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Sunday, 15 May 2016

May, 1966 . . . and . . . Spicy PORK STEW by request!

  


May, 1966:  I had just completed my second year of university and was having trouble finding a summer job in Winnipeg. 

A desperate phone call to Anastasia resulted in an invitation to stay with her in Edmonton where she would help me find work.


On May 30 I wrote to Mom:
“It was a very interesting trip on the train.  As soon as I got on, the conductor was very helpful.  He made sure I didn't have to sit with Billy.  A lady, Mrs. Kennedy, took the seat beside me.  She told me about her operations, children, & husband & mother & father.  Then when we reached Edmonton at 6:00 a.m. (8:00 Manitoba time) she & her husband drove me to Anastasia’s house. 
As soon as I got off the train, the elastic strap on the back of my shoe broke. . . pretend everything is quite all right when your shoe is flopping.  
Carl isn’t home & probably won’t be until October.  Lisa is 6 and is starting school in the fall. 
I am working at a steak restaurant near the airport.  My uniform is supplied.  I am starting at $1.00 an hour plus tips and am working a day shift.  It is a very nice place, so you needn’t worry about me any more.
I haven't met anybody interesting here in Edmonton yet, but maybe that'll come. Anyway I'm going to be very busy sewing, typing & studying music.
Anastasia took me to have my tea cup read.”

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          Anastasia also wrote to Mom:

“Your daughter arrived here and is looking well.  I will try and take good care of her for you.
Received your letter and was shocked to hear about Uncle Matt.
I don’t know when we will be out to see you now, but I will try August.  Carl is away for the summer & fall; therefore, he will not be coming out with me.  It will be nice to see you in a new house.  Nestor told me about it.
The children are all doing well, growing, growing. 
 Lisa was in school one day – so she’s looking forward to going in the fall.
Eleanor’s very happy and she likes the place where she went to see about work.  It’s a beautiful place; a place where only rich people can afford to go.”

********
The very first time I went camping was with Anastasia and the kids that summer when they all went up to Peace River to see Carl.


On the way there, we passed a young man who was hitchhiking so Anastasia picked him up.  Who does that now?



I have a foggy mind picture of the big canvas tent we stayed in.  It looked like the one I stayed in with a university friend the next spring. 
Those days it was just sleeping bags (no air mattresses) and chilly mornings and the camping bug definitely bit me!

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I've started to collect my favourite camping recipes in a binder and this was the first one in!

PORK STEW

     From:  CHATELAINE MAGAZINE, Feb. 1992

3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 lbs pork cut into cubes
2 onions
1 green pepper
4 garlic cloves
3 tbsp chili powder
1 ½ tsp oregano
½ tsp dried chili flakes
2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
¼ cup chopped parsley or cilantro
2 cups frozen corn
19 ounce can chick-peas, drained and rinsed

·        Coarsely chop onions and green pepper.  Set aside.
·        Mince garlic and set aside.
·        Heat 1 tbsp oil in Dutch oven.  Add half the pork cubes and cook until all sides are well browned (about 6 minutes).  Transfer to a small bowl.  Brown remaining pork, adding more oil, if needed.  Set aside in bowl.
·        Start oven preheating to 350.
·        Reduce heat to low.  Add more oil, if needed.  Add onions and pepper to Dutch oven.  Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
·        Stir in garlic, chili powder, oregano, and chili flakes.  Cook for 2 minutes.
·        Add broth.  Stir to scrape up browned bits.
·        Return pork.  Bring stew to a boil.
·        Cover and cook in oven for 45 minutes.
·        Stir in parsley, corn, and chickpeas.  Cook 5 minutes and serve (with rice if desired).

*This stew freezes well so it’s perfect for taking along on a camping trip to serve on the second day when it has thawed in the cooler.