Sunday, March 27, 2011

Canadian Christmas Pie (Torquierre)

3 lbs ground pork (browned)
2 large onions, finely chopped
2-4 medium potatoes, diced
2 cups water

Brown meat first, then add onion and cook until onion is transparent. Add potatoes and water, simmer for 1 hour. Pour off liquid and excess fat (reserve 1 cup of broth). Let meat mixture cool.

After mixture cools, add seasonings with the reserved broth;
2 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp sage
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground clove

If mixture seems somewhat dry, add a few Tablespoons of beef broth.

Make pie crust for two double pies. Roll bottom crust a little thicker than usual, add filling, cover with top crust. If to be frozen before baking, do not vent. If you are going to cook right away, cut some vents in top crust, Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

PS, she used 2 lb pork and 1 lb beef, and added a clove of chopped garlic this time. 
2-4 potatoes is a large range, but some like it with more meat than potato.The recipe above is as she received it long ago. She thinks it might be better as it stands. :) 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Texas Sheet Cake

One of the St. Pierre family favorite desserts is Texas Sheet Cake.  This is a recipe that Gramma Vi was often asked for, and a dessert that she often made for gatherings.  It is a yummy, cakey, brownie type confection, with a great chocolate glaze.  Here is the famous (and easy) recipe.

Texas Cake

2 C flour
2 C sugar
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) margarine (or butter)
4 T cocoa
1 C water
1/2 C buttermilk (see Tips for substitute)
1/2 t cinnamon
1 t vanila
2 beaten eggs
1 t baking soda
  • Sift flour and sugar together into a large bowl, set aside. 
  • Combine margarine, cocoa, and water in a small pan, bring to a rapid boil and pour over flour and sugar mixture.  Mix well (by hand).
  • Add buttermilk, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, and baking soda.  Mix well (by hand).
  • Bake in a sheet cake pan (greased and lightly floured). 
  • Cook at 350 degrees for 20-35 minutes. 

Texas Cake Frosting

4 T cocoa
1 stick magarine (or butter)
6 T black coffee
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
1 c nuts (optional)
  • Combine cocoa, margarine and coffee in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. 
  • Add sugar and bring the mixture back to a boil.   
  • Remove from heat, add vanilla and beat by hand until smooth. 
  • Mix in the nuts if you want them.
  • Spread on warm cake.
Family trial and error tips:
  • We prefer Imperial Margarine.
  • Real buttermilk is preferrable but if you don't have it, use 1/2 C milk + 1 T white vinegar.
  • Mixing by hand is important, both the cake batter and the icing are rather thin.
  • If you aren't going to add nuts, sift the powdered sugar as you stir it into the frosting mixture to avoid lumps...if you are adding nuts, the lumps won't be noticed.  You can also cook the frosting until the lumps melt, but that changes the texture a little.  It's OK to leave the sugar lumps.
  • We leave the cake in the sheet cake pan and the sides hold in the icing when you spread it over the warm cake, it dries like a semi-hard shell. 
  • If you want to leave a portion of the cake for those who don't eat nuts, put them on half the cake, or just the center, immediately after you pour the icing on the cake, before it sets.  You can also cut the amount of nuts used in half if you do this. 
  • If  you want to cut it into squares and plate them for serving, do it after the cake has completely cooled and the icing has set.  We usually just serve it from the pan.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

All in the Family

Hi All,

With the recent illness of Gramma Vi, we have all been thinking about family and the precious time we have to enjoy each other.  Many of you have documented family histories, pictures, stories and recipes that I'm sure we would all love.  I have heard the stories 100 times and I hope that you will tell them again, or comment about how you remember it differently.  I, for one, will never tire of them.

Recently I have been talking to my generation of cousins about starting to get together once per quarter.  Aunt Sandy and I were discussing having Sunday dinners again (maybe more like Monthly dinners ;] ).  I remember back to times when we would all just hang out and enjoy each other's company.  We do this so rarely now that I think everyone has forgotten how.     Today our lives are full and we are all going 100 mph, some of us 55 mph and some 55 mpg in different directions.  When we do get a chance, we are all a text message or cell phone call away from complete distraction.  The day after Julie and Dustin' wedding when we just hung out in the Eloe's yard and sang and watched the little ones play was so nice.  Remember days at the Clark's? Parties where no one would go home?  Maybe its wishful thinking and we are all too busy to do this, but I hope we will give it a try.  I want my little cousins to know who I am, not just some lady who squeezes them at Christmas time.

Gramma has been a strong force that has kept this family together and I want to make sure her legacy continues.  We are so blessed to have this time to tell her and show her how we feel.  I am so proud of all of you, how you have done what you can to show her your love.

If you would like to share your family stuff on here you are welcome to send it to me or I can make you a regular contributor to the blog very easily.  Its fun and easy and I would be happy to walk you through getting started.  Just shoot me an email and let me know if you would like to be added.

For those of you new to blogging.  Comments and comments about comments are the life blood of the blog!  Kind of like Facebook but you can get a little introspective and verbose!

Love you All,