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Digestible Bits and Bites #79, November 2019

Digestible Bits and Bites

The monthly newsletter of the
Culinary Historians of Canada
Celebrating 25 years of Canadian Food History
Number 79, November 2019
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Happy birthday to us! At our October AGM, the Culinary Historians celebrated our silver anniversary. Photo by Mark D'Aguilar.

Index

  1. CHC News and Upcoming Events

  2. News and Opportunities

  3. Food for Thought (book reviews)

  4. Events of Interest

  5. Upcoming Conferences


1. CHC News and Upcoming Events


News from Our 25th Anniversary AGM
By Lori Jamieson & Fiona Lucas

CHC president Carolyn Crawford welcomed members to the CHC annual meeting on Saturday, October 5 in Toronto. Celebration was the theme as we achieved our 25th anniversary as an organization.

Fiona Lucas, one of the founding members of CHC, was elected treasurer for a two-year term. All other executive positions remain the same. Fiona also delivered great news about several resources she’s created in recognition of CHC’s 25th anniversary. These exciting new items will gradually be added to our website in PDF format. 
  1. An online history of CHC in three slides shows, one for each decade (1994–2004, 2005–2014, 2015–2019).
  2. An updated index to Culinary Chronicles (a new and expanded guide to all 71 issues of our previous quarterly newsletter, which published between 1994 and 2012; the existing index stopped at 2002.)
  3. Two bibliographies: Cookbooks and Cookbook Authors: An Evolving Bibliography of Studies, Surveys, and Auto / Biographies and Canadian Food and Culinary History: An Evolving Bibliography of Secondary Sources. Fiona notes that in the past few decades, the study of historical foods, recipes, cookbooks and their authors has erupted to the extent that it’s become impossible for researchers to keep up and keep track. Fiona started these specialized bibliographies a decade ago for her own use, but realized they should be shared. Capturing an ever-growing collection of this secondary source material for the use of fellow researchers, they will continue to evolve as CHC members notice missing entries and as more books and articles are published.
One new honorary lifetime membership, to Julian Armstrong, was announced at the 2019 AGM. A reporter and cookbook author, Julian has been writing on Quebec food for more than five decades. She was food editor at the Montreal Star and then at the Montreal Gazette and is the author of Made In Quebec: A Culinary Journey (HarperCollins, 2014) and A Taste of Quebec (Macmillan, 1990, updated in 2001). She is a founding member of the Association of Food Journalists and the Cuisine Canada culinary alliance. Julian was unable to attend the AGM, but the presentation will be made in December.

Meet Your 2019–2020 Board!

CHC Executive Officers, 2019–2020
  • President: Carolyn Crawford
  • Co-Vice-President: Samantha George
  • Co-Vice-President: Sherry Murphy
  • Secretary: Lori Jamieson
  • Treasurer: Fiona Lucas
  • Past President: Luisa Giacometti
Standing Committee Chairs
  • Chair of the Program Committee: Sylvia Lovegren
  • Chair of the Membership Committee: Judy Chow
  • Co-Chairs of the Communications Committee: Julia M. Armstrong & Sarah Hood
Other Board Positions
  • Chair of the Education Committee: Jane Black
  • Chair of Strategic Planning: Ellen Pekelis
  • Chair of the Outreach Committee: currently vacant
  • Member at Large: Kim Moulsdale
  • Co-ordinators of Refreshments: Sherry Murphy & Carolyn Crawford
  • Co-ordinator of Volunteers: Jennifer Meyer
CHC president Carolyn Crawford (left) and founder, long-serving president and incoming treasurer Fiona Lucas cut the celebratory 25th-anniversary cake, baked by Monika Paradis, at October's AGM. In the basket on the table are delicious take-home samples of Carolyn's third-generation family fruitcake recipe. Photo by Mark D'Aguilar.
For the AGM, CHC co-vice-president Sherry Murphy made A Rich Bride or Christening Cake (pictured, from Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management,1861). Monika Paradi made (and beautifully decorated) a vanilla slab cake with raspberry filling. President Carolyn Crawford prepared her grandmother's delicious apricot brandy–soaked fruitcake, presented in take-home bonbonieres. Photo by Sherry Murphy.


L-R: Fiona Lucas, Jessie Read’s daughter Heather-Ann Claggett, Naomi Duguid and Liz Driver at the Taste Canada Gala.

Taste Canada Gala 2019
The 22nd annual gala to recognize Canada’s cookbook authors occurred on October 27 at the beautiful Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto. A champion of Canadian cookbook authors, Taste Canada is a national not-for-profit organization that aims to inspire readers to discover delicious recipes and diverse food stories written from a Canadian perspective.

The Culinary Historians of Canada have participated for several years by sponsoring the Hall of Fame / Temple de la renommée, which celebrates the personalities who have shaped Canadian culinary writing. Fiona Lucas and Elizabeth Driver announced this year's inductees from the stage:
  • Jessie Read (posthumous): Read (1905–1940) was a home economist who wrote a column called “Three Meals a Day” for the Evening Telegram. These recipes were subsequently published as a series of books with the same title in 1934, 1935 and 1938. Read trained in dietetics, then worked for the Consumer’s Gas Company in Toronto. She became known for her cooking demos, weekly broadcast for the Radio Cooking School, and starring role in Canada’s first cooking school talking picture, Kitchen Talks. Intended for the average or aspiring home cook, Three Meals a Day was enormously successful. Read's life was a mere three-and-a-half decades, but her influence was briefly bright. Read’s family has created a website to honour her memory.
  • Naomi Duguid: Duguid (pictured above, second from right) is a prolific cookbook writer, culinary journalist, photographer, teacher and world traveller. Her eight cookbooks have won multiple awards from the IACP, James Beard Foundation, and Taste Canada. Her first six titles were co-authored with former husband Jeffrey Alford between 1995 and 2008. Her two solo cookbooks are Burma: Rivers of Flavor (2012) and Taste of Persia (2016). A renowned storyteller and celebrated photographer, Duguid has travelled extensively through Southeast Asia and Persia with local people. Her exemplary body of work shares these culinary experiences through gorgeous images, an anthropological perspective, and uncomplicated recipes that encourage creative cooking at home.
Congratulations also to this year’s English and French cookbook winners, especially our own CHC members Pat Crocker and Lindy Mechefske!

ENGLISH-LANGUAGE BOOKS                                              

Culinary Narratives

Gold: Out of Old Ontario Kitchens by CHC member Lindy Mechefske (McIntyre Purcell, Lunenberg)
Silver: Niki Jabbour’s Veggie Garden Remix: 224 New Plants to Shake Up Your Garden and Add Variety, Flavor, and Fun by Niki Jabbour (Storey / Thomas Allen & Son, Markham)


General Cookbooks
Gold: Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse by Frédéric Morin, David McMillan and Meredith Erickson (Appetite by Random House, Vancouver)
Silver: Set for the Holidays with Anna Olson by Anna Olson (Appetite by Random House, Vancouver)


Regional / Cultural Cookbooks
Gold: Bottom of the Pot by Naz Deravian (Flatiron Books/Raincoast Books, Richmond)
Silver: Vegetarian Viêt Nam by Cameron Stauch (WW Norton/Penguin Canada, Toronto)


Single-Subject Cookbooks
Gold: French Pastry 101: Learn the Art of Classic Baking with 60 Beginner-Friendly Recipes by Betty Hung (Page Street, Salem, MA)
Silver: Ship to Shore: Straight Talk from the Seafood Counter by John Bil (House of Anansi Press, Toronto)


Health and Special Diet Cookbooks
Gold: The Mindful Glow Cookbook: Radiant Recipes for Being the Healthiest, Happiest You by Abbey Sharp (Penguin Canada, Toronto)
Silver: The Herbalist’s Kitchen by CHC member Pat Crocker (Sterling, New York, NY)
 

FRENCH-LANGUAGE BOOKS
 

Les narrations culinaires
Gold: N’avalez pas tout ce qu’on vous dit par Bernard Lavallé (Les Éditions La Presse, Montréal)
Silver: Rollande Desbois – La gastronomie en héritage par Anne Fortin et Émilie Villeneuve (Les Éditions de l’Homme, Montréal)


Livres de cuisine générale
Gold: Le meilleur du bistro par Jean-François Plante (Les Éditions de l’Homme, Montréal)
Silver: Famille futée 4 – 200 recettes pour survivre aux soirs de semaine par Geneviève O’Gleman et Alexandra Diaz (Les Éditions de l’Homme, Montréal)


Livres de cuisine régionale et culturelle
Gold: Montréal l’hiver – Récits et recettes tricotés serrés par Susan Semenak et Cindy Boyce (Éditions Cardinal, Montréal)
Silver: Sous le charme des petits fruits par Louise Gagnon (Modus Vivdeni, Montréal)


Livres de cuisine sujet unique
Gold: Plus de légumes par Ricardo Larrivée (Les Éditions La Presse, Montréal)
Silver: À la soupe par Josée di Stasio (Flammarion Québec, Montréal)


Livres de cuisine santé et diète particulière
Gold: Savoir quoi manger – Grossesse par Stéphanie Côté (Modus Vivendi, Montréal)
Silver: Savoir quoi manger – Enfants par Stéphanie Côté (Modus Vivendi, Montréal)

 

 
Schmecks Appeal: The Culinary Legacy of Edna Staebler
By Julia M. Armstrong

On October 19, CHC spent a delightful day in Kitchener-Waterloo, in southwestern Ontario, learning about and celebrating Mennonite food heritage. The morning began at Relish Cooking Studio, where award-winning author and CHC member Rose Murray reminisced about culinary icon Edna Staebler (1906–2006). Rose, a long-time friend, described Edna's career, shared anecdotes, and painted the portrait of an intrepid, curious, never-idle woman who enjoyed simply prepared food and get-togethers with friends.

To do her research, which began when she was a journalist writing about Mennonite traditions, Edna lived with an area Mennonite family, watching them cook and learning their recipes. Surprisingly, Edna did not set out to be a cookbook author, but Food That Really Schmecks (1968) was a best-seller, and there was a demand for more.


 CHC Secretary Lori Jamieson with presenter Rose Murray.



Rose shares stories while Donna-Marie Pye, co-owner of Relish Cooking Studio, prepares the delicious lunch, featuring Staebler’s recipes and local ingredients.
 
   
The lunch menu featured Lemonade-in-a-Hurry, Sausages in Waterloo Dark beer from Waterloo Brewing, served over mashed potatoes and carrots, and Schnippled Bean Salad. Dessert was a fall favourite: Apple Crisp. The photo above right (taken by Stephanie Thomas) shows a selection of baking that was sampled in the morning: Easter Cheese, Mother’s Afternoon Tea Cakes, Bran Gems, German Buns, Norm's Date and Nut Drops and Grandmother Bomberger's Molasses Cookies.

As the afternoon sun shone, we headed across town to Schneider Haus National Historic Site (built 1816), where Fred Johnson, one of the interpreters in period clothing, demonstrated apple pressing (with CHC volunteers helping to turn the press's crank). In 1807, Joseph and family came from Pennsylvania to what is today Waterloo County.

The orchard was an essential part of any Pennsylvania German farm in the 19th century, and immigrants brought their apple seeds with them. Our other guide, Shari, demonstrated a common way to preserve apples: slicing them and placing the pieces on racks to dry. The resulting apple schnitz are super-sweet treats on their own, but are typically rehydrated for cooking and baking.


A 19th-century apple press at Schneider Haus; the juice from grinding and pressing drips into the pan below.

      
Left: Interpreter Fred Johnson explains how to make apple syrup and apple butter. Centre: Apple schnitz drying in one of the Schneider Haus outbuildings. Right: Participants sampled ultra-moist Apple Schnitz Kuchen, a recipe from Edna Staebler’s More Food That Really Schmecks (1979), which is included in the Schneider Haus apple recipe booklet everyone received to take home.

An added bonus was hearing area apple producer Steve Martin of Martin’s Family Fruit Farm speak about his “two favourite things: apples and history.” Martin and his brothers are the seventh generation to farm where his Mennonite ancestors did. Today the family focuses on apples (they grow 30 varieties), some of which are fresh-packed on site to supply supermarkets and some pressed for cider to sell at their orchard market. We each went home with an Ambrosia apple and a packet of apple crisps, a product that Martin’s recently developed, inspired by the schnitz drying of their Mennonite heritage.
 
   
Steve Martin shows the apple cookbook published by Martin’s Family Fruit Farms, not far from St Jacob’s Market, Waterloo. CHC members Rose Murray (left) and Pat Crocker (right) at Schneider Haus. All photos (except the cookie plate) by Julia M. Armstrong.

Sincere thanks to Rose Murray, Relish Cooking Studio, Schneider Haus, Martin’s Family Fruit Farm, and to CHC Secretary Lori Jamieson and the other board members who organized the enjoyable and informative day.
 
 
RAWF Canning Competition Results
On October 22, CHC president Carolyn Crawford and Communications co-chair Sarah Hood were among the judges at the 2019 adjudication for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Canning Competition, generously supported by Bernardin Ltd. and Metro. CHC sponsors and judges the Heritage Jam and Heritage Pickling classes, which recognize excellence in products made with recipes that are at least 50 years old.

It was nice to discover when the names of competitors were announced that CHC Honorary Lifetime Member Mya Sangster had won first prize in the Heritage Jam class. (In addition, CHC member Amy Lavender Harris of Toronto won the first-place ribbon in the Savory Jam or Jelly class with her Lemon Verbena Herb Jelly.)

Furthermore, in the class of Ice Cream "with a Base other than Vanilla or Chocolate, with or without inclusions," the winning entry was a historical Ginger Ice Cream recipe from 1789 prepared by the Volunteer Historic Cooks at Fort York National Historic Site, many of whom are CHC members. The historical recipe, which is made for programs and sold in the gift shop at Fort York, also picked up the Grand Champion Ice Cream ribbon!

The top winners in the Heritage classes are listed below; the rest of the Canning Competition results are available on the Royal Fair website. Congratulations to all who entered!

HERITAGE JAM

Amateur Level
  1. Mya Sangster of Toronto ("To Make Black Currant Jam" from The Experienced English Housekeeper by Mrs. Raffald, originally published in 1769. We wanted toast with this deliciously tart and chewy preserve!)
  2. Paul Barrie of Toronto (Pure Raspberry Jam, probably made with mixed red and black berries, from Pickles and Preserves by Marion Brown, 1955)
  3. Kim Hinton of Toronto (Citrus Ginger Wine Marmalade, a family recipe from 1902)
Professional Level
  1. Wendy Mahoney of Warkworth, Ontario (Heritage Raspberry Jam from her grandmother's recipe)
  2. Okhotsk Jam Club of Monbetsu-Shi, Hokkaido, Japan (Rose Petal Jam from La scienza in cucina e l'arte di mangiar bene, or Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well by Pellegrino Artusi, 1891)
  3. Henderson Farms of Wolfe Island, Ontario (Confiture de cassis épépinées, which means Seedless Black Currant Jelly, from the Livre de cuisine de Boston. École de Cuisine de Boston, the French-language version of the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Farmer, first published in 1896)
HERITAGE PICKLING

Amateur Level
  1. Rodger J. Beatty of St. Catharines, Ontario (Bread and Butter Pickles from The All New Purity Cook Book: A Complete Book of Canadian Cooking, revised edition, 1967, edited by Anna Lee Scott)
  2. Wanda Aultman of Powassan, Ontario (Pickled Baby Corn from Food That Really Schmecks by Edna Staebler, 1968)
  3. Natalia Lobach of Etobicoke, Ontario (Pickled Cherries, contributed by "Miss Mary Braun, Victoria, B.C." to The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes, Steinbach, Manitoba, 1962)
Professional Level
  1. Joanne Holt of Guelph, Ontario (Icicle Pickles from The Purity Cook-Book, 1930)
  2. Alexandra Camm, Perth, Ontario (Icicle Pickles from a family recipe by "Aunt Jessie," 1897-1987)
  3. Wendy Mahoney, Warkworth, Ontario (Bread & Butter Pickles, an Amish recipe from "Mrs. Swatzentraber")
 


Victorian Holiday Baking Workshop
Tickets are already selling fast for the fourth edition of our popular annual Baking for the Victorian Christmas Table, a hands-on early-Victorian baking class led by experienced culinary historian and CHC co-vice-president Sherry Murphy. It's coming up on Saturday, November 16 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the 19th-century kitchen at Montgomery's Inn in Etobicoke.

Participants will assist in preparing authentic historic recipes using period equipment and techniques beside the hearth fire. This year's focus will be on mincemeat tarts and rolled cookies, with a quick look at Christmas pudding. Tickets are $55 for CHC members and $65 for others, including samples to take home, tea and snacks. Please note: Participants must be 16 or older (13 or older with an adult caregiver). Tickets are available on Eventbrite.
 


 
Don't Miss Our Lost Feast Event!
CHC and Culinaria Research Centre present the Toronto launch for Lenore Newman's latest book, Lost Feast: Culinary Extinction and the Future of Food, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, December 4 at Culinaria Research Centre at the U of T Scarborough campus.

Lenore Newman is the Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Environment at the University of the Fraser Valley and the author of Speaking in Cod Tongues: A Canadian Culinary Journey. She will talk about the new book, which deals with the history of foods humans have literally loved to death and what that means for our culinary future. Her research covers topics from the dramatic rise and fall of the passenger pigeon—which literally changed the forest ecology of North America—to the parallels between Icelandic cattle and woolly mammoths (hunted to extinction in the Paleolithic era).

There will be samples and discussion of some of the foods from "extinction dinners" designed to recreate meals of the past or project how we might eat in the future. Tickets are free, but registration is required. Books will be available to purchase at the event (cash only). Tickets are available on Eventbrite.
 



Win Tickets to the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo!
CHC members in good standing are eligible to win one of two pairs of tickets to the 25th-anniversary Gourmet Food & Wine Expo, which runs from Thursday, November 21 to Sunday, November 24 in the North Hall Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (255 Front Street West). The event is a unique opportunity to find out about local and imported food and wine.

Simply email your interest to sarah@culinaryhistorians.ca before midnight on Friday, November 8. Your membership must be up-to-date in order to enter. Two winners will be picked at random. A pair of tickets will be left in the name of each of the two winners at the “Will Call” desk during the event.
 
 
Remembering Long-time CHC Member & Volunteer Margaret Lyons
By Fiona Lucas

Margaret Lyons was a tiny woman with a big intellect and a formidable career in broadcasting. She and her husband, Ed Lyons, became members of CHC almost at the beginning. They both had a strong interest in the history of food in Canada, and both contributed many items to CHC’s quarterly newsletter, Culinary Chronicles. For about five years in the early 2000s, they also hosted the quarterly envelope-stuffing sessions for those paper newsletters. Margaret generously provided us with envelope stuffers and label lickers, who included Ed, with a delicious dinner before we settled to work around their dinner table.                       

Margaret was born into an immigrant Japanese family on a fruit farm in British Columbia in 1923. In the autumn 2007 newsletter, she recalled her family’s wartime expulsion from the farm, when the Canadian government shamefully declared Japanese-Canadians to be enemy aliens. In the autumn 2010 issue, she fondly remembered her introduction to Ontario’s red tomato chili sauce.

I always enjoyed talking with Margaret. Her wit was acerbic and her knowledge formidable. I hadn’t seen her in recent years, but had thought of her recently when reading something she wrote. Then, with sorrow I saw that she had died in early October. The Globe and Mail carried a long obituary of Margaret Lyons, who died at age 95.
 
Upcoming CHC Events
Please note: Details are subject to change.
  • Friday, November 1 to Sunday, November 10: Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (Toronto). Prize-winning cows, sheep, pigs, poultry, produce, dairy products and more, along with sales and tastings of local food at Exhibition Place. CHC sponsors the Heritage Jam and Pickle categories in the annual preserving competition; winners will be on display.
  • Saturday, November 16, 1 to 4 p.m.: Baking for the Victorian Christmas Table (Etobicoke, Ontario). The fourth edition of CHC's popular historic baking workshop, to be held in the historic kitchen at Montgomery's Inn. Admission: $65 (general), $55 (CHC members). Tickets are available on Eventbrite.
  • Wednesday, December 4: Lost Feast: Culinary Extinction and the Future of Food. The Toronto Book Launch!, 6 to 8 p.m. (Scarborough, Ontario). CHC and Culinaria Research Centre at U of T Scarborough present the Toronto launch for food scholar Lenore Newman's latest book, which deals with the history of foods humans have literally loved to death and what that means for our culinary future. Admission: Free. Pre-registration is required. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.
Please note: Frost Fair at Fort York National Historic Site has been postponed to January.
Join the Culinary Historians of Canada!



The membership year runs from one annual general meeting (usually in October) to the next. Download a membership form here and join us today! 

2. News and Opportunities

Compiled by Lori Jamieson, Julia M. Armstrong & Sarah Hood
 
Taste of Iceland
From November 14 to 17, Taste of Iceland returns to Toronto. Highlights include the $76, five-course Icelandic Tasting Menu being offered from November 14 to 16 at Luma (350 King Street West, 2nd floor). It is created by Chef Gísli Matthías Auðunsson, owner of Slippurinn Eatery. On November 17, Luma hosts An Evening in Iceland ($120), with live performance, a cocktail-and-canapé reception, an opportunity to meet Chefs Auðunsson and Michael Wilson, and a dinner with wine pairings that highlights traditional Icelandic flavours.
 

What's Cooking? (Member News)
CHC MEMBERS: Please let us know what you're up to! We'll publish all suitable news items received at cadmus@interlog.com by the 25th of each month. (Please write your announcement directly into your email window, with no attachments except a photo. Be sure to include a web link for further information!)



On Saturday, October 19, Fort York National Historic Site in Toronto presented this year's edition of "Canada’s Table, A Celebration of Our Cookbooks," and many CHC members were involved: Elizabeth Baird and Bridget Wranich were on the organizing committee. Mark D’Aguilar offered his talents as graphic designer, photographer and food stylist. On a panel debate about Culinary Cookbook Icons, Elizabeth Driver passionately defended Kate Aitken as a more significant figure than Marie Nightingale or Jean Paré. Nathalie Cooke (pictured above, in a photo by Mark D'Aguilar) spoke on “Canada’s 20th-Century Spokespersonalities: A Story of Consuming Performances." Participants were served refreshments made by Fort York's Volunteer Historic Cooks, including CHC members Elizabeth Baird, Mark D’Aguilar, Jan Main, Sherry Murphy and Mya Sangster.

CHC member John Ota has announced that Penguin Random House will be releasing his new book, titled The Kitchen: A Journey through History in Search of the Perfect Design, in February 2020. In The Kitchen, he describes his own quest across North America to explore examples of excellent kitchen design throughout history. His stops include the homes of such notable figures as Thomas Jefferson, Julia Child, Georgia O’Keeffe, Elvis Presley and Louis Armstrong. The book will retail for $25.

Sherry Murphy offered an open-hearth cooking workshop at Danceweavers' Master and Commander event at Montgomery's Inn on October 18, leading a willing crew in the preparation of Spiced Forcemeat Balls and Bread and Butter Pudding from The London Art of Cookery and Domestic Housekeepers' Complete Assistant by John Farley (1811).

CHC Honorary Member Mya Sangster offered a presentation to the Jane Austen Society in London, Ontario, on October 6. She discussed recipes that have a connection to Jane (with tastings), such as rout cakes, damson tarts and almond cheesecakes. Some of the recipes were taken from the manuscript receipt book of Martha Lloyd, who lived with the Austens when they resided in Chawton; others came from The Knight Family Cookbook, a manuscript dating from about 1793 that was inherited by Jane's brother, Edward Austen Knight. Mya also scoured all of Jane's novels and family letters for references to food and then researched period recipes for them.

On October 21, Chantal Véchambre presented a cooking class called Classic French Desserts at The Depanneur in Toronto. Her hands-on workshop featured some of the most famous classic French desserts, including financiers, ile flottante and crème brûlée. Certified in both French cuisine and pastry-chocolate, Chantal currently offers professional catering through her company My Crème Caramel.

And finally. It's that time of year again! CHC member Michele Chandler of The Art of Pudding is once again shipping her traditional Christmas puddings to select retailers across Canada. Check out her website to find the location closest to you.

3. Food for Thought

The book review section will return next month.

Have you missed a book review? You can read reviews from all our past issues online. If you are a CHC member who would like to contribute, please contact Elka Weinstein at elka.weinstein@utoronto.ca or Sarah Hood at cadmus@interlog.com.

Review Contributors
  • Luisa Giacometti (Toronto)
  • Gary Gillman (Toronto)
  • Sher Hackwell (Vancouver)
  • Sarah Hood (Toronto)
  • Fiona Lucas (Toronto)
  • Susan Peters (Morrisburg, Ontario)
  • Sonja Pushchak (Toronto)
  • Laura Reilly (Comox, British Columbia)
  • Elka Weinstein (Toronto)

4. Events of Interest

Compiled by Julia M. Armstrong, Jane Black, Lori Jamieson & Sarah Hood
 
THIS MONTH  (November 2019)
 
Toronto
  • Friday, November 1 to Sunday, November 10: Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Prize-winning cows, sheep, pigs, poultry, produce, dairy products and more, along with sales and tastings of local food at Exhibition Place. CHC sponsors the Heritage Jam and Pickle categories in the annual preserving competition; winners will be on display.
  • Monday, November 4: The King’s Peas—Curator Talk and Book Launch, 6:30 to 8 p.m. The Gardiner Museum presents a lecture by curator Meredith Chilton in which she will delve deeper into the stories, images and recipes from the museum's current exhibition, "Savour," and its accompanying publication, The King’s Peas: Delectable Recipes and Their Stories from the Age of Enlightenment. Admission: Included with museum admission (free to $15).
  • Thursday, November 7: Toronto Brews Thursday Nights: Great Lakes Brewery, 5 to 6 p.m. The Market Gallery presents craft beer tastings and guided tours of the exhibit "Toronto Brews." Admission: $12 (limited to age 19+). Pre-registration is required; marketgallery@toronto.ca, 416-392-7604.
  • Sunday, November 10: Drinking with Mr. Darcy: Jane Austen–Inspired Cocktails, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Famous Last Words (392 Pacific Avenue) presents a boozy afternoon at the Pemberley Estate exploring the works of Jane Austen. Organizers will cover a range of spirits and styles that they say will delight every "sense and sensibility." Participants will learn how to measure, shake, stir, pour and garnish like a pro. Admission: $60, including four cocktails and a copy of the recipes.
  • Thursday, November 21: Toronto Brews Thursday Nights: Junction Craft Brewing, 5 to 6 p.m. The Market Gallery presents craft beer tastings and guided tours of the exhibit "Toronto Brews." Admission: $12 (limited to age 19+). Pre-registration is required; marketgallery@toronto.ca, 416-392-7604.
  • Friday, November 22: Italian Renaissance Dinner, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Cucinato and Istituto Italiano di Cultura present a special event as part of the third annual World Italian Food Week. This seven-course tasting menu has been assembled from seminal Renaissance works like Scappi’s Opera (1570) and Castelvetro’s The Fruit, Herbs and Vegetables of Italy (1614) by Dr. Karima Moyer-Nocchi, a culinary historian and tenured professor at the University of Siena. She will give a brief presentation about Italian Renaissance cuisine prior to the meal and explain the role of each of the dishes in the evolution of Italian foodways. Admission: $75.
  • Saturday, November 23: Gingerbread Afternoon Tea, two seatings: 11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. Gibson House presents a festive afternoon tea served by costumed interpreters in the historic surroundings of the Gibson family's Victorian farmhouse, with flavours inspired by the holiday season. Visitors will enjoy tea, scones, a variety of finger sandwiches and treats inspired by winter spice, after which they will tour the decorated home. This Georgian farmhouse, surrounded by an apple orchard and heritage gardens, offers visitors a glimpse of 19th-century rural life in North York. Admission: $30. Pre-registration is required
  • Sunday, November 24: Mince Pies: An Historical Cooking Workshop, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fort York National Historic Site invites participants to learn how to make the pastry and rich filling of these traditional fruit- and meat-based pies. A recipe package and mince pies to take home are included. Recommended for those aged 13+. Admission: $75 + HST. Pre-registration is required.
Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)
  • Sunday, November 10, 1 to 4 p.m.: Remembrance Day Tea. To mark Remembrance Day and the centenary of the Armistice, Montgomery’s Inn is hosting this special tea, featuring WWI-era music and refreshments inspired by recipes from the Great War. Admission: $7 + HST (at the door).
  • Saturday, November 16: Baking for the Victorian Christmas Table, 1 to 4 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). In the historic kitchen at Montgomery’s Inn, CHC board member and historic cook Sherry Murphy will lead the fourth annual hands-on exploration of seasonal recipes dating from the Victorian period. Admission: $65 (general), $55 (CHC members). Tickets are available on Eventbrite.
  • Sunday, November 24: Stir-Up Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Visitors to Montgomery's Inn will witness a 19th-century working commercial kitchen at an afternoon of cooking demonstrations presented by historic cooks in period dress, including CHC members. Admission: $8 (general), $7 (youth & seniors), $5 (child), including samples while supplies last. 416-394-8113.
  • Sunday, November 24: Toussaint: Traditions of the Dark Months, 5 to 9:30 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery’s Inn hosts a bewitching evening of storytelling and music from the Celtic tradition of Breton folklore, along with a simple meal, created by CHC member Karen Millyard. During the “Black Months” of November and December, people gathered by the fire to hear the eerie tales of northern coastal France. Admission: TBA. 416-578-1031.
Other Regions
  • Friday, November 1 to Wednesday, November 13: MTLàTABLE (Montreal). The 8th edition of Montréal’s annual food festival, with 150 restaurants offering table d’hôte menus at $23, $33 and $43, as well as $17 brunches that highlight Quebec terroir products.
  • Sunday, November 3: Tea & Bannock: Community Tea, 2 p.m. (Guelph, Ontario). Guelph Civic Museum offers tea, bannock and kitchen conversations with Karonhyakatste of White Pines Catering. Karonhyakatste is a mixed-blood Haudenosaunee woman, experiential knowledge teacher and storyteller. The menu includes bannock, cold cedar tea with cinnamon and lemon, wild rice, mini Indian tacos, salmon crostini, corn soup and strawberry shortcake. Admission: $20 + HST.
  • Thursday to Saturday, November 7 to 9: 5th Annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend (Washington, D.C.). Food innovators, entrepreneurs, chefs, scholars and enthusiasts will engage museum visitors around the theme Power Through Food, with a special focus on migrant and refugee women and organizations, and how their food-related enterprises are helping create sustainable livelihoods and stronger communities. The weekend includes cooking demonstrations, hands-on learning, beer history and a black-tie gala. Admission: Various prices; some free events.
  • Sunday, November 10: Traditional Fire Tonic Making and Use, 1 to 3 p.m. (Galt, Ontario). McDougall Cottage hosts this hands-on workshop presented by holistic practitioner Jassie Bhuee, who will discuss Fire Tonic, its health benefits, how to make it, and how it can be enjoyed in everyday life. Students will need a cutting board and a sharp knife; all other materials and ingredients will be provided. Admission: $45 + HST, including tastings, notes and recipes. Pre-registration is required.
  • Saturdays, November 23 & 30: Communal Bake Days, 2 p.m. (Kitchener, Ontario). Community bake ovens were the information hubs of the past. Visitors to Schneider Haus National Historic Site can prepare their bread at home and bring it to bake in a wood-fired bake oven. While the bread is baking, they can meet up with other bakers, share stories and recipes or visit the museum. Admission: Free with regular admission: $4 to $6  (individual), $15 (family). Pre-registration is required.
LOOKING AHEAD (December 2019)

Toronto
  • Wednesday, December 4: Lost Feast: Culinary Extinction and the Future of Food. The Toronto Book Launch!, 6 to 8 p.m. CHC and Culinaria Research Centre at U of T Scarborough present the Toronto launch for food scholar Lenore Newman's latest book, which deals with the history of foods humans have literally loved to death and what that means for our culinary future. Admission: Free. Pre-registration is required. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.
  • Thursday, December 5: Home School Holiday Baking & Christmas Tour, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Black Creek Pioneer Village invites visitors to prepare for the holiday season by baking Christmas treats using a wood-burning stove in the historic Samuel Stong House, with a tour of the village during which they will learn about Christmas traditions of the past. For ages 8 and up; children must be accompanied by an adult. Admission: $19 (one student plus one adult).
  • Thursday, December 5: Hogmanay and Hygge, 5:30 p.m. Gibson House demonstrates Scottish Hogmanay traditions, Danish Hygge cosiness and global holiday connections. Visitors will explore the candlelit Victorian home, discover the history behind many winter holidays, make a julehjerter (a traditional Danish Christmas decoration) and sample mulled Ontario apple cider, shortbread, gingerbread and candied orange peel. Admission: $20. Pre-registration is required.
  • Saturday, December 7: Christmas Baking Workshop, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Mackenzie House offers a tour and a chance to learn about the tastes and culinary technologies of the Victorian period and try baking traditional Christmas sweets in the historic wood-fire oven. Admission: $35 + HST. Pre-registration is required.
  • Saturday, December 7: Christmas by Lamplight, 6 to 9:30 p.m. Black Creek Pioneer Village is transformed by the glow of lamps and lanterns, flickering candles and cozy fireplaces with pioneer carollers and samples of festive foods like mulled cider, gingerbread cookies and chestnuts roasted on an open fire. Full traditional Christmas dinners are also available. Admission: $26.95 to $36.95 (program only); $61.90 to $101.95 (program + dinner). Pre-registration is required.
  • Saturday, December 7: The Cook's Apprentice: A Baking Workshop for Children. Noon to 2:30 p.m. Fort York National Historic Site invites children (8 to 12) to learn how to bake traditional recipes in a historic kitchen setting. Cakes, biscuits and confections are on the menu, using recipes for iced queen cakes, gingerbread, peppermint drops and a delicious breakfast griddle cake. Kids can decorate a baker’s box and bring samples of their baking home to their family. Admission: $30 + HST. Pre-registration is required.
  • Sunday, December 8: Gingerbread Sweets and Treats Workshop, 9:30 a.m. to noon. Gibson House gets into the holiday spirit by decorating gingerbread cookies and baking traditional recipes in the historic kitchen. Guests may gather in the parlour with a shortbread cookie and warm apple cider for a reading of the classic tale "A Visit from St. Nicholas.” They can also try out toys that Victorian children would have received on Christmas morning and explore the historic house, which will be bedecked in greenery and cheerful ribbons. Admission: $30 + HST (one adult plus one child), $15 + HST (each additional child or adult).
  • Thursday, December 12: Hogmanay and Hygge, 5:30 p.m. Gibson House demonstrates Scottish Hogmanay traditions, Danish Hygge cosiness and global holiday connections. Visitors will explore the candlelit Victorian home, discover the history behind many winter holidays, make a julehjerter (a traditional Danish Christmas decoration) and sample mulled Ontario apple cider, shortbread, gingerbread and candied orange peel. Admission: $20. Pre-registration is required.
  • Saturday, December 14: Christmas by Lamplight, 6 to 9:30 p.m. Black Creek Pioneer Village. See Saturday, December 7.
  • Saturday, December 14: Gingerbread Afternoon Tea, two seatings: 11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. Gibson House offers a festive afternoon tea served by costumed interpreters in the historic surroundings of the Gibson family's Victorian farmhouse, with flavours inspired by the holiday season. Visitors will enjoy tea, scones, a variety of finger sandwiches and treats inspired by winter spice, then tour the decorated home. This Georgian farmhouse, surrounded by an apple orchard and heritage gardens, offers visitors a glimpse of 19th-century rural life in North York. Admission: $30. Pre-registration is required.
  • Saturday, December 14: The Cook's Apprentice: A Savoury Cooking Workshop for Children, noon to 2:30 p.m. Fort York National Historic Site offers a hands-on workshop during which children ages 8 to 12 learn to make and taste traditional recipes, including macaroni and cheese, chicken curry and a seasonal soup as part of their meal—all in the Officers’ Mess historic kitchen. During the workshop, children will learn both historic and modern cooking techniques and enjoy their finished product. Admission $30 + HST. Pre-registration is required.
  • Sunday, December 15: Gingerbread Sweets and Treats Workshop, 9:30 a.m. to noon. Gibson House gets into the holiday spirit by decorating gingerbread cookies and baking traditional recipes in the historic kitchen. Guests may gather in the parlour with a shortbread cookie and warm apple cider for a reading of the classic tale "A Visit from St. Nicholas.” They can also try out toys that Victorian children would have received on Christmas morning and explore the historic house, which will be bedecked in greenery and cheerful ribbons. Admission: $30 + HST (one adult plus one child), $15 + HST (each additional child or adult).
  • Saturday, December 21: Christmas by Lamplight, 6 to 9:30 p.m. Black Creek Pioneer Village. See Saturday, December 7.
  • Saturday & Sunday, December 21 & 22: Victorian Christmas Talk & Tea, 2 to 3:30 p.m. A 20-minute illustrated presentation on Victorian Christmas traditions in the Market Gallery, followed by tea and Christmas-themed treats in the Market Kitchen. Admission: $25 + HST, including admission to the current exhibit, "Toronto Brews." Pre-registration is required.
  • Friday to Tuesday, December 27 to 31: Gingerbread Make and Bake, two sessions: 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. In this 45-minute hands-on workshop, kids ages 4+ will use period cooking utensils and tools to sift flour, crush cinnamon, cloves or allspice, pound sugar and grate nutmeg and ginger as they prepare an 1800s gingerbread recipe in Fort York’s historic kitchen. Visitors can sign up for a morning or an afternoon workshop in the Museum Store when they arrive. Admission: $5.30 to $12.40 + HST, including take-home samples.
  • Saturday & Sunday, December 28 & 29: Hogamanay, 6 to 8 p.m. Mackenzie House invites visitors to enjoy an evening of Scottish music and foods, including haggis, tatties and neeps at this traditional celebration of the new year. The decorated house will be illuminated by gas and candlelight, and the Gin Lane Trio will perform traditional music of the season. Admission: $35 + HST. Pre-registration is required.
Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)
  • Friday, December 6: Historic Cooking Workshop: Delicious Desserts, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Hamilton, Ontario). Dundurn National Historic Site offers an opportunity to learn how to make Christmas pudding and traditional Scottish Christmas baked goods (for ages 14+). Admission: $50, including a take-home recipe book. Pre-registration is required.
  • Saturday, December 7: Dickens Christmas Feast, 5 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery’s Inn presents a candlelit four-course Christmas feast served before the roaring fire. Recreated from sumptuous historic recipes of the Victorian era, the menu includes pre-dinner drinks and a demonstration of Dickens' own recipe for Flaming Rum Punch in the historic bar room. The evening will also include dramatic readings from A Christmas Carol and a brief dance lesson in the ball room to live musical accompaniment. Admission: $100 + HST (includes one glass of wine and rum punch). Cash bar. Pre-registration is required.
Other Regions
  • Wednesday, December 4: Heritage Luncheon, two seatings: noon & 1:30 p.m. (Peterborough, Ontario). Hutchison House Museum presents a homemade meal served by costumed interpreters in the historic Keeping Room by the fire. Admission: $15. Pre-registration is required at 705-743-9710.
  • Saturdays, December 14 & 21: Communal Bake Days, 2 p.m. (Kitchener, Ontario). Community bake ovens were the information hubs of the past. Visitors to Schneider Haus National Historic Site can prepare their bread at home and bring it to bake in a wood-fired bake oven. While the bread is baking, they can meet up with other bakers, share stories and recipes or visit the museum. Admission: Free with regular admission: $4 to $6 (individual), $15 (family). Pre-registration is required.
CONTINUING
  • Saturdays & Sundays, November 16 to December 23: Family Christmas Weekends, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Toronto). Black Creek Pioneer Village offers activities geared towards families, including 1860s cooking demonstrations. Admission: Free to $15 (individual).
  • November 19, 2019 to January 5, 2020: Auld Lang Syne 19th-Century New Year's Celebration, (Toronto). Mackenzie House presents an exploration of the Hogmanay rituals of 19th-century Scottish Canadians and how they parallel New Year's celebrations in other countries and cultures. Visitors can tour the restored house, learn about the Mackenzie family and New Year's traditions and taste cider and cookies, among other activities. Admission: $5 to $8.
  • To December 28: Toronto Brews (Toronto). The Market Gallery invites visitors to explore Toronto's rich beer legacy through artifacts, artworks, archival images and videos at the exhibition “Toronto Brews!” The exhibit tells of the tiny breweries established in the early 1800s, the scaling-up of the industry in Victorian times, the impact of Prohibition and more! Pre-registration is required.
  • To January 19, 2020: Savour: Food Culture in the Age of Enlightenment (Toronto). The Gardiner Museum presents a multifaceted exhibit that explores the ways that food and dining were transformed in Europe during the Age of Enlightenment, and how these profound changes still resonate today.
  • Daily: Historic Afternoon Tea & Tour at Fort Langley National Historic Site, tea 1 to 2:45 p.m.; tour 3 to 4:30 p.m. (Fort Langley, British Columbia). An elegant afternoon tea at the Little White House Salon Café in the coach house of the historic Marr House. Fort Langley, a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post, was first established in 1827. On the tour, visitors will hear about local historical characters and explore the homes and workshops of the people of the trade. Admission: $15.68 per person (plus admission fee for groups of 15–30), including tea and tour. 604-513-4799 or fort.langley@pc.gc.ca.
  • Daily: Fishing the West Coast and the Canning Line, 10 a.m. to  5 p.m. (Steveston, British Columbia). The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site offers exhibits on the development of fishing on Canada’s West Coast and modern fishing practices, too. Admission: Free.
  • Sundays, Tea and Tour of Roedde House, 1 to 3:15 p.m. (Vancouver). A tea tasting of Roedde House blend by Metropolitan Tea Co., along with a tour of the museum. Admission: $8. No reservations required.
  • Saturdays & Sundays: Tour & Taste Weekends, 1 to 4:30 p.m. (Toronto). Gibson House offers tea, cookies and a seat at the harvest table in the 1850s historic kitchen. Admission: Free with regular admission.
  • Indefinite run: Ongoing demos and exhibits at Canada Agriculture & Food Museum (Ottawa). Admission: Free with regular admission. 613-991-3044 or 1-866-442-4416.
  • Indefinite run: Beggar’s Banquet (Louisbourg, Nova Scotia). Participants enjoy an 18th-century maritime meal while dressed in period clothing.
  • Sundays, Tea Time at the Inn, 1 to 4 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery’s Inn offers a spot of tea and a taste of history in the Tea Room, including in-house baking and unlimited tea service. Tea served and goods baked by the dedicated Montgomery's Inn volunteers. Admission: $8.
  • Wednesdays, Guided Garden Tour & Tea, 11 a.m. (Oshawa, Ontario). Parkwood Estates welcomes visitors to explore the Parkwood gardens on this 90-minute guided tour, which will conclude with tea in the Gardener’s Lodge. Admission: $20. Pre-registration is required at 905-433-4311 or info@parkwoodestate.com.

5. Conferences

Compiled by Julia M. Armstrong

2019

Throughout Academic Year 2019-2020 (Virtual)
FOOD HISTORY SEMINAR
Based in London, U.K., the Institute of Historical Research launched the Food History Seminar in 2017 to provide an inclusive setting in which food historians, academics and other experts could come together to discuss research.
More info: See the call for papers to present during the academic year 2019-2020.
Of note: Listen to podcasts of past seminars.

November 4 to 5 (Dieppe, New Brunswick)
EATING HERITAGE/GOÛTER L'HISTOIRE SYMPOSIUM
Of note: New Brunswick’s first food tourism conference, with collaboration from Really Local Harvest.
Theme: Focused on inspiring and connecting local producers, tourism operators and destination-marketing organizations to tap into their food tourism potential. 

November 8 to 10 (Mumford, New York)
DOMESTIC SKILLS SYMPOSIUM
Venue and host: Genesee Country Village & Museum.
Details: Saturday (9th) symposium features four lectures on food, material culture, technology and more. Pre- and post-symposium workshops optional.
Of note: Buffet luncheon for registrants, featuring receipts from 18th- and 19th-century cookery books.
Registration: See forms on website.

November 15 to 16 (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
AMSTERDAM SYMPOSIUM ON THE HISTORY OF FOOD
Theme: (Post)Colonial Foodways.
Program and registration: See conference website.

2020

May 26 to 27 (Dublin, Ireland)
DUBLIN GASTRONOMY SYMPOSIUM
Theme: Food and Disruption: What Shall We Eat Tomorrow?
Of note: Disruptors in food history can include people, movements, technological advancements and disasters.

June 21 to 25 (Sturbridge, Massachusetts)
ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR LIVING HISTORY, FARM AND AGRICULTURAL MUSEUMS
Venue: Old Sturbridge Village, New England's largest outdoor living history museum.

2021

May 13 to 15 (Guelph, Ontario)
14TH TRIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF THE RURAL WOMEN'S STUDIES ASSOCIATION 

Theme: 
Kitchen Table Talk to Global Forum.
Of note: RWSA is an international association to promote and advance farm and rural women’s/gender studies in a historical perspective.
Call for proposals (deadline May 31, 2020): see the conference website.
Venue: University of Guelph.

Across the far-flung regions of Canada, a lot is happening in the fields of food and history. This monthly digest is a forum for Canadian culinary historians and enthusiasts to tell each other about their many activities. This is a place for networking and conversation about Canadian culinary history happenings. Each month, Digestible Bits and Bites is shared with members of the Culinary Historians of Canada and other interested persons who ask to be on the distribution list. 
 
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