Two Receipts for Apple Jelly

It’s that time of the year again where instinctively I feel that I must start canning and jamming to ward off the impending winter’s doom. I don’t know why, but I do know that if I don’t, a general feeling of unease inhabits my kitchen for most of the winter until I can make things…

Food that Really Schmecks, and Strawberry Custard Pie

Food that Really Schmecks Mennonite Country Cooking by Edna Staebler published in 1968 was my first hardcover cookbook and I bought it at Provident Bookstore in Northland Mall, which was the first mall in my city, and was in within walking distance of my house.  I spent a lot of time in there browsing the…

Roly-Poly Pudding, Rhubarb and Robin Hood.

The evolution and near extinction of a dessert. Steamed and boiled puddings were popular, and practical and inexpensive, but time consuming. Not in terms of preparation, but in the cooking; boiling or steaming takes time, usually two to three hours.  As women were being liberated from the home and given choice for the first time,…

A recipe for Christmas Cake (Mrs Birr)

I am thrilled to post this recipe. A bit out of season, but it was a request for someone who had read my last post. How happy am I that someone actually read what I wrote? Writing is a solitary act, but published or not, I think we all write to be read, even if…

“New” Books

A few “new” books to add to my out of control collection. #1. Lovely and unexpected gift from a friend; a book that I’ve wanted for a long time but have been unable to find, Ogilvie’s Book for a Cook, from the flour company of the same name, pub. in 1905. I love the preface…

Ten Canadian Cookbooks

Cookbooks, when viewed as more then a collection of recipes (or recipets) are also record keepers and story tellers, they are a product of their time. We can travel back in time and see what was considered popular, prudent or necessary knowledge at the time that that a cook book was written or compiled.  Women’s…

Quebec, Madame Benoit, Spring

I have had a secret love affair with Quebec since I was a kid in Mr. Askey’s history class. He was teaching us about Canadian History and we were studying the Seven Years’ War, and of course as we all know (don’t we?) the Battle of Quebec on the Plains of Abraham in 1759 was…

Mme. Jehane Benoit

“French refinement, English Basics, ethnic influences and folksy charm.” As a kid, I watched her doing cooking segments on afternoon television. I remember being amazed that the food that she was cooking even existed. Cheese fondue, oh how delicious it looked, Gruyere cheese, what was that? The cheese I knew came wrapped in individual slices…