Secret recipes revealed at library
By: Tammy Rollie
| Posted: Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 08:38 am
Those who relish sinking their teeth into The Stop’s mouth-watering muffins in Black Diamond can soon whip up some of these delectable snacks in their own kitchens.
Olivia Burney, 19, of Turner Valley has no qualms about revealing one of her recipes to the public as part of the Sheep River Library’s Secret Family Recipe Series.
Recipes from talented community members are being shared with the public this winter and spring ranging from moist carrot cake to gooey cinnamon buns with plenty of samples to taste.
“I’m not too protective over them,” admitted Burney of her muffin recipes. “It’s going to be fun to share those.”
Burney’s muffins receive rave reviews from The Stop Coffee House and Gathering Place customers, many of whom claim they are the best they’ve had, she said.
Burney’s secret? More is better.
Cream cheese centers, extra berries, shots of espresso, orange rind and sour cream are among the many secrets she will share during the May 29 session from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the library.
Burney said with food presentation is also important.
“I always try and do something to top them off so they are visually appealing,” she said. “Whether it’s icing or nuts or extra berries on top, they look nice and it draws the eye.”
Sheep River Library manager Jan Burney said the idea of revealing secret recipes came following the success of a pie-making class the library held in the fall. She said the program had the largest registration of any program with more than 30 people in attendance.
“I figured out if we do food and computers there will be people at the door,” she said. “Food is something people want to have more knowledge about.”
Jan said it was a matter of finding people who are known for a particular food. She began with family and friends.
“They are not really secret recipes,” she said. “I just looked for people who were known for a particular thing. I know people out there who have true secret recipes and we will have to see if I can get them to part with it. No one is safe from me when it comes to programming.”
Jan said she is eager to offer her session on cinnamon buns April 24 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
A common mistake people make is not letting the dough rise long enough or dissolving the yeast in water that is too cool or too hot, she said.
“It’s a pretty versatile bread recipe,” she said. “You can use the dough recipe to make any kind of bread. It works really well.”
Jan’s cinnamon buns have become a Christmas tradition in her home.
“I make a slightly different version of them every Christmas morning,” she said. “My kids always want me to make them.”
Jan’s children aren’t the only ones hooked on her gooey cinnamon buns.
“I always have people ask me for the recipe when they’ve tried them,” she said. “They can’t get enough.”
The first class in the Secret Family Recipe series takes place on Jan. 30 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. with Turner Valley resident Sara Fay Cunningham sharing her savoury carrot cake recipe.
Cunningham said when it comes to her carrot cake she isn’t sure what all the fuss is about.
“Some recipes are embellished with coconut and nuts,” she said. “I just do carrots and pineapples. It’s a very basic recipe.”
When asked by Jan to share the recipe she was a little bewildered by eager to oblige.
Cunningham has altered her recipe over the years adding more flour and pineapple and less oil.
“A lot of recipes might call for a cup of pineapple but I can’t be bothered measuring it so I dump the whole (can) in,” she said. “It’s such an easy cake to do and I know people really love it.”
Black Diamond resident Pam Vipond will share her recipe for shrub, also known as cordial or switchel. It is an old non-alcoholic Victorian drink made with a vinegar base, on March 27. She learned the recipe from her stepmother, which makes a bubbly and refreshing drink in the summer and a hot drink in the winter.
“The stuff is delicious,” said Vipond. “I’m drinking a cup of it right now with hot water.”
Vipond said many varieties of vinegar can be purchased in stores, it’s just a matter of adding fruit and sweetener.
“You can mix it with raspberries, strawberries or I love it with ginger,” she said. “It can be flavoured in whatever way you like.”
Vipond will have several varieties available to taste.
Turner Valley resident Gita Grahame’s recipe is not so secret — at least not in Lithuania. She will be sharing her recipe for a white Baltic salad, a popular Lithuanian dish, on Feb. 27.
“This is probably one of the most significant dishes in my country,” she said. “It’s a favourite with every Lithuanian I have ever met.”
The simple dish consists of boiled potatoes, boiled carrots, hard-boiled eggs, peas and cucumbers finely chopped and tossed in mayonnaise and sour cream, lightly sprinkled with salt and pepper for taste.
Grahame said the salad is similar to potato salad and receives rave reviews from friends.
“I have a number of people who signed up for my class already,” she said. “That’s encouraging.”
To register for one or more of the free sessions call the Sheep River Library at 403-933-3278.