Heritage cooking

Canada is a melting pot of many cultures. Consider it a privilege to pay homage to your ancestry by whipping up a traditional family recipe for your whole family to enjoy.

Homestead pudding

For an authentic taste of heritage cooking, take a step back in time with these three recipes.

Grandma’s homestead pudding

Serves six

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • heavy cream or ice cream for serving

Directions:

For the sauce:
  1. Combine the water, brown sugar, vanilla and dissolved cornstarch in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and pour into a large loaf pan. Set aside.

For the batter:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring three cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the raisins.
  3. Let sit for 10 minutes or until the raisins are plump. Drain and discard the water and set the raisins aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, cream the white sugar and butter until smooth.
  5. Beat in the egg and milk.
  6. In a small bowl, blend the flour and baking powder; then, stir into the butter mixture.
  7. Add the raisins and mix well.
  8. Pour the batter evenly over the brown-sugar sauce in the loaf pan.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  10. Serve with cream or ice cream, if desired.

Farm-fried chicken

Serves four

Ingredients:

  • 1 fryer chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 to 2 cups flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • canola or other vegetable oil, as needed

Directions:

  1. Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry.
  2. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper.
  3. Place them in a single layer in a pan.
  4. Sprinkle the flour on the chicken and toss to coat.
  5. Pour 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of oil in a large frying pan.
  6. Heat the oil over medium to high heat until a temperature of approximately 365 degrees F is reached.
  7. Add the chicken and fry until browned and cooked thoroughly, 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Place on paper towels to drain.

Creamy fresh vegetables

Serves four

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups cubed potatoes
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup peas
  • 3/4 cup sliced carrots
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Fill a large saucepan half full of water; bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add the vegetables, reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are fork-tender.
  3. Remove from the heat and drain. Set aside.
  4. In the saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the flour to make a thick paste.
  5. Whisk in the milk until smooth.
  6. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the sauce thickens.
  7. Add the pre-cooked vegetables and continue to cook for approximately two more minutes.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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