I bought this hand-lettered cookbook last week at a rummage sale. It was compiled by the women’s auxiliary of the Church of the Ascension of Inuvik, Northwest Territories in 1963. Inuvik is a small community 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle.
In many ways it’s a typical church cookbook of the time, with recipes for jellied salads, Nanaimo bars, tuna casseroles, and no less than four recipes for sweet and sour spareribs. But there are also recipes you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
White or Black Muktuk
After taken Muktuk from whale, leave 2 days hanging up to dry. Cut into pieces 6″ x 6″. Have water ready to boil, then cook until easy to put the fork through. Keep in oil in a 45 gal. or milk drum in the cool place in order to have Muktuk all the year for eating.
Frozen Fish Eggs
Take fish eggs out and freeze them. They are good to eat like this.
Clean the rats well and rinse. Put in a roaster and put bread stuffing on top of it. Roast in an oven until the muskrats are soft.
Duck – Open Fire
Clean a whole duck and put a stick through it. Put to roast quite far from the fire, so it will not burn. Roast slowly and keep turning. This is good to eat when tired of roasted rats, when hunting rats in the spring.
Rabbit should be cleaned as soon as gotten. The insides should be cleaned out immediately, then place rabbit before a campfire and roast until done. This is delicious when eaten hot. Do not cook too much because when cooked too much it doesn’t taste as good as when it’s cooked just right. This goes for duck and fish, also muskrat.
Real Northern Bannock
Sift together 6 cups flour, 6 tsp. baking powder, and a dash of salt. Add 3 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup caribou, reindeer or beef fat melted. Mix until smooth, and then knead with hands. Cook in greased frying pan on stove or bake on fire.
Seal Meat (roasted or boiled)
Take piece of meat required for one meal. Soak overnight in salted water. Rinse well and cook to your preference as you would cook baby beef.
Frozen White Fish Raw
Cut fish up before it is thawed, place in a bowl that has vinegar and Soya Sauce mixed. Let fish soak to your taste and it is ready to eat.
Louch Liver Pudding
Cook fresh louch liver in frying pan on the stove and as cooking remove grease as collected on surface. This must be done so the pudding will not be too greasy and rich. The liver must be well done. After well cooked and as much grease as possible removed. Add cranberries to the liver and mash with a fork. Add sugar to taste and cook until berries are done. This is delicious hot or chilled.
Blueberries Old-Fashioned Pudding
Mash up roasted or boiled fish, white fish preferred, and remove all bones. Add blueberries to fish and mash some more. This is good to eat as main meal or desert.
To Make Grease Out Of Caribou Bone
Put a stone on a large piece of canvas. With a small axe pound the bone on the stone into small pieces. Put the pieces of bone into a large pot of water and boil. Boil for about 1 1/2 hours and the grease will come to the top. Take the grease out and put into another container.
When roasting a caribou head use a hooked stick. Hang the head near a stove and roast. Turn with a stick to roast on the other side. Put a frying pan under the head for the grease to drip into. After a while, pour some of the grease over the head so that it will not dry. Roast for about 2 1/2 hours.
I love finding cookbooks from Canada’s north (and Newfoundland too) for unique recipes like these.