languages already, but French isn’t one of them, so she didn’t get that part) that she was going to see First mixture: Santa Claus. 1 cup crushed Corn Flakes Admittedly, all the hype ahead was likely wasted. 1 cup Rice Krispies She didn’t seem too thrilled to be going out. 1 cup peanut butter But the drive to the parade – meandering through Second mixture: the side streets en route – those sparkling brown 1/2 cup brown sugar eyes of hers quickly widened as we slowed to 1/2 cup corn syrup admire numerous homes lit up with Christmas trees Place second mixture in pot on the stove, heat and front yards adorning holiday decorations – from until sugar is dissolved (do not boil). Pour this on wood cutouts and twinkling lights, to inflatables and first mixture, and mix well. moving characters. Press into a 8”X14” pan – place in fridge. Snowmen seemed to hold the biggest appeal of all Melt 1/4 cup butter for the youngster, followed a close second by her Add 2 tbsps Birds Eye Custard powder amazement with all the trees that – covered with 2 tbsps milk countless strands of colourful lights – seemed to 2 cups icing sugar reach to the heavens. I guess, when you’re under Beat until smooth, spread over mixture in pan three feet tall, those lights on the trees might seem Melt 3 squares semi-sweet chocolate and 3 tbsps to go on forever. butter, then pour on top of squares. Her chuckles of delight during the drive were Place in fridge until chocolate is hard. enough to leave us smiling through the night. But Mom always doubled the recipe, since it freezes so the squeals of glee and her frantic waving and clapwell. But even frozen, it didn’t last long.

Looking In

Peanut crunch

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Publisher’s pudding a favourite

TIMES publisher Spencer Levan shares his bread pudding recipe.

Old baked bread pudding Ingredients: 1 lb. bread scraps (day old, not dry) ¼ lb. sugar, ¼ lb currants or sultanas 1 oz. finely chopped suet or lard 1 egg Tsp. of nutmeg Tsp. of cinnamon Pinch of salt

Cut the bread into small pieces and put into a bowl with enough cold water to cover. Soak until soft. Press water away and beat bread finely with fork. Beat egg and add to bread with fruit, sugar, spices and salt. Mix well and put into a well greased or oiled pie dish or cake pan. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. – Spencer Levan TIMES publisher

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Nostalgic for Mum’s cooking

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hen asked to share one of her family’s traditional Christmas recipes, Pitt Meadows’s own Annette Code admitted she was hard pressed to find one – because there weren’t many to be had. “I won’t be sending in any family recipes unless I get an unexpected brainwave, which doesn’t happen often any more,” Code said. “So I thought you might be interested in why.” “My mum learned to cook in England during the Second World War, during rationing. You must of heard about English cooking pre-1980. My mum was a great pastry maker but never had a recipe. She only had one cookbook. The rest was in her head, and she never measured anything. She used a tea cup for flour. All our veggies were cooked beyond recognition, and she had never heard, or seen broccoli before coming to Canada. I don’t think she ever ate any either. We had the same old things all the time. Carrots, potatoes, cabbage, turnip, parsnips – corn was for cows. We had wonderful things like beans on toast, canned spaghetti on toast, herring on toast, cheese on toast. Bacon and eggs with chips (fries) or sausages and chips, a real treat, was the traditional English breakfast. Yum, black pudding! Her homemade porridge was horrid and by the time we came downstairs for breakfast and poured the milk on it the lump of porridge rose and floated in the bowel. I wasn’t very old when I gave that up. Christmas dinner: She finally did learn how to cook a turkey, but was happier with a big chicken. Dessert was a packaged English Christmas pudding for the grown ups with English custard, and we kids had jelly, two colours green and red, chilled each colour on an angle in a glass, with whipped cream and coloured sprinkles. Gravy was made from Bisto. She did buy a Christmas cake, put almond paste on it and the hard icing, with a ruffled paper edging, a gold Merry Christmas on top and decorated with the hard little silver balls that are hard on fillings. The house was decorated with holly on top of pictures and lots of metal-type paper chains that pull out and we hung these in windows and doorway and on the mantel. Bells in red and white made of paper. I don’t make anything unusual, following in mother’s footsteps. I used to make a mean pecan pie – from a Betty Crocker cookbook – with homemade pastry from the recipe (with the vinegar and egg) but my family prefers an ice cream cake, so I always get the DQ Christmas log as something resembling my British heritage. We also have Christmas crackers and I insist we wear the silly paper hats. I buy my packaged Christmas pudding in England from Harrod’s store at the airport on the way home to Canada: a small one, as I’m the only one who eats it with British custard on top, the saviour of all British desserts. Doesn’t matter how it turns out, custard covers all sins. As I get older, I miss my mum’s cooking, or at least become nostalgic about it. Cheers and happy Christmas!” – Annette Code Pitt Meadows resident and avid historian

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Traditions began with mazetti meal

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the stockings, they gather hristmas is a for a reading of ’Twas the tradition-filled Night Before Christmas. time in the “This is as much a Beechinor housenecessity as the Mazetti, hold, and as local singer as my dad told this story Maureen Beechinor tells every year, even when it, food is an important my siblings and I became part of those Christmas adults,” Beechinor said. traditions. “When we had our “Food follows those children he told the story traditions closely throughto them in their onesies. out the holiday season,” This made him very she said. “From the minhappy, and even when we ute the decorations are couldn’t be together one hauled out of the crawl year, he sent a cassette space, I become my moth- Maureen Beechinor tape of him reading the er! She made our family story, which we all played for our young Christmas’s so special and I am brought children. They loved the sound of Papa’s back to those days as I recreate almost voice.” every memory through decorating, bakHer father was diagnosed with ing and cooking.” Alzheimer’s disease when Beechinor’s Beechinor, is a member of the kids were still in elementary school. Westcoast Harmony Chorus which hit a He continued to tell the story for a high note in Denver this fall, taking top couple years, until he could no longer spot in the international harmony comget the words out. And after he went petition. into care, that old cassette tape was While music is a big part of the holiturned into a CD and all the grandchilday season for her, she tells how the dren were given one along with a book Christmas Eve meal of mazetti and trimof the story. mings is special to her fmaily. “Every Christmas Eve, we pull it out “It begins with a meal of mazetti, and gather to hear Papa read the story,” oriental coleslaw, ham, and other side Beechinor said, getting teary at the memdishes,” she explained. ories. “Mom started making mazetti when “For a couple years after he passed I was a toddler, and my sister, brothers away, there were tears as we heard his and I wouldn’t have a Christmas Eve voice. Now, it is a very joyful time,” she without it. My daughters and my nieces concluded. all have the recipe and insist they will “So many memories of our wonderful never have a Christmas Eve without it, dad and Papa, and it all begins with a either.” traditional meal of Mazetti.” After they are full and ready to hang

Mazetti Ingredients: 3 lb. lean ground beef 1 – 5.5 oz. tin tomato paste (156 ml) 1 lb. sausage 1 or 2 tins sliced mushrooms 4 cup chopped onion ¼ bottle Italian seasoning 1 – 28 oz. tin diced tomatoes (796 ml) 1 pkg broad egg noodles 1 – 22 oz. tin tomato sauce (680 ml) Shredded cheddar cheese to cover

Brown onions and set aside. Brown meat and drain fat. Cook noodles and drain. Mix meat and onions with everything except cheese. Place in large casserole (or two smaller ones), cover with shredded cheese. Bake at 325ºF covered, 1 hour. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes. Freezes well, without cheese. – Maureen Beechinor Maple Ridge member of Westcoast Harmony Chorus

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Writer fails at baking exchanges Maple shortbread cookies

Kathy Booth, a goodintentioned Christmas baker, showed off her maple shortbread cookies.

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Ingredients: 1 cup butter 1 egg yolk ½ cup pure maple sugar 2 cups unbleached flour Place oven racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Cream softened butter. Stir in the maple sugar and egg yolk. Add flour, a little at a time, stirring until the mixture is too stiff to work with a spoon. Turn out onto a floured surface and gently knead, adding a little flour at a time, just until dough begins to crack at the edges. Gently flatten the dough and then roll it out to ¼ inch with a rolling pin. Cut into shapes and place on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle a little maple sugar on top of each cookie. Bake 10 minutes or until delicately golden at edges. Some hints: The number of cookies depends on the size and shape of the cookie cutters. The cookies are more melt-in-the-mouth if the dough is handled lightly. Use coconut sugar instead of maple for a more exotic flavour. –Kathy Booth TIMES columnist

athy Booth is a “good intentions” Christmas baker… with bad time management skills. “Every year, as Christmas approaches, I head to the market and lovingly purchase the finest ingredients with which to bake all sorts of traditional Christmas goodies – mince tarts, Turkish delight, Christmas fruit cake, ruiskis,” explained Booth. This kind of baking never happens, admitted the author of Early Start, a monthly early childhood education column in The TIMES. “The nuts and dried fruit, the mince, the extra butter, walnut paste, and whipping cream remain tucked in the fridge.” Needless to say, she fails miserably at participating in Christmas baking exchanges. “The ‘ooh, I really want to do some Christmas baking’ urge comes from fond memories of childhood, when my mom baked enough mince tarts, Turkish delight, and shortbread cookies for us six kids and anyone else who might stop by,” Booth recalled. “I don’t know how she did it all. At the time, the lowly shortbread cookie was on my long list of things not worth eating. In my childish opinion, there was nothing remotely interesting about them.” Her appreciation for the simple shortbread cookie has grown in direct contrast to her ability to complete any other type of Christmas baking. The recipe, originally gleaned from a decades old copy of A Guide to Good Cooking by Five Roses Flour, is so simple and quickly made, even she’s convinced she can get it baked in time for Christmas. Over the years, she has played with the ingredients. “It adapts well,” she said, noting that the original recipe calls for icing sugar and ¼ teaspoon of fresh ground nutmeg. She uses maple sugar instead for what she called a distinctly Canadian flavour. “These are also a great cookie to bake with kids,” Booth said. “Wishing you Merry Christmas and bon appetit!”

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Biscuits and liqueur offer Italian flare to the season

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ne of Chef Dez’s preferred holiday treats is Italian polenta buns. “These are not actually buns, per say, but more like biscuits, as they are essentially classified as a quick bread, not yeast raised,” The TIMES On Cooking columnist explained. “Polenta is basically cooked cornmeal, so these buns are designed to reflect a sweet version of polenta in a biscuit form. The addition of grappa soaked raisins are a wonderful addition in taste, but also add a complementing visual and texture aspect,” he said. He always has a small amount of grappa to sip when having them. “Grappa is an acquired taste that has more cynics than lovers, as I have even heard rumours of some cafes in Italy actually use grappa to clean their windows,” said Chef Dez. “My honest advice to you is to try it, but be prepared to hate it. Rum can easily be substituted for the grappa if you prefer.”

Italian polenta buns with grappa Recipe created by Chef Dez – www.chefdez.com A favourite in Italy, this freshly baked sweet biscuits reminiscent of rich polenta. Grappa is an Italian liqueur made from fermenting grape remnants after pressing them for wine. (This recipe makes 8 biscuits.) Ingredients: 4 tbsp raisins 2 tbsp Italian grappa liqueur (plus more for sipping) 1 cup fine cornmeal 1 cup milk, heated to almost boiling 1 cup corn flour ²/3 cup sugar ¼ cup all-purpose flour 1 tbsp. baking powder ½ tsp. salt ½ cup cold butter, cut in small pieces cold milk, optional icing sugar In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the grappa. Preheat the oven to 425ºF and prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a separate bowl, stir the hot milk and the cornmeal together. It will get very

thick as the cornmeal swells and absorbs the milk. In another bowl combine all of the other dry ingredients together: corn flour, sugar, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Work the cold butter pieces into this dry mixture with a pastry cutter until the butter pieces are about the size of peas. Do not work the butter in with your hands, as this will melt the butter. Stir the raisins and grappa mixture into the milk/cornmeal mixture. Then mix this with the dry ingredients and butter mixture until it is just combined – do not over mix. If it is too dry, add a little extra milk. It should resemble a thick muffin batter. Spoon 8 equal portions onto the prepared baking sheet and bake immediately for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully remove the biscuits from the pan and let cool slightly on a cooling rack. Dust with icing sugar and serve warm with a small shot of grappa, coffee, or espresso. – Chef Dez, TIMES columnist

Chef Dez is a food columnist and culinary instructor in the Fraser Valley. Visit him at www.chefdez.com.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Disco shares Gram’s recipe

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y grandma always made the best goodies. Whenever I would visit as a youngster, there were always baked goods,” explained Maple Ridge resident and All Star Wrestling cruiserweight champion Nathan Burke, who grapples under the alias of Disco Fury. “I wish my Grandma was still alive. I have my Grandpa left and he resides in New Brunswick,” he added.

Nathan Burke, a.k.a. Disco Fury

Grandma’s Pillow Ingredients: ¼ cup margarine or butter 1 pkg. marshmallows 5 cups Rice Krispies 1 cup at least of coconut Melt butter on low or medium heat. Add marshmallows. Cook, and stir constantly so it doesn’t burn, until all is melted.

TIMES files

Add cereal. Stir well. Put coconut on a plate. Using a tablespoon of mixture form a ball and roll in coconut until coated. Arrange on a dish. No need to refrigerate.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Cheesecake modified for Daddy

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n my family, I am known as the “cheesecake queen.” I held a desserts and drinks housewarming once. I made 10 different kinds of cheesecakes. Yes, 10. That is not a typo. For another occasion, a family reunion at my parents, I made six different kinds (that was when I was crowned and given my title) and I have always considered cheesecake to be my go-to dessert. My secret is that for many of the cheesecakes I make, I have a standard base, to which I add a variety of things. So whether I’m making an eggnog cheesecake with rum sauce, a pumpkin cheesecake, an Oreo cookie Reporter Ronda Payne (right) has cheesecake, or a mango citrus cheesecake, they all become the cheesecake queen start with the same base. amongst her family (above). This But, a challenge cropped up a few years ago when picture includes her mother and my dad was diagnosed as having Celiac disease. I father and older brother Michael. needed to modify my base crusts. Now, I make gluten-free cheesecakes all the time, and no one ever notices they are any different.

Ronda’s secret (and gluten-free) cheesecake base Ingredients: ½ cup butter 1 bag gluten-free arrowroot cookies crushed into crumbs (or 1¼ cups gluten-free graham wafer crumbs) 2 blocks Philadelphia cream cheese softened ½ cup sugar ¾ cup sour cream 2 eggs ½ tsp vanilla 1 tbsp lemon juice Set over at 350ºF. Grease a 9-inch springform pan. Line with waxed paper, grease waxed paper. In a medium bowl, melt ½ cup butter. Mix crumbs into butter. Press into bot-

tom of springform pan, pushing the extra up around the edges in a lip. Refrigerate. In large mixing bowl, using electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sour cream and sugar, and beat until incorporated. Add eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice, mix until incorporated. Stop mixer, scrape sides and bottom of bowl, mix for 30 seconds to ensure all ingredients are fully mixed. Pour mixture into prepared springform pan. Bake 45 minutes or until firm. Remove from over, let stand 10 minutes. Run knife around edge of pan. Cool completely, then chill for minimum 3 hours. – Ronda Payne TIMES reporter

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Fruit cake tops Christmas faves

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orn as the Second World War came to an end, Liz Hancock remembers all too well the terrible rationing that England – like so many countries – faced. “Some say [it was] worse than during the war and almost everything was not available at all or on short supply,” she recounted. “I remember the lines for bread, and when sugar finally came off the list, I was given sixpence, and with the boy next door – who was older than me – we went up to the corner shop and bought a bag of broken cookies. A real treat,” said Hancock, a writer, artist, environmentalist, and teacher of sustainable living who pens the monthly River Talk column for The TIMES. Despite the hardships of the era, her mother always produced a Christmas cake, which Hancock said must top her alltime bill of Christmas favourites. “She would save up her ration of sugar, sultanas, and dried fruit about the beginning of December, and there was always an icing-covered fruit cake on the table for Christmas Day tea,” Hancock explained. Liz Hancock “So here, from her Radiation Cookery Book, which was passed from her mother to her, and then to me at my marriage in 1968, I set below the family Christmas cake recipe.”

Christmas fruit cake Ingredients: ¾ lb. butter or margarine ¾ lb. brown sugar 6 eggs pinch salt 1 lb. flour (self raising or plain with 2 tsp. baking powder) 1 lb. sultanas 1 lb. of currants ¼ lb. raisins 6 oz. of candid peel 2 oz. cherries ¼ lb. chopped almonds 2 tbsp. of dark treacle ½ tsp. of mixed spices 1 glass of brandy (optional) Almond paste and Royal icing to cover the cake. Beat the butter and sugar to a cream. Add eggs one at a time (add a little of the flour to stop it from curdling). Beat until the mixture is stiff. Stir in remainder of the flour and all other ingredients. Mix well, and transfer to a spring pan lined with baking paper which has been greased. Cook for 6 hours at mark one. Keep the cake for at least three weeks before eating. You can have the option of putting Almond paste and Royal icing on it, but I just like the cake by itself. –Enjoy! – Liz Hancock TIMES columnist

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Pitt mayor shares fudge recipe Magic French fudge Ingredients: 3 cups (1 500g package) Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips 1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk Dash of Salt 1½ tsp. vanilla extract ½ cups chopped nuts (optional) In top of double boiler (or heavy bottom pot on low heat) melt chocolate chips, stir often. Remove from heat; stir in condensed milk, salt, vanilla and nuts. Spread mixture evenly into waxedpaper-lined 8x8 baking pan. Chill for 2 hours or until firm. Turn fudge onto cutting board, peel off paper, and cut into squares. Tightly cover any leftovers. – Deb Walters Pitt Meadows Mayor

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

The gift of a seasonal beverage

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he holiday season is a special time of year, celebrated with favourite food and drinks, with family and friends. Of the many beverages and appetizers that help capture the essence of the season, eggnog is probably the first that comes to mind. Eggnog is a drink seems to have originated in Britain, from a drink called “posset” – a mixture of eggs, milk, and ale, sherry, or brandy. Posset was served in small, carved wooden mugs, called “noggins.” Thus the name “eggnog.” In North America, rum replaced the ale, sherry, or brandy. Today’s eggnog is not necessarily served with alcohol at all, and is a favourite for all ages. Due to the busy season’s hectic schedules, many consumers buy it pre-made in a carton, rather than making it from scratch. Grocery stores also include a light version that is lower in fat, and at some locations, a no-fat variety. However, making eggnog from scratch adds an old-world classic touch to your celebrations, and the taste is incredible. This recipe is my gift to you. This eggnog is so rich and fresh tasting that any store-bought variety will shadow in comparison. If you can, try to buy whole nutmeg and grate it fresh, versus pre-ground, as a garnish. Essential oils of the nutmeg are released upon grating, adding an extra aromatic essence to your mug of holiday cheer. Food and beverages are a great social aspect of bringing people together, and even more wonderful when you have made them from scratch. Seasonal beverages do not have to contain alcohol to be enjoyable. A heated cranberry or grape juice, for example, with warming spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and star anise can replace mulled wine. And there are many choices of fantastic herbal teas and syrups for coffees that capture the essence of the season beautifully. Whatever beverage you choose to help celebrate during the holidays with your cuisine, please drink responsibly and have a magnificent time.

On Cooking by Chef Dez

Homemade Eggnog Recipe created by Chef Dez /Gordon Desormeaux The constant stirring of the egg mixture while it is cooking is vital to ensure that the eggs don’t become scrambled eggs. Ingredients 6 egg yolks ½ cup sugar 1 cup whipping cream 1 cup whole milk ½ tsp. ground nutmeg Pinch of salt 1 additional cup whipping cream 6 Tbsp. dark or spiced rum In a stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until smooth. Mix in one cup of whipping cream, the milk, nutmeg, and salt until completely combined. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water. For a more temperate heat, make sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk the mixture constantly, until it reaches 175ºF. Remove the bowl from the heat and immediately chill uncovered in the refrigerator until cold. While the mixture is cooling, whisk the remaining cup of whipping cream until soft peaks form. Once the egg mixture is cold, gradually fold it in. Stir in the rum, pour into glasses, and garnish with more freshly grated nutmeg. Makes just over 5 cups

Chef Dez is a food columnist and culinary instructor in the Fraser Valley. Visit him at www.chefdez.com. Send questions to dez@chefdez.com or to P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, B.C. V2T 6R4

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Medal winners, every one

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aple Ridge’s Home Town Hero and Paralympian Nathan Stein thinks his grandma Jan Christensen is something special. And he thinks her cranberry and white chocolate cheesecake could win a gold medal in any competition. “I eat it all the time, it’s soooo good,” the 2012 London Games silver-medal swimmer explained. “My Grandma does some crazy stuff with her food. She’s amazing!” he added. “He’s just partial to Grandma,” Grandma Christensen explained. “Cheesecake is one of his favourite things, aside from lasagna. He likes to eat” she added.

Cranberry and white chocolate cheesecake Ingredients: 4 oz. white chocolate, chopped 500g cream cheese ¾ cup granulated sugar 3 eggs 2 tsp. vanilla pinch salt 3 cups sour cream Base: 1 cup graham cracker crumbs 2 tbsp. butter 2 oz. white chocolate, chopped Glaze: 2 cups cranberries ¹/3 cup granulated sugar 1 tsp. cornstarch Base: Stir crumbs with butter until well moistened, stir in chocolate. Press into bottom of greased nine-inch springform pan. Centre pan on 20x14 inch piece of foil; press up tightly around side of pan. Bake in 325ºF oven for eight minutes. Let cool on rack. In small bowl set over hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate. Let cool. In large bowl, beat cream cheese until softened. Gradually beat in sugar, beat for three minutes or until fluffy. On low

Home Town Hero and Paralympian Nathan Stein and his grandma Jan Christensen. speed, beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla, chocolate, and salt. Stir in sour cream. Pour onto base. Set pan in shallow larger pan, pour in enough hot water to come one inch up side. Bake in 325ºF oven for 1¼ hours or until edge is set but centre still jiggles slightly. Turn oven off, let cool in oven for one hour. Remove from larger pan and remove foil, let cool on rack. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to two days. Glaze: In saucepan, cook cranberries and 1/3 cup water, partially covered, just until boiling. Stir in sugar and return to boil, cook for two minutes or until sugar is dissolved but berries have not popped. Drain. Set berries aside. Remove cake from pan; place on cake plate. Return juice to saucepan, blend in cornstarch. Cook, whisking, until boiling and thickened, let cool slightly. Spoon berries around edge of cake. Spoon glaze over top. Refrigerate for one hour or longer.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Troy’s cocoa balls

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ere’s a golden oldie that was passed on to me by my wife. Her mom used to mix up this holiday favourite, and the best part is, you don’t have to worry about turning the oven on.

Ingredients: ½ cup Kahlua (or as a non-alcoholic substitute, chocolate syrup) ¼ cup light corn syrup ¹/3 cup chopped candied cherries ¹/3 cup chopped golden raisins 1 cup powdered sugar (no lumps) ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 2½ cups fine vanilla wafer crumbs 1 cup finely chopped pecans No cooking! Blend sugar, cocoa, crumbs, and pecans. Combine mixtures. Shape into small balls. Roll in desired coating. Freeze or store in an airtight container. Makes four dozen.

Cheese please! Here’s another quick and easy recipe, one that I made up all by myself, using my natural culinary instincts. Ingredients: Microwave popcorn half cup of butter two cups Smart Food White Chedder Popcorn Cook up microwavable popcorn. Add melted butter. Mix in several handfuls of Smart Food White Cheddar Popcorn. Shake so the popcorn mixes together. Enjoy!

Troy Landreville/TIMES

Reporter Troy Landreville’s cheesy popcorn is a huge hit with the toddler set, including his twoyear-old son Cole. – Troy Landreville TIMES reporter/photographer

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Mrs. Claus’s merry ’Chris’ mousee

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he’s been dubbed Mrs. Claus because of her big heart and her involvement as co-chair of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper for more than a decade. When the Mrs. was asked to share one of her favourite Christmas recipes, Lorraine Bates admitted to not being much of a baker and said she was hard pressed to find anything that was actually in written form. Everything she makes, she usually does without the aid of a recipe. Despite her insanely busy schedule with this year’s hamper deadline looming, she did manage to dig out one recipe she’s fond of during the holidays. It’s Maria Rantanen/TIMES her: Lorraine Bates shares her chocolate mousse pie recipe. Crust ingredients: Combine cocoa, milk, and coffee in top 18 chocolate sandwich cookies of a double boiler over simmering water: ¼ cup chilled butter or margarine Whisk until smooth. Whisk in egg yolks. 3 tbsp. sugar Whisking constantly, cook six minutes Preheat oven to 450ºF. Process cookies or until mixture is thick enough to coat a in a food processor until finely ground. spoon. Remove from heat. Add butter and sugar, and mix until well Add chocolate and extracts: stir until blended. Press mixture into bottom and chocolate melts. Transfer chocolate mixup sides of a 9” pie plate. Bake six minture to a large bowl. utes. Cool completely on a wire rack. In a double boiler over simmering Mousse pie filling ingredients: water combine sugar, egg whites, water 1 tbsp. cocoa and cream of tartar. Whisking con½ cup of milk stantly, cook mixture until a thermom¼ cup strongly brewed coffee eter registers 160ºF (about 10 minutes) 3 eggs Transfer to a medium bowl: beat until 8 ounces semisweet baking chocolate cut into small soft peaks form. pieces Fold egg white mixture and whipped 1 tsp. vanilla extract cream into chocolate mixture. Spoon ½ tsp. almond extract mousse into crust. Cover and store in ¹/3 cup of sugar refrigerator. Before serving garnish with 1 tbsp. water chocolate curls. – Lorraine Bates (a.k.a. Mrs. Claus) ¹/8 tsp. cream of tartar Co-chair of Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows 1 cup whipping cream, whipped Christmas Hampers Chocolate curls to garnish

Merry ‘Chris’ mousee.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Log recipe may be tattered, but mayor’s wife pulls it out annually

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udy Daykin realized later in life why her mother always made a Yule log when company was coming. While it was always delicious, it dawned on Daykin, her mom always made it because it was easy, too. “This is a recipe from my mom, she is 90 now. She always had it hand written on a slip of paper in her well used cookbook. I don’t know where she got it from, but I assume it was passed from a friend or relative.” It has become one of her husband’s favourite desserts, said Daykin, wife of Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin: “The family is thrilled to know that I have

made chocolate roll. And, it’s great for a Christmas dessert because it is so light.”

Chocolate roll (Yule log) Ingredients: 4 egg yolks 2 Tbsp. water ½ cup sugar Beat together. Sift together: 5 Tbsp. baking cocoa ¹/3 cup flour Dash of salt Add to egg yolks: Beat four egg whites until very stiff, fold first mixture in carefully until just mixed.

(½ pint of whipped cream – whipped until thick, see following) Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Grease with oil. Spread batter about ½” thick. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until cake springs back to touch. Do not overbake. Turn onto clean tea towel and remove bottom wax paper. While warm, roll up gently and cool. When

cooled unroll and fill with whipped cream, reroll and chill. Can be made earlier in the day and chilled until serving. Serve with sauce. Sauce: Melt ½ cup butter in double boiler – beat with whisk, and add ¾ cup of icing sugar, beat in 1 whole egg. It will thicken a bit – cool and serve with chilled chocolate log. Enjoy!

– Judy Daykin, Better half of Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Meringue made holiday special despite hard financial times Upside-down meringues Ingredients: Parchment paper Tiny amount of vinegar 3 egg whites Pinch cream of tartar 1 cup icing sugar

TIMES columnist Anne Marrison shares her recipe for upside-down meringues, and a bit of its history..

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nne Marrison started making meringues when she kept chickens on a rural acreage and fed them mainly bran cooked with kitchen scraps from her big vegetable garden. “We let them roam the place in summer, fall, and winter, whenever the crops could handle chicken,” she said. “They ran fast enough to catch flies.” They were very poor, but had lots of eggs, and meringues made nice Christmas gifts for very little money, she explained. “In those days, I always made meringues with a hand beater, and cooked them in an oil range, which also heated water for the bathroom. “One Christmas, we got a blow-back down the oil range chimney and a whole sheet of meringues that was out to cool turned black with soot,” Marrison recounted. “So did I.” “It was a tiny old house (650 square feet) built on tree trunks, and the back bedroom had been used to dry out mink skins. At night we could hear bits of wood falling from carpenter ants inside the walls. But we were young, healthy, thrilled to have a home of our own, and we had good neighbours,” she said. “We had some very happy Christmases in that little house.”

First I line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Then I wipe the bowl I’ll use with a paper towel wetted with vinegar. It’s important to make sure no trace of fat is left on the bowl. Next I crack three eggs very carefully. If any speck of egg yolk gets into the whites, the meringues won’t thicken properly. I dump the egg whites in the bowl and add a pinch of cream of tartar. This stabilizes the egg whites. Then I beat the whites with an electric beater until they’re thick. At that point I add about a tablespoon of icing sugar and beat some more. Then add another tablespoon of sugar and beat for another minute. Keep this up until all the icing sugar is used. When the whipped egg whites stand in stiff peaks and a small spoonful dumped on the cookie sheet holds its shape, the mix is ready for the cookie sheet. I spoon out a tablespoon per time and flatten the top of each. Some ovens are hotter than others. Mine is cooler than average. I set the temperature for 275ºF. My aim is to cook the meringues so they’re crisp all the way through, and I usually leave them in for two hours. People who like them soft in the middle or do tiny, teaspoon-size meringues won’t need to cook them as long. Topping 1 cup melted chocolate Pistachio nuts, chopped small or grated Melt enough chocolate chunks to brush over the meringues. Then sprinkle the chopped, grated, or ground pistachio nuts over the melted chocolate. Eat the meringues with the chocolate at the bottom. The hardened chocolate makes a kind of dish and you avoid getting meringue crumbs all over your clothes. It seems expensive to buy a whole box of cream of tartar for one pinch – but I have been using the same box since the late 1960s, mainly because I’ve never figured out what else I can use cream of tartar for. The quantity of icing sugar needs to be increased if the eggs are huge. Most fondue bowls can melt the chocolate if you allow enough time. Otherwise use a double boiler for melting. You can make meringues in all kinds of sizes and colours. They keep for many months in a tin at room temperature (if you hide them). – Anne Marrison TIMES garden columnist

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Pie rekindles Christmas memories of spending time with loved ones

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nne Gordon endeavours to keep some of her grandmother’s Kentucky traditions alive, including creation of her award-winning chocolate meringue pie every Christmas. “My grandmother was known throughout Southern Kentucky for her Sunday dinners,” explained The TIMES sales rep. “Family and friends would gather every Sunday after church, sit at her table and eat until they were stuffed. Although, I loved those Sundays dinners, my favourite memory from my childhood is Christmas at Granny Almas.” Her home was always overly decorated, extremely comfortable, and smelled of freshly baked pies, Gordon recalled. From homemade apple to pecan her Grandmother made – at least by her reckoning – the best pies ever. “She would bake several pies for the neighbourhood, her church, and everyone in between for Christmas.” There was always one pie in particular that everyone hoped to get for Christmas, and that was Granny Alma’s award-winning chocolate meringue pie. “Being her one and only taste tester, I had my fair share of slices and will never forget Granny Alma spending that time with me and teaching me how to make it,” Gordon said, now passing on tastetesting to her six-year-old daughter Georgia. “Since [Granny’s] passing I continue to make that chocolate meringue pie for special occasions, and although it’s not and never will be Granny Alma’s it still takes me back to a time when Christmas was about just spending it with the people you love.”

Chocolate meringue pie Ingredients: ¾ cup sugar 5 tbsp. baking cocoa 3 tbsp. cornstarch ¼ tsp. salt 2 cups milk 3 egg yolks, beaten 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 pie shell (9 inches), baked (make sure this step isn’t forgotten) Meringue: 3 egg whites ¼ tsp. cream of tartar 6 tbsp. sugar

Georgia Gordon is Anne’s six-year-old daughter and her official taste tester, giving two thumbs up to her meringue pie.

In a saucepan, mix sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt; gradually add milk. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir two minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir about 1 cup of the hot filling into the egg yolks. Return to saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. Pour hot filling into pie crust. For meringue, immediately beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until stiff and glossy. Spread evenly over hot filling, sealing meringue to pie crust. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until golden. – Anne Gordon TIMES sales representative

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Carrying on Mom’s tradition

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hese are chocolates made with mashed potatoes, and believe it or not, they are just as much fun to make as they are to eat, said Pitt Meadows Councillor Gwen O’Connell. “When my mom used to make them, she would sometimes let us help,” she recounted. “But a lot of times she would make them after we went bed, so they would be a surprise for us. Or, at least that is what she said. Mom would hide them in the back of the freezer. Once we got a little older, we would go snooping to find them.” Now an adult with children of her own, O’Connell said the treats continue as a family Christmas tradition. And she, too, makes them after the

kids are in bed… and does her best to hide them away. “Merry Christmas, everyone!”

Chocolate mashed potatoes Ingredients: 2½ cups icing sugar ¾ cup mashed potatoes; do not add milk or butter to these 4 cups of coconut 1 teaspoon vanilla You mix everything together in a large bowl and then everyone helps by rolling them into small balls. You then place the small balls on a piece

of wax paper and let them dry while you make the chocolate sauce to dip them in. Chocolate sauce: 4 squares on unsweetened chocolate ¹/3 of a small block of paraffin wax ½ cup of chocolate chips Melt the above mixture in a double boiler. Dip the balls into the chocolate mixture and let them harden on sheet of wax paper. These are very sweet, and you can place them on a plate with other homemade chocolates to serve them. – Gwen O’Connell Pitt Meadows Councillor

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Carrots transform into Finnish casserole

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ome Nordic traditional recipes are worth keeping – others not so much. Every culture has its quirks – remember My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding? Anyone whose parents were immigrants could relate to that movie. The Finns are no different, and luckily, my parents were young enough when they moved to Canada to shed some of the worst tradMy mother, Helena, itions – like with me at SFU in liver casserole 1965. with raisins and lye fish, and an Easter treat called mammi that I can’t try to describe in a family newspaper. They also switched from ham to turkey at Christmas pretty quickly in the “new country.” But we did get some Finnish dishes at Christmas – lots of pulla (sweet bread), joulutorttuja (pastries with prune filling), and lots of casseroles, carrot casserole, turnip casserole, and potato casserole – we skipped the liver casserole. So here’s a recipe for carrot casserole that would typically be served at a traditional Finnish Christmas Eve meal, taken from The Finnish Cookbook.

Finnish tradition

Maria Rantanen and mother Helena.

Carrot casserole Ingredients: 1 cup cooked rice 2 cups milk 5 medium carrots, shredded 1 teaspoon salt nutmeg, a pinch 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar 2 eggs 3 tablespoons butter ½ cup fine bread crumbs Combine the rice, milk, carrots, salt, sugar and eggs. Pour into a well-buttered 1½ -quart casserole. Melt the butter in a separate pan and stir the crumbs into it. Sprinkle them on top of the casserole. Bake in moderately hot oven (375ºF) about 40 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Serves six.

One Finnish Christmas tradition I really like is the declaration of Christmas Peace. At noon on Dec. 24, a city official of the historic capital, Turku, reads a statement declaring peace throughout all of Scandinavia. This is a legal declaration, and stores are closed fairly soon after – although they’ve been stretching in the past few years – and don’t reopen till Boxing Day, and then only for four hours. Anyone caught acting in a disorderly way during Christmas used to receive severe penalties. I say we declare Christmas Peace in Maple Ridge, and that it is enforceable with strict penalties throughout the Lower Mainland – until Boxing Day shopping starts. – Maria Rantanen TIMES reporter

My mother, Helena, with me (the baby) and my sister Heidi at SFU in 1965.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times

Family Christmas RECIPE

Brunch recipe came from dentist

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here’s something to be said for the taste buds of dentists – especially one working in the Prairies during the 1930s. Dr. Carson, who cared for Lindy Sisson’s mother’s and grandparents’ dental hygiene some 80 years ago, shared a Christmas brunch recipe that is still in Lindy’s family today.

“My grandpa Ben Young made these for Christmas Day brunch – after opening stockings and presents. And my parents, Hal and Doreen Sisson, continued the tradition,” said Sisson, executive director of The ACT and Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Arts Council. Now, she is passing that along, so more people can consider making it a family Christmas tradition. She serves it with scrambled eggs and hash brown potatoes.

Angels on Horseback Ingredients: fresh (or frozen) oysters, 1-2 tubs depending on how many you want to make (we usually do a dozen) Egg mixture: Whisk 2 eggs in bowl (do more if needed) a smidge of mustard soda biscuit crackers (roll with rolling pin to crumble) package of bacon

Lindy Sisson, executive director of The ACT, shares a Christmas brunch tradition started in Saskatchewan 80 or so years ago.

Drain and rinse oysters, dip in egg mixture, roll in cracker crumbs and wrap in bacon, using tooth picks to hold together. Place on broiling pan and broil in oven. Turn once and cook until bacon crisp. Serve with seafood cocktail sauce – Lindy Sisson The ACT executive director

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

Family Christmas 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

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

Family Christmas 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 3 hot Italian sausages, loaf of French bread 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

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

Family Christmas 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!”

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

Family Christmas 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

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

Family Christmas 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

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

Family Christmas 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

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. 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 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.”

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

Family Christmas 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.”

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

Family Christmas 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

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

Family Christmas RECIPE

Finnish bread recipe recycled through generations

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

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.

L Leanne Koehn and her mother.

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.

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

Family Christmas RECIPE

Christmas Wife Saver

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.

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.

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

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

Family Christmas 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.

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

Family Christmas RECIPE

Christmas chocolates

M

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,

Anne Marrison is a Whonnock resident and a long-time garden columnist for The TIMES. 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. 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

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

Family Christmas 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. Beth Hooper with her grandSo while I can’t give much credit to my mother daughter Roxanne. or grandmother for teaching me the way around the kitchen – and not for lack of 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 My mother, Ellen Hooper, (right) always to bake, and the enjoyment of savouring their knew how to put on a spread. creations 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

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

Family Christmas RECIPE

Oh, Brothers! They’re delicious

K

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


Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Times Christmas Recipes 2012