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Cooking in the community

We asked a collection of people in New Westminster, from politics to business, community groups to education, to share some of their favourite family recipes for the Christmas season.

We asked a collection of people in New Westminster, from politics to business, community groups to education, to share some of their favourite family recipes for the Christmas season. Here's a few of the recipes we received:

From Mayor Wayne Wright

Spaghetti bolognese - serves eight

8 cans Italian tomatoes

1 large onion

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 or 2/3 lb of minced lean ground beef

1 cup white wine

8 to 10 large leaves of fresh basil

8 to 10 pork ribs

Puree the tomatoes, cook slowly and stir.

Fry finely chopped onion and garlic, until golden, in olive oil

Pour in white wine and reduce to half. (Usually takes 30 minutes)

Put into tomato sauce.

Fry lean minced ground beef, take off liquid.

Re-fry minced beef with fresh oil.


Put into tomato sauce.

Fry pork ribs until golden.

Season with salt and pepper.

Put into tomato sauce.

Simmer until thick.

Season to taste and add base, stirring constantly.

Add 1/4 cup of olive oil.


Add to spaghetti.


From Susan Buss, New Westminster Public Library

Gingerbread Cookies


1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup molasses

add 1 egg

mix and add

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cloves

1 tsp ginger

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

(add extra spices)

Chill. Roll and cut dough using seasonal cookie cutters. Bake at 350 for 8 - 10 minutes.

Triple the recipe for making a house.


From Marney-Rose Edge, well-known Royal City-based artist

Lemon Squares


1 cup flour

1_2 cup butter

1_4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt


1 cup sugar

2 tbsp flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

Juice of 1 lemon (3 tbsp)

2 beaten eggs


Blend all ingredients well and press into an unbuttered 9x9" brownie pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.


Mix everything together well and pour over the crust. Bake at 350 degrees

fro 25 minutes. Sprinkle with icing sugar and cut when cool.


From Trudy Van Dop, owner of Van Dop Gallery

Mulled Apple Cider with Orange and Anise


1 litre apple juice

1 litre of hot orange pekoe tea

A 3-inch cinnamon stick

10 whole cloves

3 to 4 orange peel

3 to 4 star anise

In a medium pot combine the apple juice, the cinnamon stick, the cloves, the orange and the Star anise and simmer the mixture for 20 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and add the Add the 1 litre of hot tea, serve the mulled cider warm.


From Lori Pappajohn, New Westminster based harpist and member of Winter Harp

Kourambiedes (a Greek Christmas Cookie)

3/4 cup butter

1/3 cup icing sugar

1 cup finely chopped almonds

Mix the above together

2 cups sifted cake flour

1 t vanilla

1/8 t salt

Mix the above 3 ingredients together

Mix everything together to form dough. Chill dough. Roll dough finger thick. Cut into 2.5 inch lengths and shape into crescents on baking sheet.

Bake 325, 14 to 16 minutes.

Cool on baking pan. While slightly warm, carefully dip in 1 cup confectioners' sugar.


From Doug Woodward, a longtime teacher at NWSS and head of the girls' varsity basketball team

Ma's Shortbread

1 pound butter (softened)

1 cup berry sugar

4 cups flour, plus extra for kneading (1/2 cup)

Cream butter, add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups flour. Turn out onto counter and continue to knead in the rest of the flour kneading until shortbread cracks on edges. Form into 3 or 4 balls and press into large cakes

bake at 300 degrees 30 - 35 min until slightly brown on edges.


Peter and Cathy Corbiel, owners of Queen's Park Meat Market

We got this recipe from a good customer of ours Nancy Burrows. She got the recipe from the Vancouver Sun, 1994. Even though the recipe is called Rum Ribs ours kids call it Nancy Burrows Ribs. They are awesome.

Rum Ribs

4 pounds or 2 kgs spareribs

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup chilli sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

1/2 cup dark rum

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dry mustard

2 garlic cloves crushed

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cut ribs into individual pieces or have your local butcher do that. Line a roasting pan with a double thickness of foil. Place ribs in pan and seal tightly in foil. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Unwrap ribs and pour off drippings.

Combine remaining ingredients pour half the sauce over ribs. Return to oven and bake for about 1 1/2

Hours or until meat is tender, turning ribs occasionally and basting with remaining sauce.


From Sue Bemister, Wally's Burger owner

This recipe is from Sue Bemister, one of the owners of Wally's Burgers

After much family deliberation we decided we can't share our best secret family recipes ... but we will share the one dish that is always on our dinner table at Christmas time. Although a flash back to the '70s, it remains a family favorite, and surprises our guests every year. It should be on everyone's Christmas dinner table!

The Bemister's Famous Green Bean casserole.

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup diced onions

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

2 cups sliced green beans (French style)

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 sliced almonds toasted

1 cup grated strong cheddar

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter, saut onions and mushrooms in butter. Boil sliced green beens for 10 mins, drain. Add together green beens, mushroom soup, salt and pepper stir well. Pour into greased casserole dish, top with toasted almonds. Bake for 20 min. Then top with cheddar and bake for 10 minutes longer.


From Vance McFadyen, city resident and former mayoral candidate

Curvan fruit torte

For the cake;

1 cup of butter (do not substitute margarine - it's not worth it)

1 cup white sugar

2 large eggs (or whatever your hens are laying)

1 tsp. vanilla (or 1oz of your favourite liqueur)

1 cup flour (less 2 tbsp) believe this

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 tsp baking powder

Cream together sugar and butter. Beat in eggs one at at time and stir in

vanilla/liqueur. Sift dry ingredients and fold into egg mixture.

Cut four 8 inch rounds of wax paper, grease with butter and place onto back

side of 8 inch cake pans. Divide cake mixture into 4 equal portions and spread gently and evenly onto the wax paper rounds. Remember as evenly as you can and 1/2 inch from the edge of the rounds. Bake at 350 F for 7 minutes or until lightly tinted. Let cool completely before layering.

At this point you may want a glass of nicely chilled white wine. (Optional)

For the filling;

1 - 250 g. container of cream cheese (spreadable is best)

2 - tbsp. squeezed lemon juice (no seeds please)

3/4 cup Icing sugar

Mix all together until nice and smooth

Now let's put it all together. (no more wine please)

Spread filling evenly onto one layer of cake (you need a quarter portion for

each of the layers) and place banana slices on top, add another layer of cake, spread with filling and place kiwi slices on top. Repeat banana layer and finish with last layer of cake and spread. Finish top with half cut strawberries - cut side down and artistically dribble sweet or semi - sweet melted chocolate over this.

Voil! - your guests are going to love you! (By the way you can have another

glass of wine now - you deserve it!)


From Tej Kainth, executive director with Tourism New Westminster

Happy Holly-Daze Drink Recipe

2 parts Irish Cream

2 parts Kahlua

1 part Rum, spiced

1 part Schnapps, peppermint

3 parts Milk

Mixing Instructions: Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into glass.


From Chef Todd Bright of Wild Rice restaurant in New Westminster

Dungeness crab salad on the shell


3 litres vegetable stock

1 lemon, cut in half

2 bay leaves

Half bunch of cilantro

1 whole live Dungeness crab


1/2 cup mirin*

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 tbsp. finely minced fresh ginger

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup canola oil


Half head of sui choy, chiffonaded (cut into long, thin strips)

1 carrot, julienned

4 spring onions, finely chopped

1 orange, peeled and segmented (white pith removed)

1/4 cup pickled onions

In a very large pot with a lid, combine stock, lemon, bay leaves and


Cover and bring to a boil.

When the stock is boiling, grasp the live crab by the back legs and drop it

into the pot headfirst. (For a more humane method, as you grasp the crab by

the legs, stroke the top of its head until it falls asleep and then slowly

drop it into the boiling stock.)

Bring the stock back to the boil and only then start timing. Large crabs

(about two pounds) need around 15 to 20 minutes; smaller crabs will need

only eight to 10 minutes.

Once the stock has started to boil again, reduce the heat and simmer for the

required time. The crab shell should turn bright orange when done.

When the crab is cooked, remove it from the stock and immerse for few

seconds in cold water so that cooking stops and it does not overcook.

To remove the back, hold the base of the crab with one hand and pull the

shell away from the body with the other hand. Reserve and dry the shell.

Turn the crab over and pull on the triangular-shaped section and lift it

away. Turn the crab again and gently scrape away the gills on either side

with your thumb or a spoon. Also, throw away the intestine, which runs down

the center of the back.

Most people wash away the "crab butter" (the yellow, mushy stuff in the

cavity). However, it can be added to the dressing if you like. Otherwise,


Rinse the rest of the body under cold water and break it in half and remove

all the meat. Twist off the legs.

Crack the legs with a mallet or a cracker and remove all the meat.

Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk together. Place

the salad ingredients with the crabmeat in a separate bowl and mix together.

Drizzle with the dressing and serve in the cleaned out crab shell. Serves


*available in Asian food stores or the Asian food section of larger



From Chef Stephen Schram

My family always had a dish at Christmas and Thanksgiving called "Corn Pudding". I loved it. It always reminded of good times over the holidays and the simple joys of home cooked food. When I became a chef I wanted to upscale it a bit and came across a southern dish called Spoon Bread. I've adapted the two recipes together and came up with a new tradition.

Corn Spoon Bread

3/4 C cornmeal

1 1/2 C water

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup cheddar cheese

1 cup of corn nibs (canned or thawed frozen)

1/4 C butter

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tsp of salt

1 C milk

4 eggs separated

Heat water and baking soda in sauce pan until boiling. Whisk in cornmeal and cook until smooth, whisking continually. Remove from heat and fold in cheese, butter, corn, & salt. Mix until cheese is mostly melted. Then mix in the milk.

In a separate bowl, whip egg yolks and gradually add to cornmeal mixture.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and then gently fold into cornmeal mixture

Pour mixture into a greased two-quart casserole dish, or souffl dish, and bake at 325 F for about an hour. It should be set in the middle

Spoon into bowl while still warm and garnish with whatever you like. I recommend butter, fresh chives, or crisp bacon