Small Town Community Comes to the Big City

Growing up on a farm outside Yorkton, there was always community. The same families had lived in the area for generations. We knew all the neighbourhood kids; we rode the bus with them every day and rode our bikes to their houses for “play dates”. The community celebrated weddings, births, and graduations with potlucks at the curling rink. We worked together to build Quonsets, run the curling rink, and harvest the crops. We mourned together the loss of family members or crops destroyed by hailstorms.

When I moved to Regina, I lost that sense of community. I have lived in the same house for 16 years, and I hardly know my neighbours. We exchange pleasantries, but I’ve never been invited into their homes or asked to help shell peas. Sadly, I’ve never invited them over for tea or asked them to help make perogies.

As we work together on Prairie Spruce Commons, I am thrilled to be regaining that long lost sense of community. We are already celebrating birthdays together and we should be moved in just in time to celebrate my son’s grade 12 graduation. I have already visited many of the homes of my fellow cohousers. I admit I’ve even been invited in for a glass of wine when I showed up for a meeting on the wrong night!

Very few things build community as well as preparing and sharing food. Here is the recipe that we used at our recent corn roast. I got the recipe from Ruth’s sister who also loaned me the slow cooker to make it. I do not know this fine cook, but word went out that Prairie Spruce needed a good recipe for beef on a bun and an hour later I had everything I needed.

Ruth’s  Sister’s Slow Cooker BBQ Beef on a Bun

  • 4 lbs beef roast
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 4 cups celery (that is not a typo)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 – 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients except the beef and simmer for 20 minutes. Pour over beef and bake at 350 for 5 hours or 8-9 hours on high in a slow cooker. Shred and enjoy.

What is your favourite thing to bring to a potluck?