The Brant County Federation of Agriculture is pleased to present this month’s “Celebrity Chef”. Please welcome the volunteers and staff of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Burford.
Can you image making 600 cabbage rolls and breading 300 pieces of fried chicken for a wedding? If you are one of the volunteers at the Blessed Sacrament Church in Burford you can – in fact it is not out of the ordinary as the banquet hall is often booked for a special event or wedding. When we arrived the 10-15 volunteers were sitting at a very large table in the certified kitchen talking and laughing as they made cabbage rolls for a wedding the next day. The banquet hall has been in operation since 1981. The food is freshly made and the ingredients bought locally.
Violet Osztrovics and Pearl Szabo are the two staff members who help pull it all altogether. They look after the bookings, help with the preparation and cooking of the food and serve on the night of the event. They also coordinate a food sale (2-4 times a year) selling cabbage rolls and perogies to raise funds for the Church which takes two full weeks of preparation to get ready for.
But according to Violet this would not be possible without the help of the ladies who graciously spend endless hours slicing and dicing, rolling and filling, preparing their locally renowned signature dishes of fried chicken and cabbage rolls.
The Hall needs about 10,000 cabbage leaves for making cabbage rolls all year.
So when local cabbage is harvested, the ladies get together to blanch the leaves.
If more is needed, they go to local farmers who are able to store their cabbage and supply it later in the off-season. They grow their own parsley, wash, chop and freeze it for use later on as well. Sometimes they grow their own tomatoes to make juice for the cabbage rolls, or buy from local growers. At times it is also donated.
The recipes for their fried chicken and cabbage rolls remain a well kept secret. They are family recipes that have been passed down from one generation to the next. But they did share with us their recipe for parsley potatoes that often accompanies their two signature dishes. So just to tempt you – our picture is of their famous fried chicken. If you would like to try it – well you are just going to have to make a trip to Burford!