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Saskatchewan Review!

Our first kitchen destination has been a great success! I’m still enjoying the leftovers of the cake, the wheat cakes, the bannock and the krootoñ di pwer.

Everything here was so good that I can definitely see myself making all of these again. However, I think my favorites were pierogies, the confetti bars, the Jello fruit cocktail cake, the bannock, and the krootoñ di pwer. The confetti bars and Jello fruit cocktail cake are the least healthy, so I’ll make these only for special occasions. The cake would be awesome for summer. I might also modify the recipe and post an inspired recipe or two here based on what I think might taste even better and what could be healthier.

As for the bannock, it was super easy to make and it reminds me of growing up having biscuits, butter and jam for breakfast with my grandparents, except there’s no hydrogenated oils in it when I make it at home. I’d love to try different variations of bannock going forward.

The krootoñ di pwer was light and flavorful, and if I make it using less sugar or Stevia instead of sugar, it will be much healthier. This is definitely coming along as a basic dessert in my repetoire.

Pierogies will probably come along too, as an easy dinner option. They’re a little time consuming to make—and the first time I made them, I was frustrated at working with such sticky dough (the key is to add lots of flour to your hands, the cutting board, the rolling pin, and the dough itself), but by the second try I had it down and had fun with it. I’d only had pierogies once before, as a kid, and I hadn’t liked them then because they were too bland for me. Making the potato filling yourself really amplifies the mashed-potato flavor, and you can even add bacon to the mix.

What’s funny to me is that pierogie casserole is also called “lazy pierogies.” It seemed less intimidating than actual pierogies, so I started with that. I found, though, that actual pierogies were much easier and much more fun to make. They’re also much easier to reheat without a microwave.

The wheat cakes I don’t think I’ll be baking again, unless I modify the recipe to make it as a cereal. I like the flavor, but I find them slightly too dry to eat as a bar and I prefer the smaller crumbles anyway (especially in a bowl of almond milk!).

And here’s what I learned from my time in Saskatchewan:

  • how to spell Saskatchewan and how to pronounce it (“wan” sounds like “win”)
  • how many provinces there are in Canada
  • that every Canadian province has its own tartan—and what the colors of the Saskatchewan tartan represent
  • that Saskatchewan has a history of Ukrainian and Polish settlers as well as Plains Indians tribes such as the Cree and the Métis Nation, descendants of the early French settlers and the Cree
  • a little of the Métis language by looking at Métis recipes—it’s heavily influenced by French, so it was fun to decipher
  • that it gets really, really cold there—like -30°F or colder
  • the accent really is a thing, and I like it.
  • tobogganning is in danger because of overly litigious people claiming injuries despite posted safety warnings
  • you can see Aurora Borealis at times
  • there are beautiful grain elevators … and lots and lots of wheat
  • there are lakes everywhere where people go fishing
  • that if I lived in Saskatchewan, my favorite sport would probably be hockey (I live in Boston, so it should be baseball. I like hockey and basketball better anyway.)
  • that buying pierogies at the store is akin to buying a PB&J sandwich at the store—it’s embarrassing,
  • or that people don’t make pierogies anymore because it takes too much time and is becoming a lost art
  • that either way, everyone agrees that pierogies have become a part of Saskatchewan culture, and everyone’s grandma knows how to make the best ones

So, before moving on, what else should I know about Saskatchewan?

saskatchewan foods illustration



Written by A. Alexander


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