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rhubarbcrumblesmallYes! He cooks too!! Artistic Director Syd Birrell’s famous rhubarb crumble, a hit at every potluck, is just one of the wonderful dishes featured in A CHOIRed Taste, a compilation of the best recipes from Singers’ choristers and guest artists.

Susan Dunkley and her hard-working team began collecting recipes years ago. The result is a very impressive range of food offerings from around the globe and around the corner. There are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free recipes. You’ll find everything from Electric Escargots to Thai Chicken Salad with Rice Noodles, Tortilla Soup, and Aunt Betty’s Potato Casserole. All recipes have been tested and tasted at innumerable Singers’ potlucks and beyond.

And some of the Singers’ best-known soloists and musicians have also contributed. What a treat to say to dinner guests, “I’d like you to try a recipe that’s the favourite of Jennifer Enns Modolo or Laura Pudwell or Daniel Lichti or Curtis Sullivan or Andrew Tees or Vicki St. Pierre.” (And that’s leaving out our homegrown soloists who have contributed recipes: Adam Bishop, Pam Birrell, Barb Monahan, Wayne Robinson, and Melody Thomas–to name a few.)

Cookbooks cost $20 and can be purchased from choir members, at Grainger’s Cleaners (885 Lansdowne Street), or from the PS Office (email

But the proof of the pudding (or of the crumble!) is in the eating, so check out this sample recipe.


1/2 lb. butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups rolled oats
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
a handful of blackberries
1/2 cup white sugar

Preheat oven to 375F.

Melt butter and add to rolled oats, flour, and brown sugar. Mix thoroughly. Don’t be shy to use your hands; it feels good.

Throw rhubarb/fruits into a baking dish, and then sprinkle on white sugar. Add half a cup of water. Mould the sticky stuff on top of the rhubarb. Make sure the rhubarb is hidden.

Place in the oven for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream [or any cream, say I].

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