If you’re sorry summer is over, don’t be. Fall in Manitoba is a demanding time, but it’s also pure pleasure, with its dusky sunsets and crisp colours, and lots going on in our communities.
This past Sunday was the third annual Open Farm Day, with 51 host farms welcoming visitors. This year’s event also featured four special “Grazing in the Field” suppers, held at Asessippi, Woodlands, Steinbach and Lower Fort Garry.
Tickets were disappointingly sold out by the time I started planning to go to one. But every seat filled is an encouraging sign of Open Farm Day’s increasing popularity, with more Manitobans venturing out where all too few seldom go — a farm specifically, and rural Manitoba generally.
There’s another reason to venture outside the Perimeter this time of year, which you might want to call Open-the-Belt-a Notch-or-two Month. We’re already well into fall supper season, with halls and church basements packed with people tucking into steaming plates of turkey or beef or both, small mountains of mashed potatoes and veggies, airy homemade buns, jiggly jellied salads, and, gravy over everything, yes please! If there’s room afterwards, we waddle back to the buffet for a piece of pie or slice. I’ve noticed if you go to the same supper year after year, you start to know who bakes and brings what, and, of course, you hope they’ll never, ever stop.
You’ll find an online map at www.kinasevych.ca for locating as many fall suppers as you could ever hope to eat. The site is maintained by Red River College faculty member Orest Kinasevych and lists supper dates, times, locations and phone numbers, plus Orest’s, “I can’t guarantee any of it,” disclaimer. So call ahead to be sure. You might want to post your group’s meal date on the site too. There can never be too many fall suppers.
Pork and Sweet Potato Stew
- 2 lbs. Canadian pork leg or loin, cut into cubes 1 tbsp. vegetable oil2 onions, chopped2 stalks celery, sliced3 c. chicken broth2 tsp. dried thyme leaves1 tsp. grated lemon rind1 tbsp. lemon juice1/4 c. all-purpose flour1/4 c. cold water2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed2 c. frozen green beans
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Trim off any visible fat from pork, then brown pork cubes in batches. Add onions, celery, broth, thyme, lemon rind and juice. Cover and simmer one hour or until meat is tender. Whisk together flour and water; add to meat mixture along with sweet potatoes and green beans. Increase heat and boil gently about 20-30 more minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender and liquid has thickened.
Yield: Serves 8Preparation Time: 15 minutesCooking Time: 80 – 90 minutes
Source: Pork Marketing Canadawww.putporkonyourfork.com
Honey Mustard Roasted Potatoes
- 4 large baking potatoes (about 2 pounds)1/2 c. Dijon mustard1/4 c. Bee Maid liquid honey1/2 tsp. crushed dried thyme leavesSalt and pepper to taste
Peel potatoes and cut each into six to eight pieces. Cover potatoes with salted water in large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook potatoes 12 to 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain. Combine mustard, Bee Maid liquid honey, and thyme in small bowl. Toss potatoes with honey-thyme mustard in large bowl until evenly coated. Arrange potatoes on foil-lined baking sheet coated with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes or until potatoes begin to brown around edges. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.
Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich Cookies
This is a winning recipe from the Ontario Home Ec Association’s Canola Cookie Contest in 2012.
- To make the cookies:2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour 1 tsp. baking soda 2/3 c. canola oil1/3 c. canola margarine 1 c. brown sugar 1 c. white sugar 2 eggs1-1/2 c. peanut butter 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a large bowl, mix flour and baking soda and set aside. In mixing bowl, cream canola oil and margarine together slowly. Added sugars and eggs. Combine well. Add peanut butter and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Slowly add flour and baking soda mixture. Mix until smooth. Drop tbsp.-sized balls of cookie dough on to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently press down on the cookie dough balls with a fork, making a crisscross pattern on top. Bake cookies for 12 minutes or until done. Remove to a cooling rack.
- To make the banana frosting:1 banana mashed1 tsp. vanilla 1/2 c. cream cheese5 c. icing sugar
Mash a banana with fork and place in an electric mixing bowl along with vanilla extract. Place 1/2 cup of room temperature cream cheese in the mixing bowl and blend with banana until fully combined. Slowly add icing sugar one cup at a time until smooth, thick texture is achieved. Once cookies have cooled, assemble sandwiches with a generous dollop of banana frosting in between two cookies.
Yield: 20 cookie sandwiches