I wasn’t very interested in cooking and/or baking when I was growing up. I was more of a watcher. I certainly didn’t have any interest in cook books or recipes for that matter. Even names like “Nanaimo Bars” were thing I had never heard of! However when I was in my 20’s I moved to Regina, Saskatchewan and lived on the third floor of a rooming house with my sister Marjorie I had to learn how to cook. The owners of this house lived on the main floor and five girls lived on the second floor. We all shared a bathroom which was located on the second floor. We actually had very few problems and often pooled our food in the summer time and went to Wascana Park to picnic. The park was only a few blocks away.
However we were always searching for a vacant apartment but nothing ever showed up.
Regina had been growing slowly but finally we saw in the paper that a new apartment building was being erected a few blocks away and was taking applications for tenants. Did we hustle down and apply, yes we did. We (Marjorie, Liz Mandryk, Leah Spice and I) put our names in for a two bedroom apartment. You can’t imagine the excitement of moving to a brand new apartment and SHOPPING for everything to furnish the space. I can’t remember what was purchase except I bought a console radio record player and Liz bought a large red couch that looked like an big chaise lounge! Of course we had to buy table and chairs, lamps, beds, linens and everything for the kitchen.
THE ONLY PROBLEM WAS THAT WE HAD TO WAIT SIX MONTHS FOR A PHONE!
We had a lot of good clean fun. Plenty of young people stayed in this city to work and play. We had a park across the street with a ball diamond to play ball all summer and a skating rink in the winter. Some of us belonged to a bowling league, some even played a bit of golf, we played a lot of card games so our place was quite the beehive of activity.
We pooled our food budget and took turns each of us would buy the groceries and prepared the main meal for one week. Starting Saturday and ending on Friday. Saturday morning was the time to go to Foodland, buy the groceries and they were delivered at 4:00 p.m. that afternoon.
Liz and I were not very creative in the kitchen, Marjorie had more experience and was a good cook, and then there was Leah! Leah’s Dad was in Sales and her parents had entertained friends often with some pretty gourmet dishes. Leah had COOK BOOKS! And she concocted some pretty fancy meals and some total failures as well. One thing for certain, every pot, pan and bowl that we owned would have been used in the preparation. I remember that because if it was your week to cook you didn’t have to do the clean up after the meals.
I couldn’t just write about Nanaimo Bars without some background on Leah. I still have the pencil copy for the recipe I called “What Leah Used To Make – Nanaimo Bars”.
Another favorite of mine is
Lemon Pineapple Pie