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Papaya Dessert Soup

Since Elaina asked for the Papaya Dessert Soup recipe from the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen Christmas Potluck 2008, I decided to post it here to share with everyone. Lorna, thank you for sharing the recipe.

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Ingredients

  • 2 Hawaii Papayas —– peel and cut into big cubes
  • 3 White Fungus —– wash, soak in water till soft, core out the centre hard part and cut into small pieces, scald in boiling water and drain
  • 10 Figs (Chinese white figs) —– wash and cut to quarters
  • 20 Red Dates (Chinese dried red dates) —– wash, soak in water till soft cut to halves
  • 3 tablespoons Chinese sweet and bitter almonds* ( skinless ) —– wash
  • 1 pack Crystal Sugar (small cubes) 400 g.—– or rock sugar
  • 16 cups of water

Instructions

  • Bring the water to boil and add in the white fungus, figs, red dates, sweet & bitter almonds
  • Bring to boil and simmer on low heat for an hour
  • Bring the soup to a boil again on high heat, add in the crystal sugar, stir till melt
  • Add in the Papaya cubes, turn off the stove, cover and let sit for 5 minutes
  • Serve while hot or chilled.
This recipe serves 12 to 15.
* Chinese sweet and bitter almonds is known as “larm buck herng” in Cantonese.

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Holiday Cutout Cookies

Charlene also demonstrated some Holiday Cutout Cookies in the Peach Mennonite Church Community Kitchen. This is a fun session as everyone can participate in rolling out the dough, cutting out the cookies, and decorate the cookies.

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Above are some samples of the decorated Holiday Cutout Cookies.

Ingredients:

For cookies:

  • refer Raspberry Diamonds

For Icing:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons water

For decoration:

  • food coloring
  • sprinkles

Tool:

  • cookies cutters
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Raspberry Diamonds

After the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen Christmas Potluck, a few of us went to Peace Mennonite Church Community Kitchen for a cookie making session. This cookies making session is sponsored by Family Services and demonstrated by Charlene.

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We made 2 types of cookies, one filled with raspberry jam and the other one is just holiday cutout cookies decorated with icings. The dough for both the cookies are the same except that for the holiday cutout cookies, the dough has to be refrigerated for a firmer texture.

Ingredients

For cookies:

  • 2 1/2 cups (11 1/4 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (8oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon, grated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For filing:

  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam

For glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • drop of almond extract (optional)

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Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen Christmas Potluck 2008

The Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen celebrated Christmas with a potluck as previous year.

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We are glad to have Lorna (standing 3rd from left) to join us again. Lorna gave us a very priceless gift from her late husband. It is an art collection of Lorna’s husband arts with the title “Fascinating Mind of Nigel Tam”. Nigel (1937-2008) was born and raised in an artistic family in Shanghai, China. Nigel graduated from TaiNan Polytechnic and Taiwan Normal University with honour in Fine Arts.

Nigel was married to Lorna in 1971 and had two daughters. In 1992, Nigel and family moved to Canada and established the “Tam’s Studio”, teaching art. Nigel managed to publish his art works in the book “Fascinating Mind of Nigel Tam” just before he passed away. This book contains art work from oil painting, ink painting and digital art work. Lorna, thank you so much for sharing Nigel’s dream with us.

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Besides sharing food, Karen made everyone a cute little ornament bell to be hang on our Christmas tree. Karen, thank you for the crafted gift. Frank also gave everyone some Japanese cookies and beautifully written Christmas cards.

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Back to food, Heidi made this very fragrant 5 spice duck. She told us she marinated the duck with 4 tablespoons of salt and 4 teaspoons of five-spice powder for 48 hours, wrapped with layers of paper towel to absorb all the moisture. She then use some Shioxing wine to rinse the inside of the duck before steaming the duck for 40 minutes. This 5-spice duck is her husband’s favourite.

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Lorna made this dessert soup which is supposed to have healing effect for cough. According to Chinese medicinal point of view, this dessert soup warms your lungs. This soup has papaya, red dates, fig, white fungus (or snow ear fungus), north and south almond and sweetened with rock sugar. According to Lorna, the dry white fungus has to be soaked and blanched to remove the sulfuric taste in it.

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Canape

The last dish Minoo made for the seniors Christmas celebration is Canape. Canape is a finger food which often served during cocktail hours. Canape are usually salty or spicy. Traditionally, canape are build on stale while bread but for simplicity, we use baguette as the base and topped with a mixture of olives and nuts.

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Minoo made two different flavours of canape, one with black olives and another with green olives. I prefer the one with black olives as it’s milder in taste. For those who love olives, the green one has a more intense olives flavour.

Ingredients

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Green olives Almond slices, toated Lemon zest

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Black olives Pistachio, shelled Orange zest

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Baguette Olive oil Freshly ground pepper

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Tex-Mex Bean Salad with Creamy Salsa Dressing

This is one of none Danish dish which the seniors made for the Christmas celebration. It’s called Tex-Mex Bean Salad with Creamy Salad Dressing. It’s kind of Mexican. Christina and June were in-charged of making this salad.

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The Tex-Mex Bean Salad is great for potluck but it is advisable to assemble the salad just before serving. This is especially so for the tortilla chips so that they wont get soggy by the salad dressing.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 3 tablespoons light sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or you can prepare your own black bean from dry ones)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels (or can ones)
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 24 baked low-fat tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup cubed cheese (pepperjack or cheddar)

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To store the leftover half of the avocado, sprinkle the cut flesh with lemon or lime juice or white vinegar. Place it in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 2 days.

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Danish Brovst Dream Coffee Cake

For dessert, Charlene, Frank and Karen made this Danish Brovst Dream Coffee Cake. As it was Minoo’s birthday, this cake also serves as her birthday cake.

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This cake has a topping of baked coconut flakes which resembles little ant and hence this cake is also known as “ant cake”. This cake is dense and sweet.

Ingredients

  • 250g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 50g (about 3 tablespoons +1 teaspoon) butter or margarine
  • 300g (about 1.5 cups) sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • 3 teaspoons (15ml) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Filling:

  • 125g (1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons) butter or margarine
  • 100g grated coconut
  • 250g brown sugar (275ml packed or 1 1/8 cup packed)
  • 50ml milk

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Danish Sugar-browned Potatoes (Brunede Kartofler)

Minoo made this Danish Sugar-browned Potatoes specially for Paul. Paul described this potato dish to Minoo and Minoo was able to get the recipe from a Danish in a grocery store she visited. When Minoo tried the recipe at home, she ate all the potatoes by herself because they are that good.

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The Danish Sugar-browned Potatoes are tender and sweet. They pair well with roast beef, chicken, pork or lamb.

Ingredients

  • 12 – 15 Parisian potatoes
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter

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