In light of the COVID-19 precautions...


Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizers that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Avoid close contact with anyone who appears sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then toss the tissue in the trash.

Disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.

Talk to your doctor if you develop symptoms.

Stay home if you develop symptoms.

Avoid nonessential travel to areas with active COVID-19 outbreaks.


Visit the website for your local health department for updates.


If you are caring for an older adult:

Know what medications are needed and help them have extra.

Monitor food and medical supplies and have a back-up plan.

Stock up on non-perishable food to reduce shopping trips.

If a loved one is in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the residents and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.


Friday, June 28, 2019

Folklorama: Janson’s Temptation and Kjotkaker

Janson’s Temptation

In 1980 the Scandinavians did something a little different from the approaches used by the Irish and Ukrainians.
Instead of two pavilions about the same country, or two pavilions representing two different locations in the same country, they decided to present a pavilion focusing on one country, Sweden, and another pavilion giving a small taste of Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway.
A cultural smorgasbord, so to speak.


The Swedish pavilion was at the Vasalund retirement home at 5429 Roblin Boulevard, and was sponsored by the United Swedish Canadians.
Along with displays of ethnic costumes, handicrafts and artifacts, there were demonstrations of rya making, Dalamoining and straw weaving.
They had trays and other household items that had been decorated with rosmålning, which is called rosemaling in Norway.
I still have a couple of trays and a cutting board we had bought there, and they are quite pretty.

There were folk dancers, songs, and a live band to provide music for dancing.
The Smorgasbord table was laden with hot and cold dishes, sandwiches, coffeecakes, waffles and cookies.


And then there was the The Scandinavian Pavilion, which extended a hearty Velkommen, Terve Tuloa, Välkommen and Velkominn to all!!
It was sponsored by St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church’s Action 70’s Group and was set up in the St. James Civic Centre.
That was quite a busy place that week, packed with folk songs and dances.
The lineup was: Iceland on Monday, Denmark on Tuesday, Finland on Wednesday, Sweden on Thursday and Norway on Friday.
Sunday and Saturday featured entertainment from all five countries.
They presented Lila Platt, the Songbird of the North; the Vopnfjords and Hecla Chorus of Islandingadagurinn fame, the New Iceland Choir, Saga Dancers, and Kris Bjornson.
There was a Norwegian Folk Dance Group from Minneapolis on Friday and Saturday.

Each night’s menu depended on the featured nation.
There was also a “Tasters’ Table” of snacks from all five nations: Vinatertas, Rullesill, Rullupyisa, as well as a smorgasbord and many pastries.


The Scandinavian Pavilion will be open during Folklorama this year.
It’s still a great way to visit a few countries at one time.


Hints:

The cream and milk mixture for the Janson’s Temptation depends on how much fat you want in your recipe.

The Scandinavian Pavilion had this hint for the meatballs:
Form meatballs the easy way by wetting a teaspoon in a glass of cold water and rolling them in the palm of your hand.


                        Janson’s Temptation

Butter a baking dish.

Peel, rinse and cut into thin strips
5 - 6 medium potatoes
You’ll need 4 Cups of thin strips.
Leave the strips in cold water until needed. 
Before using wrap strips in paper towels to get the water out.

Peel and slice thin 
2 - 3 onions
You’ll need 2 Cups of thin slices.

Combine in a small dish
1 Tablespoon fine dry breadcrumbs 
salt and ground white pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400º F

Heat in frying pan
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
Sauté the onion slices
Spread the slices in the prepared baking dish.

Evenly distribute on top of the onion slices
10 - 12 anchovy fillets (Swedish or Norwegian, of course)
Cover with the dried potato strips.
Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top and dot with
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
Bake 15 to 20 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350º F

Remove the baking dish from the oven and pour over the potatoes
2 - 3 Tablespoons brine from the canned anchovies
1 - 1 1/2 Cups cream and milk
You want the level of the liquid to be even with the potatoes.
Bake 45 minutes until golden and the liquid is almost absorbed. 


                        Kjotkaker  (Norwegian Meatballs and Gravy)

Finely chop 
1 small onion
You want 6 Tablespoons chopped onion

Melt in a large frying pan
2 Tablespoons butter
lightly fry the onion.
This can be added to the meat mixture, or you can set it aside for the gravy, or you can use some in each.

Place in a large bowl
1 pound ground beef
1/4 pound ground lean pork
1/2 Cup soft bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/2 Cup milk
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Mix together and form into 1-inch balls.
Brown them in a large fry pan over medium heat, and keep rotating until they are browned on all sides.
Remove the meatballs to a dish and make the gravy.

Add to the fat in the pan
3 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Heat until the mixture thickens, then remove from heat and stir in
1 Cup water
Heat 5 minutes, stirring, then add the meatballs.
Simmer for 5 minutes over low heat.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Folklorama: Khrustyky and Walnut Torte

Khrustyky

Back in 1980, in addition to two Irish pavilions, there were two Ukrainian pavilions.
One was the Kiev Pavilion, while the other was the Lviv Pavilion.
Bitaemo!

There may have been a logical reason for this.
Maybe two different boatloads of people migrated from each of these places.
Maybe there was some historical reason why they didn’t put on a show together.
Maybe one was a little bit country, while the other was a little bit city.  


The Lviv Pavilion was set up at 591 Pritchard Avenue, the building belonging to the sponsor, the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians.
Right off the bat they talk about the food: pyrohy, holubtski, nalysynki, kyshka and studinets, which were served with local beers and liquors.
They posted a recipe for Khrustyky.

For entertainment they had AUUC choirs, while the orchestra and soloists were joined by the Kamenyan Dancers from Edmonton.
They imported performers from Lviv and featured paintings and displays based on work from the Ukrainian poet, writer, scholar, and humanitarian, Ivan Franco, who created almost all of his works in the city of Lviv.
There was a museum to display the cultural heritage of the Ukrainian people.
It was a seriously thorough, educational pavilion.


The Kiev Pavilion took place at Garden City Collegiate.
From what I remember of Folkloramas during those years, it was one of the must-see places, year after year, and the lines of people waiting to get into the place were long.
There were dance ensembles and choirs such as the Orlan Ukrainian Folk Ensemble, the Selkirk Dancers, the O. Koshetz Choir, the Todaschuk Sisters and a special guest from Montreal, Andy Czerney, who was billed as a contemporary Ukrainian vocalist.

The classrooms had been turned into display areas filled with Ukrainian cross-stitch embroidery, loaves of braided bread, artifacts and a pysanky (egg painting) workshop.
While there you could feast on holubci, varenyky, borscht, tortes, uke-a-bobs, and other delicacies, washed down with domestic beer and liquors.
They chose to share their Walnut Torte recipe.


The Kiev was more relaxed than the Lviv was, with something for everybody.
Uke-a-bobs were a hit with the kiddies.

In this year’s Folklorama the Ukraine is represented by the Ukraine-Kyiv Pavilion, whose show includes the Todaschuk Sisters.
There will also be the Spirit of Ukraine Pavilion, as well as the Russian Pavilion.


Hints:

The Walnut Torte is a light torte and you can use any filling, within reason.
Jams, canned pie filling or cooked prunes are good.
If you want to be fancy you can spread a hazelnut cream filling and then spread it over the top and sides, like a layer cake.


                        Khrustyky 

Place in a large mixer bowl
3 egg yolks
3 large eggs
Beat until light and fluffy.
Add, beating after each addition
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon brandy or whiskey
1 1/2 Cups flour
Beat until you have a soft dough.
Cover bowl and let stand 30 minutes.

Divide dough into four portions.
Take one portion and roll very thin.
Cut into 3/4 inch strips, then diamond shape in 2 inch lengths.
Make a slit in the centre of each diamond, pull one end through the slit.

Fry for a few seconds in hot oil until a light golden colour.
Drain on paper towels to cool, then dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar.


                        Walnut Torte 

Place in a large mixer bowl
10 egg whites 
Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Line 2 deep layer cake pans with wax paper and butter them well.

Add to the egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 or 3 drops of mapeline
Beat until it is stiff and stands in peaks.

Preheat oven to 350º F

Place in a medium mixer bowl
8 egg yolks
Beat well.
Add gradually
1 cup powdered sugar (berry)
Beat until light and fluffy.
Stir in 
1 Cup finely ground walnuts
4 Tablespoons fine bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons flour
Fold the beaten egg whites into this mixture.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake 40 minutes, or until done when tested.
Allow the cakes to cool in the pans 5 minutes, then remove them to a cake rack.
Spread any favourite filling between the layers and over the top.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Folklorama: Irish Stew and Irish Soda Bread

Irish Stew and Irish Soda Bread
As I mentioned a few days ago, some countries will be represented by more than one pavilion during Folklorama 50.
For example there will be two Irish pavilions: the Irish Pavilion and the Celtic Ireland Pavilion.

This isn’t something new.

Sometimes one pavilion was an offshoot of an older one.
Sometimes there was a bit of history between the two sponsors and they didn’t want to combine forces.
Sometimes something happened that was shrouded in mystery.
Whatever.


I don’t know why, but in 1980 there also were two Irish pavilions.
One was a slightly more polished production.
Maybe it was older, maybe it had more people to do the work, maybe it had a bit more money behind it.
Whatever the reason, there were two places where one could hear Cead Mile Failte!

Some folks would spend the whole week visiting one pavilion.
Others would alternate between the two that were about the same country.
Then, again, sometimes people just went to pavilions that were close to home.
The events started at dinnertime and the next day was often a work day.


The Emerald Isle Pavilion at Windsor Park Collegiate was sponsored by the Winnipeg Irish Association.
Their writeup in the program was quite specific about the artifacts on display: Waterford crystal, Belleek pottery and china, hand woven tablecloths of pure Irish linen, and Aran woollens.
The McConnell Dancers performed, while the Four Coachmen and the Irish Tavern Singers provided folk music and rousing Irish songs.

They posted a recipe for Irish Stew.
Along with the stew, they were serving meat pies and sausage rolls, in addition to soda bread, for a full meal.
Potato Bread with cheese provided a lighter snack.
There was a wide range of beverages, from domestic beer and liquor to Harp Lager, Guinness Stout, and Irish Whiskey for those who wanted the full experience. 
There also were soft drinks and coffee for non-drinkers.


The other Celtic spot was the Irish Pavilion.
It was held in the Bertrand Arena, and sponsored by the Irish Association of Manitoba.
They also served Irish Stew, along with Irish Soda Bread, Irish coffee and Harp Lager.
The Shannon Dancers provided the entertainment, while the Blarney Stone (no, not the real one) and other artifacts were on display.
They had a bigger picture in their half page and weren’t into writing a big piece.


Hints:

When you’re cutting the lamb be guided by your preference and tolerance for fat. 
Any fat still on the meat will end up being absorbed by the potatoes.

After the bread is baked, it can be wrapped in a clean tea-cloth to keep the crust soft.


                        Irish Stew 

Cut into serving pieces, removing skin and fat
5 pounds lamb

Thinly slice
2 pounds potatoes
5 medium onions

Put the meat in a heavy saucepan, then put in half of the potatoes and onions.
Season with 
salt and pepper
Add
4 Cups cold water
Bring water to a boil.
Skim and simmer for 1 hour.
Arrange the remaining potato and onion slices in layers over the stew.
Cover  and simmer for 1 hour.
Serve in a hot dish with potatoes and onions around the meat.
Pour the gravy on top and serve the remainder in a gravy boat.
Garnish with parsley.


                        Irish Soda Bread

Preheat oven to 350º  F
Dust a baking sheet with flour

Sieve into a bowl
4 Cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon creme of tartar
Add
4 teaspoons sugar
Mix well.
Add
2 Cups buttermilk
Using a fork, mix to a soft dough, adding more buttermilk if necessary.

Bring dough together with the fingers and turn out on to a board dusted with flour.
Knead lightly until smooth and form into a ball.
Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet.
Cut a deep cross on top.
Bake for 40-50 minutes.
Remove from baking sheet and tap the base.
It should sound hollow; if not, return to oven for 15 minutes.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Folklorama, Then and Now / Bakewell Tart and Scottish Shortbread

Shortbread
From August 4 to 17 we’ll be celebrating Folklorama 50!
Imagine that - the fiftieth Folklorama!

Folklorama was intended to be a one-time celebration of Manitoba’s centennial in 1970. 
It was originally in downtown Winnipeg on King Street, all within walking distance.
Well that was easy - it only had 21 pavilions.

Folklorama proved so popular that it came back the next, and every summer, since.
For the longest time it was a one-week celebration.
The pavilions were in different neighbourhoods, many not in walking distance.

When Paul and I first arrived here in 1975 we really got into all the festivals in Manitoba, and that included the full, one-week, Folklorama experience.
We felt it was our duty as new Manitobans to take part in each and every event.
We were 25.  
We had more energy than sense.  
We were dumb.

We had our reasons. 
We'd grown up in New York, to be exact, Queens. 
Manhattanites knew we weren’t real New Yorkers.
Folks in Queens had the attitude I live here, I don’t have to see it.
‘It’ being Manhattan and all the tourist attractions in it.

Then we moved to British Columbia. 
We’d always meant to see places like the Butchart Gardens, but we never got around to them during the two years we lived there.

Well… we weren't going to make that mistake again.  
We were going to see everything we could in Manitoba - in one year.

I sort of remember lots of embroidery.  
I do remember the time we were stopped by a cop on Main Street.  
We weren't drunk.  
Paul had been driving and, while I waved the Folklorama passport, Paul explained to the officer that we were looking for Poland and we hadn't noticed that we'd gone past a three-way intersection.

Cops hear it all during Folklorama. 


Over the years Folklorama has gone through a few changes.
It’s grown to 45 pavilions which now are spread out over two weeks.
Some of the original pavilions have stopped putting on a show.
The volunteers had gotten old and the kids weren't interested.
No problem.
There are plenty of folks from other countries happy to set up pavilions.
Some countries are represented by more than one pavilion.
Don't ask.


I still have a program from the 1980 Folklorama.
There was a bit of information from each of the 37 pavilions.
What made this program special was that 34 countries also posted recipes.
The Chilean, Chinese, and Mennonite Pavilions had nice write-ups, but no recipes. 
The Scotland Pavilion, at the Heather Curling Club, had posted Scottish Shortbread.

The Mug Pug Pavilion, representing England, was set up in the University of Manitoba.
They had full meals from every corner of the British Isles served in a British pub atmosphere with entertainment and plenty of drinks. 
They shared the recipe for the Bakewell Tart which originated when, many years ago, a customer at the Rutland Arms in Bakewell, Derbyshire, ordered some strawberry tarts, and the cook mistakenly put the egg mixture on top of the jam.
It wasn’t the first time a simple mistake led to a new - and good - recipe.

This year, in addition to the United Kingdom Pavilion, there is a Pavilion of Scotland.
There are two Chile Pavilions: the Chile Lindo Pavilion and the Chilean Pavilion.
Enjoy!!


Hints:

You can substitute 12 ounces of flour and 4 ounces of rice flour for the flour in the Shortbread recipe.


                        Bakewell Tart 

Line a sandwich tin with
6 ounces short crust pastry
Over the pastry spread
2 Tablespoons jam

Place in a medium mixing bowl
4 ounces shortening
4 ounces castor sugar
Cream well and add
few drops almond extract
2 eggs
Beat well together, add
2 ounces ground almonds (or sponge cake crumbs)
Spread the mixture on top of the jam.
Bake at 375º F for 50 minutes.


                        Scottish Shortbread

Grease a large cookie pan.

Combine in a large bowl
16 ounces flour
  4 ounces fine sugar

Place on a board
8 ounces butter
Work in the dry ingredients, kneading well.
After all ingredients are worked together, knead and then shape into a round cake or into fingers about 1/2 inch thick.
Place on prepared land and prick with a fork.
Bake at 325º F - 45 minutes for the fingers, 60 minutes if baking a cake.
Leave on the pan for a short time before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.