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Thursday, 21 July 2016

LARD SANDWICHES . . . and Polish Pork Chops

Foxwarren School, Christmas Concert, 1952

Students from Grades One to Eight

Left to Right

Top Row: Doug Sawyer, Ralph Stewart, Lorne Morris, Paul Demontiney, Gordie Ellis, Jack Talbot 

Middle Row:  Mac Butler,  Terry Tiffin,
 Garth Jacob, Robert Desjarlais, Eleanor (me), Betty Snowden

Bottom Row :  Ellen Burdette, Calvin Pizzey, Dennis McCauley, Margaret Sabesky wearing a bow, Doran Twins (Donna & Dorothy),  Nola Pizzey

 Back Row:  Jack Talbot, Don Falloon, Richard Hills, Eugene Tymkiw, Delmain Redmond, Lawrence Tymkiw

Middle Row:      Alan Butler, Diane Orr, Jeannie Hall, Shirley Sawyer,   Rene Lafernier, Paul Desjarlais

Bottom Row:  Nola Pizzey, Irene Sabeski, Charlene Fleming,          Margaret Desjarlais, Ethel Johnson?

Top Row: Paul Desjarlais, Rodney Smith, Ronnie Tiffin, Gavin McKinnon, Shannon Boles

Middle Row:  Margaret Desjarlais, Ethel Johnson? Bev Bamford with bow, Lorna Harland, Faye Campbell, Dianne Ellis

Bottom row:  Ruth Jacobs, Bev Pizzey, Linda Stewart, Mary Mayhew, Shirley Nichol, Noreen Hodgson

Middle Row: Don Thorpe, Lawrence Desjarlais, Ron Falloon, Dar Thorpe, Murray Carr

Bottom row:  David Parton, Nestor, John Paton, Donnie  Hodgson

Middle Row:  Murray Carr, Wayne Carter, Gary McCrindle, Ray Gadd

Bottom Row:  Donnie Hodgson, Grant Dunfield, Bill McFarlin, Reg Parton

Top Row: Ellen Vancancele, Diane Talbot, Lorraine Lafernier,             Glenda Thorpe, Irma Miskow

Middle Row: Arthur Vivian, Craig Lougheeed, Oliver Low, Reid Boles,      Don Thorpe

Front Row:  Lloyd Wotton, Bill Pizzey, Gordon Paton, Bobbie Doran

Irma Miskow, Frances King, Beverly Orr, Gladys Waddell, Marion Sabesky


My thanks to Reg Parton and Diane (Talbot) Falloon for helping me with everyone's names!


We lived nine miles from town, the furthest of all the kids, so the school van always picked us up first (about 8:10 a.m.) and dropped us off last (nearly 5 pm).

All the grades were combined so Nestor and I went into the same classroom.  He was one of the big kids -- in grade two.

Every day started with us standing by our desks for “O Canada” and “The Lord’s Prayer”.  This was always followed by a Bible reading.  At the start of the year, there was the Book of Genesis.  

The first day of school is a breeze when you have a big brother.  At lunch time, I sat down on a little hill and got swarmed by ants, but Nestor helped brushed them off me. 

The day ended with all classes, carrying their belongings, lined up in the hallways to sing “God Save the King”. 

When we got home, I told Mom and Diana that I had danced in a circle with all the boys and girls at recess and a boy kissed me.   Mom was scandalized.  “Don’t do that again,” she said.

We had a wonderful teacher – Mrs. Lillian Drysdale.   Nestor couldn’t speak English when he started school the year before, but, soon he was one of the top students.  I guess I learned to read right along with him that year so when I started school, the teacher considered having me skip grade one.  Thank goodness she left me where I was.

Whispers about DIVORCE swirled about, and, sadly, for all her students, Mrs. Drysdale left the teaching profession at the end of that year.


 SCHOOL LUNCHES:  We mostly ate ham or bologna sandwiches carried in black lunch pails.

Mom talked about taking sandwiches to school in a lard pail.  I used to shudder at the thought of sandwiches that consisted of lard smeared on bread.

Pan Zagloba, in With Fire and Sword by Sienkiewicz, declares that some young knights “take to wars like bread goes with goose-grease.”

Hmm.   After using some fresh bread to wipe out the fat left in a pan of Polish style pork chops sautéed in lard, I found myself thinking pioneer children didn’t have it so bad after all. 

If you want to give it a try, pork chops done like this are YUM!

6 pork shoulder chops
1/3 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ to ¾ cup fine dry bread crumbs
¼ cup lard (or 4 tbsp)

·        Make very shallow cuts around the edges to prevent the chops from curling up.
·        Salt the chops on both sides.
·        Dip them first in the flour, then into eggs, and last into the bread crumbs.  Press with fingers to make crumbs adhere.
·        Heat the lard in a large frying pan over high heat.  Set the timer for 20 minutes and brown the chops on both sides.  Then reduce heat to lowest and cook them, uncovered, for remaining time on the timer.  (From start to finish, in other words, 20 minutes.)
·        Serve with potatoes and salad.

“Zdrowo i smacznie”  (Polish!)



I can spot Aunt Nellie.  She looks just like Pat!     Is Uncle Myron the middle one of the tall boys in this picture?  I think he might be referred to here as Mirlen Leschasin!

Again, I can see Aunt Nellie.  Aunt Florence is in the picture, too.  Which of the little ones is she?


P.S.  Just remembered:  Mom said the lard on the sandwiches sometimes
 was mixed with brown sugar!  And they were carried in Lard Pails.