Sunday, September 04, 2005

Special - Saskatchewan Centennial Dinner

The province of Saskatchewan is 100 years old in 2005. To celebrate the centennial, I decided to recreate the banquet served to dignitaries at the inauguration ceremonies on Sept. 4, 1905.

Fortunately, the menu has been preserved by the Saskatchewan Archives Board. The meal was held at lunchtime in the Regina City Hall auditorium and only the men were invited! It’s quite a lavish menu for the time and place, so I narrowed it down to something manageable in my own kitchen.

The menu is not very descriptive and gives few clues as to how some dishes were prepared. Therefore, I searched for recipes from that era in the Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Fanny Farmer, first published in 1896. (It’s available on the web.)

Here is the menu from 1905, followed by the recipes from my own dinner. Have fun creating your own version of Saskatchewan’s first state banquet!


1905 Menu

Olives, Salted Nuts
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Truffled Sardines
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Cream Soup
Salmon, Sauce Tartare
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Cucumber Salad
Sweetbread Cream with Mushrooms
Kidney Saute with Curled Bacon
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Spring Chicken, Roast Turkey, Spring Lamb
Potatoes, Spinach, Asparagus
Tomato Salad, Green Salad
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Lemon Sponge with Champagne Sauce
Peach Cream, Macaroon Cream
Wine Jelly
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Cheese, Biscuits, Celery
Ice Pudding
Macaroons, Wafers
Fruit, Coffee



My Saskatchewan Dinner Menu

Olives, Salted nuts
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Imperial Cream Soup
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Chicken and Spring Onions, Lamb in parchment paper
Tomato Salad with Horseradish Sauce
Asparagus, Potato Bells
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Lemon Sponge with Champagne Sauce
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Fresh Strawberries, Coffee


IMPERIAL SOUP

1 T butter
2 stalks celery cut in chunks
2 carrots cut in chunks
1 small onion roughly chopped
spring parsley
2 cloves
1/4 t peppercorns
small bay leaf
pinch of mace
piece of cheesecloth
2 cups stale bread crumbs
1/2 breast of chicken
1/3 cup blanched almonds
1 cup cream
2 T flour
2 T flour

Sauté the celery, carrots and onion in the butter for five minutes. Wrap the vegetables in a piece of cheesecloth with the parsley, cloves, peppercorns, bay leaf and mace. Tie it up and place it in a pot with 4 cups of water. Add the breadcrumbs, chicken breast and a bit of salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for one hour (chicken must be cooked through).

Remove the chicken and the cheesecloth from the broth. Roughly chop the chicken. Remove the vegetables from the cheesecloth, separating and discarding the spices. In a blender, puree the chicken, vegetables and almonds with the stock.

Place the soup back into the pot. Heat and add cream. Adjust the salt and pepper to your taste. In a small pan, melt butter. Add flour to melted butter and stir constantly to form a thick paste. Drop the paste into the hot soup and stir to thicken. Serve with a sprig of fresh parsley on each bowl.

CHICKEN WITH SPRING ONIONS

1 chicken cut into small pieces
18-20 spring onions
3 T butter
4 T flour
1/2 cup cream
salt and pepper
Juice of one lemon

Put the chicken and onions in a stockpot, just cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked tender. Remove the chicken and onions and keep warm. Boil the stock until it is reduced to 1.5 cups.

Make a sauce by melting the butter is a skillet. Add the flour and stir vigorously to form a stiff paste. Pour in the 1.5 cups of stock and the cream. Cook on a slow bubble, stirring constantly, until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Add lemon juice to your taste.

Arrange the warm chicken and onions on a plate and pour on the sauce.


LAMB IN PARCHMENT PAPER

4 lamb chops
the whites from 3 hard-boiled eggs
3 crackers
2 T melted butter
salt and pepper
1-2 T cream

Finely crush together the egg whites and crackers. Mix in the melted butter, salt and pepper. Add enough cream to make a spreadable consistency. Cover each lamp chop with the egg mixture. Wrap each chop in a piece of parchment paper brushed with melted butter. Bake for about 25 minutes at 400F. To serve, remove the chops from the paper and serve on a platter garnished with parsley.

POTATO BELLS
Choose one large potato per person. Peel the potatoes. Using a melon baller, scoop out dome-shaped "bells" of raw potato. Cook the potato bells in boiling water just until tender. Drain. Smother the warm potatoes in melted butter. Fry in a hot skillet until the potatoes are golden and crisp.

TOMATOES WITH HORSERADISH SAUCE
Cut tomatoes in wedges and dress with horseradish sauce: Mix 3 T horseradish, 1 T vinegar, 1/4 t salt and a pinch of cayenne. Add 4 T heavy cream that has been whipped until stiff.

HOT WATER SPONGE CAKE
2 egg, separated
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup hot water or milk
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup flour
1.5 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon coloured. Add half the sugar gradually, beating constantly. Add the water or milk. Continue to beat in the rest of the sugar and the lemon extract.

Beat egg whites separately until they are stiff and dry. Add to the yolk mixture, stirring briefly.

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt, and sift onto the egg mixture. Gently fold the flour into the eggs just until mixed.

Pour batter into a round cake pan that has been buttered and sprinkled with flour. Bake for 25 minutes at 325F.

CHAMPAGNE SAUCE

Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup champagne
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs separated

Mix the lemon juice, champagne and sugar in a saucepan. Stir vigorously over medium heat. Add the egg yolks and cook, stirring, until it thickens. Remove from heat.

Beat egg yolks until stiff. Whisk into the hot yolk mixture. Serve on Lemon Sponge.

(NOTE: It might be fun to use sparkling saskatoon berry beverage in place of the champagne, substituting almond extract for the lemon juice.)

1 comment:

jim burgoyne said...

Apologise profusely for this, Amy Jo. I was googling Deanna's name, hoping to find her email, and came across a picture of you guys and then this captivating blog... Couldn't find your email address on the blog, but would appreciate it if you could send me Deanna's or just give this one to her.
jimburgoyne@yahoo.com
Hope you are well and hope this is forwarded to your email account so you can come back and delete this.
Jim