In 2002-2003, I lived for a winter in Fernie, BC. The aim of the trip was to ski the Rocky Mountains, and the arrival at Fernie came after spending a glorious summer living rather lazily with Justin’s family in Cape Cod and around Boston. After our time on the Cape came to an autumnal end, Justin returned to NZ for two months, and I set off on the road through the rusty colours of Vermont and on to my first stop: Montreal Canada.
Here, I met up with John McIntyre and Juliet Harris, and after a day or so architouring through Montreal, Jules and I farewelled John and started driving West. Canada is big. Inconceivably big when the longest road trips in NZ might take nine or ten hours, per island.
We drove for days, eight hours per day. At Thunder Bay the temperature dropped below zero and we couldn’t touch the steering wheel in the morning for the cold. We bought thermal mugs and refilled them with soup and hot chocolates at roadside takeout joints. We photographed a plastic Maori doll we named Manu at various stopping points, and we learned by heart the NZ version of “I’ve been everywhere”. It took maybe five days before we saw the Rockies, and perhaps another two days crossing the Alberta plains before veering off toward Fernie, British Columbia.
At Fernie we rolled into the Raging Elk hostel and shook the driving out of our shoulders. But our loosely laid plans were spun about when we finally plugged ourselves into contact and learned that John was seriously injured, hit by a streetcar in Toronto. So Jules returned to Toronto via Calgary and I stayed on at the Elk, meeting locals, making friends, learning about ice hockey and ice skating, and lamenting my fitness walking the grassy ski slopes.
But now I come to the point of this post. I eventually found a condo to rent. The landlord was a Kiwi, Jeanette, who had met Canadian Glen and made their home in Fernie. Jeanette, still a kiwi at heart, knew that every NZ kitchen should have an Edmonds Cookery Book. And within a few days of my arrival she delivered one to me, so that I could serve up Pavs and lamingtons all winter long.
Today, shortbread. The Edmonds version. Super quick and easy, though some kneading is required. I also made these for Matariki at kohanga – I like the fun star shapes.
Cream 250grams of softened butter with 1 cup of icing sugar (confectioners sugar). Sift in 1 cup cornfour and 2 cups of plain flour.
Mix, knead, and turn out onto a floured board – then roll out to 1cm thickness (the Edmonds calls for 0.5cm, but I prefer a thicker shortbread)…
Shape out your cookies or cut into shortbread fingers (re-knead, roll and shape as required).
Set out the cookies on a greased baking sheet or two, and prick with a fork.
Bake at 150 degC for 30 minutes or until slightly golden.
I then dust them with icing sugar using a tea strainer, before serving. Makes about 30.