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Still The Local “Go-To” Group After 60 Years


They’re the group this north Interlake town regularly turns to when help is needed in the community. That’s because the Fisher Branch Women’s Institute, in place for over 60 years, never rested on its laurels after years ago successfully rallying to bring a hospital to this community.

This is an active group of about 40 women, some in their senior years, others young moms with kids and all tirelessly volunteering in their community.

Members say they’re not sure what’s contributed to their group’s resilience where other women’s clubs have declined, but it might have something to do with insisting they always remember to have fun even while they work hard.

One of this WI’s major fundraisers is a “Beer and Skits” night put on each autumn. All community

It was tough selecting just a few recipes from this cookbook, full of toothsome cakes and comfort-food dinners, plus many recipes reflecting the cultural diversity of the Interlake. Here are three, including two meals that should travel well out to the field this spring.


Put in bottom of casserole in layers as listed.

1 c. whole kernel corn

1-3/4 c. bread crumbs

soaked in 1/4 c. milk

1 egg

2 tbsp. chopped onions

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp. melted butter

2 c. unsifted

all-purpose flour

3/4 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 c. butter or margarine

5 pork chops, browned

and seasoned

1 qt. sliced potatoes,

piece of butter

More salt and pepper

1-1/2 c. milk

Bake in a 350 F oven for 1-1/2 hours.

1 lb. cooking apples

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

2 egg yolks

1 c. heavy cream

In medium bowl, combine flour, 2 tbsp. sugar, salt and baking powder. With pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Turn


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groups get involved to put on the show, which generates loads of belly laughs and a healthy chunk of change for local needs too. The group takes pride in seeing that all local funds raised are returned solely to local projects.

Long the go-to group here, this WI received some high-profile recognition back in 2001, when then culture, heritage and tourism minister Ron Lemieux presented them with a provincial Prix award in recognition of the tens of thousands of hours these volunteers annually log.

Some of that time went into putting a community cookbook together. A Fisher Branch WI member sent us a copy of their Spirit of 1970 cookbook compiled to celebrate the province’s own centennial and serve as a record of all the favourite local recipes around here.


1 tbsp. butter

2 onions, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic (whole)

1 lb. ground beef

1-1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

1-1/2 tsp. chili pepper

1 tin tomato soup

2 c. water

2 c. uncooked noodles

1-1/2 c. shredded

cheddar cheese

Melt butter in frying pan; add onions and garlic. Fry gently until onions are tender, not browned. Add beef and cook lightly. Stir in salt, pepper, chili powder, tomato soup and water. Cover and simmer 1/2 hour. Remove garlic. Drain beef if there is too much fat. Butter a two-quart casserole. Preheat oven to 325 F. Spread half of uncooked noodles in prepared casserole. Pour half the meat mixture, sprinkle with half the cheese. Repeat layering. Cover and bake for 35 minutes.

into 9-inch round layer cake pan. Pat firmly against bottom and side of pan. Preheat oven to 400 F. Wash, pare and core apples. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges; arrange in pastry-lined pan. Combine remaining sugar with cinnamon and nutmeg, sprinkle over apples. Bake 15 minutes. Beat egg yolks with cream; pour over apples. Bake 30 minutes longer, or until top is golden brown. Place pan on wire rack; let stand 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Yield 6 to 8 servings.


Manitoba Co-operator Recipe Swap

Box 1794, Carman, Man. R0G 0J0

or email

[email protected]


Here’s a recipe to keep around for fall when fresh garden carrots are in abundance.

1-1/2 lb. carrots (about

9 medium)

3 tbsp. butter

3/4 c. boiling water

1/2 tsp. salt

3 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tbsp. cornstarch

2 tsp. soy sauce

3 tbsp. vinegar

Scrub carrots and cut in quarters lengthwise. Sauté in melted butter for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Add water, salt and sugar. Cover and cook gently until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Combine cornstarch, soy sauce and vinegar. Add to carrots and continue to cook stirring gently until sauce thickens and becomes clear, about five minutes longer. Makes 6 servings.

Recipe swap


Patricia Futros of Lorette sent us some great baking recipes awhile back and we’ve been running them off and on this spring. Here’s another.

1/2 c. butter or margarine,


1 c. packed brown sugar

1 egg

1-3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 c. milk

1 c. dried cut-up

pitted prunes

1/2 chopped walnuts

Mix butter, sugar and egg. Measure flour by sifting. Blend flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Add to sugar mixture; blend in milk. Add prunes and walnuts, mixing well. Chill 1 hour. Heat oven to 400 F. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

We love hearing from readers and receiving your favourite recipes and recipe requests. If you’d like to contact us:

Manitoba Co-operator Recipe Swap Box 1794 Carman, Man. R0G 0J0

or email: [email protected]



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