Blueberry Muffins…An Appalachian treat?

One of my favourite recipes in the My Mother’s Cookbook collection is for a ‘traditional’ blueberry muffin. As a child I thought blueberries only grew near the railway… that this Blueberry muffin recipe came into the collection while our family was living in Cumberland County, NS some 60 miles(in 1968) from the nearest railway, isContinue reading “Blueberry Muffins…An Appalachian treat?”

Trains, Harvest and Depression Stew.

The first harvest of new potatoes, baby carrots, new onions, tender peas and beans…always makes me think of my Grandmother’s (and Mother’s) Depression Stew1. The railway is credited with helping develop this country. The settlement of western Canada did depend heavily on the railway, but the role of the railway in development of industry andContinue reading “Trains, Harvest and Depression Stew.”

Casserole…are you moving?

I can not conceive what it is like to spend your whole life, living in a single house or even a single town or village. But I do not enjoy moving day, except for the casserole. No one really knows who invented the modern casserole…although folks do seem to be determined to try1. Casserole, isContinue reading “Casserole…are you moving?”

I scream, you scream, we all scream for…Salt?

The recipes in My Mother’s Cookbooks for ‘Homemade Ice Cream’ seems an entirely appropriate share at this point in summer. Ice cream is common place today, but for most of it’s history it was limited to the wealthy and powerful. Exactly, who invented and when iced desserts and ice cream were first invented is unknown,Continue reading “I scream, you scream, we all scream for…Salt?”

If you can’t stand the heat…use the summer kitchen?

I grew up in five different houses… the first my Dad started after my parents married using his army severance pay. The house was modest and very much a house of it’s time, it remained a work in progress until Dad decided to enter ministry. Dad’s decision would take us to a series of largeContinue reading “If you can’t stand the heat…use the summer kitchen?”

One potato, two potato…salad?

This time of year our thoughts turn to ‘hot day’ meals, My Mother’s Cookbooks provides plenty of options for summer meals but traditionally in this region it means potato salad… The potato famine1 served to assure potatoes are associated with the Irish. Irish immigration to Canada began before the potato famine but the influence ofContinue reading “One potato, two potato…salad?”

Strawberry fields and pit heads…

There are certain recipes in the My Mother’s Cookbook recipes which can be altered to create what Mum called “Best” versions, made with ‘rich’ ingredients, margarine replaced with butter, milk with cream, increased sugar and fat. These ‘best’ versions appeared only on special occasions…like the first spring strawberries marked with the ‘best’ strawberry shortcake. AlmaContinue reading “Strawberry fields and pit heads…”

Miner’s Wives and Mothers…

There are a number of recipes in My Mother’s Cookbooks which are traditionally associated with mining and mining communities…Welsh cakes, Cornish pasties, Welsh pasties, hand pies, etc. Canadian mining communities which thrived during the early 1900’s and even during the depression, attracted skilled workers and labourers from Europe and beyond. A ready supply, miners fromContinue reading “Miner’s Wives and Mothers…”

Recipe for a lunch can…

Ask any adult whose parent was a working Joe and you will probably hear stories about lunch can treats. Eating a diet limited by the confines of a metal can is notoriously monotonous and yet… The practice of packing food for a day’s toil predates the industrial revolution but the rush to mines, mills andContinue reading “Recipe for a lunch can…”

Brown bread vs Porridge bread… were the Scots involved?

There are few things more evocative than the smell of freshly baked bread… in Atlantic Canada that quite often means ‘brown bread’. Ask any home cook in Atlantic Canada good chance they will have a favourite brown bread recipe. There are several in the My Mother’s Cookbook collection, some versions are baked, others steamed, someContinue reading “Brown bread vs Porridge bread… were the Scots involved?”