Be bop, blues and breakfast

Yes, readers, it's that time of year again... I'm off to the good old U.S. of A this weekend for our the annual Wauconda Sock Hop and Antique Car Show. My dance partner and I have become the token Canuck contingent at this little community event, drifting back in time with the locals to the 50s to swing and bop our hearts out. I dust off my saddle shoes and Martin digs out his bowling shirt and we're all set! When we get too hot, we'll step outside for a piece of homemade pie made by the local Women's Club. I'm hoping Edna will make her apricot pie again this year; that's my favourite after ten years of sampling all the flavours. I'm posting the recipe below for those who are game to try it.  Edna is in her 90s and her instructions are not exactly scientific, but then any good baker she knows would be able to understand her notes perfectly.

"Make a double pie crust. I always use butter flavoured Crisco, it adds flavour and aroma to the pie. For the filling, I use about 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons cornstarch with the fruit. Mix it all up and sprinkle a little on the bottom crust. Then put in your chopped apricots. Then the rest of the sugar-flour mixture on top of the apricots. Make some small pieces of cold butter, just little cubes, and place them one on top of the filling and 5 or 6 around the sides. Add a squirt of lemon juice. Put on the top crust and bake for approximately one hour."

(I used 12 apricots, and mixed the sugar-flour combination in with the fruit before I put it in the crust. I used the juice of 1/2 a lemon, and I baked it on the bottom rack of the oven at 400F for 1 hour. You have to make sure the filling boils or the cornstarch won't work to thicken it. Edna says you have to experiment a bit with the recipe as some years the fruit will be more sweet or juicy, so if it's not perfect the first time, just keep on trying!)

After the sock hop, we get up the next morning and make a big camping breakfast. We'll have pancakes with maple syrup, bacon and camp coffee (made in my antique percolator). Then we'll pack up and head to the Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival for the last day. The town of Winthrop is a charming hamlet that has been recreated western style. The festival is the largest and longest running one in Washington state. It's another step back in time, reminding me of the fairs my parents attended with my brother and I in tow as kids. The free and easy ambience, with lyrical music in the sun and people sitting on the grass and kids running around... doesn't it say the 60s? The people are gracious and friendly, the music is easy to tap your toes to, and the food is classic festival fare (we all need a corn dog or some kind of exotic wrap every once in a while, don't you think?). It's a completely relaxing way to spend a day.

We have one last day to hang out and enjoy the town and our campsite on the shores of Pearrygin Lake. This gives us a chance to have another great camping breakfast - likely hash browns and fried eggs to make sure we get all the great tastes. Hopefully we can have a s'more or two as well, even if we do cook them over the stove. It's the best way to recoup from the hustle and bustle, just watching the night stars twinkle and listening to the wind in the trees.

We will reminisce and remember this weekend, memories shared from past weekends like this one and stories told by others of times gone by. It's a slice of life, a juicy thick sample of all that makes the world go round. May each of you have such a slice served to you at least once this summer, just like a slice of Edna's apricot pie.

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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