My Earliest Memory of Canadian Food
Regional Canadian Food - SW Saskatchewan
These are the links to my previous challenges. My first memory...home made bread. Regional food...flat pie.
And the winner is.....
This month we are highlighting a local food hero. I live in Swift Current, SK. We are almost in the Middle of Nowhere. I say almost because if you drive an hour south you are really in the middle of nowhere. We are 5 hours to Calgary, 3 hours to Saskatoon or 2.5 hours to Regina. South, we are 5 hours to Great Falls, Montana which only has a population of 58,000. In fact there isn't a city in Montana with more than 104,000 people.
One would imagine that our choices for a local food hero might be limited. Not so.
I could talk about Farmer Bill. That is what I call him. Bill purchased an acreage formerly owned by Adolf Heyer. This is an exerpt from the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame.
"Adolph Heyer received international acclaim for his work in developing hardy tree fruits. Many of his selections are still being grown on the Prairies. He was born in Lunner, Norway, in 1875 and moved to the United States in 1904. In 1905, he took out a homestead near Neville, Saskatchewan.
Distressed by the lack of trees in the area, he first tried unsuccessfully to transplant young trees from nearby coulees. He obtained his first seedling spruce from Woodstock, Ontario, in 1913 and they thrived. He became so enthused with spruce that by 1918 he had thousands of them. He also planted acres of peonies. These provided a splash of color on what was formerly open prairie."
Bill has continued in Adolf's steps and has a completely organic farm with a multitude of herbs, berries, vegetables, Adolf's apple trees and chickens, turkeys and laying hens.
Or I could introduce you to Val and Bob Newland who raise Black Welsh and other heritage breeds of sheep, practice ethical farming and honour the animal until the end.
I could introduce you to Ron DePauw. He has been the principal wheat breeder at the Semiarid Prairie Research Centre near Swift Current, SK. This is an excerpt from The University of Saskatchewan when he was awarded an Honourary Doctor of Science in 2012.
"Dr. DePauw, a Saskatchewan native, is an outstanding citizen of the province, of Canada and the world. His contributions to the wheat industry of Canada are unparalleled. He has developed over 50 varieties for several classes of spring wheat for Canada. Because of the demanding requirements for quality in Canadian wheats, this is one of the most difficult crops to breed. His varieties have been extremely well received by prairie farmers, typically occupying more than 50 per cent of the seeded acreage. The incremental value of these contributions is estimated to be well over one billion dollars."
This is a delicious rustic pie using red fife flour.
This French classic is much easier than making traditional pastry. Take it from stovetop to table.
5-6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced
rind and juice of one lemon
1/2 c. sugar 125 mL
1 c. sugar 250 mL
6 tbsp. butter 90 mL
1/2 tsp. cinnamon 3 mL
1 tbsp. cognac or brandy, optional 15 mL
whipped cream, ice cream and sliced almonds as accompaniments
Mix apples with lemon and 1/2 c. (125 mL) sugar. Let sit for 20 minutes. Drain liquid.
Preheat oven to 425F (230C)
Heat 1 c. (250 mL) sugar and butter in a cast iron skillet until brown and medium caramel in colour. Remove from heat and add the drained apple to the caramel. Cook at medium high heat for about 10 minutes, basting with juices. Cover and cook another 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Roll pastry into a circle. Place crust on top, tucking in the sides. Cut slits to let steam out.
Cook 20 -30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let cool about an hour before serving with whipped cream or ice cream and sliced almonds.
3/4 c. all purpose flour 190 mL
1/3 c. red fife flour 80 mL
1/2 tsp. salt 3 mL
1 tbsp. sugar 15 mL
1/2 c. cold butter, cut into small pieces 125 mL
2 tbsp. frozen lard, cut into small pieces 30 mL
1/4 c. cold water 60 mL
Add dry ingredients to food processor and pulse to blend. Add butter and lard and pulse a few times until it is still a little chunky but not as fine as cornmeal. Gradually add water while pulsing just until the dough comes together. Remove to a floured counter top and gently knead 1 or 2 times. Form into a flattened disk and chill for an hour. Then roll into a circle and top the apples.
Makes 8 servings.