Life Food

Simple Delights from Grandma's kitchen

By Marilou Yampolsky, Special to the Camrose Canadian

Patricia Zeniuk's signature product is her cinnamon twists. Daybreak Creations Photography. Supplied

Patricia Zeniuk's signature product is her cinnamon twists. Daybreak Creations Photography. Supplied

Did you grow up with that grandma who’s house always smelled like fresh baked cookies? Whose cookie jar was always full? A grandma who never complained when you ate fresh veggies out of her garden and sat on the porch shelling peas for hours and only a rare few made it into the bowl?

Not everyone has this kind of grandma anymore, or has time to spend baking up a storm in the kitchen, so Patricia Zeniuk has started a local business to be that grandma for the Camrose community. She has two grandkids of her own who very much enjoy her baking, and since her first downtown farmer's market on June 8, has given many local homes the experience of fresh baked cookies in the cookie jar, and fresh off the farm produce.

Her two businesses are “Twists and More” and “Zeniuk's Country Gardens.”

If you show up at her market table, come early. Her signature product is cinnamon twists (hence the name), these are a rare find because the fresh baked twists are sold out every time. She has more than just twists, she's got monkey bread which is a sticky pull-a-part cinnamon bread, soft and gooey and so amazing.

If this isn’t enough you can also choose from a variety of fresh baked cookies (her own secret recipe), including Trail cookies, oatmeal raisin, soft chewy ginger cookies, peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip, and double chocolate chip. She wouldn’t give up the recipes, but did tell me the secret ingredient is butter, no artificial ingredients, no preservatives, and baked fresh for every market. Stock up on fresh baking every Thursday from 4:30-7:30pm.

Zeniuk loves the market atmosphere and finds the weekly patrons very supportive, According to Zeniuk the market, “is a fun social, cultural event that gives those living in Camrose and surrounding areas a chance to purchase locally produced products.” She loves chatting with her regulars, and always appreciates feedback and suggestions for what she should bake next. Zeniuk has had to add more products each week to keep up with the high demand, and has even had customers drive in from Sherwood Park just to pick up their fill of her monkey bread and ginger snaps. Check out her website if you’re worried she's going to sell out before you get to her table, pre-order online and she’ll have your items waiting!

At Zeniuk's Country Gardens she sells fresh produce from her garden. Patricia and her husband Harvey own a farm northeast of Camrose. They have two gardens, one for veggies and one for fruit. All of her produce is herbicide and pesticide free and is picked fresh to bring to town. The choices vary based on what's available, but if you find her this week she’ll have fresh potatoes, carrots, dill, lettuce, onions, beets, and zucchini.

Stock up your produce on Mondays from 4-7 p.m. between Pizza 73 and Vision Credit Union on 65th Street just off Highway 13. Pick up fresh potatoes and dill to cook up with cream for a farm fresh side dish at your next summer barbeque. Pick up some fresh carrots and dill to enjoy now or pickle for later. According to Zeniuk, “there are so many opportunities to make healthy nutritious meals when you start with wholesome products.”

One of my personal favourites in summer is making fresh salsa. It's a shame to go to all the work of homemade salsa if you’re not using fresh ingredients with all the true flavour

packed in. Another favourite is fresh off the vine tomatoes sliced on toast, or cucumbers served fresh or pickled.

Chat with Zeniuk for just a few minutes and you’ll hear her passion for what she does. She loves to cook, loves to bake and loves to garden, and her pride for this is visible in every product she sells. Ask for garden fresh meal ideas because she has many to share.

Can’t get enough of Twists and More? Find them on Facebook at "Twists and More."

Any chance to make this a sidebar?

Zucchini is a vegetable that always provides a bumper crop. Zeniuk always has enough zucchini to feed the community, and she's shared her favourite recipe here for you, to make your own delicious

Chocolate Zucchini cake:

2 ½ cups flour

½ cup cocao

2 ½ tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

¾ cup butter

1 ½ cups sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups grated zucchini

½ cup milk

Cream butter & sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat. Stir dry ingredients together and add. Beat. Add zucchini and milk, beat. Bake in a greased 9x13 pan for 40-45 minutes or until done tested with a toothpick. Ice with your favourite icing.

Zeniuk serves this with buttercream, buttercream with peppermint or almond flavouring, a broiled caramel with toasted coconut or chocolate.


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