~ by Sarah

Seeking refuge from religious persecution in the 1880’s, ten LDS families moved north to settle southern Alberta, Canada. More followed. The settlements thrived despite the initial trepidation felt by their new Canadian neighbors. Through hard work and great farming skills the members were eventually accepted into the Canadian community. Many of the little towns just over the the US/Canadian border in Alberta were patterned after cities in Utah and have the grid system. There is even an LDS Temple in Cardston, Alberta. Some of the rural towns that are in Southern Alberta still have a 85% or more Mormon population. My maternal great-grandparents immigrated from Utah with their families to Alberta and my paternal great-grandparents were converts who were impressed by some Mormons who were working alongside them in building a canal in a small town in Southern Alberta. Pretty fun 🙂

Question #2 What are squares? The last time I visited Alberta, people kept asking their friends to bring “punch and squares” to pot luck events. Can you tell us what squares are and give us some good punch and squares recipes?

“Squares” are pretty much anything that you can bake in a 9×13 pan and cut up into squares to serve. Rice Krispie treats (or squares as a Canadian would call them), lemon bars(squares), puffed wheat squares, brownies, etc. are all squares. I think it makes sense 🙂 Mint brownies are probably my favorite “square”. My mom has an entire section in her cook book labeled Squares. They are the perfect to serve at any kind of church function or shower or pot luck. You just tell everyone to bring some kind of square and you end up with a variety of perfect bite sized treats.

Raspberry Squares

Bottom layer:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar

1 cup raspberry jam

Top layer:
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 cups shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Bottom Layer: Combine all bottom layer ingredients in bowl. Mix together well until crumbly. Press into greased 9×9 pan.

Filling: Spread jam over bottom layer

Top Layer: Beat eggs until frothy. Add sugar, coconut, vanilla and baking powder. Stir to combine well. Spread over jam layer.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Cool and cut into squares to serve.

The punch to go along with the squares is always made from some kind of frozen slush that is usually frozen in an empty gallon ice cream bucket that’s made of sherbet and some kind of juice that you add gingerale too in a large punch bowl. Here’s a recipe for that too 🙂

Lime Punch

2 litres lime sherbet
2 litres gingerale
2 litres pineapple juice

Mix all together in a punch bowl. For garnish float some lime or lemon slices if desired.

*This recipe also works well with orange sherbet