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Vidir Cookbook

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Published by the Vidir Ladies Aid cookbook in 1962. A second printing in 1982.

On a July afternoon last summer, members of the Vidir Ladies Aid came together for a very special celebration: the 95th year of their organization. It formed in 1914 as an Icelandicspeaking church women’s group in this tiny community just west of Arborg.

The 10 women marking the anniversary spent an afternoon enjoying old photos and reminiscing about the many events and fundraisers they’d held over the years – concerts and dances, bake sales and raffles. The events not only offered homegrown entertainment for their community, but raised substantial cash too. The Vidir Ladies Aid is credited with furnishing the Vidir hall kitchen with its appliances and dishes. They ensured that the cemeteries of Vidir, Bjarmi,

No Icelandic cookbook is complete without at least one recipe for Vinarterta, a sweet, elegant cake layered with prune filling. This is Thruda Floyd’s recipe. Thruda’s involvement with the Vidir Ladies Aid spanned 65 years. She was the same age as the organization when it marked its anniversary last summer.

1 c. butter

1-1/2 c. granulated

sugar

2 eggs

2 tbsp. cream

2 tbsp. milk

Cream butter well. Add sugar gradually, then add the eggs, one at a time. Beat hard after each addition. Add flavouring, cream and milk. Add sifted flour gradually with baking powder and salt. Work in the flour as much as possible. Turn out onto a pastry board. Roll thin and bake in a rather quick oven.* Makes about six layers 8-1/2 inches in diameter.

*Heat oven to 375F. Bake for approximately six to eight minutes.

Here are three recipes found in the 111-page Vidir Ladies Aid cookbook published in 1962.

To make the prune filling:

1-1/2 lbs. prunes

1 c. granulated sugar

1 tbsp. cinnamon

1 tbsp. vanilla

1 c. cooked fish

1 c. mashed potatoes

1 egg, beaten

Salt and pepper to taste

1-1/2 tsp. baking

powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. almond

flavouring

About 4 c. flour

FISH BALLS

Recipe by Helga Finnson

Mix ingredients and beat until fluffy. Form into balls or cakes. Roll in fine bread crumbs and fry in fat.

About 2 c. water

Dates may be added to

filling (1/4 lb. dates and

1-1/4 lbs. prunes.)

1 tbsp. butter, melted

1/2 tsp. onion juice or 1

tsp. finely minced onion

“In this present day of living one could lose the special art of making wholesome dishes that appeal to every heart…”

– the opening line on Margaret Finnson’s poem in the Vidir cookbook

Vinarterta

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Hyhak and Sylvan were kept neat and well maintained. They sent children to camp. They sewed for the Red Cross and gave annual donations to charitable organizations, helping needy families abroad and down the road.

This charitable women’s group published three books, including two that document pioneer life in the area, and a cookbook in 1962 to keep family recipes circulating. Long since out of print, a Vidir Ladies Aid cookbook, containing all the favourite recipes of its members, is cherished by anyone possessing one.

The Vidir Ladies Aid quietly dissolved last September. An aging membership and changes that have come to their community made it necessary, says the Vidir Ladies Aid’s last serving president Lorna Floyd of Arborg. It was not an easy decision.

Soak the prunes and cook until tender. Remove stones and squash prunes with a fork or put through a grinder. Add sugar, cinnamon; bring to a boil and cook until mixture thickens a little. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Let filling cool before spreading between layers. Ice with thin butter icing, with almond flavouring, on top layer. (Icing can be omitted.)

ICELANDIC BROWN BREAD

Recipe by Gudrun Stefanson

1/2 c. brown sugar

2 eggs

1/4 tsp. salt

2-1/2 c. sour milk or

buttermilk

1/3 c. molasses

1/2 tsp. soda

2 tsp. baking powder

3-1/2 c. graham or

whole-wheat flour

Mix brown sugar, eggs, molasses and sour milk. Add baking powder, soda and salt to graham flour and sift into first mixture. Mix until blended thoroughly. Line bottom of 5 x 9-inch pan with waxed paper. Pour in batter and bake in 300F oven for 1-1/2 hours.

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