Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Folklorama: Blintzes and Seekh Kababs


Goodness, here we are at the end of July!
I hope you’ve been enjoying the recipes of past Folklorama pavilions and that you’re planning on seeing a few - or all - of the pavilions at Folklorama50.

In 1980 Israel displayed its arts and culture in the Shalom Square Pavilion, held in the Y.M.H.A. Community Centre at 370 Hargrave Street.
It was noted in the brochure that the Sabbath would be observed and that the pavilion would be closed from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, a handy reminder for those who wanted to visit, but weren’t aware of the religious rules.

The Winnipeg Jewish Community Council had arranged for the internationally acclaimed Chair Folk Ensemble to perform Israeli and Yiddish songs and dances.

The cultural displays featured information on Israel, as well as exhibits presented by the Canadian Zionist Federation.

While the entertainment was excellent and the displays were informative, the sponsors knew that the food was the real draw.
The traditional favourites were there: gefilte fish, salami sandwiches, knishes, dill pickles, matzah, hamantashen, apple strudel, moon cookies and halavah.
They also added new items to their menu: cherry and blueberry blintzes, giant and salty bagelach (pretzels), and an assortment of candies, both sweet and sour.
Beverages ranged from Israeli wine (red and white), Israeli beer, and Sabra (a chocolate-orange flavoured liquor), to soft drinks and coffee.

In 1980 the India Pavilion, sponsored by the India Association of Winnipeg Inc., made full use of the classrooms at R. B. Russell Vocational School at 364 Dufferin Avenue for their large number of cultural displays. 
Colourful sarees (the common costume of women in India), floral design, handicrafts, artifacts, jewelry, Indian spices and herbs, books for children, posters of historical sites, fashions of India, and wall displays explaining the Indian system of mathematics and science filled the rooms.

Classical Indian dances and Folk dances from various regions of India were performed by dancers in colourful costumes, who were accompanied by East Indian music.
Intricate foot work and hand gestures conveying emotions and ideas, an important part of the dances, held everyone's attention.

The hostesses greeted guests with a warm Swagatum as they joined the lines for ‘East-Indian’ curried meat and rice, as well as a variety of curries divided into chicken, beef and vegetables.
Taj Rum and Calcutta Dry Gin for the full experience, as well as local beverages - both hard and soft - were available, as were desserts which included gulab-jamun, a pastry made with milk, then shaped into balls, fried and served with sweet syrup.

In the current Folklorama50 brochure there are still an Israel Pavilion - Shalom Square, and an India Pavilion, as well as the Punjab Pavilion and the Tamil Pavilion.


The recipe said that oil is best for greasing the pan for the leaf for blintzes.



Combine in a small bowl
1 1/2 Cups flour
1/2 Cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Place in a large bowl
6 eggs
2 Cups water
2 Cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Beat together.
Add the dry mixture and beat well.
The batter should be thin. Add water if necessary.

Lightly grease a pan with oil and heat until hot.
Pour enough of the batter into the prepared pan to form a thin leaf, tilting the pan from side to side so that the batter spreads evenly.
Cook until the top is dry and slightly blistered. 
Turn onto a clean cloth, cooked side up.


Combine in a small bowl
any canned pie filling
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
dash of cinnamon
grated lemon peel or dash of orange peel

Place a tablespoon of the filling in the centre of a leaf, fold sides to centre, and roll up.
When ready to use, fry lightly in butter.
Serve with sour cream and fruit.

                        Seekh Kababs  

Place in a medium bowl
1 medium onion, chopped finely
2 green chillies (hot), chopped finely
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt to taste
Blend until it is a fine paste.
1 pound lean ground beef
Blend well.

Grease a skewer with melted butter.
Take a scoop of the meat mixture and wrap around the skewer.
Repeat with remaining skewers and meat.
Barbecue or broil.
Serve garnished with sliced onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and green peppers.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Folklorama: Pancit and Deep-Fried 5-Spice Chicken

The Japan Pavilion and the Seoul Pavilion were not the only Asian Pavilions sharing their culture during the 1980 Folklorama.
There was also a pavilion from the Philippines, as well as two pavilions from China.

The Chinese Pavilion, sponsored by the Chinese Benevolent Association of Manitoba, only posted a greeting without a recipe, while the Cathay Pavilion had a writeup and a chicken recipe.

So we’ll get to know the Philippines and Cathay in this post. 

Sponsored by the Philippine Association of Manitoba, the Philippine Pavilion, at 1720 Fleet Street, wished everyone Maligayang Pagdalo - Happy Attendance!
Their piece started by saying:
This tropical pavilion offers warm-hearted hospitality, colour and excitement.
There were Philippine handicrafts on display: delicate wood carvings, bamboo baskets, and embroidered gowns.
The entertainment focused on the Philippine Folk Dancers, who did dances ranging from those with a romantic Spanish influence to those with a bit more energy.
The steaming dishes of adobo, lumpa, leche flan and pancit, accompanied by the San Miguel beer, were the main attraction.

The Cathay Pavilion was sponsored by the Institute of Chinese Language, Culture, and Arts Incorporated, and took place at General Wolf School at 661 Banning Street.
The classrooms were handy for all the displays they had: authentic and replica Chinese artifacts, carved ivory, porcelain sculptures, Chinese costumes, embroideries, paintings, 'self works', cloissone, postage stamps, and folkcraft paper cutting.
The entertainment included songs and classical dances from different regions of China.

There was a wide choice of drinks: Chinese liqueur, liquor, wine and beer, Mau Tai, Lychee wine, and Chu Yeh Ching, as well as domestic alcoholic beverages. 
Soft drinks and Chinese teas were also available.

The menu included familiar favourites, such as won-ton, fried rice, chow-mein, spring rolls, and ‘meat dishes with subtle oriental spices’, as well as fortune and almond cookies, and dim-sum.

In the current Folklorama50 brochure we now have a Pearl of the Orient Philippine Pavilion as well as a Chinese Pavilion, which is being sponsored by the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre.
I don't know what happened to the other two sponsors.
Probably best to not ask too many questions.


Accent is a brand name for MSG.

The recipe for pancit didn’t mention how to prepare the noodles.
I’ve lived in Winnipeg for 44 years and have enjoyed many different recipes for pancit which, over the years, has become a potluck staple in Winnipeg.
Everyone has a favourite variation and they’re all good.
If you don’t have exactly the same ingredients, or a little more or less of an ingredient or two, feel free to create your own variation.

Back to the noodles…
Bihon is the Filipino word for rice sticks, rice vermicelli, or rice noodles.
Soak the dry noodles in warm water for about 5 to 10 minutes before cooking to remove the starch and to soften the noodles before stir-frying.
After they are soft, drain them in a colander.
They will still bit a bit stiff.

Pancit leftovers can be refrigerated, covered, for a couple of days. 
You can reheat it in a microwave or in a skillet.

When frying the chicken for the Deep-Fried 5-Spice recipe, don’t crowd the pot.

Better to cook in two, or three, or more batches, depending on the size of your pot.


Leaving the tail, fillet 
1/2 pound shrimp

Place each of the following in a small bowl
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 egg white
Dip the shrimp in the cornstarch, then the egg white and set aside.

1 chicken breast
Coat with cornstarch and set aside.

Place in a large pot
2 Tablespoons oil
Heat over high heat and add
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
1/2 pound lean pork, sliced
5 chicken livers
the prepared shrimp and chicken
Season with
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Accent
2 Tablespoons soya sauce
Pour in 
1 1/2 Cups chicken broth
Bring to a boil and add
1 carrot, in long strips
1 head cauliflower, chopped
4 cabbage leaves, shredded
1/4 Cup pea pods
1/3 Cup chives
Simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Combine in a small bowl
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 Cup water
Stir into the mixture.
1 package rice noodles or dried Chinese noodles (see above)

                        Deep-Fried 5-Spice Chicken 

Cut into bite-size pieces
1 chicken (2 2/3 pounds)
Place the meat in a large bowl.

Combine in a medium bowl
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon MSG
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon 5-spice powder
1 Tablespoon rice wine
2 slices ginger root
2 stalks green onion
Pour over the chicken and let stand for 30 minutes.
Remove the ginger slices and onion stalks.

Place in a clean, dry medium bowl
4 Tablespoons cornstarch

Beat in another medium bowl
1 egg yolk
Dip each piece of chicken in the egg yolk and then in the cornstarch.
Set aside.

Heat, over medium heat, in a large heavy pot or wok
6 cups oil
Deep-fry the chicken pieces for 4 minutes.
Remove the chicken and heat the oil until very hot.
Add the chicken pieces and deep-fry an additional minute.
Remove the chicken, drain and place on serving plate.
Serve with salt.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Folklorama: Cornitze and Schweinshaxe vom Spiess

Schweinshaxe vom Spiess

Folklorama in 1980 was a time when people in Winnipeg went to church a lot.
It wasn’t because anyone had suddenly become religious, but because the churches were the sites for so many pavilions.

It really made a lot of sense.

Many churches in Winnipeg were started and maintained by immigrants who were proud of their ethnic heritage.
The pavilions were run by volunteers who were proud of their ethnic heritage.
One of the main places - and in some cases the only place - where ethnic traditions and culture could be observed was in the local parish churches.
Many of the Folklorama volunteers were also parish members who could easily arrange to set up a pavilion in their church without having to pay rent for the space.

We’re Winnipeggers. 
Why pay rent when you can use a space for free?

The Romanian Pavilion was held in another long established ethnic Winnipeg church, St. Demetrios Romanian Orthodox Church, 103 Furby Street, its sponsor.

After a visitor was welcomed with a warm Bun Venit it was on to the cultural displays.
As would be expected in a church, there were displays of a religious nature: icons painted on an Icon Screen (Iconotasis) sculptured in Romania on oak wood, as well as embroidered linen items.
They also had artists doing egg painting, as well as doing icon painting on glass.

The nightly entertainment consisted of three half-hour shows featuring ethnic dances performed by Balada (an Edmonton dance ensemble) and by the local Perinita Romanian Dance Ensemble, with songs provided by both the parish’s adults' and children’s choir, as well as soloists.

As with the other Eastern European pavilions, the main focus was the food.
The hearty traditional fare included: alivinci cu smantant, sarnmali, rosii si ardei umpluti, colacei, varza cu sunca, and more, followed by prajitura cu mere, saralia and corneletze for dessert.
There were three Romanian table wines and Canadian spirits and beer available, as well as soft drinks, to keep everyone hydrated.

The German Pavilion was at the building owned by its sponsor, The German Society of Winnipeg, at 121 Charles Street, and their introductory piece says:
‘Gemütlichkeit’, roughly translated means good natured, easy, comfortable, and that’s the atmosphere found at the German Pavilion.

Along with the German arts, crafts and historical items on display there was entertainment provided by the Mardi Gras Dancers, as well as singing and yodelling by the entertainers.
Everyone was invited to sing along as the German brass band, two organists, and a guest accordionist from Kitchener, Ontario, filled the air with the sound of Germany.

Along with the sounds filling the air there was plenty of food to fill the stomachs.
Rostbratwurst (a grilled sausage on a bun), Rouladen kit Rotkohl and Eisbein kit Sauerkraut were top favourites on the menu, and went well with the Lowenbrau and Dormunder beer, as well as the German wine and soft drinks.

Paul and I had taken my parents to the German Pavilion during their visits.
Since College Point was originally a German/Irish town they felt right at home.
After a beer or two, they even joined everyone in the yodelling.
Just love that spirit of Gemütlichkeit!

In the Folklorama50 brochure there is still a Romanian and a German Pavilion listed.
No surprise there - the artwork, food and entertainment are excellent.
Want German food more than once a year?
The German Pavilion is home to The Schnitzelhaus which hosts weekly buffets featuring German and Canadian delicacies in a full service dining room.  
It has become famous for its Saturday morning breakfasts.


The recipe for Schweinshaxe vom Spiess has an intro that is a bit colourful. Here it is:
The aroma of ‘Schweinshaxe’ on the rotisserie will drive the neighbourhood wild. Try this on the evening that the neighbour you don’t like is serving her husband cold leftovers after he has been mixing cement for their new patio all day.
It even works better if the wind is blowing in their direction.
Willkommen to the ‘hood!

Check the Schweinshaxe for doneness with a meat thermometer.
Even if you’ve invited the nasty neighbours over for dinner, it’s best to be safe.


Makes about 100 cookies


Place in a large bowl
4 Cups flour
1 pound butter
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Mix well and break into nut-size pieces.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.


Combine in a medium bowl
1 pound finely crushed walnuts
1 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 egg whites

Sprinkle confectioners’ sugar on the work surface.
Roll out a piece of dough and fill with the filling mixture.
Close and form into a crescent shape and place on cookie sheet.
Repeat with the remaining nut-size pieces. 
Bake at 375º F for 20 minutes.

                        Schweinshaxe vom Spiess

Wash and dry
3 pork hocks, not ham, each between 2 - 2 1/2 pounds
With a very sharp knife slit the skin in a crisscross pattern of half inch squares that are 1/2 inch deep.
Rub with 
salt and freshly ground pepper
Roast on the rotisseries at high heat until very well done.
This takes 2 1/2 to 4 hours, depending on the rotisserie and the size of the hocks.
If the skin starts to burn move the meat further from the heat.
Serve with Gemischter Salat (a mixed salad), Semmein (rolls) and Bier (beer).

Monday, July 22, 2019

Folklorama: Mramorni Kolac and Ćevapčići


Back in 1980 many of the pavilions were about Central and Eastern European countries and took place in their home parishes.
These churches were a reminder of when people, after having immigrated to Canada, stayed within their own ethnic community in their new country.  
It was understandable. 
They were facing problems adjusting to a new life, so there was comfort and strength in gathering together for religious and social events in a place where they were able to speak their own language with others who were in the same situation.

Folklorama was a way for people in the different communities to get to know, and be known by, their neighbours.

Just as the Greek Pavilion was sponsored by the Greek community in Winnipeg, the Croatian Pavilion, Zagreb, was sponsored by the Croatian Congregation of Winnipeg.
It took place at the Croatian Catholic Church, St Nicholas Tavelich and Banquet Hall, at 2688 Main Street.

The people at the Croatian pavilion extended a warm Dobro Došli and shared their culture, traditions, national costumes and handicrafts.
They served Croatian dishes such as Raznjici and Sarma.
Visitors could sit and listen to Croatian folk songs or join the folk dance ensemble Hrvatska Zora in a lively dance.
Glasses of Sijivovica and Lozvaca were available to raise in a toast: 
U Zdraulje - To your health!

The Slovenija Pavilion, Ljubljana, gave us a glimpse into the country just north of Croatia. 
It was at Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church on 95 Macdonald Avenue, and was hosted by the Slovenian Folk Art Council.
They took a slightly different approach in their written introduction.
First they had a sentence instead of just a welcome:
Dobrodošli v Sloveniji! Želimo vam mnogo zabave in zabave med nami.

And while the other pavilions invited visitors to an energetic and exciting, while educational, time, the people at Slovenija said:
For a change of pace in the hustle of pavilion trekking, stop and relax in the Slovenian Pavilion.

To be honest, it wasn't like going to a quiet place of meditation.
It was just as much fun and as lively as the other pavilions.
Three folk dance groups - Zvonček, Rožmarin and Triglav - plus a male singing quartet, Zvon, provided the entertainment for people who were relaxing and dining.
Along with the handicrafts, embroidery, costumes and crystal, they also had a narrated slide presentation of Slovenija’s history and culture.

While ćevapčići, žlikrofi, and kranjske klobase were available, the main attraction for the pavilion was the succulent young pigs which were barbecued on spits.
The aroma was amazing, and the servings were generous.
Along with the usual domestic and soft drinks, Riesling wine and Slivovica were available for the total Slovenija experience.

Some of the '80s pavilions are no longer with us, but others are as popular as ever.
In the current Folklorama50 brochure there is still a Croatian Pavilion "Zagreb" Pavilion and a Slovenija Pavilion, and they still attract crowds.

Oh, that sentence from Slovenija’s half page means: 
Welcome to Slovenia! We wish you lots of fun and fun among us.


The pavilions pride themselves on authentic recipes, and sometimes that causes a problem in translation.
The recipe for the Croatian Mramorni Kolac (Marble Cake) was written with measurements in dkg - dekagrams, a type of metric weight unit. 
I checked a couple of conversion charts and this is what I got. Hope it helps.
dkg    Cup             ounces
 4       .168      1.410958477983 
20      .84        7.054792389916 
25    1.05        8.818490487395
50    2.1        17.63698097479 
I don't know how much was in the packages of baking powder and vanilla sugar.
They didn’t say what size pan to use.

About the pork hamburger... I think the ground meats in the Ćevapčići are lean.
Ćevapčići tastes better barbecued over hot coals until light brown.
Well, what doesn’t?

                        Mramorni Kolac

Preheat oven to 350º
Grease the pan

Combine in a small bowl
50 dkg flour
1 package baking powder 

In a large mixer bowl place
20 dkg butter or margarine
Beat until it is well beaten or smooth.
25 dkg sugar
1 package vanilla sugar
Continue to beat and add, 1 at a time
4 eggs
Then add
a pinch of salt
grated rind of 1 lemon
the flour mixture.
Stir in 
1/2 Cup milk

Place 1/3 of the batter in a medium mixer bowl
4 dkg cocoa
4 dkg sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
Mix well.

Pour the vanilla batter into the prepared pan.
Pour the chocolate batter over the vanilla batter and swirl through with a knife.
Bake 45 minutes or until the cake’s centre springs back.
Cool 15 minutes.
Remove cakes from pans.


Place in a large bowl
1 pound good quality ground beef
1 pound pork hamburger
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon red sweet paprika
1 egg
1/4 Cup red wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
Mix well, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or more.
Roll into 1 inch thick, 2 inches long rolls.
Barbecue or fry.
Serve with Spanish onion slices and bread.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Folklorama: Bigos and Nalesniki


In 1980 Poland was represented by two pavilions, just like Hungary and a few other countries were.
During the current Folklorama a few countries have more than one pavilion, but they share the audience - one is set up in Week 1, the other in Week 2.
Back in 1980, all of Folklorama took place in the same week, so the pavilions from the same country were in competition for the same audience.

Ah… well… so it goes….

The Warsaw Pavilion at 1364 Main Street was sponsored by the Polish Combatants’ Association of Incorporated Branch 13.
No, it wasn’t a fight club, just a veterans' association.
Yes, this was the Polish Pavilion that almost got us arrested.

Their piece started with a Zapraszamy / Welcome and went on to say
You’ll meet people with an inexhaustible capacity for fun and enjoyment of the good things in life.

Visitors were invited to join in the dancing or just relax and be entertained by the national fold dance ensemble ‘Iskry’.
There were displays of artifacts, handicrafts in wood, pottery, hand-woven articles, costumes and photographs depicting the folklore and character of Poland. 
After browsing the displays one could sit down to a meal of beet soup, Hunters’ Stew (Bigos) and sausages, washed down with Zubrowka or the Polish beer, Zywieckie.
And that's just what we did!

The Krakow Pavilion, at 717 Manitoba Avenue wished everyone Witamy, which also means welcome, and was sponsored by the Polish Gymnastic Association Sokol No. 1.

There was crystal and amber from Poland and dolls dressed in costumes from different regions of Poland, in addition to artifacts, wood handicrafts, Polish-Canadian pioneer artifacts, pottery, and hand-woven articles.
The Polish Sokol Choir and Dancers performed while the visitors feasted on Galereta, Bigos, Pierogi, Golabki, Nalesniki, and a variety of salads, followed by homemade Polish pastries, pierniki, crusty tortes and cheesecakes.
There was an assortment of alcoholic drinks which had been imported from Poland: Wyborowa, Zobrowska, Wisniowka, Jarzebiak, Krupnik, and Cassis, in addition to Polish beer, Zywiec, as well as domestic beer and liquor, fruit punch and coffee.

In the current Folklorama50 brochure there’s only the Polish Pavilion and it’s being held in the second week in the RBC Convention Centre.
They wish everyone Witamy, entertainment includes the dance ensemble ‘Iskry’, and Bigos is on the menu.
I don’t know if they’ve combined forces or if one pavilion drew in a larger audience than the other one did.

Ah… well… so it goes….


The Bigos recipe started with:
All meat should be salted and broiled before cooking with sauerkraut or fresh cabbage.
If you use sauerkraut, drain the liquid and reserve one cup of it, then rinse the sauerkraut once with cold water.
Fresh cabbage must be shredded, salted and left for 30 to 60 minutes to crisp.

About the wine, I would imagine they used a dry red.
No, I don’t know how big the bottle was. Suit yourself.

They mentioned storing it in an earthenware bowl.
Maybe they just didn’t want it in anything metallic.
What with the meats in it, I would refrigerate leftovers.

They also said reheating this dish enhances its flavour.

The batter for the Nalesniki should be thin. If it’s thick, add more milk.
The recipe also suggested using a 9-inch teflon coated pan.


Place in a large kettle
2 quarts sauerkraut or 2 large heads cabbage, prepared as in hints.
2 Cups water
2 Cups tomato juice
Cook until just tender.

Place in a large pot
4 slices bacon, chopped
Fry until crisp, then remove and set aside.
Drain the fat until you have about 3 Tablespoons of fat in the pot.
1 onion, chopped finely
Fry until it turns golden.
Stir in
1 Tablespoon flour
! Cup of liquid from the sauerkraut
Add this roux to the sauerkraut, along with
4 pounds pork steak, which has been salted and broiled
1 pound Polish sausage, cooked
any left-over fowl or game
1 bay leaf
5 to 8 whole black pepper corns
1/2 bottle wine (optional)
Simmer for 20 minutes.
Taste and correct the seasonings.


Makes 10 pancakes

Batter for Pancakes

In a small bowl combine
1 Cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Place in a medium bowl
1 egg
Beat well and add
1 Cup milk
the flour mixture
Beat until lump free.
1/4 Cup oil
Fry the pancakes and set aside.

Cheese Filling

Place in a medium bowl
500 mL dry cottage cheese
1 egg
1/4 Cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix well until soft like butter.
Place a spoonful of cheese on the centre of a pancake and spread it out.
Tucking in the sides, roll the pancake and place in a buttered casserole dish.
Repeat with the other pancakes.
Dot with butter, cover and bake at 350º F oven for 1/2 hour.