Whether you’re a new home baker or the next Anna Olson, the Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library’s monthly bake-offs are the place to be.
Led by community engagement co-ordinator Debbie Krause, each meeting has a prompt for people to base their recipes on — last Monday’s was savoury treats.
“It’s fun to have the challenge thrown out,” Ruth Cook told The Lake Report.
“One month it was cookies, then it was tarts and this time it was savoury — just putting those challenges out makes it interesting,” she added.
Some participants tried out entirely new recipes, while others stuck to what they knew.
Velma Burke brought out an old classic: “Very simple, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts,” she said.
All it takes is soaking water chestnuts in soy sauce for a few hours, wrapping them in bacon and baking them in the oven.
“I’ve been making these since the ’70s,” Burke said. “They were very popular.”
Christiane Houle-Wurster, on the other hand, tried out a new recipe at the last minute — and it paid off. She followed a new recipe for cornbread muffins.
“It’s a recipe from ‘Once Upon a Chef,’ so I took a chance,” she said.
She added that she didn’t have the time to make her original muffin recipe but they still came out with a great texture.
“The secret is always butter,” she joked.
Besides testing and trying out new recipes to share with each other, the bakers also enjoy chatting with each other among small bites during these meetings.
“Some people like to talk baking,” said Robin Larocque.
She explained that when she starts talking about baking her family loses interest.
“It’s nice to be able to talk about it here,” Velma Burke added.
The next instalment of The Great NOTLPL Bake-Off is Monday, March 18 at 3 p.m. Those interested can register on the library website.