There are few people in Almonte who do not know someone associated with the Ramsay Women’s Institute. This is the group who bring epicurean delight to thousands of tourists and town folk alike by serving afternoon tea twice a week, July and August, on the grounds of the Mill of Kintail alongside the Indian River.

The WI, two letters, the combination of which is recognized worldwide, started in Canada in 1897 in Stoney Creek, Ontario with the aim of bringing together women, no matter what age, religion or political creed, to teach them about childcare, maintaining the family budget, and contributing to the job of farm management.

Following the tradition of Saturday being the day to create delectable comestibles, most of the 20 or so local WI members will no doubt be eschewing other pasta dishes and turning their cheese grater hand to a recipe emailed to all by member Bev H.

It’s simple, it’s nourishing, it’s what’s needed at a time when comfort can seem a world away. And as a leftover, it’s delicious.

Macaroni & Cheese Casserole

  • 3 cups dry macaroni cooked & drained
  • 1 lb. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes including the juice
  • pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 large onion (approx one cup) sauteed in butter (this step gives a delicious flavour to the casserole)
  • Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients except Parmesan cheese and mix well. Top with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Serves 8 or so.

If so desired, you could mix in a can of drained tuna for a dish known in Kingston as ETC or Eldon’s Tuna Casserole, or do as my Aunt Frances does and criss-cross several strips of bacon on top, for a bit of ecumenical schmaltz.

www.ramsaywi.ca