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Marie Porter returns to craft the kind of Canadian cookbook that could only be written by a Canadian living “away”...
Marie Porter returns to craft the kind of Canadian cookbook that could only be written by a Canadian living “away”...
Marie Porter returns to craft the kind of Canadian cookbook that could only be written by a Canadian living “away”...
469 backers pledged $17,963 to help bring this project to life.

Checking in, Some Development Updates!

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Hey everyone,

Sorry for being so quiet, it's been insanely busy here! 

First off - we funded!  I should probably have posted an updated one the day the campaign ended, but I was distracted. Whoops!    Thank you all again for all of your help, both in backing and sharing the project.  Because of you, we reached out second stretch goal, and will be adding (at least!) 30 more recipes to the book!

As I'd mentioned in the last update - just a couple days before the campaign ended - we had brought back a bunch of source material from Winnipeg, and a lot of it has relatively short shelf lives.  So, I've been busy... both on the computer (doing the math, laying out hypotheticals for the recipes, etc), and in the kitchen, developing them.

So, a few highlights:

1. Chalet Sauce:  DONE. 

This one was a challenge!  Usually I'm really good at picking our individual components and proportions/amounts, but Chalet Sauce actually took more work than I was expecting.  In the end, the ingredient that made a difference was just 1/4 tsp of something I couldn't TASTE, but suspected was there from mouthfeel.  

Really proud of this one, it's bang-on, aside from tasting "fresher" - but that's what happens when you use whole ingredients, rather than a powdered mix.  I'd only just learned that it was made from powdered mix while on this trip to Winnipeg - I guess I'd always just assumed it started from chicken stock and tomato!

2. Cream Cheese Dips: DONE!

 All six of them, almost indistinguishable from the source material, aside from the "fresher" thing. 

Happy about this one, because this was one of *THE* most requested recipes from expats - specifically, the pickle one. The Jalapeno one takes a little more work than the rest, but nothing crazy - they're all pretty quick to whip up.

Iconic Canadian Fried Pastry: Done!

While in Winnipeg, my husband had his very first one of these... and was really happy that I managed to get the recipe right.  Next step for this one will be to do a gluten free version, but that won't be til after I'm done developing the batch of originals for everything we brought back.

It'll be a fun challenge, not only because it has to be a stretchy bread product, but because the original uses whole wheat flour.  I'll be dipping into the same tricks I used for Beyond Flour and Beyond Flour 2 - if I can develop a proper graham cracker (spoilers: I can and did!), I can come up with a proper GF version!

The fun here will be coming up with a name that is "safe", with the original being a trademark.  "Large Aquatic Rodent Rudders", maybe? :) 


Montreal Smoked Meat: In Progress!

Hmm, KS isn't letting me insert photos now.  I was going to share a "brisket selfie" - 16 lbs of brisket slung over my shoulder. Seemed like a good idea at the time, anyway :)

Anyway, I've had that curing for over a week now.  This weekend is when the magic really happens, and it gets turned into actual Montreal Smoked Meat.  I'm extra excited, because I *LOVE* how my recipe for the rub turned out, and can't wait to see it as a final thing.

... I'm just going to need to find local friends to pawn some of the meat off onto, because I'm expecting to clear at least 13 lbs of it when all is said and done, and...  that's a lot.

Up next: Snack Cakes

The interesting thing with the snack cakes is that - across several types - there are shared recipes.  The biscuit from one snack cake is the same as the cookie in a marshmallow topped cookie by the same brand (not a snack cake, but is getting categorized with them because of this).  Several share a similar filling, or the same cake base, or what have you.

So, I've decided to do up the recipes for the individual elements, then have the recipes for each individual item refer back to them, in the interest of not being redundant.  So, there will be recipes for the biscuits, for marshmallow filling, for creme filling, for the cakes, etc... and then each specific snack cake recipe will require the relevant recipes, along with additional ingredients, and specific instructions for making them. 

I'm probably making it sound more complicated than it'll be, sorry.  Trust me, it'll work well!

Also up next: Frozen chocolate cake.  

This is a weird one.  I wrote a whole cookbook of fabulous cake recipes, was always known for making tasty cakes, and here I am trying to duplicate a ... well, not spectacular chocolate cake.   It was a *hugely* popular request, though.

The fun in this one comes from trying to replicate a cake and frosting that doesn't really attain a "frozen" texture when frozen.  It's actually kind of horrifying when you start really thinking about it, the crimes against cake that may have to be committed to make this work, LOL.   I promise to not include anything TOO weird.  I'd rather have frosting that does sort of freeze, than a complete Frankencake.


Waiting for Snow

Finally, cross your fingers that we get some decent snow here in Minneapolis, as we need it for one particular recipe / photo.  We've had hot days, epic wind storms, a tornado touching down about 45 minutes from here... but no snow.


I think that's about it for now.  I'm going to be going silent again for a bit - the next month or so is crazy busy for getting the development done on a batch of these.  I have been posting random quick photos here and there to social media (I instagrammed the brisket selfie!), if you're interested.  Much easier to do that on the fly!


Thanks again for everything, talk soon!

Meg Sussman, Eileen LaBoone, and 11 more people like this update.

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