Baked Beans and …the Scots.

This blog is the first in a series which will feature early Scottish settlers to the Atlantic region and the McDougald, MacEachern; McKinnon and McGraw families among others… The tradition of enjoying a Saturday night supper of homemade baked beans is one familiar to families through out Atlantic Canada. Of course there are several versionsContinue reading “Baked Beans and …the Scots.”

Holiday Favourites, Frying pan cookies and canned peas…

Recently, while browsing through some of the recipes in the My Mother’s Cookbooks collection I came across one of Mum’s handwritten holiday menus. A list of all of the special foods she planned to prepare, share and serve during the season. It contained all of the usual suspects, Squash Puff, Cornish Pasties, Whipped Shortbreads, Buttertarts,Continue reading “Holiday Favourites, Frying pan cookies and canned peas…”

The ‘making’ of Cape Breton Pork Pies…

Cape Breton Pork Pies don’t contain pork, but they do resemble the hat1. The origin of this tiny tart, a shortbread base, filled with dates and topped with a carefully piped cap of maple icing is unknown, although some credit Acadians for inspiring them. There is little doubt that Acadian settlers to the region dependedContinue reading “The ‘making’ of Cape Breton Pork Pies…”

Christmas Doughnuts and House Girls…

There were many baked treats on Mum’s Christmas preparation list, but only one item warrants two versions…Doughnuts. The most Canadian of doughnuts does not come from a coffee shop, it does not have maple icing or a fancy name…it is a cake doughnut made with molasses. Once fried, the doughnuts may be rolled in granulatedContinue reading “Christmas Doughnuts and House Girls…”

Friends, Fruit and Sultana Cake

For Mum Christmas Holiday baking began in October. Fruit cakes, plum puddings, gum drop cakes, things which need curing were first, followed by the long list of sweets and savories treats which had become favourites in our family. Christmas baking for Mum meant focusing on special recipes those reserved for Christmas, including Elizabeth Moody’s Sultana1Continue reading “Friends, Fruit and Sultana Cake”

Molasses cookies and knitted bandages…

This blog is one of two profiling the life of women during war, and the service of veteran Marion Leane Smith Walls. The first blog War, Women and Warcake. The My Mother’s Cookbook recipe for Molasses Cookies, the rolled out version, demonstrates the skill of home cooks to ‘make do’. The recipe is an olderContinue reading “Molasses cookies and knitted bandages…”

Corn, Buckwheat, …and two miles from Shediac, on the road to Cocagne.

Part two of the life and death of Mercy Babcock Hall… Too many of us know only porridge1 made of oatmeal and see it exclusively as a breakfast food. That these misconceptions exist demonstrates just how much the lives and diet of ordinary Eastern North Americans (Eastern Seaboard of US and Eastern Canada) have changed.Continue reading “Corn, Buckwheat, …and two miles from Shediac, on the road to Cocagne.”

Squash, Pumpkin Pie and Mercy…

This blog is the first of two which will explore the life and death of Mercy Babcock Hall. Pumpkin pie and the experiences, and the challenges inherent in Mercy’s life in early British Colonial Nova Scotia is where we begin. Don’t miss the second blog on Mercy’s life: Corn, Buckwheat…and two miles from Shediac, onContinue reading “Squash, Pumpkin Pie and Mercy…”

Folks, feast foods and Poutine Râpée?

I am amazed at home cook’s ability to transform the ordinary into extra ordinary. There is proof of the importance of this in our traditional foods, which are celebrated locally, regionally and internationally. Look at almost any ‘traditional’ feast food and at its roots are ordinary ingredients. Whether the approach is to add ‘special’ ingredientsContinue reading “Folks, feast foods and Poutine Râpée?”

Hay making and Blueberry shrub.

Living in an area once known as the “world’s largest hayfield”1, I am enjoying the industry of local farmers. The hectic hay making and blueberry harvest has me thinking about haying and drinking vinegar /Shrub. The ‘drinking vinegar’ recipe in the My Mother’s Cookbook Collection is for Blueberry vinegar. The handwritten “Aunt Emm” in theContinue reading “Hay making and Blueberry shrub.”