Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Fifth floor... chicken salad, snowballs...

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Today's column features recipes for readers hoping to recapture taste memories from Eaton's.

Pat Summers had written that Eaton's chicken salad sandwiches were a favourite from her childhood, but she had not been able to duplicate the recipe. Thanks to Maureen Grant, who sent in the recipes reprinted today from Lunch with Lady Eaton. As mentioned before in this column, the book is available locally and contains interesting historical information and photos, as well as a small selection of recipes by Katharine Mallinson that were adapted from Eaton's dietitians' notes and private collections.

Thanks also to Irene Ellis, a former Winnipegger now living in Toronto. She writes that she used to work in Eaton's Grill Room kitchen and in one of the snack bars, and feels badly whenever she sees requests from people for Eaton's recipes. She recalls that for the chicken recipes, mature chickens were cooked 10 at a time in 50-gallon stock pots that never reached a full boil. The meat was cooled in the broth and then made into chicken salad, Hawaiian casserole, pot pies and other items. She remembers that the Hawaiian chicken recipe (which has been requested in this column) originally came from a women's magazine, and a customer had the catering service make up 200 servings. It turned out so well, it became a stock item. Water-packed pineapple as well as the rich stock from cooking the chickens was used, and the mashed potato topping was made from instant potatoes. While there still may be some former employees who have recipes or kept notes, she says the sad reality is that when you worked with the food all day, "it becomes just stuff."

Patti Schroeder had written she made the Like Eaton's Euphoria salad dressing that was featured earlier and it was a great taste of nostalgia. She asked if anyone might have a recipe similar to Eaton's snowballs rolled in coconut. Thanks to Linda Rock for sharing a recipe that her mother used to make that she says may mirror the ones sold at Eaton's.

Still on the subject of Eaton's, Lisa Luckwell recalls the delicious battered fish (cod, she thinks) and chips that were served in the restaurant, but could also be purchased in the grocery department in the basement. She asks if anyone knows if that same brand is still sold anywhere in Winnipeg, or if someone may have a recipe that duplicates it.

Other requests to duplicate items: Cecile Olivier of Dufresne asks if anyone has a recipe similar to the macaroon madness bars sold by M&M Meats, and Jenni Lacroix asks for help finding a recipe like the lemon almond torte served at Baked Expectations.

Lastly, Daphne Zilinsky hopes readers can come through with a recipe for the drums of heaven appetizer that used to be served at the Beachcomber restaurant formerly on Carlton Street.

If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an e-mail to, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Darlene Henderson, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number. Recipes may not appear right away due to limited space.

Georgian Room chicken salad

250 ml (1 cup) diced cooked chicken

250 ml (1 cup) diced celery

2 ml (1/2 tsp) chopped pimento

22 ml (1 1/2 tbsp) boiled dressing (see below)

45 ml (3 tbsp) mayonnaise

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

Combine diced chicken, celery and pimento. Mix well. Add dressing and mayonnaise. Add salt to taste. Serve chilled.

Boiled dressing -- The Georgian Room c. 1952

60 ml (1/4 cup) all purpose flour

15 ml (1 tbsp) dry mustard

5 ml (1 tsp) salt

125 ml (1/2 rounded cup) granulated sugar

3 egg yolks (or 2 whole eggs)

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) milk

175 ml (3/4 cup) cider vinegar

90 ml (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp) butter

Pinch cayenne (or white) pepper

Mix all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Beat eggs and milk together, then add to dry mixture in saucepan and combine. Stir in vinegar. Bring mixture to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cayenne. Chill and keep in refrigerator.

Taste Tester Notes: This crunchy mixture is a good sandwich filling, or you can eat it on its own. The boiled dressing recipe is terrific and makes about 750 ml (3 cups) of a nice and tangy, slightly sweet and rich dressing. It will get quite thick once refrigerated. Recipes in the book also use it in potato and waldorf salads.

Like Eaton's snowballs

16 single graham wafers (rolled) or about 310 ml (11/4 cups )of crumbs

250 ml (1 cup) icing sugar

1 beaten egg

30 ml (2 tbsp) butter

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla

2 squares melted semi-sweet chocolate

Angel flake coconut

Put graham wafer crumbs and icing sugar in a bowl. Mix well. Add all other ingredients. Roll into small balls and then in Angel flake coconut. Keep refrigerated, as this is a no-cook recipe. Linda's Note: "These freeze very well and I remember my brothers sneaking into a freezer during the night and stealing these little goodies."

Taste Tester Notes: I made 2 dozen tasty 1-inch snowballs from this mixture. For easier blending, I softened the butter in the microwave until it was almost melted and stirred into the crumbs and icing sugar mixture, then mixed the vanilla into the beaten egg before stirring in. You can use any brand of flaked coconut. The coconut adheres best when the balls are rolled in it right after rolling the mixture, while they are still warm from your hands. Place on wax paper in a covered container and refrigerate or freeze.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 17, 2008

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