Years ago, shortly after we were married, my husband and I lived up in Northern Ontario for 4 months during the summer while we were at university. Hubby worked on the pipeline and I was hired by a professor at the University of Toronto to collect tree specimens to build up a gene pool for reforestation. We stayed in remote cabins, motels, or campsites. To say it was a quiet summer would be an understatement - made worse by the fact that there was a postal strike. I read 35 books that summer!
One of the places we visited while we were there was Fort William Historic Park, the world's largest fur trading post, near Thunder Bay, Ontario. We had a wonderful time visiting the historic buildings and native encampment that day.
(We visited again 2 years ago on our epic western trip and these photos are from that visit with my daughter, Kate, and her French exchange student.)
I especially remember enjoying the pea soup and tea biscuits at Fort William. The first time we visited, they were giving away recipe cards and that is still the pea soup recipe I use today.
Photo of my recipe card from Fort William
Back of recipe card with a little Trading Post info
I recently made pea soup using the Fort William recipe. I never use a meaty ham bone or savoury when I'm making this recipe. I actually tried to buy them this time but I couldn't find them at the store, so I didn't end up using them. I have to confess that I have never used the salt pork before either, but for authenticity I thought I should make it as close to the recipe as possible. After all these years of not using salt pork, I do admit that it adds a nice flavour.
I also made the currant scones. I'm not that fond of currants, so I used raisins instead, and I always substitute margarine for shortening. Oh, and I didn't have any buttermilk so I used one cup of milk with one tablespoon of lemon juice added to it. Do I ever actually follow a recipe exactly as it is written?
If you are looking for a nice homey old-time recipe, the pea soup and scones are for you.