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December 2010 Archives

Molasses Raisin Bread from "The Pure Labrador Cookbook"

Happy Christmas Wammers...thanks to listener L. Palmer


2                pkg                              2            
1 cup         lukewarm water             250 ml
2 tsp         granulated white sugar    10 ml

Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water to which granulated sugar has been added.  Whisk after 5 minutes.

12 cups       all purpose flour              3 L
6 tbsp         granulated sugar             90 ml
3 tsp           salt                               15 ml
3 cups         raisins                          750 ml
3 cups         lukewarm water             750 ml
1 cup           molasses                     250 ml
3 tbsp          melted butter                45 ml

Sift together flour, granulated sugar, salt.  Add raisins.  Set aside.
Combine 3 cups lukewarm water, molasses and melted butter.  Stir in dissolved yeast.  Add dry ingredients and raisins.  Knead for 10 minutes.  
Place in a greased bowl and turn dough over 2 or 3 times to grease the top and prevent a crust from forming.  Cover and let rise until doubled, approximately 2 hours.  Knead dough and divide into 4 or 5 pieces.  Form into loaves.  Place in greased pans and let rise in warm area until doubled, approximately 1 hour.  
Preheat oven to 325F.  
Bake until loaves give a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom, approximately 30 minutes.  Turn out of pans, brush with melted butter while hot.

Remembering David French

Newfoundland playwright David French died in Toronto a week ago. Born in Coley’s Point, the author of the “Salt Water Moon” and other classics of Canadian theatre was 71 years old. He died of brain cancer.

He was highly recognized in Canadian theatre but best known for his Mercer family series telling the stories of a Newfoundland family.

The five plays on the Mercer family - “Leaving Home,” “Of the Fields, Lately;” “Salt-Water Moon,” “1949” and “Soldier’s Heart” - are set here between 1924 and the early 1960s.

In the summer of 2009, all five plays were performed in their entirety at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival in Cow Head. When I heard about Gros Morne’s plan to do the full cycle - I called up David French and Jeff Pitcher. I started out the conversation asking Jeff …why he thought no one had ever staged all five plays together before?

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David French was a member of the Order of Canada and had also been awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. He was named to the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council’s Hall of Honour in 1988.

He is survived by his partner, Glenda MacFarlane, his son Gareth and his daughter Mary.

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