Some time ago I witnessed a comment about a local doctor, that “he is not of our heritage.” As a pastor who comes across all sorts of human conditions and prejudices, it was not the first time I heard such sentiment. Yet it made me think about heritage … about our heritage … about the heritage of our neighbours and people who serve us coffee and deliver pizzas …. about where we all came from … and about who was already here.
Many of us are somehow familiar, with the food of our ancestors that made it here. There is the British flapjack and tea, Ukrainian cabbage rolls and kvas, German sauerbraten and lager, or the French chocolate soufflé and Moselle. One must not forget Norwegian lutefisk and akvavit, or … you name it. Heritage and identity are very much linked to the notion of food and drink. Ours and someone else’s.
Think of it … on St. Patrick’s Day almost everyone pretends to be Irish and gets plastered on green beer. On Robbie Burns Day many drink Scotch, and most throw up after real haggis. On Canada Day, everyone I know devours a BeaverTail© and no one objects to poutine or refuses a box of Timbits©.
Yet … what about the dishes considered most unique to the land, the history, and the sprit of the Saskatchewan. I do not mean here the offerings of some snooty restaurants with their “hand carved southern pike filet, dressed with sea-salt cured egg yolks, dusted with a powder of dried northern chanterelles and drizzled by a nitro-reduction of the lightly steamed Saskatchewan river algae strands, accompanied by glass of something sounding so amazing, you will not mind the total on the bill” (yeah – I am being totally sarcastic here😉).
So … have you ever REALLY wondered about where the Saskatoon Berry Pie came from? How many of us learned about wild rice? Or how about … BANNOCK!?!?!?!!?! … Most of us likely have heard and read it. Some might have tasted it at museums, exhibitions, pretentious restaurants, or First Nations gatherings.
Every time I tasted it, it seemed barely edible. Either too dry or too wet. Until I came across a Saskatchewan First Nation woman who honoured me by calling me a friend and sharing her Bannock with me. Then she honoured me further by sharing her family’s Bannock recipe with me. Then she shared a picture of her family with me. Think here about my previous reflection about food and sharing that goes beyond eating. In the picture there is the Rev. Deb, the cook/friend, and her daughter Cecilia (inset) enjoying the Bannock ….
Let us join them in the cooking and fellowship ….
Preheat oven at 400
4 cups flour
4 tbl spoons baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 butter or margarine
1 1/14 cup water
Mix dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together.
Work butter or margarine into crumble with dry ingredients.
Make hole in flour mixture,
pour water and mix ingredients into dough ball,
let sit for 15 min.
Knead and roll flat,
punch holes with fork over flatten dough turn over and do same.
Place on lightly floured cookie sheet,
place in oven for 15-20 min
turn over let cook for another 5-10 min.
It should be cooked
Eat with humility and gratitude ….
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