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RCMP pie patrol

Emily Ridlington
Northern News Services
Published Monday, March 28, 2011

KIMMIRUT/LAKE HARBOUR - At the end of February, RCMP member Allan Jagoe, known to many merely as Al, had baked his 553rd pie in Nunavut.

NNSL photo/graphic

Back row, from left, Brian Padluq, Qabaruaq Amingmiuq, teacher Ida Gardiner and RCMP member Al Jagoe; front row from left Ashley Tikivik-Akpik, Sarah Sagiaktuk, Nusuta Ataiaq, Kooyoo Padluq, Kristen Temela, instructor Carolyn Manuel and Micheline Itturiligaq made pies as part of the after-school cooking club at Qaqqalik School in Kimmirut, in late February. - photo courtesy of Carolyn Manuel

In many communities on Baffin Island including Clyde River, Qikiqtarjuaq, Iglulik and Kimmirut you won't find Jagoe without a pie handy.

As a member of the RCMP who fills in when permanent members are on vacation, Jagoe shares his love for pie making wherever he goes. He said he started baking five years ago in May 2006.

"When I first came to Kimmirut, I couldn't even boil water and I had 10 pounds of apples in my fridge that were starting to get soft so I phoned up my mother, not my wife, and asked her how to make a pie," he said.

He said he takes pies to the health centre on Fridays, wherever he is, to share with residents of whichever community he's in.

In February, Jagoe was asked to share his pie-making skills with members of the after-school cooking club at Qaqqalik School.

Ten students, including one of the school's teachers, got together at the school for five hours at the end of February to make pies.

Each student made their own pastry dough and ended up with a couple of pies each with a group total of 21. They shared them with the community sewing group.

"It was fun to make pies with Al," said Kristen Temela, 9.

She said her blueberry pie was the first she ever made.

Jagoe said due to the limited amount of produce available, he sticks with canned pie fillings. Pecan pies are reserved for special occasions.

In the school kitchen there was music playing and dancing, as well as baking.

The club meets after school on weekdays where they learn to cook nutritious meals, eat, exercise, socialize and have fun. It is lead by instructor Carolyn Manuel.

It was founded in 2009 and gets funding from Health Canada's Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative.

Fellow nine-year-old baker Sarah Sagiaktuk, said for her, the hardest part was mixing all the ingredients together in the bowl.

"I had made a pie before with my mom," she said, but added Jagoe taught her some tricks of the trade.

Jagoe is not shy to give up his two magic ingredients: "pop, and fresh baking powder."

For both girls they said their favourite part of the night was eating the pies.

But how did they taste?

"Delicious," said Temela.

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