Northwest Passages Ep1 – French-Canadian Heritage

Welcome to “Northwest Passages” – a new local history podcast from the Saint Albans Museum, featuring stories of our common heritage from the community members who lived them. Episode 1, recorded remotely on April 10, 2020, is all about our region’s French-Canadian Heritage. Discover how family, language, faith, and food helped define the story of French-Canadian immigration to northwestern Vermont in our conversation with Louise Haynes (retired French teacher, BFA & Volunteer, SAM).

Listen anytime, anywhere for free here.

Louise also kindly shared a family recipe for Tourtiere: 


There are as many versions of tourtières as there are women baking them.
It is said that the style of decoration on the top crust identified the region
where it was made.

Preheat oven to 425º 9 – 10” pie plate

Pastry for a 2-crust pie
1 ½ lb. lean ground pork shoulder
1 medium/large onion, finely chopped
1 t. salt (more to taste)
1 t. garlic powder
Pepper to taste
4 -5 allspice balls

Combine pork, onion, and spices in a large pot and add water to about 3/4 up the pork.
Bring to a boil stirring frequently. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking until
the pork loses its pink color. Crush clumps with a wooden spoon.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
Remove the allspice balls.

Line the pie plate with pastry. Drain the pork reserving about ¼ cup of the liquid.
Spoon the meat into the pie pastry and add back the ¼ cup of liquid as desired. Place
the top crust, make vents, and crimp the edges. Decorate as desired.

Bake at 425º for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350º and continue baking for another
30 – 40 minutes.

Pie is excellent served warm and very good served cold. Refrigerate leftover pie. This
pie freezes well.

This episode’s guest host/editor is Lisa Evans (SAM’s Collections & Archives Intern), with commentary from Alex Lehning (SAM’s Executive Director). Original theme provided by musician Max Weltman and recordings technician Steven Dull.