A recent Recipe Swap column featuring bread made with Red River Cereal -- that iconic multi-grain mix first created in Manitoba in 1924 -- proved that readers love Red River Cereal. (Well, some people think it tastes like bird seed, but the people who love it really love it.)
Several months ago, Alice Gamble sent in a request for a Red River Cereal cracker recipe that used to be printed on the side of the package. She remembers eating the crackers with butter and jam.
Margaret Keller sent in her mother's recipe for Sunny Boy crisps, Sunny Boy being a rival three-grain hot cereal manufactured in Camrose, Alta. The crackers, which are crispy, nutty and slightly sweet, would be delicious with butter and jam or honey, or would pair well with a sharp cheese.
I also tracked down a recipe for Red River Cereal cookies from the Food Day Canada website, which celebrates Canadian cuisine and home-grown ingredients.
Currently, Terri Cherniack is hoping someone might have a recipe for the vegetarian lentil soup served at Baraka Pita Bakery and Mediterranean Deli on Main Street, or maybe for a version that is just as good.
If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax it to 204-697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.
Sunny Boy crisps
500 ml (2 cups) Sunny Boy or Red River Cereal
250 ml (1 cup) all-purpose flour
125 ml (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
125 ml (113 g or 1/2 cup) cold butter, cubed
125 ml (1/2 cup) boiling water
2 ml (1/2 tsp) baking soda
In medium bowl, whisk together cereal, flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter, as for pastry, using a pastry cutter, two knives, or working lightly and quickly with your fingers. Add baking soda to boiling water and then mix in, stirring gently but thoroughly until combined. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour, then roll out very thin between sheets of wax paper. Cut rolled-out dough into triangles. Preheat oven to 205 C (400 F). Place triangles on greased cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on thickness. Serve with butter.
Tester's notes: These slightly sweet crackers get a lot of crunch from the Red River Cereal. I rolled out one batch very thin, about 2 millimetres, for a very crisp cracker texture. I also made one batch with slightly thicker dough, about 5 mm, which turned out a little more like digestive biscuits.
The original recipe was one of those terse old-school types with hardly any directions. I initially started rolling out the crackers right away, but found the dough sticky and impossible to work with. After refrigerating it for an hour, it was much easier to handle.
If you find you are having problems making straight-edged lines when you cut the dough, you might try putting the rolled-out dough in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes just to firm it up.
Red River Cereal cookies
Adapted from fooddaycanada.com
500 ml (2 cups) large flake oats (not instant or quick oats)
250 ml (1 cup) whole-wheat flour
60 ml (1/4 cup) Red River Cereal
5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda
2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
175 ml (3/4 cup) softened butter or margarine
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) light brown sugar, lightly packed
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla
125 ml (1/2 cup) dried cranberries or raisins
125 ml (1/2 cup) walnuts, pecans or sunflower seeds
125 ml (1/2 cup) chocolate chips (optional)
In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, Red River Cereal, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, and then stir in vanilla. Add oat mixture to creamed mixture and then stir in dried fruits, nuts and chocolate chips. Mix well. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Drop dough by scant tablespoonfuls and flatten slightly, placing cookies at least 5 centimetres (2 inches) apart as they will spread while baking. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly brown and slightly crisp at edges.
Tester's notes: These are chewy-crisp cookies. You might be tempted to add more of that healthy Red River Cereal, but the cracked wheat, rye and flax don't really soften up within the baking time, so it's best to use the cereal as a secondary addition that gives a little crunch, rather than a primary ingredient.