Tuesday, February 12, 2013
This of course gets me to thinking did any of my English ancestors ever participate in pancake races as active participants or did they go and watch and cheer? According to the Redditch Advertiser website, Alcester has only been hosting this event for about a half century, so it would not be in that community if they ever were part of one of these races.
Growing up, we would often have pancakes for supper on Pancake Tuesday. Back in the 1980s, our youth church group hosted a pancake supper and my father pitched in to help in the kitchen. For quite a few years at Knox the Sunday School hosted a pancake brunch after church. I haven't decided yet whether pancakes will be on the menu for my supper today.
Will be pancakes be on your menu today?
© 2013 Janet Iles
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Did your family have any traditional dishes for the holidays? Was there one dish that you thought was unusual?
I do not remember any unusual dishes at our home. Some years we did not have the big turkey dinner meal on Christmas Day. Instead we had it on Boxing Day (26th). Meals were kept simpler on Christmas Day. The Christmas season was a very busy one as my parents had first a corner store and then a supermarket. In my teen years, the supermarket was open to 10 p.m. and Christmas Eve was a hectic work day so we kept Christmas Day as simple as possible.
My mom often made different Christmas fare for the bake sale at the church bazaar. Extras were made to enjoy at home.
The traditional Christmas meal would be turkey with stuffing, potatoes and turnip. Although, we loved our Christmas pudding, it was often saved to another lighter meal. Sometimes, we would have our first course and then have a break, clean up and then when we had had a chance to digest the first course, those of us who loved the Christmas pudding and the very yummy sauce would sit back down at the table.
When my nephews and niece were young, we had a birthday cake for Jesus to remind us all of the reason we were celebrating Christmas.
The photo was taken in 1980. David, grandma Passmore and his cousin Adam pose for a photo with the birthday cake for Jesus.
© 2009 Janet Iles
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
My mom had a number of recipe books. -- Special is the one with the handwritten notes by her sister. She had church cookbooks, sold as fundraisers. Several she received as hostess gifts when we had billets stay during conferences. When our church put together cookbooks from favourite recipes submitted by the women of the church, my mom would have hers included. I can't find the one that was well used.
I did find one with just recipes for soups 'n stews. She submitted "Pumpkin Soup" and one called "Supper Soup" that featured Italian sweet sausage. In a tiny booklet with just cookie recipes, hers was called "Secrets"
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter
4 Tbsp coconut
pinch of salt
34 arrowroot cookies
24 coloured miniature marshmallows
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup red & green cherries
Mix together sugar, eggs, butter, coconut and salt. Cook until thick, then cool. Crush arrowroot cookies. Mix with marshmallows, nuts, cherries and add to cooled mixture. Put in greased 8 x 8 pan and refrigerate.
When you look at cookbooks from your own church and/or community, the names bring back memories of the person who provided their favourites.
In the collection are several from the local Salvation Army, some from Manitoulin Island, Shallow Lake, Waterloo, etc.
She also cut out recipes from magazines and gathered them together in binders.
Roast beef or pork were served on alternating Saturdays when I grew up. In the latter years, mom had a number of delicious ways to serve chicken and fish.
Mom regularly served the hot meal at noon. When I was working, even if she had been down at the church in the morning, she'd be home in time to get a meal ready. As I got out of the car, I would often hear the beep, beep of the microwave as something was given the last minute warm up.
My nephews and niece enjoyed my mom's cooking too. As they left the table, you would always hear, "Thanks Grandma."
Do I ever miss my mom and her cooking!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I told about some of our favourite foods when I was growing up. I have remembered a couple of other dishes that I didn't mention. These could be classified as comfort foods.
Creamed Salmon on Toast
It is years since I had it. I am sure my mother made a white sauce for it. It is a great family meal especially if you can buy canned salmon at a good price. If you don't wish to make a white sauce, use mushroom soup or comparable straight from the can.
Macaroni and Cheese
The way my mother made it is so easy. My brother says that I can almost make it as good as my mother did.
I do not know exact quantities. I never judge correctly. I usually cook too much macaroni.
Boil water with a little bit of salt. Cook macaroni (about 8 minutes). Drain.
While the macaroni is cooking, grate old cheddar cheese. If you can't be bothered with that just buy grated cheese, but honestly, I don't think it is as good. Grate lots so that you can have enough for about 3 layers of cheese.
Put the following in the greased casserole dish.
A layer of macaroni and then a layer of cheese. Alternate until the dish is almost full with a good layer of cheese on top.
Pour enough milk over the layers until it is almost to the top of the casserole dish. The milk will trickle down between the macaroni.
If your family likes tomatoes, put some drained canned tomatoes on top.
The oven should be pre-heated to about 325 to 350 degrees F.
Bake about an hour. You want the cheese to form a crust.
[As you can tell, there isn't a written recipe for this. I checked my mother's recipe book and it is not there. You make the size you need for your family, or the size of dish you are using.]
Friday, February 6, 2009
Maple syrup - My mother grew up on a farm that made maple syrup and my cousins still live on the family farm. The last time I heard they were still producing maple syrup every spring. My mother served maple syrup with home made tea biscuits. I don't buy maple syrup but my brother loves maple syrup; so much so that he asks visitors from Canada to bring maple syrup when they go to visit him.
Pea Soup - When I had the French club at the library, I made them home made pea soup. I haven't had it in many years.
Saturday at noon was our day to have the "big meal" of the week. This was usually a roast generally alternating between beef and pork. This was a great meal to have on Saturdays. Mom could put it in the oven to cook while she worked on the payroll for the supermarket staff. It was easy to keep warm if dad didn't get home right at noon for the dinner.
Saturday's supper traditionally was Slop. Both my sister and I still like to make it.
Sunday evening supper meal was often served on TV tables. The menu could be sloppy joes, hamburgers, or TV dinners. In the summer, of course, it would be barbecues at the cottage. When my mother was growing up, you didn't cook on Sundays. I don't remember my dad commenting on this, but I am sure that was true for them too. The food was prepared the day ahead and reheated on Sunday for serving. I remember my great aunts continued this practice in their latter years.
I still love leftovers. Now, leftovers are often popped into the microwave; in the past, you'd fry them up with leftover bacon grease. Now I am more likely to use a little oil or oil spray. One favourite was fried up mash potatoes and turnip (really rutabagas but we always called them turnips). My English cousin introduced us to bubble and squeak (potatoes and cabbage). I like that too but I don't think we ever had it except when he was here to visit.
This was written for the 3rd edition of the Carnival of Canadian Genealogy.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Well, when I saw the topic, I thought, I can't think of any words that our family uses that would be unique or that I might have to explain what it meant. Then I read Jasia's posting about gook.
We don't have gook; we have "slop".
If you check the definition of slop in a dictionary, you get a variety of possibilities but none come close to defining what "slop" is in our family. I actually ate "slop" when I visited my sister on the weekend.
So what is "slop" in the Iles household? In reality, it is a tuna noodle casserole. If we serve it for company, we'd call it a tuna noodle casserole but for family it is "slop".
How and when did it get its name? I believe it was my dad who gave it the name when I was in high school and it was my task to make supper on Saturday evenings. I must have done it regularly. When I was shopping at our supermarket for groceries, my dad would ask "Are we having slop for supper?" "Yes," I would reply. It was great meal to prepare when everyone did not necessarily have the same supper hour depending on their work schedule.
Now the recipe. -- Well, it can vary according to what you have on hand. You can cook it all on the stove top or put it in the oven if you want to make it look good for company.
The basic ingredients are canned tuna, egg noodles, grated cheddar cheese, milk, can of mushroom soup, salt, pepper and canned tomatoes. You could throw in some vegetables but we didn't do that for family.
Prepare egg noodles according to the directions. If you want leftovers, do a larger quantity. Drain water.
Now - stove top, just put all the other ingredients in and stir. Unless you are doing a large quantity, 1 can of tuna and 1 can of mushroom soup will do. If you are doing a larger amount put in 2 cans of tuna and 2 cans of mushroom soup. Put in the grated cheese and a small quantity of milk to make it creamy and as sloppy as you want. Add some canned tomatoes. Stir often so that it doesn't stick to the pot. Reduce heat when it is hot through.
If company is coming or you are taking it do a potluck supper then I cook it the oven. Put ingredients in the casserole dish in layers with some grated cheese and tomatoes on the top. Put in a 350 degree oven for about a half hour or so. Reduce the heat if you have to keep it warm.
You can serve it with a salad if you want.
Yummy! I still love it.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
What food should we bring? cold baked beans, potato salad (no onions in it please), salmon sandwiches, tomatoes. I honestly can't remember the food that we ate at some of the picnics that I have attended. Today when I attend a function, I take my pistachio salad. I have a thermos style bowl with a lid to keep the salad cold.
Pistachio Salad (can be doubled)
1 package of pistachio jello pudding
1 container of cool whip or equivalent
1 can of pineapple chunks or crushed pineapple with the juice.
The day before the event, put the cool whip in the refrigerator so that it softens.
Mix all the ingredients together. Put it in the thermos container and leave it in the refrigerator until it is time to leave. Put in a container to keep cold until it is time to eat. [If I am making this for a gathering at home, it goes in a glass bowl. To fancy it up, I add fruit salad without the juice and small coloured marshmallows.]
When I checked our family photograph albums, I found photos of family picnics with my mother's side of the family up on the Manitoulin Island. I am quite young in the photos so I don't remember them at all. I imagine the picnics were quite informal with my older cousins watching the younger ones.
Love family picnic 1955 at Lake Mindemoya, photo in possession of Janet IlesWe went to Sunday School picnics when I was a child. This were held on Wednesday afternoons if I recall. There would be races and prizes for each age group. Now we have church family gatherings with barbecued hot dogs and hamburgers. The last couple of years we have gone to Storybook Park. That is fun for everyone young and old.
My dad's side of the family have had a number of reunions (descendants of my great-grandfather). The last one was in 1994. Several times, we had potluck and I can remember the food being tasty. Many years we had the meal catered to so that family members could visit and not have to spend time in the kitchen cleaning up.
A favourite event of these reunions would be the entertainment by the Iles family band. Many of the Iles relations play a musical instrument. I was never part of this band. A couple of times, the band performed for the public at Sauble Beach.
Iles family band 1981 or 1982 at Sauble Beach, Ontario photo in the possession of Janet Iles
We also have a magician in the family. Young and old enjoy watching the tricks.
Magician Jack Fearnall, watched by David Iles and Adam Duffy. 1980 at Sauble Beach Community Centre, photo in possession of Janet Iles
At one family reunion, each of the senior members introduced their children, who then introduced their children. It was fun to make the connections.
It never really mattered at the reunions or family gatherings what we did or what we ate, what made it special was being together.