Voyageur Storytelling Country Supper Recipes

Good Food * Good Listening * Good Company

in Northern Bruce Peninsula

519-795-7477 or or return to home page

In which we start to tell you about

The Most Distinctive of our

Country Supper Recipes

For several years now people have been asking for our recipes. We have published a few in our newsletters, but are not keeping up with demand. So now we are doing it, here on our web site, and eventually in a booklet. The pressure is on and we are responding. We will continue to improve this page in the ensuing months and years. If you spot anything that needs improvement, or if you try one of the recipes and it doesn't work, please let us know, and we will effect repairs. We view our web site as an interactive medium, inviting you and all our visitors to help us improve the whole experience.

From Mrs. Beeton: A Supper Buffet for Ball Room or Evening Party

Welcome to the Culinary World of Voyageur Storytelling
Where Good Food, Good Listening and Good Company Prevail

with illustrations from Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management New Edition (approx. 1910),

long after Mrs. Beeton was no longer a living person but a brand.

(Isabella Mary Beeton's dates were 1836-1865.)

From Voyageur Storytelling, that is, from Leslie Robbins Conway, Paul Conway, henceforth to be simply called we, or us, or Paul and Leslie, or Paul, or Leslie, as the case may be, endeavouring to the best of their (our) ability to provide you with a profusion of good stories and songs, a further profusion of recipes, and yet more stories about those recipes so as to enable you to create your own Country Supper Storytelling Concert, greetings!

Regarding the provision of good company, that will be entirely your responsibility. We could suggest that you start small ... just invite another couple of people to join you, good friends or family who you know will enjoy this kind of adventure. But then again, we do not think small and easy; we think excellence, we think unforgettable, we think wildly and unpredictably entertaining. So you could start there too.

To quote our good friend Bear, and we mean, of course, “primordial Bear, primeval Bear, huge, omnivorous, irascible Bear,” the three commandments of any Supper Storytelling Concert are:
#1 - Take it easy; choose any meal you would like (our ideas are only suggestions) ...
# 2 - Take it easy; choose lots of good stories and songs that you enjoy ...
# 3 - Take it easy; allow plenty of time: for sipping, eating, chatter, banter and stories, singing, ...

As you are enjoying your own brand of Supper (or Luncheon, for you may hold your experience at midday) Storytelling concert, imagine Paul and Leslie relaxing with a glass of whatever on the deck, or rehearsing around the dining room table, smiles on their faces, for we are with you, enjoining you to have a joyful storytelling experience. and now, Enjoy !

The Ultimate Doggie Bag in Print

By the way, we publish these recipes and more in our recipe chapbook called The Ultimate Doggie Bag.


The Voyageurs were men of quantity, but not precision of measurement. Distances, for example, were measured by the “pipe” which was the distance travelled between pauses for a smoke. This was regulated by the man in charge of the canoe, called the “guide.” Loads were measured by the pièce, or bale, each weighing approximately 90 pounds. One man’s standard load on the portage was two bales, and if he could carry three he was paid a little extra. A day’s travel was what it was, and they got where they were going when they got there. Numerical rigour was not necessary.

Within reason this same relaxed spirit governs our interpretation of Voyageur cookery. Sometimes we measure the ingredients carefully, sometimes we don’t, sometimes we don’t measure them at all. Take our numbers as guides, for the most part, and use your own judgement and taste. If precision matters in a particular recipe, we will say so.
In this same spirit, we will use the old-fashioned units of measurement: quarts, pints, cups, tablespoons, teaspoons, etc., because that is how we do things.

The Recipes

Local-as-Possible Voyageur Punch


apple cider 2 cups
unsweetened rhubarb juice 1 cup
cranberry juice 2 cups
tea (your choice) 3 cups
sweetener to taste (we don't use any)
ginger ale 3 cups

Proportions can be varied to taste.
Mix juices, tea and sweetener a few hours before serving. Chill. Add ginger ale just before serving.
For holiday spirits, add 2 cups of red wine or rum or liquor of choice.


Bannocks of Barley: A Voyageur’s Prayer

We don’t want any more pemmican only:

Bannocks of bear meal and bannocks of barley:

Here’s to the voyageur’s bannocks of barley!

Up in the morning so brisk, bright and early

Wishing that breakfast was bannocks of barley;

Menus decided without any parley:

Pemmican stew, never bannocks of barley;

Don’t be surprised if we’re sullen and snarly,

Smiles will return over bannocks of barley;

Drink to the lassies who, blushing and pearly,

Feed us all winter on bannocks of barley.

Bannocks of bear meal and bannocks of barley

Here’s to the voyageur’s bannocks of barley!

This piece is adapted in our usual unscrupulous way from a Scottish song with words by Robert Burns. Bear meal is said to be another term for barley, but for the voyageurs it might be literal. For the tune, see "Voyageur Song", another in our series of Performances in Print.

The True, the Bashful Voyageur Bannock
2 cups flour: 1 white, 1 whole wheat
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 or 3 tablespoons maple syrup (or other sweetener)
grated apple, blueberries, or other fruit to taste
1 cup water or milk
seasoning to taste.

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Add wet ingredients, fruit and seasoning. Beat vigorously. Grease a medium cast-iron fry pan. Pour in the dough, which should be thick but wet enough to flow. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes.
If you add more water or milk (another cup more or less) you can make really good pancakes with this same recipe.

Butter Top Buns


1 cup lukewarm milk
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar (or demarara, or honey, or maple syrup)
2 tbsp butter or margarine plus 1 tbsp more melted
1 tsp yeast
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup wholewheat flour

Stir yeast well in 1/3 cup of warm water with pinch of sugar. Set aside while you prepare other ingredients. Warm milkgently; add salt and sugar. Add butter or margarine. Gradually add flour stirring well with a wooden spoon and then kneading well with hands. Cover with clean dishcloth, set in a warm draft-free location to rise for about one hour. Then, punch down and divide into 12-16 small pieces. Shape each piece into an oval and set on a floured cookie sheet. Slit the top of each bun, brush with melted butter or margarine and sprinkle with corn meal. Cover with dish cloth and let rise for about another hour. Bake at 375°F for about 18 minutes.

Straight-North-of-Scone Scones


Does scone rhyme with bone, or gone, or one?
This last is very seldom done,
But true believers rise at dawn
To advocate the tone of scone;
Or call up talk shows on the phone
To press the etymon of scone;
Or even spend all afternoon
Rehearsing tunes in praise of Scone;
Be that as it may:

It is agreed by everyone
That we concoct a princely scone.

Here goes (this recipe is thanks to Elaine White):
3 cups of flour

1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup shortening, margarine or butter
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift or just combine dry ingredients. Cut in shortening with two knives or pastry blender until mixture like coarse cornmeal. Mix in milk all at once, using a folding motion until it forms a ball of soft dough. If too moist add a bit of flour
Shape into a round, flat, circle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into eight sectors so that they are slightly separated. Or, cut into 2 inch rounds or squares. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush top with the egg white. You can also sprinkle with sugar to add sweetness. Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
Another version of this recipe adds 1 or 2 eggs. Beat these in with the milk and carry on as before.

Mom’s Gefilte Fish

2 lbs fish, chopped fish (we use whitefish, but that's simply local availablility)
3 eggs
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons salt or less
1/2 teaspoon pepper
(1 teaspoon up to) 1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons matzo meal (or ? cup)
3 large carrots, grated
3 large onions, chopped
1/4 cup oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Chop the onions in the Cuisinart, grate the carrots, and mix together.
Saute grated carrots and onions until soft but not brown.
Skin fish and chop chunks in Cuisinart.
In a fairly large bowl, beat the eggs, adding water, oil, salt, pepper, sugar and matzo meal.
Beat a couple of minutes then add carrot/onion mixture.
Beat a few more minutes and then add chopped fish. Beat for an additional 3-5 minutes.
Grease two loaf pans, and insert fish mixture, dividing the mixture equally between the two.
Bake at 350 for one hour.
Let cool, then refrigerate and serve cool with horseradish and parsley to garnish.

Kiss-Me-in-the-Eye Tomato Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large, sweet onions (eg. Vedalias), chopped
8 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
8 large tomatoes (or 1 28 oz. can), roughly chopped
1 litre (4 cups) vegetarian or chicken broth(2 cubes in 4 cups water)
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons fresh basil, or 4 teaspoons dried basil
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon salt, freshly ground pepper,

Heat olive oil in a slow cooker or large pot. Add chopped onions and garlic. Saute while you wash and cut up the tomatoes. Add tomatoes to pot. Boil water, add bouillion cubes (we now use organic soup cubes with no MSG or additives- pure herbs and spices!), stir and add to pot. Add seasonings: honey, vinegar, basil, oregano, hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. As our son who is a chef in Guelph always says “don’t forget to taste and adjust seasoning to your liking”.
Simmer on a very low heat for anywhere from 2 to 6 hours. Just before serving, we give the soup a quick blend with our hand-immersion blender for a few seconds to make the soup smoother.
Garnish with a sprig of cilantro, curled parsley or a few stems of chives and sprinkle with grated parmesan or romano. Absolutely delicious served chilled. Serves 10 - 12 generously.

Sudden Borscht of Enlightenment

This recipe is thanks to Suzanne Smith.

1 medium onion, chopped
1 small green cabbage (or mix half red cabbage), sliced
1 to 2 lbs fresh beets (4 - 8 c.), peeled and grated
3 large carrots, grated
4 stalks celery, grated
1 Tbsp olive oil
8 (approx.) garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
1 48 oz can (1.6 L) Vegetable cocktail juice
1 cup fresh dill, chopped or 2 tsp dried dill
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp salt & freshly ground pepper
2 bay leaves.
2 - 4 cups of water, add to thin out soup to taste

In a large pot or slow cooker, saute onion and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes approximately. Add carrots and celery. then add other vegetables, juice and all other ingredients. Vegetables will wilt and shrink !! Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour or more. Stir often. Serve with feta cheese, sour cream and fresh dill. Also, excellent chilled.

Voyageur Orange Chicken
10 - 12 chicken legs (drumsticks and thighs joined)
1 can frozen orange juice
juice of two lemons, or ? cup of lemon juice
salt, freshly ground pepper, garlic powder, onion powder

Place chicken pieces in one or two large flat casseroles, skin side down. Season chicken with salt, freshly ground pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
Broil low for about 15 minutes, being careful not to let chicken burn. Turn pieces over and broil low for another 10 minutes or so.
While chicken is cooking, defrost one can of frozen orange juice and mix with the juice of two lemons (or half a cup of lemon juice).
Pour half of the juice mixture over the partly-cooked chicken pieces. Bake at 350 F or convection bake at 325 F for 1 hour or more depending on size of pieces. At each half hour or so, turn pieces and pour another portion of juice mixture over them, mixing juices with drippings in the pan. Ready when pieces loose. Garnish with slices of orange cut in half. Serve with rice.

Beef Stew Estillaunty

This recipe came from Ann Estill.

1/2 cup wine vinegar

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp catsup

2 -3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp corn syrup or honey

1 -2 bay leaves
a few peppercorns

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ginger powder or fresh ginger

Combine marinade ingredients and pour over 2 lbs of stewing beef cut into one inch cubes. Store covered in the refrigerator for 72 hours or less, turning from time to time.

4 very large carrots cut into strips
4 medium/ 2 large Spanish onions, thinly sliced
3 large stalks celery, sliced 1/4 inch wide
3/4 cup flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup beef broth

Five hours or so before serving, drain meat and reserve marinade. Mix flour, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder and coat meat with it. Brown meat in a frying pan with margarine for 10 or 15 minutes. In the meantime, prepare vegetables and place half of them on the bottom of the slow cooker. Cover the vegetables with the browned meat, then cover with remaining vegetables.
Add marinade to the beef broth. Mix well and pour over mixture. OR, Bake in oven for 15 minutes at 350 and then 4 hours at 275, OR cook for 6 hours in slow cooker, turning contents once.

Brunswick Lamb Stew
3 lb of diced raw lamb cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 good sized onion, chopped up
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken or vegetable bouillon
1 or 2 Bay leaves
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 - 3 cups chopped potatoes, raw
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 1/2 cups tomatoes fresh or canned, chopped
1 can or small bag frozen baby lima beans
1 cup of thinly sliced zucchini
1/4 cup flour, if desired

(You can substitute 1 yellow and 3 green peppers added one hour before serving in place of the corn and zucchini or try all veggies together)
Brown the lamb in oil in a slow cooker adding the onion and garlic. If desired, add 1/4 cup of flour and stir around. Then add the broth, potatoes, corn, tomatoes, baby lima beans and zucchini. Also, add the salt, pepper, rosemary, bay leaf. Cook all day on slow heat. Serves 10 - 12.
Recipe can be cut by thirds.

Vegetable Pemmican


Sweet Potato
Zucchini or other squash
Green Peas or Beans

Quantities can be varied according to taste and number of servings needed. A pot with a steaming tray works best.
Cube everything but the peas. Boil rutabaga in the pot for 10-15 minutes;
Add carrot and parsnip and boil for another 10-15 minutes;
Add sweet potato and squash (unless you are using zucchini) for another 10 minutes;
With about 5 minutes to go put zucchini (if used) in the pot and peas or beans in the steaming tray.
Drain boiled vegetables and add margarine or olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, curry powder and~or other seasonings to taste. Mash. Stir in peas or beans. Serve.

Pemmican, the Real Thing
A Voyageur Staple in Western and Northern Canada

1 bison (buffalo)
saskatoon berries (if available)

Subdue and butcher the bison. Dry the meat and mash to a powder. Set the tallow aside. Make a bag out of the hide. Put the dried meat in the bag and mix in the saskatoons if you have them. Melt the tallow and pour it over the dried meat. Sew the bag closed.
Yield: about 90 lbs (40 kg). Serve dry or boiled into rubbaboo, a kind of stew.
Keeps in the bag for a very long time.

Inevitable Salad
The Salad:
Cabbage (whatever kind you like, or a mixture)
Carrot (optional)
The Dressing:
Olive Oil
Light Oil
Rice Vinegar
Dried Basil
Mustard Powder
Garlic Powder
Dried Parsley

Dice, chop, grate or bray the salad ingredients into the desired size (chewable bites) and put in a bowl. We use about 2 measures of cabbage to 1 measure, or a bit less, of everything else, but that can be varied according to taste. Add equal measures of olive oil, light oil and vinegar (about 1 tablespoon of each per four servings). Sprinkle other seasonings onto the salad according to taste, but with a lighter touch on the salt, pepper and garlic. Toss. If marinating, hold the tomatoes until just before serving.

Apple Pie
1 cup whole wheat flour (or organic pastry flour)
1 cup finely sifted spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup olive oil margarine
1⁄2 cup water

Combine dry ingredients and mix thoroughly;
Add margarine in gobs, stir in with knife, then mix with pastry rake to granular consistency;
Add water and combine;
Chill thoroughly before rolling.

Pie Filling:
2 lbs (net) sweet apples, peeled, cored and pieced;
(preferred varieties in our area are Empire, Ida Red, Paula Red, Spartan, and for early crop apples, Lodi and Vista Bella which do not need to be peeled)
3 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup, depending on tartness of apples (add brown sugar if necessary)

Roll out the under pastry and place in pie plate. Dump in apples. Sprinkle maple syrup and seasonings to taste. Roll out top pastry and place on pie.
Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes, and at 350 for another 40.
Serve with French Vanilla ice cream.

Anecdote: Paul’s Broiled Apple Pie (Grandma never did this!)
One memorable day the lower element on the electric oven broke. From this emergency came the invention of broiled apple pie. Broiled pie is prepared the same way as the baked pie, except that the broiler lacks a controlling thermostat and will burn the pie. Place aluminum foil on a rack above the pie and down the sides of the oven, reflecting heating inwards and downwards. Use an oven thermometer. Turn on the broiler, high at first, and then low, and monitor the temperature regularly. Turn the broiler off or on as required to to reach and maintain the desired heat, until the pie is ready.

A was once an Apple Pie:
Tidy pie-dy open wide-y,
Nice inside-y
Apple Pie!

Author Forgotten

And there you have it: The Ultimate Doggie Bag

These folks are enjoying a Country Picnic Conversazione

which is, in spirit, much like a Country Supper Storytelling Concert

This picture, called "Dejeuner sur l'herbe" is not from Mrs. Beeton, but Monet (not Manet)

Manet's painting of the same name appears as below: quite a different kind of picnic,

and quite possibly metaphorical

(i.e., are the ladies really present, or only in the minds (and conversation) of the men?)

(evidence for the metaphorical hypothesis: the amount of food;

the odd scale of the second lady's image, the attitude of the men, etc.)

Both these pictures were created in the decade of Mrs. Isabella Beeton

But these paintings really have nothing to do with our recipes.

They are interesting, however.


Return to Home Page

Voyageur Storytelling 2013

All contents of this site copyright © Voyageur Storytelling 2006-2013 unless otherwise noted.