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- Tasty festive traditions from the TELUS Agriculture & Consumer Goods team
Tasty festive traditions from the TELUS Agriculture & Consumer Goods team
December 16, 2022
Celebrate the season with holiday recipes from around the world, contributed by TELUS Agriculture & Consumer Goods team members.
The holidays are an opportunity to connect with loved ones, often over a favourite dish or drink. Since getting food and goods to consumers efficiently and sustainably is something we’re passionate about, we asked our global team of over 1,600 experts to share their tastiest holiday traditions. Some of these recipes have been passed down for generations, while others are new creations and future classics. We hope they inspire you to share your own traditions with those you love.
From apple pie to tandoori turkey, join us as we celebrate the diverse and delicious ways that we celebrate the season. From our table to yours, happy holidays from all of us at TELUS Agriculture & Consumer Goods!
Berlena's Apple Pie
“I found this recipe online over 10 years ago and added my own twist to it. My family raved over the pie and ever since they literally ask every year if I am making it. They make me feel special and I love that they look forward to it every year!” – Berlena Reynolds, American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter/Claims & Data Coordinator Ingredients
8 small Granny Smith apples, or as needed
½ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup white sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup water
1 (9-inch) double-crust pie pastry, thawed
Core apples, then thinly slice. I use my food processor slicing attachment. You can leave on the peel or not. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 °F (220 °C).
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir to form a paste; cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add both sugars and water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Press one pastry into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Roll out remaining pastry so it will overhang the pie by about 1/2 inch. Cut pastry into eight 1-inch strips. Place sliced apples into the bottom crust, forming a slight mound. Generously sprinkle cinnamon here. Lay four pastry strips vertically and evenly spaced over apples, using longer strips in the center and shorter strips at the edges (lattice crust). Fold and trim excess dough at the edges as necessary, and pinch to secure. Slowly and gently pour sugar-butter mixture over lattice crust, making sure it seeps over sliced apples. Brush some onto lattice, but make sure it doesn't run off the sides. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 °F (175 °C) and continue baking until apples are soft, 35 to 45 minutes.
Biscuits and Gravy
“Recently, my family started gathering at our house on Christmas morning. Family members arrive and the gifts are opened, then my wife makes biscuits and gravy (recipe below), and my brother-in-law makes potato pancakes. It’s a big breakfast buffet with family. My children are the only children in the next generation, so it's a chance for other family members to spend time with the younger generation and to grow closer together as a family.” – Guiseppe Scarfone, Technical Lead
1 (16 ounce) can refrigerated jumbo buttermilk biscuits
1 (9.6 ounce) package pork sausage crumbles
¼ cup flour
2 ½ cups milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C). Arrange biscuits 1 to 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 13 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in flour until well combined. Gradually add milk, stirring continuously, until the gravy thickens and comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer and stir for 2 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Split biscuits in half. Place 2 halves on each of 8 plates; top with about 1/3 cup gravy.
“Our family loves Mexican food! We make this recipe quite a bit through the year but always through the Christmas holidays.” – Dustin Bergsma, Software Developer
4 pounds (or 2 kg) skinless, boneless pork butt (or shoulder) 3-4 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon pepper 1 tablespoon dried oregano (or Mexican oregano) 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 large brown or white onion, cut into wedges 8 cloves garlic, smashed 2 limes, juiced 2 large oranges, juiced (or 3/4 cup natural orange juice) 3/4 cup Coca-Cola (Original or Mexican Coca-Cola is ideal) 2 bay leaves
Rinse and pat dry pork with a paper towel. In the bowl of a 6-quart slow cooker, add pork, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, onion, garlic, lime juice, orange juice, coke and bay leaves. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8 to 10 hours, or high heat for 5 to 6 hours (until the meat falls apart). Remove pork and shred with two forks. Do not discard the liquid. To crisp in oven: Transfer the pork to a baking sheet lightly sprayed with cooking oil spray (or lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper). Pour 1 ladle full (about 1 cup) of the liquid from the slow cooker over the pork to season. Broil for 5 to 10 minutes on high heat until the meat becomes golden browned and crispy on the edges. To crisp on stove: Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan or cast iron skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add pork in batches of two or three, and sear until just beginning to crisp. Ladle over about 1/2 cup of leftover liquid, and continue cooking until the juices begin to reduce down and the meat is nice and crispy! To serve: Season with a little extra salt and pepper if desired. Pour over more of the slow cooker juices once the meat has crisped for added flavour, just before serving! Serve in tacos, burritos or in a salad!
Classic Nanaimo Bars
“I wanted to share this traditional Canadian sweet because they are delicious! Every holiday season, my mother would make these in batches, like every other person who bakes at this time of year, and no matter where you went, this would be on a plate with tea. I truly hope you try and enjoy!” – Carly Watts, Senior Marketing Solutions Owner
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
⅓ cup finely chopped walnut
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup butter melted
1 egg lightly beaten
¼ cup butter softened
2 tablespoons custard powder
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk (approximate)
4 oz semisweet chocolate chopped
1 tablespoon butter
Directions In bowl, stir together graham crumbs, coconut, walnuts, cocoa powder and sugar. Drizzle with butter and egg, stirring until combined. Press into parchment paper-lined 9-inch (2.5 L) square cake pan. Bake in 350 °F (180 °C) oven until firm, about 10 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack. Filling: In bowl, beat together butter, custard powder and vanilla. Beat in icing sugar alternately with milk, making 3 additions of sugar and 2 of milk and adding up to 1 tsp more milk if too thick to spread. Spread over cooled base. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Topping: In heatproof bowl over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate with butter; spread over filling. Refrigerate until chocolate is almost set, about 30 minutes. With tip of knife, score into bars; refrigerate until chocolate is completely set, about 30 minutes. (Make-ahead: Wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days or overwrap in foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks). Cut into bars.
Gur Rasgulla – Indian cottage cheese balls cooked in jaggery syrup
“This sweet dish is a must for Indians from the eastern part of India during festivals. So ever since we moved to Canada, during Christmas we make this sweet dish. Santa must be bored with just milk and cookies anyways.” – Ashis Hazra, Product Owner
1 litre full fat milk
1 teaspoon fine Rawa (semolina)
1 cup jaggery (around 200 grams)
1 cup sugar
4 cups of water
2 different deep-bottomed pans
For preparing Indian cottage cheese (chenna): Put the milk in a heavy-bottom pan or a deep pan. Put the flame on medium high and let the milk boil. Stir occasionally. Once the milk has boiled, put the flame in lowest or remove it from stove for a minute so that it doesn’t spill. Cut the lemon into two pieces. Squeeze out the lemon juice in a bowl. Remove any pulp or seeds. Add the lemon juice slowly into the milk. Keeping the flame low, stir it slowly and let the milk curdle. On the other hand, place a colander in the sink and put a muslin cloth or cheesecloth on the colander. As soon as the water gets separated from the curdled milk, switch off the flame. Pour the curdled milk immediately to the muslin or cheesecloth. With the help of a spatula, stir the chenna gently for a minute to cool it off. Gather the corners of the cloth and tie it like a cloth ball. Put the chenna into the running water under a tap so that the lemon flavor goes away. Squeeze the excess water very delicately 2 to 3 times. Don’t over squeeze the chenna. If the chenna becomes dry, then the rasgullas will be hard. Hang the cloth ball with chenna for 30 minutes. For making the chenna balls: After 30 minutes of hanging the cloth with chenna, open it and put the chenna on a large plate. Break the chenna with the help of fingers. Put the pressure of your palm to break the grains of chenna. Gather them at a place and again knead in the same process for 4 to 5 minutes. Knead the chenna until the dough becomes soft and smooth. Divide the dough into 11 to 12 equal portions. Using your hands, roll each chenna portion in between your palm and make a smooth round ball. Make the balls small as they will double in size when dipped in jaggery syrup. For making the jaggery syrup: Add water into a deep pan with a wide neck and put the flame on high. Add the jaggery into the pan and stir it until the jaggery dissolves in water. While the syrup starts boiling, if you see any froth forming, scoop it up with a spoon and discard it. Don’t overboil the syrup, it may become thick. For cooking the rasgullas in jaggery syrup: Dunk the chenna balls into the boiling sugar syrup one by one immediately. If the flame is too big then put the flame in medium and if the flame is normal, then put the flame on high. Cover the pan and let them cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Don’t stir the rasgullas.They are very soft and may break. While they get boiled in the syrup, they will rotate automatically. After some time, the size of the rasgullas will double. Put the flame on low and cover the pan. Cook them for another 15 to 20 minutes. When done, switch off the flame and allow the rasgullas to cool down for an hour. To serve, put a rasgulla in a bowl and put some syrup on top of it. Tip: If you get confused about any step, go to YouTube and search for a video. Nothing beats the ease of seeing the instructions on a video.
Silesian sausages, sauerkraut and potatoes
“On Christmas Eve we always have Silesian sausages, sauerkraut, and potatoes for dinner. My father is from Silesia, which was a part of Germany before World War II.This is a simple dish, but still, it is special! When my father was a little boy, meat was eaten only on Sundays and these Silesian sausages were only made for Christmas Eve. So, they were doubly special because they are made from veal, and you had them only once a year. My father always tells us how it smelled like Christmas in the house from all the baking and cooking in December, but still – most important for him was the anticipation for the Silesian sausages on Christmas Eve.” – Tim Nafe, Account Manager Ingredients
The good thing about the dish is that you can prepare the sauerkraut upfront with whatever recipe you’d like – it’s best when made one or two days earlier – and then on Christmas Eve you only need to cook the potatoes and fry the sausages. Thus, Christmas Eve is less stressful. To give the sauerkraut a Christmas feeling and make it smooth, add a grated apple and some goose fat. If you want, also add a bit of clove, bay leaf and juniper berry or sugar and don´t forget a pinch of salt. The sausages should be fried in butter – not too hot, so the butter won’t get burned. (Or you could use ghee, which can take more heat and should taste quite the same.) And for the potatoes you should have a bit of extra butter (molten) and maybe some breadcrumbs fried in butter as topping – not too much, just a few sprinkles for the taste. Having a nice glass of white wine with it – maybe a German Riesling – to make it complete.
Spitzbuben – aka Linzer cookies
“Growing up in Germany's Harz mountains, a snowy Christmas with several different types of home-baked cookies was an annual tradition at both my grandmothers' houses. I still make at least 3 or 4 different kinds each year as time allows and this recipe is always one of, if not the most popular, so they are worth making despite the amount of effort involved.” – Nadine Burke, Manager, Client Services Makes about 30 cookies. Ingredients
125 grams cold unsalted butter
200 grams flour (plus extra for work surface)
50 grams almond flour
125 grams confectioners' sugar (plus extra to decorate)
250 grams black currant jelly (or flavour of your choice)
Cut butter in pieces. Add flour, almond flour, pinch of salt and confectioners' sugar into a bowl and stir together. Add butter and egg and slowly mix with hands or standing mixer until dry ingredients start to come together with butter, then quickly knead into a smooth dough. Wrap dough in clear foil and let rest in fridge about 30 minutes. Slowly heat jelly on low heat until melted, then remove from heat to let cool. With a rolling pin, roll dough about 2 mm thick on floured flat surface and with a round shaped cookie cutter about 6 cm diameter, cut out circular shapes. With a smaller circular cookie cutter (about 3 cm diameter), cut the center out of half of the larger circles. Knead the remaining dough together again and repeat until all dough is cut into circles and rings. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and bake circles and rings at 175 °C or 350 °F (for convection oven use 150 °C/300 °F) for 8 to 10 minutes. The bottoms and edges should start to be lightly golden brown but the overall color of the cookies should remain light. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Lightly powder the rings (pieces with holes) with confectioners’ sugar (put sugar into a fine sieve and let it snow onto the ring pieces). Spread the full circles with a small amount of jelly leaving 2 to 3 mm from the edges without jelly, then carefully place a powdered ring on top and lightly press into the jelly.
“A few years ago, my brothers and I tried to make a tandoori turkey. Our attempt led to a fire in the oven... we managed to save the turkey though. We've been perfecting the recipe since then and we laugh about it every year. We eyeball the spices so these are estimates.” – Sangeeta Lalli, Public Policy Director Ingredients
1 litre full-fat greek yogurt
¼ cup sea salt salt (coarse)
2 tablespoons cayenne powder
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons of garam masala
⅓ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon grated garlic For stuffing the turkey:
Combine all ingredients except for the turkey in a bowl. Marinate the turkey for at least 24 hours in this mix. The marinade should be inside and outside of the turkey. Once you're ready to cook the turkey (as per the instructions on the bag), remove the turkey from the marinade and wipe off the marinade. Coat the turkey inside and out with 1 to 1½ cups of ghee. We sprinkle the turkey with generic tandoori mixes we find in the cupboard or some more paprika, cayenne, masala, salt and pepper. Stuff the turkey with cilantro, lemon, garlic, carrots and celery. We usually make our stuffing on the side. Bake and baste as required.