Saskatchewan Women’s Institute Newsletter January/February 2015

As usual, I learned something new when I read the latest from the Saskatchewan Women’s Institute Newsletter. Do you know what Clootie is? No, neither did I. Read on to find out! Thanks to Newsletter Editor Karen A. Gerwing for passing along the file. Below are the highlights. If you’d like to read the entire publication, click on the link here:  SWI0115

SWI is having a raffle to raise funds. Prizes are:

  1. Hand made quilt
  2. Table runner
  3. Gift basket.

Tickets will be $2 each or 3 for $5. Drawing at the SWI Annual conference held at the Western Development Museum in Yorkton May 22, 2015.

The newsletter contains several informative articles including a piece by Audrey Helgason. She  wrote about Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) or what is commonly referred to as scab. It is a fungal disease usually affecting crops such as wheat, barley, oats, rye, canary seed and some forage crops. Clara Simpson submitted a recap of her Canadian Industries Report on industrial hemp – the history and present day uses of the plant.

And then, the food!

Marian Ogrodnick submitted the report from the Valley Lillies WI who met for the first time in 2015. At this meeting the women learned about Scottish cooking and customs. The hostess, Christine Akrigg demonstrated several recipes. The one that caught my eye was this one:

Clootie Dumpling

  • 1 lb. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsps. cream of tartar , or 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1lb. raisins
  • 1/2lb sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsps. mixed spice
  • 3 Tbsps. black treacle (molasses)
  • a little milk
  • Mix all ingredients and add enough milk to give a fairly stiff dough
  • Scald a pudding cloth, dredge with flour and place in a basin.
  • Spoon in the pudding mix, tie up the cloth leaving room for expansion
  • Place an old saucer in the bottom of a pan of boiling water, lower the pudding in its cloth on to this
  • Boil 3 to 4 hrs.
  • Turn out on to a hot serving dish and dredge with sugar.
  • Any leftover is good with bacon, eggs, etc.

“What is a clootie?” I asked the gals on Facebook. I didn’t have to wait long for an answer. Joanna Rickert-Hall of the Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead responded to my query almost instantly.

It’s Scottish. Clootie is a cloth/rag of sorts, often torn into strips and tied to a tree for a sort of wishing tree as in ‘tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree…..”. There are even wells for this as water was often considered to be a holy place to go and reach out to a water deity in a prayer-like manner. Clooties can also be tied in larger squares in order to steam a sort of a pudding.

AHA! Bingo!

Dumpling161109B

The clootie wrapped dumpling top and ready to eat above. Click on the bottom image for image source.
The clootie wrapped dumpling top and ready to eat above. Click on the bottom image for image source.

In closing, I’ll share the craft portion of the newsletter. The heart decorations were from a Christmas craft book. The crafty WI member took the idea and used Women’s Institute

colours to construct 4” x 5” hearts made of felt. They are stuffed with fibrefill. They can be used as ornaments, or you can mount your WI pins on them on your dresser.

SK heart pin cushion craft

 

 

 

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