Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Family Traditions


You know you are dealing with a family with a serious baking habit when you see 10 kg (22 lb) flour bags on the counter.  Both of my daughters bake regularly, but the past few days it has been me up to my elbows in flour.

I am making our tourtières as I have done every year for the past 24 years--in honour of my husband's French-Canadian traditions.

I always make more than one type and make enough to share with my own family in Ontario as they have grown to love these tasty pies.  With a salad and condiment, a tourtière can be a lovely and simple winter dinner. We like a non-traditional choice of condiment--Indian chutney.  My husband's childhood choice was Heinz ketchup.


This year I am making three kinds: a meat and potato combination, a savoury veal-pork pie and a vegetarian version (with tvp) for my eldest daughter.  I love to decorate them with cut-out pastry, so each has its own personality.  The dove-decorated one is my favourite so far. I have four made and have five to go.


I actually had made tourtière before I met my husband as I was always interested in French Canada and used to watch a show by a French-Canadian chef Jehane Benoît when I was a teenager--not the interest of every young girl growing up in Toronto.  I studied French in high school and university. In fact, I am the only bilingual member of my family, although I still have an anglophone accent all these years later.

I wonder how many of you make foods that honour more than one Christmas tradition in your family.


13 comments:

  1. i love that rolling pin!!!!!1its gorgeous.....is it heavy?....

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  2. Veda--It's very heavy. I'm always worried that it will roll off the counter someday and break someone's foot! I always leave it well away from the edge and parked on an angle. :)

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  3. What a great post , I love your tourtières, I didn't know these recipes and yours seem so yummy; if you studied french I would only say c'est magnifique et je voudrais les avoir à ma table tout de suite !

    PS : Google word verifications are always weird, I have to write "nogicru" almost a japano/french word :)

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  4. This is so pretty - and delicious I´m sure! :-)

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  5. Lucile--Tu pourrais les avoir à ta table si je peux faire la livraison en personne! Nogicru?!?

    Tina--Thanks!

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  6. Margie--Thanks. We'll know for sure on Christmas Eve!

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  7. these look not only pretty, but very yummy & appealing ! I have the same snowflakes cutters !!!
    I love tourtes, and with a salad, like you said, it's just perfect !
    oxox

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  8. Sonia--The name of these pies is quite interesting: I call them tourtières, you call them tourtes, in Trois-Rivières where my husband is from they call them pâtés à la viande. In English, they are mostly called meat pies. Even from region to region in Québec there are variations in what they are called and how they are made. Food is fascinating.

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  9. They look so yummy, I,ve never eat something like that... i,ll have to look at a recipe in internet and try it!!

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  10. Karin--Thanks. I consider them to be comfort food even though we just make them at Christmas. I can send you the recipes we use if you would like.

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  11. Ohhh that would be fantastic!! if you don,t mind to share it, i,d love to try it!! my e-mail is: thehandpaintedgift@gmail.com
    Thank you so, so much!! or "Muchas gracias"! ;)

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  12. Karin--I found the link to one of the recipes that I have used for the past 9 years. It has been appreciated by both young and old members of my family (excluding my eldest who is now a vegetarian but luckily I have found a great recipe for vegetarian tourtière that I use for her.) Here's the link for the pork & potato one:
    http://www.uwgb.edu/wisfrench/kitchen/tourt.htm
    The only change I made is that I use 1/3 cup butter and 1/3 cup shortening (instead of 2/3 shortening) and I add a little salt and pepper to the meat mixture. (1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 pepper). In my husband's family, they would never eat applesauce with their tourtière but it would be served with pickled beets on the side.
    One nice thing about tourtières is that they freeze beautifully. Once it is baked and cooled, you can wrap it in foil and freeze. Then you have a dinner waiting in the freezer. :)

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