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May 1 Is Crocus Festival In Arden, Manitoba


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All towns are proud of their heritage and regularly preserve it in neatly kept museums. The tiny town of Arden, east of Neepawa has taken preservation a step further, by highlighting the natural heritage around them too.

This is Crocus Capital of Manitoba, so named for the appearance of thousands of natural crocuses each spring in the Rural Municipality of Landsdowne.

Large tracts of land remain intact in parts of this southwestern Manitoba municipality due to poorer-quality soil, so residents here regularly see a sight that was once common across the Prairies.

They mark the appearance of Manitoba’s official flower each spring with a festival too, held each May 1 and dedicated to the crocus.

This weekend is the 10th year of the festival, with family-fun activities running all day, plus awards presented to the best crocus photos submitted from Manitoba photographers. The photo entries will line the walls of the local hall this Saturday afternoon and prizes awarded in the evening. Local quilters, meanwhile, have made


The presence of this perfect-with-roast-beef recipe in Landsdowne’s cookbook is a hint to the origins of many of the fine folk in this western Manitoba municipality.

1 c. milk

2 eggs

1 c. flour

1/4 tsp. salt

Mix salt, beaten eggs and then milk. Put oil or roast drippings in an 8 x 8 pan (or two loaf pans). Heat in oven. Add mixture. Cook in 450 F for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Cut in squares. Excellent with roast and gravy.


Made with buttermilk, these biscuits are perfect to serve with the hearty soup at right. This recipe comes from Beryl Parrot of Franklin who notes it came out of The Bride’s Choice Cookbook.

2 c. flour

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

1-1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tbsp. sugar

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 c. margarine

1 c. buttermilk

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, sugar, soda and salt. Cut in margarine until mixture is crumbly, as in pie crust. Add buttermilk, mix together, turn out onto a flour surface. Adding flour to keep from sticking, knead four times until smooth. Pat or gently roll into 3/4-inch thickness. With a sharp knife cut into nine pieces or 3-inch circles. Place on unbuttered cookie sheet. Bake at 425 F for eight minutes or until brown.

Here’s a recipe that takes minimal preparation and can cook while you’re busy with other things. It’s called “barbecue style” but it’s prepared by simmering on the stovetop or cooked in a 325 F oven until tender.

4-lb. (2-kg) beef pot roast

(e. g. blade, cross rib or

top blade)

1 envelope/pouch

onion soup mix

1. Brown roast on all sides in lightly oiled Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine soup mix, onions, barbecue sauce, beer and 1/2 cup (125 ml) water. Pour over roast.

2.Simmer, covered, onstovetoporin325F oven until fork-tender, about 3 hours. (Note: Oven is best for maintaining a simmer.)

Hungarian flavours, lots of vegetables and seasonings make this main course beef hamburger soup an interesting departure from traditional hamburger soup recipes. You can use almost any mix of vegetables you want, even frozen if you like. and embroidered with crocus a special quilt to be raffled off at the festival.

Last spring to mark the 125th anniversary of the R. M. of Landsdowne, residents here put together a community cookbook containing over 600 recipes submitted by area families. The cover photo is of Landsdowne’s brick municipal office, built in 1904 when bricks were manufactured locally.

Sales of about 1,000 cookbooks printed helped foot expenses for their three-day celebrations last summer.

“We’re just a typical rural Manitoba town, supporting the rural way of life,” wrote Joan Popke, who helped put the cookbook together and serves on the heritage committee hosting the festival.

If you’d like to take in Arden’s May 1 events, the fun starts at 10:30 a. m. with a pancake breakfast, then activities all day including entertainment starting at 3 p. m. with the Celtic band Swamp Gas and Abe Enns singing “Crocus song.”

Photo contest winners will be announced at 6 p. m. Dinner is at 5 p. m.

1 lb. extra lean ground beef

sirloin, round or extra lean/

lean ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 EACH carrot and celery

stalk, thinly sliced

8 oz. sliced mushrooms

2 tbsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. caraway seed

1/4 tsp. chili pepper flakes


3 onions, sliced

1 c. barbecue sauce

1 bottle (341 ml) beer

1-1/4 tsp. each salt

and pepper

1. Cook beef, onion, garlic, carrot, celery, mushrooms, paprika, caraway seed and chili pepper flakes in Dutch oven over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until meat is thoroughly cooked and any liquid has evaporated. Drain if desired.


1 potato, scrubbed

and cut into chunks

1 pkg. (900 ml)

sodium-reduced chicken

or beef broth

1/4 c. chopped

fresh parsley

2 tbsp. EACH tomato paste

and sodium-reduced

soy sauce

1/2 c. frozen peas



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3. Remove roast from pot and keep warm. Skim fat from sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve beef as slices with sauce.

Cook’s Notes: When slicing onions for stew and pot roast recipes, cut them lengthwise from stem to root to best preserve their shape during cooking.

Make-Ahead Plan

To enjoy as a speedy weeknight dinner recipe, use the Make-Ahead Plan. Make-Ahead Plan: Cook beef pot roast and refrigerate overnight in the sauce it was cooked in. Next day, skim any fat from sauce and thinly slice roast crosswise; place slices of meat in an ovenproof casserole. Heat sauce and pour over meat. Cover with foil or casserole lid; heat in 350 F (180 C) oven for about 25 minutes.

2. Add potato, broth, parsley, tomato paste and soy sauce; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Add peas; simmer for 5 minutes.



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