Seasons eatings from the Sheaf to you: A mini Sheafworthy recipe book

By in Culture/Features

Nothing represents the holidays quite like the unbridled consumption of food. After months of subsisting on instant noodles, Kraft Dinner and the occasional multivitamin, students deserve to overindulge on some quality fare.

However — whether because of a lack of cooking experience, time or funds — we students often leave the task of contributing to holiday meals for others — but we don’t have to be hedonistic holiday hosers. Since the holidays are all about sharing, here are some holiday recipe favourites from the Sheaf staff that you can bring to the table this season.


Jessica Klaassen-Wright: Extra-Boozy Eggnog

12 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 cups table cream
1 cup rum
2 cups brandy
2 cups whipping cream, whipped
12 egg whites, beaten
Nutmeg, to taste

Directions: Carefully separate egg yolks from egg whites, into two containers. Beat egg whites and set aside. Blend egg yolks with sugar. In a large bowl, mix the blended egg yolks and sugar with table cream, rum and brandy. Mix in beaten egg whites and whipped cream. Add nutmeg to taste.

Story: Maybe 30 years ago, my mum scribbled this gem into the back of her Joy of Cooking recipe book. For the last few years, my family has been making a double batch in a giant punch bowl and drinking it together while we put up the Christmas tree and decorations. If you want to add the recipe to your list of holiday traditions, be wary — this stuff has a boozy bite.


Tanner Bayne: Susan’s Old-Fashioned Toffee

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 tin of Eagle Brand condensed milk
1 cup butter
Pinch of salt

Directions: Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add all other ingredients, stirring until mixed. Bring mixture to a soft boil. Using a flat-bottomed whisk, stir constantly for 20 minutes. Once completely smooth, pour mixture into an eight by eight pan, then allow it to chill in the fridge for an hour. Cut the toffee into as many pieces as you desire.

Story: This recipe is a seasonal staple from my Dear Ol’ Mom, Susan. Though my mom is an expert cook, baker and confectioner who can create more holiday dishes than I can name, nothing compares to her Old-Fashioned Toffee — it’s the shining star of her Christmas creations. Don’t tell her that I shared this recipe, though — I would probably lose my inheritance if she found out.

I’m going to be real with you — this shit is not fun to make. You have to stir incessantly for 20 goddamn minutes or more, or else it will quickly burn. Nevertheless, the gooey, sweet and slightly salty treat at the end always makes the prospect of permanently injuring your wrist worth it. Thanks, Mom.


Nykole King: Kutia

1½ cups wheat berries
4½ cups milk
¾ cup poppy seeds
3 tbsp. honey, to taste
¼ cup dark chocolate
⅔ cup chopped walnuts
⅛ tsp. salt
Dash of cinnamon

Directions: Rinse wheat berries in cold water and leave to soak in a bowl overnight, in lukewarm water. Make sure to add enough water to cover two inches above the wheat berries. The following day, drain wheat and combine wheat berries and milk in a medium pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to a low heat, and cover the pot. Let simmer for three hours.

In a bowl, scald poppy seeds with boiling water, then drain the water. Add enough lukewarm water to cover the poppy seeds, and let them soak for 30 minutes. Drain and grind poppy seeds in a food processor, using the finest blade.

Setting aside half of the liquid, drain the wheat. Add honey to reserved liquid, and stir until combined. Grate the dark chocolate. In a mixing bowl, combine wheat, poppy seeds, liquid-honey mixture, chocolate, walnut, salt and cinnamon. This dish can be served warm or chilled.

Story: Kutia, pronounced koot-YA, is a sweet wheat-pudding dish served at the beginning of the Christmas meal in many Ukrainian families. It is usually mandatory for everyone to eat at least one spoonful. The key ingredients are wheat and poppy seeds, but otherwise, the rest of the ingredients vary, and every family has a different recipe.


Jack Thompson: Easter Mimosa Punch

2 L orange juice
2 L ginger ale
½ cup Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
Sliced oranges or strawberries
2 bottles sparkling wine or champagne

Directions: Find a large bowl, and mix ingredients together.

Story: This recipe makes simple — but tasty — mimosas that can be made on a budget, depending on your choice of wine. This recipe came into my family at Easter, but it became a holiday tradition when we decided to stay inside, relax and drink mimosas all day rather than bother with any Boxing Day deals — my family now calls Boxing Day “Mimosa Day.” This recipe is a great way to unwind from holiday stress.


Emily Migchels: The Puritan Cookie

1½ cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Directions: In a big bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and whisk. Then, add flour — switch to spoon — baking powder and salt. Cover that shit and chill for at least one hour, or overnight.

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out your chilled dough on a floured surface, about ¼ to ½ inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter — I am fond of circles, because you can just use a cup. The dough tastes great, but don’t eat a lot.

Place cookies one inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for six to eight minutes in preheated oven  — they aren’t going to look done, but just take them out. Also, icing adds a lot, but you can buy that.

Story: These cookies are simple, but really goddamn good and — sometimes in spite of everything — shockingly consistent. You can mess up a lot, but you can’t mess up these cookies.


Jeremy Britz: Ginger Snap Cookies

1 cup sugar
¾ cup shortening
¼ cup molasses
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ginger sugar
¼ tsp. salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and shortening until smooth, then beat in molasses and egg until well blended. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves and salt, then add to molasses mixture. Make dough into 1-inch balls, and roll each ball in ginger sugar. On a baking sheet, flatten each ball into a cookie by pressing down on it with a fork. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Story: My grandma used to make the best gingersnap cookies, and while this isn’t exactly the same recipe, it’s fairly close to hers. The unique flavour of these cookies pairs well with coffee or hot chocolate, making them an excellent choice for the holidays.


J.C. Balicanta Narag: Biko (Sticky Rice Cake)

4 cups glutinous rice
1 can coconut milk
3 cups brown sugar
1 can water, poured into empty coconut-milk can

Directions: Soak glutinous rice for four hours, or overnight. Drain and place in a baking pan. Boil remaining ingredients and pour contents onto the rice. Cover pan with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes, or up to an hour.

Story: My mom always makes this during Christmas. It’s not a tradition at all, but we always have it on special occasions. On Christmas Eve in the Philippines, when I was young, this dessert was paired with spaghetti and hotdogs, Filipino-style pork-and-beef barbecue and lechon baboy — or roasted pig. My family would invite our neighbours and family friends, and we would all eat together. This dessert sticks out for me because it reminds me how full of stories and joy my house would always be on Christmas Day.


Laura Underwood: Chicken Stew

6-8 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1.36 L chicken broth
8 tbsp. flour
1 medium onion, sliced
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 small turnip, peeled and cubed
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 stalks celery, sliced
Seasoning to suit your taste — such as salt and pepper, celery salt, poultry seasoning or parsley

Directions: Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Use a big pot for the stew, or a large frying pan. Brown the chicken and onion. Remove chicken and onion, leaving the liquid in the pot.

Reserve ½ cup of chicken broth. Add remaining broth, vegetables and seasoning to pan. Simmer until tender. Stir 8 tbsp. of flour into the reserved broth. Pour and stir flour-and-broth mixture into the stew. Simmer stew until it reaches the desired thickness. If you like the sauce to be thicker, mix a little more flour in a small amount of water, then stir and add it to the stew. Be sure to keep the stew on a low heat to avoid burning it.

Pour cooked chicken and onion back into the pot, tasting as you go. When seasoning, add a little at a time. You can always add a little more, but remember, if you add too much of something, you cannot take it out.

Story: My partners mother taught me this recipe. It’s warm and filling and easy to make. If it’s cold outside and you need to feed a lot of people in a hurry, this is a good option. Also, it keeps surprisingly well in the fridge.

Tanner Bayne / Culture Editor

Graphics: Jeremy Britz / Web Editor