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).

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