For 10 years, a group of volunteers from Beaumont, Alta., have been making the French-Canadian Christmas tradition of tourtières, or meat pies, and selling them as a fundraiser.
The volunteers make hundreds of pies every Christmas season and they are usually sold within minutes.
This year, they made more than 800 tourtières and sold them every Saturday morning in November.
“We had 202 pies and we sold out in 25 minutes. The weekend before we had over 200 pies as well and sold out in 24 minutes,” organizer Carmen Grayson said.
The tourtières are a fundraiser for the historic St. Vital Église Catholic Church and also a recognition of Beaumont’s French heritage.
“I am French-Canadian, Franco-Albertan — born and raised in Beaumont and it’s something we have every year. My grandmothers would make them. My aunts would make them,” Grayson said.
“That’s my gift to my neighbours in my community, a tourtière because it’s us.”
On the final Saturday in November, vehicles lined up outside the church waiting for the pies to go on sale at 9 a.m.
“We come every year to get tourtières,” Ambere Porter said. “We’ve tried lots of different ones and these are the best ones in the greater Edmonton area that we’ve found.”
Another customer in line said eating tourtières at Christmas has been apart of her family tradition.
“Christmas night when we’ve having a piece of tourtière, it brings back old memories of your childhood,” Patricia Plamondon said.
As for why they’re so popular, Greyson said they have used the same recipe for the past decade.
“We had a recipe in our Dames Catholiques cookbook… and we took her recipe and we stuck to it for all 10 years,” Grayson said.
To make 100 pies, Greyson said they need about 80 pounds of pork and 20 pounds of potatoes.
Sales are done for 2021, but the volunteers will be making more pies again in time for the 2022 Christmas season.
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