After a busy month of recipe-testing, talking to food historians and tracking down the origin story of recipes and ingredients, these were the recipes that were the cream of the crop! Thanks for tuning in and sharing your own family recipes; what an amazing privilege this month has been. Thanks for letting me into your kitchens.

My favourite and the most-reliable recipes from this month were, in no particular order:

The Mocklers’ Cesar Salad

Note from Brit: “To make our Cesar salad you should have a big wood turned bowl. My parents have had theirs for 20 years and ceasar salad is the only thing they make in it. Mom and dad have now added anchovies as per the traditional recipe, but didn’t add them when we were growing up so I’m not including them.”

3-4 cloves of minced garlic
1 egg yolk
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 heaping tablespoon of dijon mustard
1/2 cup (or so depending on amount you want) vegetable oil
Splash of red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon (less if you want less citrus)
1/4 cup of grated fresh parmigiano
Homemade croutons done on the stove top with butter
Farmers market bacon crumbled
Extra parmigiano for the top
Add garlic, egg yolk and salt and pepper to wooden bowl. Whisk, then add dijon. Add oil slowly, while whisking to avoid separation. Add vinegar, lemon and parmigiano and whisk. Toss salad with rest of ingredients.

Kate MacRae’s Burger Beef Stew

1 pound ground beef (can substitute soya replacement, is apparently even more delicious!)
¼ minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups tomato juice
1 cup water
2 cans cream of celery soup (Campbell’s is best)
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp marjoram
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cane sugar
2 cups carrots, shredded

In a large Dutch oven, brown meat and onion, then add rest of the ingredients and stir well. Simmer until it all comes together and thickens and make sure to serve it the next day, as it needs to find its legs.

Mrs. Long’s Apple Pandowdy

Combine 1 cup of sugar, 1 tsp of cinnamon, and 1 tbsp. of butter (cut into small pieces) with 4-6 apples or 4 cups of finely chopped apples. For the topping whisk 1 large egg in a cup or bowl. Add 2 tbsp. of melted butter to the eggs. In a mixing bowl, combine ½ cup of flour with ½ cup of sugar, ¼ tsp. of baking soda, ¾ tsp. cream of tartar. Blend the two parts together. Spoon this mixture over apples. Bake in a hot oven. Serve with whipped cream.

The Moores’ Raspberry Vinegar Shrub

Fill a glass bowl with raspberries (any amount) and pour just enough vinegar over the berries to completely cover them.  Cover the bowl and let stand for several days, say up to a week.  Strain the berries through the cheesecloth — don’t mash! — saving the juice in a sauce pan.  Measure the juice and add an equal amount of sugar.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.  Cool slightly and bottle.  Store in a cool dark place (like a damp old cellar with a dirt floor).

To serve, dilute with cold water before drinking, 3 or 4 parts water to one part raspberry vinegar, depending on your individual taste.

Note from Donald: My parents were very frugal and served it up to us kids as weak as they could get away with, but as an adult I learned that it was even tastier when mixed somewhat stronger!  No longer constrained by teetotaling parents, I also enjoy mixing it with vodka and club soda, but it’s pretty darn good with just plain cold water and a couple of ice cubes.

And the final recipe was, in fact, our first! Grand-maman Roy’s Molasses Cookies proved a high bar, and they’re still a favourite in our house.