Column’s 25th anniversary remembered with recipes

It has been 25 years since TEAM Resources pulled up to the writer’s desk for this column.

Myself, Alma Copeland and Betty Ann Deobald had attended the Canadian Home Economics conference in Saskatoon in 1992 and came away driven to find a way to share information with families and individuals on everyday essentials like food, finance, consumer law and wellness.

After all, happy and healthy homes give way to individuals, who effectively contribute to society. Getting information to people right in their homes was a great place to start.

Remember at that time, there was no Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. Most people didn’t even have cellphones. It was the age of books, magazines, radio, television, pamphlets and fax machines.

Contacting Barb Sanderson was our next step and together we decided to attempt writing a consumer, familyfocused column.

We were all University of Saskatchewan College of Home Economics graduates, we were all involved in farming and each of us were making our way through different stages of life.

Our meetings often would go off-track as we advised each other on certain predicaments we got ourselves into.

The name TEAM Resources represents many of the resources all individuals and families have — time, talents, energy, attitudes and money.

Writing a “How Do You Manage?” column for the local Rosetown Eagle newspaper was the beginning and in 1996, we received a contract with The Western Producer to take over the long running and well known Emmie Oddie’s “I’d like to Know” column.

Following in the footsteps of Emmie was no easy challenge, so we decided to stay with her casual, chatty approach for the readers, as though we were sitting across the kitchen table from you having a coffee.

The rest is history. In 2013, we welcomed Sarah Galvin, a fellow home economist who lives in Swift Current, Sask., to join our group as Barb and Alma decided to slide back from the desk.

We have enjoyed our interactions with our readers over the years and hopefully we have made an impact on our readers’ lives.

We still love getting together when possible, although in-person meetings are not essential anymore with virtual technology.

Over the years, some things stayed the same. We still want you to follow the basic necessities of life and hydrate, which means drink water often. We still want you to eat your greens and choose basic and nutritious ingredients, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy sources of protein. The focus is for you to enjoy your food and fuel your body efficiently.

Some things are so different. We never talked about supplements in the beginning and now we want readers to consider asking their health-care providers about vitamins they should take for prevention. We did not used to talk about gut health and now every food journal mentions the word “microbiome” and fermented foods. Today, we add nuts, seeds (like flax and hemp) and pulses to recipes as a source of plant protein and zinc for wellness. We have come out of the age of antibacterial soaps and have gone back to good old soap and water, nothing fancy, with washing often being the key.

I have enjoyed digging out my file that contains 25 years of recipes. Some recipes stand out because of our taste memory and because the recipe is tattered and stained.

I wanted to put these favourites in one column for you.

Saucy meatballs

This recipe is one that was adapted from my childhood. It was the first main course that I shared with our readers. Still so tasty, and uses up leftover rice. You can serve these meatballs with a green salad on the side, mashed potatoes or rice.

  • 1 lb. hamburger 500 g
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 c. cooked rice 375 mL
  • 3 or 4 crackers, rolled until crumbs

Season to taste, I like salt, pepper and seasoning salt.

Prepare a baking dish.

In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Shape into balls (about one inch) and place in the baking dish.

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).

Sauce:

  • 1 c. water 250 mL
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar 125 mL
  • 1 c. ketchup 250 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. mustard 1 mL
  • 1/4 c. vinegar 60 mL

In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, ketchup, mustard and vinegar over medium heat until warm, but not bubbling. Then pour over the meatballs. Bake for one hour. Serves six.

Note: use this sauce over precooked burgers for moisture and flavour. For many birthday parties, we grilled burgers ahead of time and kept them warm in a slow cooker with the above sauce until it was time to eat. Add a fresh bun and a pickle to complete the plate.

Chicken noodle soup

Chicken soup is the ultimate comfort food. We have put this soup together and added vegetables and pulses to make it so satisfying.

  • 2 tbsp. oil 30 mL
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1 small yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1/2 c. chopped fresh or dried mushrooms 125 mL
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or 1 tsp. garlic powder 5 mL
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley, finely chopped 60 mL
  • dash cumin
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce 30 mL
  • splash white wine (optional)
  • 4 c. chicken broth, either from bone broth or prepared (I like using McCormick cubes) 1 L
  • 1 c. chopped chicken, cooked 250 mL
  • 1 c. dry egg noodles 250 mL
  • 1/2 c. cooked pulses, either lentils or chickpeas 125 mL
  • 1 thinly sliced green onion
  • seasoning salt, salt and pepper to personal taste

Put the oil into a stockpot and heat over medium heat. When heated, add the vegetables, parsley, garlic, dash of cumin, soy sauce, and wine if desired. Sauté them for a few minutes, until their colours intensify.

Now add the chicken broth and bring it to a simmer. Add the chicken, noodles and pulses. Continue cooking until the noodles are tender. Stir in the green onion, seasoning salt, salt and pepper. Serves six.

Hot fudge cake

I think this is our favorite recipe. I have had to replace the recipe card many times. Who can resist creamy warm chocolate?

  • 1 c. flour 250 mL
  • 3/4 c. sugar 175 mL
  • 6 tbsp. baking cocoa, divided 90 mL
  • 2 tsp. baking powder 10 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 1 mL
  • 1/2 c. milk 125 mL
  • 2 tbsp. oil 30 mL
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 5 mL
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar 250 mL
  • 1 3/4 c. hot water 425 mL
  • ice cream or whipped cream (preference is Breyer’s Natural Vanilla)

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, two tbsp. cocoa, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk milk, oil and vanilla until blended. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened.

Pour into an ungreased nine-inch-square baking pan or similar-sized baking dish. In another small bowl, mix brown sugar and remaining cocoa; sprinkle over batter. Pour hot water over all; do not stir.

Bake 35-40 minutes. Serve warm and top with ice cream. Serves six.

Fruit crisp

This recipe has transformed from many sources. Originally, I printed Grandma Jake’s Apple Crisp, and then we made a few changes.

It is quick to put together and uses many varieties of fruit that may be in season or on sale in the frozen section. In winter, I love frozen wild blueberries (it will say wild on the label), since wild contain more antioxidants than the regular blueberries, which are also a nutrient powerhouse.

Topping:

  • 1/2 c. flour 125 mL
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar 125 mL
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 5 mL
  • 1/2 c. cold butter, cubed into small pieces 125 mL
  • 1/2 c. rolled oats 125 mL

For the filling:

  • 5 c. fruit of your choice (fresh apples, frozen blueberries) 1.25 L
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar 60 mL
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour 60 mL
  • squeeze fresh lemon

Preheat oven to 350 F (180). Prepare a nine-inch-round pie plate or similar-sized baking dish.

Mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add in the cold pieces of butter and cut into the mixture with a pastry cutter (or two forks) until there are crumbles. Stir in the rolled oats and set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, add the fruit, sugar, squeeze of fresh lemon and flour and mix until all coated. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie plate and spread it around into one even layer. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool. Serves six.

Note: adjust sugar amounts for the fruit you are using. Some are much sweeter than others.

Banana bread

This sweet bread was used as a breakfast on the go or a snack after school or at coffee time. Baking banana bread during the pandemic proves that traditional recipes are timeless, and still provide comfort and entertainment.

  • 1 1/4 c. sugar 300 mL
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened 125 mL
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. mashed very ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium) 375 mL
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk (to make buttermilk from regular, simply add in a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice) 125 mL
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 5 mL
  • 2 1/2 c. flour (preferably unbleached) 625 mL
  • 1 tsp. baking soda 5 mL
  • 1 tsp. salt 5 mL
  • 1 c. chopped nuts, like walnuts or pecans, (optional) 250 mL

Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in centre of oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Prepare two loaf pans, 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches, or one loaf pan, 9 x 5 x 3 inches.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar and the butter. Stir in the eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Mix in the flour, baking soda and salt just until moistened. Fold in nuts if desired. Pour into pans.

Bake eight-inch loaves about one hour; nine-inch loaf about 1 1/4 hours, or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes.

Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack.

Cool completely, about two hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to four days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Flax oatmeal cookies

This flax cookie has saved us when needing a breakfast or snack on the go. Add some fresh berries or an apple; done.

  • 1 c. butter, softened 250 mL
  • 1 c. brown sugar, packed 250 mL
  • 1/2 c. white sugar 125 mL
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 5 mL
  • 2 c. flour 500 mL
  • 1 c. oatmeal 250 mL
  • 1/2 c. ground flax seed 125 mL
  • 1 tsp. each baking soda and powder 5 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 1 mL
  • dash cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped nuts such as walnuts, or pecans 375 mL
  • 1 c. chocolate chips 250 mL

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).

Cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, oatmeal, ground flaxseed, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add to the creamed mixture until just blended.

Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips. Form into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Yields about two dozen cookies.

Source: adapted from the Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission.

Berry jelly soda

This is my most memorable recipe. Always wanting to do fun things when the kids were small, I definitely got some laughs with this combination. They still talk about it.

  • 2 pkg. strawberry gelatin (4 serving size)
  • 1 c. sliced fresh strawberries 250 mL
  • 3/4 c. fresh raspberries 175 mL
  • 3/4 c. fresh blueberries 175 mL

Prepare gelatin according to package directions. Refrigerate until partially set, about two hours. Stir in berries. Pour into glasses and insert a straw into each. Refrigerate until set. Source: Quick Cooking.

Jodie Mirosovsky is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact: team@producer.com.

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