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Send us your favourite recipes

We’re making a cookbook and you’re invited!

The Winnipeg Free Press turns 150 this year and to celebrate, we’re putting together a community cookbook full of recipes and food stories from in and around Winnipeg.

The project is called Homemade and you can submit a dish for inclusion in the cookbook — which will be printed later this year — by filling out this form. Every submission will be entered into a draw to win copies of the cookbook, Free Press swag and other prizes.

I’m leading the charge on writing and recipe collecting and so far, it’s been a blast. Over the next year, I’ll be publishing monthly features that explore the history of the paper through its food content, while also sharing modern recipes from local residents.

The project launched last weekend with a profile of the newspaper’s first cooking columnist, Mrs. Madeline Day, and her curious recipe for banana meatloaf, which you can find near the end of this email.

Mrs. Madeline Day was the Winnipeg Free Press’ cooking columnist from 1935-39. (Winnipeg Free Press archives)

I stumbled across Mrs. Day while browsing our archives for vintage recipes. Her first column ran in the paper in 1935 and for four years her recipes, homemaking advice and product endorsements (for everything from baking soda to kitchen appliances) became a fixture alongside the news of the day. She seemed to me like a retro version of today’s social media influencers. I was immediately intrigued.

You can read the whole story on our website, but I’ll give you the abridged version here. A taste, if you will, of Madeline’s fascinating life.

Born in rural Illinois in 1891, she was the eldest of three siblings and left home in her early 20s to attend university in Paris. She returned stateside around the start of the First World War, got married and gave birth to one daughter.

After Madeline and her husband divorced — the result of an allegedly abusive relationship — she promptly joined the DeBoth Homemakers’ School as a lecturer and shipped her daughter off to live with her grandparents.

While she was regarded as a domestic goddess, travelling North America teaching women how to keep a happy home, her own life was a far cry from the archetype she presented onstage. Regardless, housewives were buying what she was selling.

It’s unclear how Madeline ended up in Winnipeg, but she brought the homemaking school concept with her. More than 4,000 local women packed into the civic auditorium to attend her first cooking class, which included dozens of questionable (by today’s standards) Depression-era recipes.

More than 4,000 women attended Day’s first cooking school in the Winnipeg Civic Auditorium. (Winnipeg Free Press archives)

Recipes and food choices can tell us a lot about the history of a place. Uncovering the story of Mrs. Madeline Day got me even more excited about this community cookbook project. I’m looking forward to receiving your recipes and learning about the personal stories that surround them.

I hope you’ll consider submitting a dish to Homemade. You can also join our Homemade Facebook group for discussions about home cooking and project updates. 

Eva Wasney, arts reporter

Tasty tidbits

February is fabulous for carb lovers as a pair of spud-centric promotions take over Winnipeg eateries. First out of the gate is La Poutine Week. Featuring all manner of fry/cheese/gravy combinations and variations, like so many similar promotions, La Poutine Week is now in fact two weeks, running Feb. 1-14. Starting on Feb. 4 and running through to the 14th, meanwhile, is Potato Week, meant to highlight Manitoba-grown spuds in all manner of dishes (including a beer being made by One Great City). 

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Garry Street Coffee has moved into a new location with a new name. Dealers Choice Coffee is hosting a grand opening at 111 Princess St. this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Keep an eye out for Eva’s story on the new café in this weekend’s paper.

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Women, Wine and Food returns this year with a virtual event in support of the Women’s Health Clinic. The fundraiser will feature a box of appetizers made by some of the city’s best female chefs paired with beer, wine or a non-alcoholic beverage. The event takes place Tuesday, March 8 — International Women’s Day — and will include an online program, musical performances and culinary demonstrations. Tickets are available through Eventbrite.

Recommended fare

Ben: After finishing (and LOVING) the 10-episode series Station Eleven, we blasted through the 10 episodes of Yellowjackets in short order. The series follows a high school girls’ soccer team whose plane crash lands in the wilderness in 1996, and the grisly lengths they’ll go to for survival. It also features a present-day storyline featuring some of the survivors (played brilliantly by, among others, Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis and Melanie Lynsky). It’s so creepy, and a bit gory at times — not usually my thing, but so well done here.

Brewer Sean Shoyoqubov, the owner of Oxus Brewing Co., is sharing his Sanford Street space with Good Neighbour. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press files)

I tasted through a few recent Good Neighbour beers, who are currently brewing at Oxus’ Sanford St. brewery until they’ve finalized nailing down a brewery of their own near their soon-to-be-open Sherbrook St. tap room (more on that below). Their chocolate cherry stout is rich and hearty, the hazy IPA is citrus- and tropical fruit-driven with just a touch of hoppy bite and the French blanche with mandarin orange and star anise brings a great balance of spice and citrus — all recommended. The entire Good Neighbour lineup is available via Oxus’ website; many are also available at Liquor Marts and/or beer vendors.

 

Eva: My Netflix watch history is full of cheerleading and death these days. Over the weekend, I ripped through the newest season of Cheer, a docuseries about the wild world of American college cheerleading. I got hooked initially because of the athleticism and stayed for the drama — this year’s season follows two rival schools as they prepare for a national competition during the pandemic and delves into serious allegations of sexual misconduct launched against one of the show’s breakout stars.

On the other end of the spectrum, I finished watching the third and final season of After Life. The dark comedy follows gruff newspaper reporter Tony Johnson (Ricky Gervais) as he grapples with life after the death of his wife. It’s a poignant look at grief and a hilariously accurate portrayal of work as a small-town community news correspondent.

What’s simmering

Ben and Eva headed down to West Broadway this past week to check in with the folks at One Sixteen. Located on Sherbrook Street in the old Stella’s restaurant location (one guess at the street number, folks), the project is a joint venture between the crew responsible for The Beer Can, the brewers from Good Neighbour and the chefs behind Two Hands. It’s a restaurant, it’s a tap room, it looks super sharp and it’s all being pulled together by folks who are clearly passionate about their plans. They’re looking to open to the public Saturday, Feb. 5, and we’ll have all the details in the Free Press that same day.

Homemade

This is a new addition to the newsletter, where we’ll be sharing recipes and regular updates from our Homemade community cookbook project. As promised, here is Mrs. Madeline Day’s recipe for banana meatloaf, which was shared during her first cooking class in Winnipeg (please, please let us know if you attempt making it). 

If you’re having trouble making out the image, you can also find the recipe in the sidebar of this story

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